Thursday, July 31, 2008

Love these sounds...

With a really busy next few days ahead (my parents will be here tomorrow and Collin's first birthday is on Saturday!!!!!), it's wonderful to hear the sound of the rain hitting the windows and my precious first born snoring on the living room floor with her arm around our dog. All is quiet or I would take a picture. Gotta love these rainy days during nap time. I am off for some relaxation...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thinking ahead...

Today, after spending a gorgeous day at my in-law's pool with my sister-in-law, Saira, and her kids, I came home and got to work. If you have never heard of Mirai corn, you need to try this stuff. It's so good, it even tastes good raw! Luckily, it is sold down the road from us. I went to the farm stand this morning and picked up 3 dozen. Plans for the corn: prepare it and freeze it. I love freezer corn. Rather than buy frozen veggies at the store, I plan to start buying large amounts and freezing them myself for the winter. My first session with corn was a success...

What was left after cutting the kernels off of 2 dozen plus ears

Simmering on the stove

Finished! Five quart bags filled with 2.5 cups each.

Next on the list: green beans!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Seven miles!

Tonight, I ran the longest distance I ever have: 7 miles. What I learned? When running on back country roads, run fast and carry a big stick. Oh and don't breathe too deep when passing a pig farm. You just might hurl. Good run, Hollie!

Wednesday a little early...

I didn't feel like just sitting in my room today for my quiet time. I felt like a lesson from Beth Moore. I have a few to catch up on so I randomly picked one, but God knew which one I needed.

I have decided that instead of worrying about Dan's job situation, each day I just have to get up and thank him that Dan isn't laying beside me (even though that is wonderful...on weekends). Thank him that Dan is actually at work. He has blessed us with two full weeks of work. It's something that I had taken for granted. Like a spoiled child, I just expected Dan to have work.

Today, Beth had me in 2 Chronicles 20: 2-26. Some verses that stuck out to me:

vs 12 - basically, we don't know what to do but our eyes are on you.

vs 15 - Do not be afraid of discouraged...the battle is not yours it is God's.

vs 16 - even though the battle is not ours, the Lord still calls us to participate.

---ultimately their praise becomes a weapon.

The point that she touched on was that we need to change what we are saying. God wants us to be victorious. Here's steps we need to take to change what we are saying:

  • bring our complaint to the Lord
  • gather the prayer support we need
  • stop rehearsing our complaint and start praising

The more we rehearse our problem, the more we will believe defeat. We are basically rehearsing disaster.

How incredibly simple things would be if we bring our concerns before God and then the rest of the time trust, leave the battle up to Him, and bring Him our praise. I don't know about you but I would totally rather praise Him that worry about defeat or rehearse disaster.

Lord help me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Answer

First, let me say a big "Happy Birthday" to my Momma Shirley today! I know I already sang to you my most requested version of Happy Birthday to You but just wanted to publicly say how thankful I am for this day and how much you have blessed my life. Hope you get your "pink motorcycle cake".

Well, my Mommy's Helper is here this morning and what big task have I accomplished? Let's see...I went for a run and then came in and have spent the rest of the time with my God. The organization of the office was calling me but, for those of you who know Him, my God's voice is bigger.

I haven't been sleeping. I have become quite obsessed with our money situation and my part in getting more of it. I have put resumes out and actually had an interview yesterday. Something just hasn't felt right. I have been torn between sitting back and just relying on God to provide our needs and then wanting to go out there and make some extra cash to stock pile for when things get really that wrong of me? Dan makes enough money. Although, we are feeling the pains of higher gas prices and other financial things that have popped up over the past couple months. The letter from Dan's employer was a BIG wake up call for myself. My spending had gotten out of control and I wasn't placing God at the center of our finances. I like to be in control. Dan's job situation is totally out of my hands. I need to trust. We revised our budget this past weekend and that was eye opening. It's now beside my fridge to record weekly spending and keep track of everything down to the very last cent. So far so good, but I know I am going to have to wake up every morning and ask for His wisdom, guidance, and self control. He will be faithful to provide our needs.

Which brings me to something I read this morning:

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well ~Matthew 6:33

and after was written "One of our greatest needs is SIMPLICITY."

That right there was my answer. I need to seek after him not money. I need to simplify things.

I can't sacrifice the time I have with my little ones right now. I can't leave them for a few hours everyday just because I want to pay off debt and have a big savings. A few hours seems like an eternity to them right now. My kids go down for nap and wake up and think they slept to the next day. This is where I am supposed to be. This is where my heart is.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Yes, this one is on The Crim training...again.

