Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tim's Wedding

Do any of you have a Tim in your family?
You know, the brother who walks into a room full of happy family members and creates chaos?
Yes?
Oh good, there is one in every family.
This post is to tell you there is hope for your "Tim." =)

[Let's all hope my brother doesn't read/get offended by that.] *Giggle*

Well, our Tim joined the Marines. Met his true love, and her beautiful daughter, in CA. And soon decided to marry her. To say we are happy is an understatement. We.Are.Thrilled.
Here is Tim's new daughter playing peek-a-boo with Havilah:



Here is Tim's bride {Isn't she georgeous?!} with her sister.

Here are my parents with my brother right before the ceremony:



(He looks so young!)

And my two boys with their uncles.

Hopefully soon I'll have some better pics. But that'll have to do for now!

It was a good trip to VA, but we are glad to be home again.




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Coffee and Other Important Things

Things have been going soooo well here. I finally have been feeling like my old self. My "before I got pregnant with Havilah" self. I have been productive without having to "pump myself up" first. I knew I had been out of sorts, but I didn't know how badly until I started feeling better again.
Ok.
Enough with that.
Do you know what it's like to blog with children?
With a baby?
Asleep?

It makes for awful heavy typing fingers. But it's awful cute.

So onto the purpose of this post. Good coffee. I went on a quick run to the local grocery store.
(Which I usually avoid at all cost. People who shop there regularly must hate money.) Anyhow... I got looking at those delicious looking creamers in the dairy section. I really was there to get half and half, but those creamers always catch my eye. Once in a while I give in and buy one ---- and it's never as good as I hoped. And often down right gross. Not to mention, never as creamy as half and half. So, I resisted the urge to try some gingerbread flavored creamer, grabbed my half and half, and thought about gingerbread coffee all the way home.



I decided, why not flavor the coffee while it's brewing? It turned out (in my humble opinion) very well. And I still got to use half and half. (Perhaps I should re-name this post: Half and Half, and other important things...)
Ok, here are your ingredients:


Good coffee, vanilla (real or fake, I'm not here to squabble folks), cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Measure in your coffee and amount of water as you normally do. I brewed a 5 cup pot. Then I added - on top of the grounds - about a half tsp of vanilla, 2 good shakes of cinnamon and ginger, and one good shake of cloves and nutmeg. Then I hit the brew button.


Let her do her thing, add sugar and cream to taste... Voila! Gingerbread coffee. This goes perfectly with fresh baked pumpkin cookies:

(No - you are not getting the cookie recipe, what do you want me to do?! Go out of business?!)

So between feeling great, great coffee, and a sunshiney morning, it was a good day!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cha..cha..cha..Changes

Lately I have had a lot on my mind. I want to create a lot of changes. Changes in the way my house is run. Changes in the way we worship, and where we worship. Changes in my Etsy store. Changes for my cookie business. Lots of change. Even changes in my home: where we do school, where I sew, where Ben sleeps. (When Ben sleeps)

And all these changes lead to much prayer. And even lead to more questions. Am I doing the right thing for my family? Can I homeschool my kids and still maintain sanity? Can I push enough of my own desires away to homeschool? I mean, Nick and I felt really certain that God was calling us to open a coffee house... once the kids were all in school. But if the kids aren't going to school? Then when? Or are the kids suppose to go to school? And where?
Thankfully, I know God has it all under control. He will continue to lead us, as He has done. We have found a new place of worship, where we were welcomed with open arms. Where they gather to help each other... chop fire wood, paint a house, have a hay ride. Where they reach out in love... and really sing in true worship. My husband and I leave church on Sunday already looking forward to the next week. We love it. And as much as we feel that God guided us in our search for a new church family, we feel He will guide in our search for how to grow our family.


And I know a lot starts with me. On how I use my time. For business, for my children, for my house. My house needs alot of help right now. My husband and I have recently pinpointed a major problem that affects how I get things done... or don't get them done. And now that we know what the problem is, it's working with it and around it. I think I'm getting there. Learning to be a mom and a house keeper and a teacher doesn't happen over night. But slowly... I accomplish one task at a time...

Like this quilt that is pictured. For my Aunt Colleen. (My absolute FAVORITE aunt.) It's made from shirt pockets of my late Uncle Bill's shirts. I finally finished it. And she loves it.
(My Aunt Colleen and I at Ben's dedication celebration.)


