Wednesday, November 30, 2011

She's Special, That One

My Girl.

She is the sweetest and smartest in so many ways.

But she is also... how shall I say... sensitive.

Ultra-sensitive.

The most unsuspecting things will scare her, offend her or hurt her feelings.

The blender?... Terrifying!
Anyone in costume?... A Monster!
Laugh at her when she does something cute?... How could you?!

She literally falls apart.

But perhaps the strangest thing to upset my just-turned-two-year-old is this...


I know, right?

Running tap water. It just doesn't get any scarier.

To be fair, it's not the water itself that terrifies her. It's the fact that

THE RUNNING WATER MIGHT HURT HER BATHTUB FRIENDS AND ANIMALS.


As soon as I start running the bath water, Eden comes running in, hysterical, and practically dives into the tub, fully clothed, in her best effort to save those dear bathtub friends.

And, yes, they are cute. But really. The way she acts, you'd think they were about to get caught up in this.


Because I'm a bad mommy (blogger?), I paused the other night and grabbed my camera when she was in Full-On Freak-Out Mode. She was bawling her eyes out and trying to reassure herself by saying, "They Ok! They Ok! They Ok!"

But as you can tell from the photo, she still didn't convince herself.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Makeover Monday

As of now, every room in the house has had texture blown and is ready to be painted. And the trim and ceilings have been painted in two of the bedrooms. Here is Selah's bedroom...



And here is the master bedroom with the painted trim...


NOW, let me show you what color these rooms will be....


Selah's room will have pink accents (curtains, bedding, decor), and ours will have light blue accents.

And here are the other colors we have picked out:

Eden's bedroom

Living Room

Kitchen/Dining Room and Bathrooms

I can't wait to see these colors on the walls. I think it's going to be beautiful!

Meanwhile, we are in heavy packing/moving mode. We close on the sale of our house in nine days! Obviously our house isn't going to be ready. So we've decided to move into a rental house that my grandparents own. It looks like this will be where we spend Christmas and, quite possibly, where we bring our new baby home. I have to admit, I'm less than excited about all of this, but I'm trying to remind myself that "where" these events happen isn't the important thing. And I'm reminding myself to be grateful that we have a place to stay, period! In no time at all, we'll have a beautiful new home to move into (and a much lower mortgage payment!)

We are blessed, and we still have a Beautiful Inheritance!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The One Thing I'm Most Thankful For

Give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
Psalm 107:1-2

As I was reflecting this week on "what I'm thankful for," plenty of things came to mind. I have a beautiful daughter and one on the way, a loving husband, an amazing family, good health, food, clothing and shelter...

But one thing kept standing out in the crowd of blessings that fill my heart. One thing that makes all the rest possible and pleasurable. Without this one thing, all other joys in life would be temporal and meaningless.

The one thing I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving -- and always -- is Salvation.

Salvation.

It's a big, churchy word that's probably thrown around too casually.

But it's the reason my life is not temporal, meaningless or ordinary.

(OK, sometimes I feel ordinary, but that's because I'm not walking in my purpose...)

When I'm walking in my purpose, living for the glory of God above all else, life is exciting and meaningful. Everything I do (for Christ) in this life holds eternal value in the next. How fulfilling is that!

Do you know what Salvation truly means?

I fear that many who attend church each Sunday and hold hands around their Thanksgiving tables "offering Thanks" don't truly know the purpose of the One to whom they pray.

His purpose is to seek and save those who are lost. Luke 19:10

If you were born on Planet Earth, then you were born sinful. Rom. 3:10 That means you've sinned against a Holy God who cannot, by his nature, tolerate sin. To be redeemed, the penalty for your sins must be paid so that God can remain who he is -- just.

So Jesus, God personified, came to Earth to do just that. HE TOOK THE FULL PUNISHMENT FOR YOUR SINS so that you can walk completely free. All you have to do is turn from your sins and submit to his Lordship in your life.

That's what I'm most thankful for -- the fact that, as prideful, disobedient and sinful as I am, God chose to redeem ME. Sinful Ole Me.

There's an old song that says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!" And as that verse in Psalms also says, I wanted to take this chance to do just that.

I am redeemed by the blood of Christ.
All my sins -- from the time I was born to the time that I'll die -- have been completely erased.
I stand before a perfect, Holy God as if I'm perfect and Holy myself.
And, therefore, I'll spend eternity with him.

THAT is something worth giving thanks for.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Makeover Monday

I'm taking a break this week from the makeover of our house to show you some other makeovers... partly because there is not a lot to show you from ours and partly because we are in BRANSON at the moment! (I'm writing this post on Friday.)

SO.