We have gotten serious. We broke out the stopwatch for the first time last night. I ran my first mile in 8:15...pretty good considering it was my first of three. My second I did in 8:30...a little disappointing, but at least I was consistent. Total time for my three miles: 25:36.

Tonight I was determined to keep it under 8 minutes. I was shooting for 7:30. Wouldn't you know, I came in, my lungs and legs burning, looked at the stop watch to see 7:34. Almost what I had hoped for. I will take it. We caught our breath and finished the night off with another two miles.

The big day is drawing near...August 23, 2008.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spring cleaning a little late...

I have been blessed this summer with a Mommy's helper that comes every Thursday morning for a couple hours. She watches my kids while I get some serious cleaning and organizing done. Her Mom offered her services to me for free of charge so she can get some experience and then can use me later as a reference.

Around here, there are things I need to get done and things I want to get done. Usually, wants take a back seat while I focus of the things that need to get done to keep this house running smoothly and the kids all happy and taken care of. Behind the scenes though, lurking in the places that were off limits, it was falling apart.

It really bothers me to start a project and only be able to devote tidbits of time to it throughout the week. I hate leaving things half finished. It keeps me up at night and it consumes my thoughts if I know that I left it sitting there like that. It's been wonderful to have a couple hours at a time once a week to really dig into and finish projects around here.

I was able to tackle the storage area in the basement. There was barely any room to walk around down there and things were all over the real order to it at's amazing how that seems to happen by itself. I like to store things in plastic bins and keep the labeled. So, I took everything out of the twenty something bins I have down there and did some organizing and (I know, big surprise) some throwing away. I got about four bags of trash out of there and was left with 6 empty bins! With all the organization, came some space of my own. I set up a little corner down there and designated it as my scrapbooking and sewing area.

Next on my list was our walk in closet and underneath of master bathroom sinks. It was amazing to me how much I could cram in such little spaces and stuff that I saved too. I did manage to find Dan's SS card and my hospital bills from when I had the kids (I did tuck those away). When all was said and done, I took out two bags of trash (clothes, papers, and things we didn't use anymore) from it. My room is now my sanctuary again.

This week, I plan on tackling the office. That should do it. After that, for the rest of the summer while my Mommy's helper is here, I will shut myself in the storage area and work on Dan's scrap book. I took apart his baby book and then I am adding photos from the rest of his life until we were married... kinda like The Story of Daddy for our kids. I am pretty excited. I started it when I was pregnant with Kaitlyn but ended up relaxing with my feet up, in bed, watching TV. So, I already have all the materials. It just needs some creativity and to be put together.

Random thought this Tuesaday morning...

When did Kailtyn all of a sudden develop an accent? It sounds like a mix of a southern twang, a British accent, and a valley girl. Seriously, you have to hear it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You haven't always looked this way. Once upon a time I took care of you.

I made sure your nails were painted and repainted at least 3 times a week. Drawing little designs on them with toothpicks was my specialty. You know, back when I had the time to sit and paint and wait for them to dry.

The pedicures were wonderful...for you and for me. You were smooth, without blisters and calluses. You know, back when I had time to sit in a chair for an hour with my feet up. You know, back when we had the money.

Something happened. Things got busy. Heck, I couldn't even touch you for about a total of 18 months while cooking my three little miracles....couldn't see you for about a total of 6. More than that though. I really stopped caring. About you that is. You see, I took up running. I went out a few times and I was hooked. It's hard on you, I know. Please just hang in there. I really don't see an end in sight, but maybe if you guys (and my knees) carry me the length of the Crim, I will give you a few days off and a bit of TLC.

Friday, July 18, 2008

From a Stray

It went something like this (at the neighborhood park this morning):

Kaitlyn: Mommy, there's a kitty! Landon lets go meet her.

Kaitlyn and Landon ran over.
Kaitlyn: I think she is going in the forest.
Both of them start calling the cat.

Kaitlyn: Hey, Landon, lets name her Kimmie.

Landon : Yeah, Kimmie.

They play with the cat for a few minutes. Landon burps really loud and scares it. They both laugh.

Kaitlyn: Can we keep her? Curtis needs a wife.
I am not falling for that one again. Besides, it was a male cat.

Me: No Kaitlyn, we can't keep her. Curtis hates other cats. She probably has a home.

Before I could say anything, Kaitlyn bends down and scoops the cat up. The picture to the side is the result. He got her pretty good.

