Sunday, January 30, 2011

oh how he loves ME!

How He Loves Us, David Crowder Band

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,

Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way?

here is a link to hear the song.

it's been a pretty rough week for me, if i'm really honest with everyone! physically, emotionally & spiritually. at this point i'm pretty sure it's not one thing in particular, but a million things all at once, you know how that goes -"when it rains, it pours" kinda thing!
yesterday joe gave me some "me time". while i was out, i mostly enjoyed the silence life brought! silence is RARE with toddlers and everyday buzz. for some reason, i clicked on the radio for a moment & i heard the above song -so thankful for christian radio [when it does come in clear]!! it was just that moment, then i had to turn it back off to bask in the song and continue singing it @ the top of my lungs!
something about the words was the perfect reminder for me this week! getting some time away, and praying with my hubs (along with a few of you praying whom i have asked), i'm feeling a weight be lifted slowly off my shoulders.
anyway, if you get a moment, check the song out! it's beautiful -i may even be buying the album with my christmas giftcards!! :)

cheerio crunch

here is a new recipe i found that is super easy and uses up those extra cheerios that your babies no longer want to eat...
cheerio crunch was as simple as melting butter and sugar together, adding the cheerios & letting them cool.
i liked the variation tips they had, so we made a complete snack mix by adding raisens, craisens, pretzels, m&m's and choco chips. of course, the cereal is what i pick out o it, so it's def good enough alone!
*i am in no way endorsing this as healthy! i'm sure it's awful, but an easy snack variation! may be a good way to get in some dried fruits (though my little guys have no problem eating those)!! enjoy!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

a january snowstorm

my NEW recipe book

i used one of my christmas gift cards
to purchase this new recipe binder
(along with it's matching cards & page protectors)...
i LOVE it!!
it was in effort of downsizing from over 10 recipe books
to just a handful i will bring to rwanda with me.
though i can't say re-writing all my recipes has been my favorite job,
i do thoroughly enjoy my new book!

i still have some more work to do,
and am sure i'll be adding to this book as years go by!
if you have a favorite recipe you think i should take with me,
feel free to pass it along!

little freakers!

my pantry is looking pretty organized these days...
i like to organize and think i generally keep it pretty organized, but it's been to the extreme lately b/c we've had some very unwelcomed guests in our house! i like to call them little freakers! it's a term most of my family uses for their pets actually, but i don't want to keep these guys! it matters not how hard you try to get rid of them, mice are pesty!!! i have put almost everything, and i do mean EVERYTHING into tupperware! at this point even my "chip" like snacks are in tupperwares! i may not have tupperwares left to actually store food, but i should be able to starve these mice into another home soon enough!
you would think having a cat would help this scenario, but so far, she has been a freaker herself! she hears the mice, as she stops playing to look towards the kitchen, but quickly returns to playing! is the stuffed mouse really that fun?!? ugh!! city woes!

tortilla bowls

i forget the site i bought them from, but i got these tortilla bowl pans recently for really cheap! you simply put a soft tortilla in and bake for about 10 min and you have a perfectly formed bowl for which to eat your taco salad from!! we have used them a few times already and i am in love!!! it gives a little variety to some dinners and is also suggested to use as serving bowls for dips (like guacamole).
i did not get mine from amazon, but there are plenty to choose from is a link!
p.s. if i remember where i got mine from i'll add it later b/c they were SUPER cheap!!!

**i found the place i got's called lakeside collection. it doesn't seem like they currently have any tortilla bowls, but it was $6.95 for my set of 2 large pans. lots of neat stuff!**

