Monday, December 26, 2011

State of Being vs State of Mind

I've been thinking about a concept since last night and had a chance to "cook" on it a little. In most circumstances I would say that the following is true. Surely this concept breaks down at some point but I like it for it's simplicity. This is probably not original to me but I don't know of anyone who has written/spoke it in this way. If you do, let me know, I want to read more of what they have to say.

Its not a state of "being" that usually causes me problems, it's my state of "mind"
It's not my future state of being that will cause my current fear, it's my current state of my mind about my future state of being that rattles my bones.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

This was one of the best books for parenting young children. I will be reading this again so that I can grasp more nuggets of information.

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Uncooking101 is having a giveaway!

You can win a recipe book and videos. Here's the link I have used her site several times.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Times are a changin

Announcing(2 wks late) the birth of our 8th precious little one that God has so graciously loaned to us for a time.

Melody Anastasia
Oct. 31
6.6 lbs

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grateful for my husband!

This morning Jason and I were talking about some things and I am just so grateful that God has given him insight and he helps me to understand certain things. Sometimes my view becomes cloudy and I can't quite understand the full picture. We were talking about the "all or nothing" mentality. I have mentioned on my blog that I struggle with this daily. What I haven't recognized is that there are others who struggle with the same thing and I need to understand and give them grace in this area. Just because you can't be the best musician, programmer, artist, mother, daughter, father, papa, etc.. doesn't mean that you give it up all together. It means that you do the best you can and work with what you got. Jason gave me a beautiful imagery. He said " Picture 2 gardens. One is lush and has thick black soil with abundant fruit and beauty. It would be awesome. Now picture another garden with boulders around everywhere and very few spots for adequate plant growth. But on the boulders you see cracks where plants have sprung up and one even has an apple tree! Wouldn't that be amazing?" He said " Your life is like that garden with all those boulders. You have to live in this garden, it's just the way things are. Don't you want to let God make it the most miraculous and awe-inspiring as you can? To tend to the plants that you CAN grow, even if it's not some botanical garden? God is growing plants where you least expect them. Don't give up and settle for a yard of boulders. Let God make it something beautiful" So all those people out there who struggle with the all or nothing mentality, Let God make something beautiful out of your garden of boulders!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Andrews birthday

We celebrated Andrew's 4th birthday yesterday with the grandparents and cousins. Everyone had such a great time. Here are a couple of gruesome pics of the cake, lol.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update on Pregnancy

Things have been going fairly well, with the exception of my typical issues like restless legs and circulation issues. I haven't had many braxton hicks contractions so that's awesome. I have, in the last 2 wks, experienced a change in things though. It looks as though she has dropped a great deal and I am having more issues with varicose vein pain, especially after waking in the morning. It's very weird. I haven't been to the doctor since my 20 wk appt but I am going tomorrow so we will see how she is doing in there. I have this huge fear that they will put me in the hospital. It seems every time I show up there that's what ends up happening, lol. I rest in the knowledge that God is in control and he knows the perfect plan for this little one. That is a very comforting thing for a Mom. I will update how the appt went.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Updated Toby's Books

I updated Toby's books on the left hand side. Also, if you click on his name, it will take you to his website that he made ALL(he did get help when he had a question of course,lol) on his own, hand coded. Kaitlyn taught him HTML and a little CSS. So proud of him!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sewing Projects

I thought I would post some pics of what I have been working on over the last 2 wks. These were really fun and lots of love in return. This is Summers new art bag. She starts classes on the 6th. She is so excited!! 

This is a guitar strap that I sewed for Daniel. He LOVES the guitar and obsessively plays it all day. He really needed a way to carry it around. It has multiple button holes so it's adjustable. Next time I would make it a little bigger so the older kids can use it. I used a guide from online.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Family Computer Projects

 I am having so much fun doing the HERALD5 website! It's been great showing the kids what's going on as well. I don't think I have posted on here about them learning html, css, javascript, and jquery, but they are making great progress in those areas. They have a site they are working on right now that I think they will be very proud of. So, it's been fun working as a family on this stuff. Of course Jason is ALWAYS working on something, finding a new idea, or WANTING a new idea to work So if any of you know of something that might be great to have, whether it be a site, a gadget, or database integration software/code snippet, let me know and I will pass it along. Oh, if you want to check out the HERALD5 site, go to  I will put up the kids' when they are done. I am so proud of them! It will likely be Charlotte doing the graphics and some html, Kaitlyn doing the javascript/CSS/jquery, and Toby adding much input and learning html. I can't wait to see how these little people flourish(even if it's something totally unrelated to computers and music.. ;) )

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Christian Life as a Skill

Recently I have been heavily studying in several subjects. The more I study, the more I realize I need to study more! It can be frustrating but very rewarding. There are words that are so foreign to me and concepts that are so difficult to grasp that I need a little while to "chew" on the info I've taken in. I was thinking the other day how much my christian walk has resembled this process of learning. First comes those words that you don't understand, then concepts that are impossible(it seems) to grasp. The biggest difference, and one I am grateful for, is that God knew we were simpletons. He sent a helper to guide us along when we have no clue. The Holy Spirit is so instrumental in our lives if we are sensitive to Him(and he leads us back when we have gone WAY off course,lol). As for these other things that have me boggled at times, Jason helps with some, books help, and plain old fashioned hard work can get me a long way...I hope.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lovin the Piano

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Fun Ideas

We had a very old laundry basket and I cut out the bottom to make a basketball goal. The white things everywhere are sock bombs(one sock stuffed in another one) that Jason uses to teach the kids fluidity when fighting.