I called her over and tried to comfort her while telling her that we NEVER EVER pick up an animal we don't know. Landon chimes in...

"We knew her. Her's name was Kimmie."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Get up and walk!

I have been recording Life Today with James Robinson on Wednesdays. Why Wednesdays? Well, that's when I can see and listen to Beth Moore talk to me in my own living room. So, if you don't get that channel or are unable to watch, every Wednesday I will be highlighting points from my notes.

Luke 5:19-21
19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."
21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Two obstacles that get in the way of our faith:

  • crowds - We have to stop thinking in a crowd that what Jesus said was not for us.
  • Pharisees - we keep people where they've been because we remember where they've been and what they've done.

Luke 5:22-25

22 But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, "Why are you reasoning in your hearts?
23 - "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins have been forgiven you,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?
24 -"But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,"--He said to the paralytic--"I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home."
25 -Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God.

Beth made these points that really hit home:

  • Not all healing involves forgiveness
  • All forgiveness involves healing
  • Some cannot accept forgiveness

Then she said this:

"We go on with our lives, our heads hung in shame, and we continue to repent, thinking we are unworthy. Do we call that humility? God calls it unbelief. When we are paralyzed by past sin, we are reaffirming that we are not really forgiven. Our new reaction should be, 'Thank you, Jesus!'"

How many times do I go to God and tell him I am sorry for something that happened in the past? How many times do I relive it in my head and bring up those feelings again? All the while, reaffirming that Jesus isn't enough...His forgiveness isn't enough...I still need to dwell on it. When my mind starts to take me back to what I have done, I should automatically respond in praise. Thank you Jesus for giving me a clean slate! Thank you for your mercy and grace!

She ended with this:

"The hardest place to live out your healing is at home. They saw you at your worst. Let God 'let you out'. He'll believe the change is real before anyone else. Get up and walk!"

Movin' On Up...

Yesterday we said good bye to the smallest Walmart in the world. I will miss having to juggle my three kids while trying to push the door open to get in. Good bye to searching for something only to find they either do not carry it or it's in an odd place (nail polish next to the cookware). I will also miss pushing a cart load and trying to juggle my three children all while trying to push the door open to get out and feeling like every cashier is watching but no one can get away from their long line to help.

This morning, was the official grand opening of our new Super Walmart. It's probably the smallest Super Walmart in the world but hey, it's super to us. This is a day even my children have been waiting son loves Super Walmart for some reason. We were all so excited to pull in the parking lot and grab a brand new cart. Miss America was at the front door signing autographs and there was a frightening clown walking around waving to the ceiling...what could be more fun than that?! Our first experience was a good one. I didn't need much because we had done our shopping at Aldi on Monday. I had about 5 things that I couldn't get there. The only disappointment: No swim diapers. I didn't travel into the groceries as not to tempt anything to jump into my cart that we didn't need so I don't have a review on that but everything else looked pretty darn good. Today we are on the map.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just thinking...

After reading a bit in the book I am currently reading, Heaven, I don't think I have ever been this Homesick.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Look what I just won for fifteen cents (+$3.65 for S&H)!!!

Now I just need to find the journal for cheap! :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Display of God's Beauty in My Yard...

9 You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows
and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers
and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the desert overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.
~Psalms 65:9-13

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Magnificent

O magnify the Lord with me; exalt his name together! ~Psalms 34:3

Today, one year ago, was my due date with the baby that we lost. This day will forever be significant in my life. Last year was bitter sweet. This year, it seems like forever ago. So much has gone on, time has really flown by, and I am thanking God for the magnificent things he has taught me through it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Since I never post on my middle child, I thought I would do so today. He is really growing up. He is looking forward to his birthday (he will be three!) and with that comes going off to "Cubbie School" with Kaitlyn. I am so thankful for my little man! Underneath all that loud, wild little boy energy is a thoughtful, caring, sweet little boy. He always is doing something to make us all laugh. Most recently it has been with the stuff that he comes up with or just simply how he pronounces words...there's always a "g" in there somewhere...

"Mommy, I have floaggies (floaties) on!"

"I am swimming in the pool with a noogle (noodle)."

I came up to him in grandma's pool to cuddle with him. He knew I was coming and quickly turned around and said, "I am a mean crocagile (crocodile)!"

"Mommy, I am pregending (pretending) to be a turgle (turtle)." The kid loves to pretend.

But what he said last week topped it all!

Upon pulling up to the entrance that took us to the Timber Ridge Lodge, Kaitlyn was quick to point out that there was a "stable just like Jesus was born in". To which Landon replied in a very excited loud voice, "We are in Heaven!"