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

joe's jan update

Hello friend's,
this past month, I was really sick for two weeks, and than traveled to Georgia and South Carolina for theological studies for two weeks. My main prayer request from you all personally is for good time management, as I catch up on what has been undone at home with the family, in the ministry at liberti church east, and as I get working now on new responsibilities as a seminary student at Columbia International University.
School was an incredible blessing as I had the privilege to study for 8 hours a day and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with men and women from dozens of countries. From Korean church planters in Central Asia, to Brazilian missionaries in East Africa. Even in a short time I was there, it was easy to see that the teacher's don't just teach but really model a life of tender sacrificial service for the students and love for God's kingdom around the world. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to study there.
We are looking for churches, and individuals to partner with us in God's mission for us in Rwanda. I have over a dozen churches that I have made my first contact with before our vision trip last fall, and it is time to follow up.
Please pray for me to have both wisdom and grace to know the best way to approach these churches, and to see how they might want to partner with us. Also one great way you could help, is to introduce us to your pastor or mission's committee, please feel free to pass out our website, to anyone who may have a heart for training up pastor's in Africa.
Since our update last year, we have received one new prayer and financial partner. We know have roughly %6 of our future monthly financial need. Any gifts that AIM receives now will not go to us now, but will be banked for us and go towards outgoing expenses which we will need to fly and resettle in Africa next year, Lord willing.
We also have over 40 committed prayer partners, our goal is to have 100 people praying daily or weekly for us. To find out more information about partnering with us in prayer and financially please go to We postponed our monthly prayer meeting, and will be hosting in our home from 8pm-10pm this friday night, you are more than welcome to join us for 20 minutes or the whole 2 hours at our home (or simply wherever you may be in the spirit), to drink some Rwandan Coffee, and pray hard for the work of God in Africa.
Please send us your prayer requests, me and Kristy would love to pray for whats going on in your life. It would be a huge blessing to us to hear from you all, and to know better how to lift you all up before God as we pray together.
Press on!

Monday, January 24, 2011

school days - Bb

this week, we have been busy at work with the letter "Bb" and the "bears" theme. we started by talking about the date and filling in our new and fun calendar.

we sang our abc's and "went on a bear hunt" ->we even found and ran away from a bear!!! we also practiced writing our letter b's. pictured are owens. i'm beginning to think aiden is just going to skip this part -atleast this year!

we ate delicious black bottom cupcakes (leftover from a family reunion yesterday, but perfect for a "b" snack!!)

our verse for the week is matt 5:9

and tonight joe will read goldilocks and the 3 bears (this was a promise made to the boys last night). it's easy b/c it's "b" and "bear" and is a classic story for the boys to hear!!

the boys each colored warm outfits for their bears. aiden's is in blue and owens's is in (yup, you guessed it...) green!

today we also watched an episode of batman after lunch and i'm sure the week will hold many more "b" and "bear" events!! if any are post worthy, i'll add them here!

tickle me pink & a thrift store win!

i forgot to blog the official announcement, that baby is 100% girl!
we have decided on the name sophia edith.

with that being said, we've started looking for girly clothes in the stores! here, you see my goodwill store win! i got all these items (and a few more that couldn't fit into the shot) for about $25.
it is 12 outfits and 3 onesies (+ the handful not pictred, so not counted!) most pieces were $.50, and the most i spent on an item was $1.99. i was very excited for this win!!

some recent owenisms

owen freaked out! "mommy, that woman knows my name!" (i didn't hear her talk, but i was sure this stranger didn't know him!) convinced she was talking to someone named owen or something, i said, "what do you mean buddy?" he responded with, "she said o!".
it took me a moment, but than i had to give a little chuckle and explain that "oh!" was a different word than "o", which is what we often call him!!

the last 2 wks joe has been down at school, he did come home for a short weekend in between though. o took this harder than we expected! we didn't grocery shop for the short 2 days, so we worked with what we had, and decided to get some dunkin donuts for breakfast the last morning. joe was packing and preparing stuff to go, so i grabbed the boys and headed to get our breakfast. while driving there, o said, "i want to not go back for daddy. if we leave him at home, then he won't go to school, and i can be with him because i love him!!" in his mind, he had his master plan all figured out!! i reminded him that if we didn't go home we still wouldn't be with him...
after a short moment, he went to plan b: "i think daddy doesn't want to go to school....." broke my heart!

