Monday, August 22, 2011

Cleaning Below the Surface

We've all had those days when we're a little behind on house cleaning and then realize company is coming in a couple of hours.  So we pick up here and there and then do a quick surface clean - just enough to make the house look like it’s clean without really get down deep.  

I often have spiritual revelations in the most odd situations, but as I was cleaning the sink in Madi's bathroom (with a Clorox wipe, just enough so that it looked clean) I realized that often we do this with our lives.  We struggle with sin in our life, but instead of "deep cleaning" our heart and getting rid of the root of the problem, we just do a quick surface clean.  Erase the signs people can see in our lives and then just ignore the heart of the problem.  

Psalms 51:10 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." God wants to help us clean out the root of our sin and not just it's manifestations in our life.  

As moms, its hard to teach this concept to our kids.  We want them to obey because they love us and because they want to honor God.  But in their eyes it often translates to obedience because they don't want a time out or consequence.  It's so typical of humans.  We are sorry because we get caught.  So we straighten up and put on a good front for the world to see without ever addressing the real issues.  

I want Madi to obey out of a clean heart and pure motives, but half the time I don't get it right.  I want to keep my heart pure before God, without sinful motives behind what I do.    

So, today, as you are cleaning your house or washing dishes or even working, check your heart and take a good look.  Are you just wiping away evidence here and there or have you really gotten rid of the root of that sin in your life?

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up" 
1 Thessalonians 5:11

much love, 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

{baby jake} 31 weeks!

Holy cow! 31 weeks! 

Time has been flying by and now seems to be dragging... but its a good thing since I still have yet to do anything to the nursery since painting.  We finally got a dresser yesterday and we are working on the crib.  We drove all the way to Ikea last night to get one and they have had to send all their cribs back to the factory to get some kind of safety label put on all the boxes.  Fun times.

Baby Jaker (as Madi calls him) is growing strong and healthy! We recently had some 3D/4D ultrasound pictures done and it was precious to see him.  I can't wait to hold him in my arms! Check out this picture... as soon as the ultrasound technician turned on the machine, his first look was a smile for his mommy and daddy.  

Isn't he precious? And yes, his nose is looking a little squished in this picture, but its just because it was sticking out of the frame a little bit.   

So anyway, this pregnancy is going well.  No swelling, diabetes, or any other issues.  I don't feel like I am HUGE yet, but I know thats coming.  Of course, not having a giant tumor this pregnancy probably helps (more on that in another post...) 

Maternity clothes are starting to get tight... and baby Jake is riding low, so that makes shirts quite difficult when they don't want to cover the bottom of the belly. :)

Madi is so excited to meet Jake.  She talks to him all day long including giving him hugs and kisses constantly.  Every doctor appointment she asks if its the day he's going to come out, and is slightly disappointed when I let her know its not time yet.  Hopefully this excitement continues once he is born and demanding a lot of my attention.  I think she is going to be a big helper though. 

We are so blessed and cannot wait for this little miracle to join our family!

much love,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

Our summer has been anything but boring, in fact, we have never been gone/traveled as much as we have this summer!

However, life is about to get even more crazy and hectic.  
Josh is starting his second master's degree (yes, he is crazy) on Monday.  So, because he is driving to Tampa for school 3 times a week, he will be gone all day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (because of church), and then Friday mornings - and throw in the normal work hours Thursday and Sunday.  It is going to be tough to be a single mom those days.  Not to mention, a newborn baby boy is arriving in the middle of October, so that will add a nice little bit of extra chaos to the mix.  

I would definitely appreciate any prayers you can throw our way.  Mainly for sanity and that we will still be able to spend quality family time together in between church, homeschooling, daddy's school and homework, MOPS stuff, a new baby, and everything else that's contained in a day.  

How do you balance life's craziness? Let's pray for each other!  

much love,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our New Adventure/My New Job

We have been praying for weeks for God to provide a way for us to make some extra income to alleviate some of our financial needs, and he opened the door in a unique way.  He introduced us to a new friend and she in turn introduced us to Body By Vi.  If you have heard of it before, you don't have to keep reading, but if not, I'd like to share a little bit about it.  I promise I am not going to start filling my blog with it, but I would like to share one time. 

(PS - If you do stop reading now, please at least pray for us as we start this journey...
 but I would like for you to keep reading!! :) )

Body By Vi shakes are not only great for weight loss, they are also great just to keep you healthy.  Madi loves having one for breakfast, and I, even being pregnant, enjoy one for breakfast also.  They have the nutritional equivalent of a meal with 8500 calories and over $100 worth of food all packed in to one delicious shake with less than 250 calories.  Josh has been drinking the shakes for over a week now (consistently) and has lost over 5 pounds.  The shakes are so easy to drink because there are so many different recipes; you never get tired of them! In fact, there are over 400 recipes already and even more being added daily.

If you are curious as to how they taste and live in our area, I would love for you to come by our house for our introductory shake party on Saturday August 20th at 2pm (let me know if you are coming!) or just email me/comment and I can mail you a sample packet that includes a sample of the shake mix and a couple other goodies. :)  

Body By Vi has done a lot to make the shakes affordable.  For every three people you get started on the BBV shakes, you get yours free! And, the shakes are affordable on their own.  
Right now, the company is doing what they call the "90 day challenge" which gives you a discount on the products. And enters you to win great prizes from Visalus.   
- If you are interested in weight loss, you would replace two meals a day with shakes.  That package is $99 a month - which averages $1.50 a meal! (a huge savings on groceries)
- If you are interested in just maintaining nutrition or maintaining your weight, you would replace just one meal a day.  That package is $49 a month.
- If you are interested in adding nutritional vitamins and supplements to maximize your weight loss, those packages range from $150 to $250 a month.