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Long Weekend In a Nutshell...

Seems like forever since the beginning of the long holiday weekend. Rather than have this post be book length and bore you with details, I thought I would break it down...

Things that made me smile...

I have really enjoyed time with my husband this weekend. It was a nice weekend of just being together whether it was the two of us joking around, out late by the fire, or having fun family time. It was just nice to be with him. He's great!

Kaitlyn quoting Colossians 3:23 to us, a verse she learned at my parents church in Michigan while visiting. She seems to think that verse is for everyone else and doesn't apply to her. It goes, "In whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord." Apparently, Landon wasn't obeying me heartily enough for her taste today. :-)

Driving to church, all five of us, crammed in Dan's Chevy Aveo. I found myself smiling about it all day.

Watching the kids play at Woodstock Waterworks today. After 5:30, the rates go down and so do the crowds!

Things that made me think...

On Thursday, I started a book, Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I am almost 100 pages in and I am really enjoying it. It was given to me by my father-in-law after my uncle passed away. It's a post, maybe a few, in itself...a must read!

My uncle's passing in general has made me think a lot. It's the first death in our immediate family...yes, I am very blessed to still have all my grandparents. It's shaken me up a bit and I am trying to sort through all my thoughts (probably another post).

Things that got me worried (and on my knees)...

Our van is leaking gas... A LOT of gas. I am thankful for that piece of junk but it sure has given me a lot of sleepless nights worrying about how we are going to pay for yet another trip to the shop. Ugh! It's waiting to be fixed right now and I don't know any details.

Dan got a letter on Saturday from his employer...happy holiday. I guess I was in denial or something. I am not surprised. Things have slowed down and it said that journeymen are going to have to start rotating days off. Again, I don't know any details but that sent me right into scrimp and save mode...which I should have already been in. I know that God will supply all our's up to us to be obedient.

Things I am looking forward to...

During one of our "quality time" chats, Dan and I finally picked a day to kick off our youth ministry at our church. We are working through details and I can't wait to get back into the swing of things. I am really excited about it!

It's time to start getting serious about training for The Crim. This week, after dropping Kaitlyn off at VBS, starts hill training. I have got my times down for my 4 mile...time to kick up my distance and add in a more challenging terrain.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Twelve minus one...

Yep, can't believe it. My angel boy is 11 months old today. My littlest man is such a blessing. This is a picture of him cheesing it up. Look at those curls!!

He took his first steps about two and a half weeks ago and is now WALKING!!! It's so cute because he's such a tiny little thing. His legs are so short. He discovered he can go faster than a walk this past Sunday and has been running up and down the hallway with his arms out for balance. I think he enjoys that he can almost keep up with his big sister and big brother now.

He got three new teeth this month, which included two of his one year molars. His teeth look too big for his little mouth...better to bite us with. :-)

He *loves* big people food and is becoming quite the piggy. He can eat a whole piece of pizza and ate his first entire piece of chocolate cake over the weekend. He's not too fond of his baby food anymore...wonder why.

He took his first dip in the pool this past month. He is so different than the other two were at this age. He is perfectly content to sit in his little float and watch everyone.

I bought my last stock of formula and he will be going to whole milk in about two weeks. He has had yogurt and milk a few times and so far so good. We are trying to get him used to a sippy cup so hopefully the bottle will go bye-bye by the time he is 18 months...that's my goal...if it happens before then, I will be thrilled.

He's such a happy little guy. I am still loving that he is a little cuddle bug...better enjoy it while I can. He's almost a year old!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow...

My little princess got a hair cut today. She has been wanting a hair cut for a while now. I guess I have been kinda living through her hair. I love her long curly hair. I think it's unique and absolutely gorgeous. She gets a lot of comments from people. It's kinda like her trademark. :-) Anyway, it's been really tangled lately because it was so long and getting hard to take care of. Plus, from our recent frequent trips to grandma and grandpa's pool it was pretty green. So, tonight was the night. I gave her a cut. I was never in to cutting my Barbie's hair like some girls. My Mom always cut my hair growing up. She was the only one I trusted (or I felt like I could be mad at afterwards). So, I have watched her plenty of times and feel like I know what I am doing. After I was done with the cut, I dried her hair straight. She was so funny. She looked at me and said, "Mommy, it's what I have always wanted! Now we have the same hair!" She couldn't wait to show the neighbors and get her picture taken to send to Gammy and Poppy. I miss her long locks but she doesn't at all.