Monday, June 27, 2011

{baby boy} 23 Weeks

So this pregnancy is flying by.  Josh seems to think it is going slowly, but in just 4 weeks, I am starting the every other week appointments.  If you have been pregnant before, you know that means you are getting close to the end! And I am not ready.  Nope, not at all.  I have only gotten as far as almost completely emptying the soon-to-be nursery.  

 I am definitely showing.  As my husband so kindly put it to me yesterday, "you sure do look a lot bigger with this baby."  (thanks love, thats exactly what I want to hear.) 

And little man is kicking and dancing up a storm.  I am pretty sure he has hardly stopped moving the last two days.  But its fun and I am so blessed,  I don't mind.  :O)

I am no longer feeling the morning sickness so that is a huge blessing, but I am exhausted all the time.  I have yet to get the second trimester burst of energy, and instead crawl into bed every night completely spent.  I cleaned house the other day and it took me almost 2 days to recover.  haha.  And the weather, which has actually been kind of nice the past couple of days, has been pushing 100 degrees almost every afternoon and that makes me even more tired- especially when Madi loves to play outside all the time and my backyard has zero shade.  She has been sweet and let me borrow her cupcake umbrella to keep "cool". :)

Josh and I still haven't decided on a name.  We are getting closer, but its only because I think he has given up.  That isn't nearly as fun, I want him to have some input too.  So, alas, we press on.  

I can't wait to meet this little boy though! 

Until next time, 
much love,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Micah 6:8 - Free printable! :)

In keeping with my previous post, I am still hung up on this verse (in a good way).  And I love it because at VBS this week, the parent's speaker talked to us about raising our children and how we should "imagine the end".  When we see our children at age 18, what do we want them to look like.  What do we want their relationship with God to look like? their character?

In answering that question for my child (soon to be children), Micah 6:8 came to mind.  And, because I try to be creative and fun, I made a simple little printable to put in Madi's (and future boy's) room.

Take a look! If I had colored ink, I would have printed it and shown it to you in a frame, but alas, I am out.  (They are 8x10 by the way)

So, if you like it, please print it! I made one for a girl's room and one for a boy's.  They could also be put in your room or somewhere else you need reminding.  If you hate the colors or just need a different one, just leave me a comment with your email and I can send you a different background color.  That's easy enough.

I would love to hear your feedback though, so please let me know what you think.  :)

Micah 6:8 Circle Background

Micah 6:8 Chevron Background

much love,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Growing Up.

There are so many wonderful things about being a mom. And then there are the moments that make you so extremely proud but stab your heart a little at the same time. Those times when your child accomplishes a milestone and you are so proud, but at the same time it shows you how much they are growing up. Their first time holding a bottle, their first steps, their first words... you know what I'm talking about.

I had one of those moments today.

Madi can officially dress herself completely. Not just shoes or shorts, but head to toe. I don't know if I have been holding her back by not letting her put her own shirt on, or if she just decided today was the day to do it, but that was the final step in her dressing herself.

I am so incredibly proud of her and love that she is growing up, but at the same time, those feelings are juxtaposed with a twinge of sadness that every day she needs me just a little bit less.

Now, this is not meant to be a melancholy post. It just came across my mind today that I (and my husband, of course) am teaching my daughter the life skills and lessons she needs to be a successful adult. Obviously getting dressed is highly important (and looking at some people, underrated) but so are the bigger things that we need to teach our children.

How to love God more than anything else. How to love others. How to serve. Give. Be confident, yet humble. Be fair. wise. hardworking. trustworthy. honest. helpful. kind. And many more things we wish for our children.

When I asked Madi how she learned to put her shirt on all by herself, she said, "You showed me, Mommy. You showed me and taught me how." Everything that we show them, by word or deed, is stored in their memory bank for later use. As parents, we have to make sure that we are teaching them the right things. That we are teaching them how to be like Jesus.

How do I respond when I am frustrated? Excited? Proud of myself? How do I handle daily tasks? Every response I give in every situation will be modeled by my daughter when she experiences something similar. (Trust me, she has modeled some things I wish she hadn't.) When she looks at me, does she see the things I mentioned above? Would she say her mommy is loving, kind, hardworking, and like Jesus? I have to guard myself and be aware of how I act so that every day, as Madi gets more and more independent, I can be confident that when I release her into the world she will not falter. She will be a strong, healthy, Jesus-like star, shining like a light in her generation.

Anyway, just some ramblings from a mom whose little girl can get dressed by herself. At least we have one vital skill down. :)

much love,

Micah 6:8 What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

PS - Sorry for all the rabbit trails. My mind works in strange ways sometimes. And no, husband, it's not just because I'm pregnant.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Reluctant Queen - Book Review and Giveaway

I was recently asked to review the book, A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf.

Here's what the publishers say about her book:

An inspiring re-imagining of the tale of Esther, a young Jewish woman thrust from a life of obscurity into a life of power, wealth, intrigue . . . and tender love.