I had to do something about the crayons. Our little organizational system. This also helps the younger ones with color sorting. I can put the top on to prevent Daniel from getting in it as well!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Celebrate and Reflect

Today Jason and I celebrate our 13th anniversary! In reflecting on these past years there are so many emotions that can overwhelm me if I think about it all at once. God, in his mercy, has spared us from so much. God has blessed Jason with a forgiving and loving heart. He has shepherded me like Christ and taught me so many things. God has used him and the kids in my life to STAY ALIVE. I am so grateful for the sacrifice that Jason does each and everyday. He shows me how my weird and quirky thoughts are NOT real. He is a constant, a healer(just as his name is defined), a loving father, and humble man. He doesn't demand anything out of me but truth and loyalty and if I fail to give him those, he is quick to forgive. He desires to please me, encourages me to shoot for the stars. He asks me "What do you want to do(meaning hobby, etc...), I will support you!" He massages my legs every night and sometimes 2-3 times during the night to help with pregnancy induced restless legs. He doesn't come home and watch TV, he eats and then plays with the kids, individually! He leads me with God's word and shows me my flawed reasoning. He sets a Godly example for the boys, that they would have honor and respect for themselves and for young ladies. He doesn't make rash decisions without going to God and really praying about it. He leads with a gentle but firm hand, always asking my opinion and considering it, but making the decision based on God's leading. This has been so paramount in our lives. When I thought he should have made a different decision, I would always submit and say "If God is leading you, then go with it." He would and guess what? He was always right(of course I would tell him that)!! LOL He amazes me. I often think "What did I do to deserve him?" And the answer is always the same "Absolutely nothing." God has poured out his blessings on me for no apparent reason and it humbles me to think about that. So with a very thankful heart, one that desires to be that Proverbs 31 woman someday, I say "Thank you God for the last 13 years that you have revealed yourself through my husband and kids. That you have had mercy on this sinner and blessed me beyond my imagination. You have sustained my life when I didn't want you to and brought me to your feet time and time again."

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Worry vs Worship

Jason and I were talking today about worry. He said, "What if you pretend that worry and worship were the same words. Would that change how you were thinking?" Wow, what an eye opener. When I am worried about something, it could possibly be a form of worship. Who or what do I want to worship? This thing that has me consumed, or the one who can handle ANYTHING that I could possibly be worried about and consumed with? Try it out and see if it's applicable to your situation. It really puts things into perspective. Changing my focus(or the lens through which I view my circumstances) changes my perspective. I can see so much more clearly.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

July 4th 2011

Some fun 4th of July pics. We had a blast!
Alex playing with snap dragons

Sparkler fun!

Charlotte's outfit

Daniel's first sparkler

Snap Dragons!

He doesn't know what to think

Toby getting his snap on

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Toby's New Book

Toby has finished his book and is bubbling over to start his next one. If you have a chance, please send him a letter of encouragement or donate(the button below the pic) to his "writing fund". I am so very proud of him!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How often do you stretch your abilities?

I was just thinking about this today. I feel like I am constantly out of my "confort" zone. It seems everyday I have to or need to learn something else. Do you feel like this? Is it just me, maybe I never learned what I should have or something.Like cleaning..

And cooking(or uncooking)

                                                   And then of course there's technology...


And those are just the things that I really need to know. I like technology but it gets hairy when you want to learn a skill for money and not only for fun(javascript, no-sql databases, etc). To top it off I have all kinds of things that I WANT to learn. There's music. When will that beast let me rest? Why can't I just say TATAh... Why does it matter so much? Do you know how difficult it is to relearn theory, practice piano, learn guitar, and have this nagging desire to write songs when you know you likely suck? All this knowing that it is likely a hopeless cause? There are so many things that I want to be involved in as well. I would love to be in choir again, there is someone that is wanting to get together to play around with some music he's written, and of course I would love to learn guitar via teacher. And that's just MY hobbies. The girls are learning website design and web marketing. Toby is wanting to get into electronics, and the little ones just want tons of love that requires keen observation on just how that love should be given to them. I feel like I should be learning  right along with them to support them and help them if they have questions. I FEEL LIKE GUMBY!!!
 I know that God, in his sovereignty, has not given me more that I can handle. However, deciding just WHAT areas he intends for me to "stretch" to is a whole different story. Laying down, picking up. Laying down, picking up. What to lay down, what to pick up.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Charlotte says "Mom, I am so glad we are taking school off for some of the summer. I can be so productive." I look at her with curiosity "What do you mean Charlotte?" She gets this serious look on her face and says, "Well, I can write and do research all day. We just really aren't productive when we are doing school." I just smile and shake my head in agreement.