So I search for change, and pray for guidance, and try and do my best to do what is asked of me.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Camping

I took my kiddos camping for a night with my parents family & my aunts family. It was really a lovely time. But by far, the most exciting part of our 2 day, one night stay, was our friendly bear cub. Who came to hang out by our campsite right after dinner. This picture is my little guy leaning off the porch of our cabin to get a better look at our visitor:
Here is a blurry (but amusing) picture of our bear sniffing out our camping chairs:

(My boys were very afraid the bear was going to make off with them.)


And here's our little friend headed off to terrify some other poor campers:
He was pretty small, but I will tell you, when he walked right up to the steps on the porch we were on, I got a little nervous. We were mere feet from him... and my camera had shut off so I missed that awesome shot of him looking right at us.

A nice part of this camping trip was the lake and beach. The kids had a blast! (See the man with the big beard? Guess what he does for a living?? He's my uncle, and he's a logger. Totally looks the part doesn't he?)
And last but not least, a snapshot of my other two kiddos, Danny is asking grandma Kim for the hundreth time, when the camp fire was going to be started =)


It was a lovely weekend, and we can't wait to go back next year.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Marriage Soap Box

"And above all put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called to live in one body, and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:14-15

These verses have helped me in my marriage more than any other verses. I feel that the keys to marriage are in these verses. Yes, in other places, Paul rights about the roles of man and wife, but I don't feel that defining roles is the key to keeping a marriage together. Important, yes, but not the key.

What has brought me to writing this post is a recent explosion of our friends and family getting divorced. In about 5 weeks we have heard of 7 couples splitting up. It's crazy. And it makes me wonder: When we (my husband and I) are having a hard time in our marriage, is anyone going to be left to tell us: "Stick with it, it's worth it, don't give up!" Or will everyone say: "I just moved on to the next best thing... you need change... it's not worth the trouble." Anyways, this is what has brought me to sharing these verses with you all today.

Here are the points I pull out of these verses, that remind me, what love towards my husband should look like:

1) "Put on Love" notice it doesn't say: feel the love, feelings of love, be in love... it says: Put on Love. Put it on. Choose it. I can choose not to have it, or choose to have it.
2) Perfection comes from love. I am not going to have a perfect marriage, because it's made up of imperfect people, who forget to love. But the more we love, the more perfect our marriage will get.
3) "Let the Peace of God reign in your hearts" Sometimes, ok, alot of times, I let anger, or bitterness, or discontentment reign in my heart. But peace should. If we are not striving for peace and peacefullness, havoc will reign. I know from my own experience, days when I choose to be discontent are days that are full of havoc. I didn't put this together until I read these verses, but I can spot it right away now. If things aren't going smoothly - do a heart check - that could be the problem.
4) "And be ye thankful" This is the crux of it all. The big mama. There are 10 million things for which I can (and often do) complain about. However, equal and usually greater in number are things for which I can be thankful about are always infront of me if I choose to see them. Often, and I can be a part of this sometimes, I hear complaints about husbands. Usually silly things... garbage not being taken out, clothes in the living room. And sometimes much bigger things - very valid complaints. But what happens when we choose to praise our husbands, not only to them, but in our day to day conversations with other women? Or in our prayers being thankful for him... that he comes home to us at night... that he loves us... that he's a good dad... that he we are not widows like so many others... for the table he helped me clear... for the time he took the kids outside to play so I could have a half hour to myself... for the spattering of his items throughout the house - becuase they are there due to the fact that he's busy, running here and there to help others, to help me, to work hard.
I highly recommend reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp to get a better handle on thankfullness. It was an amazing book.

So thats my soap box for today... because everytime we get the news of another marriage failing, my heart hurts, and I wonder... do they know these verses? These secret keys?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pictures of my Day

Hello friends.

Did I tell you about this little missy? This puppy? That is final piece of evidence in proving that I am crazy? Yes, there she is. I am buying a gate for her. Soon. Maybe online as soon as I'm done with this post.

We got apples at the market today. Aren't they pretty? I mean, does anything taste better than apple crisp?


Oh yes, and a snack of yogurt with honey. I know, that's an obscene amount of honey. But, I could have eaten the honey without the yogurt, so I feel that this is a compromise.


Things I've accomplished this week (as in the last 7 days, I realize it's only Wednesday):

My aunts quilt. (Yes the one that was suppose to be done a year ago.)

Listed new items on Etsy

Made plans to go to my brother's wedding. *More on this to come

Made a healthier shopping list

Finally wrote a list of blog posts that I want to do, before they escape my mind.

Made a crazy amount of pumpkin cookies, and plan on doing more.


And that's a wrap up.