There are thousands of success stories I can share with you, but its always more effective for me to see it.  I encourage you to check out my website:  You won't believe those before and afters, plus,  there is a TON of information on there.  

And if you are ready to join the challenge, get to that website! 

much love and thanks for reading,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seventh Generation Diaper Giveaway Winner! :)

Thank you to everyone who entered.  
The winner is...



Stay tuned for more giveaways. :)

much love,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

{{Closed}} Seventh Generation Diaper Giveaway!!

Seventh Generation has redone their diapers.  They were kind enough to send me some diapers to sample and I am excited to share with you.

See what they have to say about their product:

With the same great performance that parents have come to expect from Seventh Generation, Free & Clear diapers have a brand new look that makes it ‘clear’ what makes them so special. 

What Seventh Generation leaves out is just as important as what they put in. Free & Clear diapers do not include chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum based lotions. In an effort to contribute less overall landfill waste and continue to ensure a premium standard of absorbency, the new Free & Clear diapers have been redesigned with a lighter-weight core. With processed chlorine-free wood pulp in Free & Clear diapers, Seventh Generation also makes certain that no chlorine is released into the environment during the totally chlorine-free (TCF) whitening process of the diapers and training pants. Seventh Generation has also reduced the size of the diapers’ plastic packaging, meaning that each pack now contributes even less overall landfill waste than before. In fact, Seventh Generation Free & Clear diaper packaging can now be recycled at local supermarkets where plastic bag recycling collection boxes are available. 

And because they are so wonderful, MyBlogSpark and Seventh Generation gave me a sample of the diapers to try.  Now, my baby is still growing and won't be introduced into this world until October, so I had a couple of friends try them out for me.  They all agreed that they were very absorbent and while not the most stylish of diapers, they worked just as well as huggies or pampers.  They also liked how they were made without dies and chemicals.  One friend whose son has very sensitive skin, noticed less diaper rash.  

Would you like to try out a pack of free diapers? Yes, that's right... FREE DIAPERS! There are 4 ways to enter this contest:

1) Required Entry: Comment on this post and tell me what kind of diapers you usually use and then why you would like to try Seventh Generation and what size you would need - 2, 4, or 5.  

Additional Entries:

2) Subscribe to my blog or leave a comment saying you already do!

3) Tweet/Facebook about this contest (or both) and leave a comment letting me know when you do.  (Good for up to two additional entries - one for twitter and one for facebook)

The contest will end next Tuesday August 9th, so spread the word to all of your friends!

much love,

Disclosure: Thank you MyBlogSpark and Seventh Generation for sharing the diapers with me.  Then opinions expressed are mine and my friends.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Going on a trip - Why I am going to MOPS convention.

This has been a crazy summer of travel for our family between vacations, student camp, and mission trips.  And Wednesday I am leaving my precious husband and daughter for four days to travel 12 hours in a van to Nashville, TN.  Being 7 months pregnant, I am sure it seems kind of crazy to travel such a long distance by car, but I assure you, there couldn't be a better reason.  

My friend Ida and I get the privilege of coordinating MOPS at First Baptist Church this year.  MOPS is an incredible organization dedicated to one thing - making sure no mom is alone.  If there is one thing I hear from moms who are now grandmothers, it's that they wish something like MOPS had been around when they were parenting their children.  MOPS is a place where mothers of preschoolers can come together and be refreshed and renewed just by spending time with other moms.  

But, for Ida, myself, and the entire MOPS organization, it is so much more than just a mom social club.  It is about reaching out to moms in our community who don't have the support we do.  Its about showing moms that joy can't be found in circumstances and people alone, but in Jesus Christ.  We are determined to make a difference in our community and not just to reach one another, but reach out to those in our city for Him.

I joined MOPS two years ago and my life has been forever changed.  Being a mom can be a lonely job.  You are cooped up in the house with people who are shorter than you.  And while you can carry on a "conversation" with a 3 year old, answering "why?" for the 1000th time that day gets a little old.  When I found MOPS Madi was 1 1/2.  I was very lonely.  I didn't have a lot of mom friends, let alone friends who understood what I was experiencing.  MOPS gave me a place to study God's word and gave me friends who were in the exact place I was.   Moms who are parenting children and trying our hardest to mold and teach them to grow in Jesus.  I can't imagine my life without this wonderful group of ladies.  It is an honor to be leading this wonderful group of women and it is a privilege I don't take lightly.    

That is why I am going to MOPS convention.  This is not going to be just another year of MOPS for us.  God has given us a strong and clear vision for this year.  We are going to do everything in our power to make an impact on women's lives... and by going to convention, we are equipping ourselves to do just that.  

There is nothing magical or any special formula.  We are going to pick up our knowledge from convention, fill our hearts with the vision of this ministry, and then bring it home and love on some mommas.  

Now, don't let me fool you, I am also going to convention because its FUN! There is something special about being with a group of like-minded women.  Women united by a love of moms and Jesus.  When I experienced it last year, I couldn't wait to come back! And I can't wait to travel with my friends to Tennessee.  We are going to have an awesome and, I'm sure, crazy time.  I can't wait to come back with stories to share.  

So, even if you can't make it to convention this year.  Why don't you go to and find a group of moms in your area to join? If you live in the Lakeland area, check out our blog at  

much love, 

PS - See why my friends Ida and Jennifer are going to convention!