Remember this post I did many Makeover Mondays ago?

Well I found the blog of the builder who did the makeover, and you need to check it out. These people create some bee-u-ties. As I said before, this is almost exactly what I'm going for with our house.

(On that note, we picked out paint colors this week! I won't reveal them just yet, but I'll tell ya they are real similar to what you see in the posts on this blog.)

Check it out now.

Also, I found this blog with a couple pretty amazing house makeovers. This family made over this house and then this one. Both are real lookers.

Enjoy browsing. I know I did.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guest Post with Flower Patch Farmgirl

(I am so excited to bring you today's guest post. Flower Patch Farmgirl's blog has become the place where I sneak away each night for a little time to myself and some big time inspiration. Amidst beautifully written words and sentences, she challenges her readers to love Jesus more. Here is Shannan in her own words.)

What I Want My Kids To Know
"God's design for taking the gospel to the world is a slow, intentional, simple process that involves every one of his people sacrificing every facet of their lives to multiply the life of Christ in others."
- Radical, by David Platt p.104Link

Last week I attended the annual banquet for the alternative school where my husband works. I cried four times, the first being before they had even served the salad. There's something about witnessing wild hope stretched long in a line across the stage in shiny shirts and long, unruly hair, nervous smiles and worn-out eyes. These kids have battled their way to where they are right now. They have failed. They have been failed. But they claw and reach. They fix their eyes on that speck of shine, way, way up at the horizon, and they just keep trudging toward it.

I have wondered if teenagers like these have any hope at all. I have worried that maybe their hurts have scraped them clean of the capacity to really grow. Maybe all we can do is jump back in the line, back to their little brothers and the sisters that aren't even born. Maybe only then.

Or maybe I'm a coward. Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I like a make believe world where the easiest option is the answer.


I look around my lunch table at noon, my plastic fold-up dinner table at dusk, and I see three faces wide with hope, filled all the way up with future. Oh, that they just believe down beneath their skin that they are truly, fully loved and honored. That's what carries hope.

It's staggering to think of the lives that might be plucked up and carried on to hope with the simple intervention of the love you and I already have for the giving.


We can do this. We have enough love for the ones in our care and the ones barely cared for at all. We can do our best to make up for lost time when they're older and harder and reluctant to believe. And if if they still don't and they still won't, we can keep on loving.



So this, this aside from life-piercing faith in Jesus Christ, is what I want to bury in the souls of my three. I want them to know way in the deep-down that there is enough Mommy and Daddy to share. I beg that they see so much earlier these truths that I am only seeing through the wrinkle of years - that our business extends far past the walls of wherever we call home.

I want them to witness the power of God's love through us, and then I want them to slip it on and see how well it fits. They can trust Heaven's math that defies textbooks and modern convention - love given is multiplied, never divided.

What I want, more than anything, is for Calvin, Ruby, and Silas to feel the soul-yank of suffering as they see it growling and mad in the lives around them. I want them to be quick to act in love; ruthless to believe for sure that hope is never lost.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Makeover Monday

Here are a few updates from this week.

My dad finished trimming out some of the windows, including filling in the inside of the frames with fresh, new wood.


By the way, I've decided to convert to all extra-large photos on the blog. Don't you like that better? ...Me too.

The two new closets my dad built in the kitchen are also now finished, with doors on them.


The one on the left will be for trash, brooms, mops, etc., and the one on the right will be a small coat/shoe closet.

This week we also picked up the new kitchen island we had custom-built, along with a couple other fill-in cabinets.


Here is the island getting unloaded from the back of the truck. Of course, it still needs to be painted, get a top and have the front doors put on, but isn't it nice? Don't you like the pullout drawers for pots and pans?


We are planning to just paint the original cabinets and get new hardware, but we did have to have a couple additional cabinets built. Here is one of them. The stove will fill in the space between these cabinets.

And here is a random photo... my parents found this microwave on a bargain. It had a small dent in the side so we got it for like 75 bucks!


............And now, I have a big announcement! I'm having a Guest Post on WEDNESDAY that you will NOT want to miss! It's from one of my favorite bloggers, and you'll just have to wait to find out who!

See ya on Wednesday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Fettish

I'm ashamed to say that once upon a time I did not enjoy the taste of pumpkin. But, thank the Lord, every seven years our taste buds change (or so I've heard), and when it came to this big, round, orange fruit, mine changed in a BIG way.

I'm now obsessed with all things pumpkin. And as soon as the leaves change and cool air sets in, every American is afforded a free pass to bake as many fattening, delicious things as they want -- as long as the ingredient list includes pumpkin or spice!

(At least this is what I'm telling myself; don't burst my bubble, yall.)