Friday, June 03, 2011

 We are finally almost over this sickness that has lasted several weeks. Toby got it yesterday but it seems to be milder with him. He did run a 103 fever and vomited once but he doesn't act as sick as the rest. I want off the vomit comet!! Hopefully Jason won't get it.
  On the funny side we had some really cute things said during the whole thing. I don't know why being sick makes you say the funniest things but man did they have us rollin. We had kids waking up in the middle of the night talking about crazy stuff and Andrew was entertainment on several occasions. Yesterday I was in the laundry room transferring clean clothes to the dryer. Daniel and Andrew were with me and Andrew asked if he could help. I let him after I got over my initial thoughts of "This is going to take even longer". He loads a few things and we close the door. He looks at me and says so sincerely "Mom, thank you for sharing your dirty laundry with me!" It was so adorable and worth every second extra that it took.
  We also have had a major event happen a couple of days ago. Summer finally lost her first tooth! She has been wanting to lose a tooth for so long. It was precious. She was on top of the world. I am so glad `that this tooth came out quickly without any major pain. She just pulled it out and said "Look Mom, it came out!"
  So now that we are soon to be on the mend, we are looking forward to seeing friends again and getting outside(in the coolest part of the day of course) to soak in some summer time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rejoice or Mourn?

  My family will come together over the next two days to remember my Grandmother and her life. It has stirred many thoughts within me. I realize that anytime someone passes on from this side of eternity that we will question our own mortality. Is what we believe REALLY the truth?? How do we KNOW it's the truth? Does it even matter? Maybe we just all go into the grave and pleasantly "sleep" forever more. Just a meaningless vapor in this tornado of life. Is our belief in science? That based off of scientific evidence there is no God and no eternity afterwards. DO we realize that we are basing our decision solely on the genius minds of pure vapor particles? Do we even know what genius is? If everything is meaningless then all our beliefs, decisions, hypothesis, and IQ tests are meaningless as well. Because whatever comes out of this meaningless body will be just that, meaningless.
   Maybe, just maybe, we realize that this logic is flawed(because we are obviously not meaningless,right?). What IS the truth and how do we find it? If we can't trust those who claim no creator, then who do we go to? Where can we find solid evidence of where we came from, why, and where we are going? You guessed it, that book that everyone says is silly and not "academic" yet has lasted and proved itself for the last 5-7000 years. The Bible. Simple and complex, easy but hard, eternal and undeniable truth. This Truth has lasted and been confirmed throughout history. People come and go with their philosophies and ideas but the Bible has remained true and steady. It's foundational. So, if you want to know the foundation, if you want to know why, read it. You aren't a genius. The creator is. And because of that, we can trust that what he has said, done, and will do is truth. It will not die because he is eternal.
   All that being said, I am so glad that I have hope. I will rejoice for my Grandmother because I believe in the truth. I don't believe that she just ceases to be. This hope is given to us through faith in Jesus Christ. He says "I am the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me." There is no other way by which man can be saved. I am so thankful that I have a hope. I have a reason to live AND Die!! No, I will not mourn, I will rejoice that she is being made whole by her creator.

Links missing

This morning I wanted to upload another file and realized that my other files were dead links. So sorry!! I am in the process of uploading them again.
****Well, they somehow have dissapeared. I will create them again and post them as soon as I can.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pulp Cookies

I can't believe we made cookies out of left over juice pulp. We  made them out of peanut butter, honey, eggs, a little flour, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and LOTS of left over vegetable pulp(spinach, parsley, carrots, and apples.) I basically just eyeballed it until I thought it might work. The kids loved it. Now I don't feel so bad juicing. This also makes a great snack for the kids. I have been looking for something new because of Kaitlyn's braces. Yay!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beach Trip

This weekend I will be going with my Mom, Grandma, and Sister to the beach. I am looking forward to a time of fun and reflection. For the last 2 months I have really been wanting to take a trip to the beach so this is a nice treat. I am going to get pictures as well, I know the kids will want to know everything that happened. We are supposed to go to the Opry too and I am really looking forward to that!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The sweetest reminder of Christ's sacrifice

Today I was cooking lunch with Kaitlyn. We were going about our business when Andrew comes in singing "Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?" over and over again. We hadn't listened to that song in a long while. We did learn it as a family several months ago but to hear it out of the blue today warmed mine and Kaitlyn's hearts. He sang it loud and proud without fear or doubt. Even though we read the account of Jesus' crucifixion today I don't think he understood how that song related to it. He forgave me, saved me, and loved me despite my nailing him to that cross. Thank you Lord for fulfilling your word/promises through the person of Christ. Thank you that we see you even in Psalm 22, long before you were pierced, spilled out, mocked, and beaten. Before they cast lots for your clothes, gave you bitter drink, and long before you cried out "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" Thank you for your final proclamation "It is Finished!" But most of all, thank you that it didn't end there. That you arose, claiming victory over sin and death. Power to pay the debt that I could never possibly pay. Power to change, heal, and overcome. Thank you that you are still working in me and through me until I can be with you, complete and whole. Thank you that one day I WILL be complete and whole by the power of the risen Christ, Son of the Living God.

Some Pics of the kids