there have been a lot of "jesus convo's" going on with o lately! us trying to explain to him, him asking questions, singing songs, reading stories, etc. on a trip home from reading last night, owen said, "mommy, jesus is in your heart, right? then how is he in heaven?" i explained that to say "jesus is in my heart" simply means that i believe he came here to pay for all my bad choices -payment was death on the cross. i also said it means to believe he rose again and that he is coming back to bring us to heaven to live someday. usually owen responds with "well, jesus isn't in my heart!" it's sad to hear, and we always address it by saying we hope he is someday, but i also keep in mind that he is 3! last night was different. after joe and i both took turns explaining it, owen triumphantly said to me, "mom, jesus is in my heart because i believe!!! dad, is he in your heart?"
i turned to joe and said, "i know we can't really count that as his confession of faith, but i liked hearing it!"

bible verses -Aa

"a soft answer turns away wrath" proverbs 15:1

FREE lunch date with friends

sometimes life with toddlers is crazy! sometimes things go so well, you don't know what hit you! the other week ikea was having a "kids eat free -no purchase necessary" deal, so naturally we wanted to go!! we called up our good friends, the uttkes, and invited them along. the kids did fantastic!! they love to be together and who doesn't love mac & cheese or uncrustables ALL IN FRONT OF DORA?!? the only downfall of the the day, was post lunch when the atmosphere changed ->ALL of us had to go bathroom or needed to be changed, it was past naptime for my guys, the family restroom was broken, baby wanted to eat and us mommies were exhausted from loading and carting all these toddlers to get them lunch and sitting! even when things turn crazy, i'm glad to have such a good friend to go through it with!! (of course, i'm talking about their mommy)

school days - Aa

so, it's that time again! time to attempt school with the boys! though i expect owen will get much more from it than aiden, i also have no doubt that it will be helpful for aiden as well! we are going a little slower than we did in our last attempt, as this time we will spend a whole week (however many days we can, with a minimum of 2 days) on each letter and also will include a theme in each week. we will be memorizing a verse for each letter as well. our first week was done out of home so we didn't have our "usual" stuff (ie: calander), but we still did it and had loads of fun. our letter was a and our theme was winter.
here are owens letter a's:
i helped him with the first few, but he did the bottom line all by himself! he did very well!

here is aiden's letter a worksheet. i was going to help him more, but by the time we got to this time he was mostly done. he enjoyed coloring while i helped o!

as part of the winter theme, they both colored a snowman. aidens is red[ish] and owens is green and yellow. o's favorite color right now is green, so mostly everything he does is green!

here, we talked about how we dress in winter. they both colored a pair of mittens (though o needs to work on his some more). aiden picked a yellow pair and of course, o picked green!

here is our "a" verse: proverbs 15:1

here is one of many books we read this week:

(*you have to get a little crafty with that a to find things to go with it, but this book is one a list of books kids should read for homeschooling, so i went with it)

we were staying at grami's & pop's house for the week, and they had an awesome at home kit of auntie anne's pretzels. owen and i had fun making the dough and then shaping it into a letter "a" and a snowman (for winter). the rest we did pretzel shape. the boys LOVED their special theme snack!!
p.s. so did mommy as soft pretzels are one of her favorites!!!

we also got to watch the movie annie!!
(another one of mommies favorite things!!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

christmas 2010

i have to admit i was weary of this christmas when the time came to put our presents under the tree. the whole "3 gifts to represent the 3 gifts the wise men brought jesus" tradition we're trying to implement seemed like a horrible plan when i compared our tree to other trees [and whole living rooms] that i had seen pictures of, ready for the next morning. i wondered if we would ruin this christmas. i wondered if o, who so enthusiastically opened his gifts at a family celebration the week before would tear through his 3 gifts and sit and look at me blankly as if to say, "that's it?" or "did you forget something?"...
he did open his gifts with as much enthusiasm as the last week, and instead of being devastated, was surprisingly thankful for the gifts he had been given! i am thankful for his thankful heart!! i am thankful that he was happy with his gifts and played full of contentment until we urged him to come eat our tradition of daddy's hot breakfast!
this year was a hard year for us, atleast for me, mentally. not many people like to talk about it, so i'm not sure if many even realized, but this was one of our last [intended] christmas celebrations in the states, with next year being the last. this for me is one of the hardest things to think about when preparing to move across the country! i love my family LOADS and have many fond memories of holiday gatherings growing up. i'm sure this will be one of the hardest times of the years we spend overseas!!
for now i am going to try to soak in the times we do have and enjoy them! make many more memories!!!