So far this fall, I have whipped up quite the yummy list of pumpkin treats. So yummy that I decided I should share the recipes with you all. You need some spice in your life, right?

Ok, here 'goes.

Just click the links for the full recipes.


photo credit
These were as yummy as they sound. Anything with pumpkin and chocolate chips just has to be a winner. Fair warning though: this recipe makes A LOT of cookies. I took a Rubbermaid bowl full to my mom and my cousin and still had TONS left for our house. Hope you're hungry.


photo credit
I think this recipe is going to become a "family tradition" in our house. I've made it for the past two years and am just in love with it. It's so easy and so delicious. I think it's misnamed though. It's definitely more of a "dessert" than a "casserole," just so you know.


photo credit
Yes, this sounds a little different. When I announced it to my husband, he looked like he was going to barf. But after he took one bite, he said, and I quote, "I think that's the best chili I've ever had."

So there you go.


photo credit
Breakfast food is my weakenss, So Pumpkin PANCAKES... um, Yes Please. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I already had all the ingredients these needed right in my kitchen. So when I found the recipe, obviously I had to make them the next morning. And obviously I had to add chocolate chips to the batter since that was already in my fridge too.

Can you say, "YUM?"


This one is from The Pioneer Woman so you just know it's going to be good. I'm going to be honest, though, it's a little stout. I think next time I'm going to try it with regular ole pumpkin puree instead of the pie filling. Still, it was yummy. And fattening. So it made the list.


So there you are. A pumpkin recipe list that will keep you busy for a few weeks. When you're done with all those, it's incredibly likely there will be more where they came from....


Until then!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Makeover Monday

Guess Whaaaaaaaaaatt!

We accepted an offer on our house! And it was a good one!

If you prayed for that, thank you! Now we're just praying nothing goes wrong again, and we can close on the sale as planned. If nothing changes, we'll be in our house until the first week of December. Then, we'll be moving.... somewhere :s

I'm thankful we won't have as long to be "homeless" as we would have under the original plan, but I'm still a little nervous about it. My dad is now feeling more pressure than ever to get the house done. Speaking of that, here are a few updates from this week.

We got a new front door... going from this....


to this.


And it's going to look so much better once it's painted black!

Also, we got a new back door in the carport... going from this...


to this....


And the kitchen is now about half-way sheetrocked...


Now, once again, let the countdown begin! We move in four weeks :s

Stay tuned!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Random Updates

Pregnancy: Baby Selah feels like she's getting bigger by the day. Well, actually I guess she is. She pokes and prods me all day long (and while it's a little annoying at bedtime), it's also the coolest feeling. I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday (31 weeks and counting!), and I started to freak out a little about HOW CLOSE her arrival really is. I picked up a pregnancy magazine in the waiting room -- something I haven't done all pregnancy -- and realized how much I have NOT been doing to prepare. As in... I haven't done a single thing. I mean really, I haven't bought one thing, cleaned one thing, gotten one thing out of the attic... Nada. Now I'm realizing how much I have to get ready (in the midst of the crazy busy holiday season) to prepare for her world-entry. [insert slight panic mode here]

The Sale of Our House: It still hasn't happened. But, we did have a realtor show it to a family this week, and they are coming back to look at it again tomorrow. The realtor says our house is one of their "Top Two." Could you please be praying that they choose ours and make us a good offer??? That would be awesome.

My New Job: It's going really well. I feel surprisingly "in my element" when I am in the front of a classroom teaching kids (especially about such an important topic). And the kids all seem to be very receptive of me and my message so that helps. I am, however, pretty darn tired. I have to get up when it's dark out to drive to the school, and I'm just not used to it! Plus, I'm still with my other job, raising babies on the outside and inside, trying to sell a house and staying busy with fall/holiday events. No wonder I need a nap.

Baby #1: Ok, I don't know who came up with the term "Terrible Twos," but I'm just not buying it. I am LOVING this age. It is the most fun yet. Eden says the cutest things and just makes me laugh every single second. Yes, she has her stubborn, whiny moments. But so far they're not any more common than they were in Age One. (Knock on wood.) Also, she is sleeping good again, (Praise Jesus!) including laying down at night with no problem whatsoever. We read her "new Elmo book," tell every single Sesame Street character goodnight individually (true story) and are off to bed with Minnie Mouse and Panda. She's actually happy to go as long as her two bestest companions are there by her side. In other news... did I mention how adorable she was on Halloween??? At first, she was quite unexcited about her slightly itchy costume, but Thank the Lord, Dora the Explorer was also a Bumblebee this year. So suddenly, Eden was way excited about it too.




I love that kid.

Happy Fall, y'all!
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