See the story of Esther in an entirely new way-with all the political intrigue and tension you remember, but told as a passionate and tender love story between a young man and woman. Misunderstood by many, King Xerxes was a powerful but lonely man. Esther's beauty caught the eye of the young king, but it was her spirit that captured his heart.

Imagine anew the story of Esther, one of our faith's great heroines, destined to play a key role in the history of Christianity.

And about Joan:

Joan Wolf was born in New York City but has lived most of her adult life with her husband in Connecticut, where she raised two children and countless numbers of assorted animals. Joan is the author of numerous historical novels including The Road to Avalon which Publishers Weekly lauded as “historical fiction at its finest.”
For more about Joan and her other books, please

REVIEW: I personally LOVE to read. I enjoy a good romance and especially so if it based on a Bible story I love and am familiar with. I have a fondness for Biblical accounts that are "novelized" or made into a story for pleasure reading. It has just enough biblical history and then enough added romance to keep me interested. A Reluctant Queen was a great book. It started off a little slow, I think it was awkward transitioning the biblical language into modern day English, but then picked up quickly! I thought I would be bored or uninterested because I have read the story of Esther so many times, but I wasn't. There was romance, intrigue, a hint of mystery, and all of that wrapped up into a beautiful love story. The author takes liberties with the biblical and historical facts, but it is all in the name of creating an interesting, fresh, and "readable" story. This fresh take on Esther is definitely a must read, but don't go basing your theological foundations on this story! :) I know you will enjoy watching Esther fall in love with her king and seeing how God uses difficult and sometimes unwanted circumstances to bring about His ultimate purpose.

Now for the giveaway part:

To celebrate Joan Wolf’s debut Christian Fiction title, A Reluctant Queen, Joan and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away A Reluctant Queen prize package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen

* A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf (for KINDLE)

To enter, just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, the contest ends on June 20th. Winner will be announced on June 21st during Joan’s A Reluctant Queen Book Club Party on Facebook (details below)! Hope to see you there – bring your friends!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Join the fun on June 21st! 

Joan will be wrapping up the blog tour and Kindle giveaway promotion during her A Reluctant Queen FACEBOOK party on her FB author page. During the party she'll announce the winner of the Kindle, host a book chat discussion, test your trivia skills (Is Esther's story in A Reluctant Queen fact or fiction?), and more. Don't miss this chance to meet the author and make some new friends!

Good Luck!!

Yummy Banana Muffins :)

I had some bananas that were getting too ripe, so I decided to hunt down a recipe for banana bread. I found this great recipe, but I ended up turning them into muffins, and they are delicious! The name kind of throws you off, but they actually are quite wonderful.

Here's the original recipe:

Sour Cream Banana Bread


1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

I halved the recipe (this one makes 4 loaves) and instead of loaves put them in a muffin pan. I baked the muffins for 20 minutes at 350 and it was perfect!

Hope you enjoy!


Recipe Courtesy of

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spend it Wisely

I was over reading The Nesting Place blog, because well, ya know, I kinda won one of her giveaways!! Ahhh!! I am so excited to have won these adorable decorative blocks from Dayspring.

Anyway, I was catching up on some posts from this week and came across her post - 18 summers. She shared how many summers she had left with each of her boys and then admonished us to spend summers wisely. Before you know it our kiddos will be all grown up. I thought it was a fitting reminder. Madi is 3. That means I get 15 more summers with her. I am definitely going to be cherishing each and every one.

So as we head into this summer of 2011, treasure and hold dear each and every day with the ones you love. Time passes quickly and we don't want to waste a minute.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pink Lemonade: A Surprisingly Delicious Recipe

I was reading a Mickey Mouse clubhouse book to Madison called, "A Hot Dog Day". It's a story about the clubhouse friends going on a picnic and Donald makes some lemonade to bring along. In the back of the book, low and behold, there is a recipe for Donald's lemonade. Madi hasn't been feeling well, so to add a little sparkle to her day we decided to make it.

Now, I didn't have high hopes for this recipe. I really expected it to taste too sour or bitter or just not good. But it turned out to be a delightful surprise. This pink lemonade is awesome!

And see how pretty it is? It would make a great treat for a summer party. Just picture it with some frozen cherries floating around in it. :)

So here's the recipe - go ahead and make some today. I promise you won't regret it!!

Donald's Pink Lemonade

1 C sugar
1/2 C hot water
6 medium lemons or 1 C lemon juice
1 medium lime or 1 TBSP lime juice
1/4 C juice from a jar of maraschino cherries
2 quarts cold water

Mix the sugar and hot water in a large pitcher. Stir until all the sugar dissolves. Roll the lemons and the lime on a flat surface to soften them. Cut each lemon in half. Squeeze the lemons and the lime into a measuring cup until you have 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of lemon-lime juice. Add the lemon-lime juice, the cherry juice, and the cold water to the pitcher and stir.

Skewer a cherry on a straw for an extra touch. Pour the juice over a glasses filled with ice and add a straw. Enjoy!

(I'm sure if you just wanted regular lemonade, you could just leave out the cherry juice. I think it would still taste yummy!)