Archive | April, 2012

April Shower

30 Apr

If anyone is still hanging around my little blog after my recent absence, a few notes: 1) I’m still here.  I am alive, though currently not so well.  Sinus crud and nearing the end of my pregnancy are taking its toll.  2) Thank you to those who have stuck around. 3) I am struggling to find my energy and inspiration, so hang in there with me a bit longer, please!

I promised to post about the recent baby shower our wonderful church family hosted for us on the 22nd of April.  The photos are finally edited, the gifts sorted if not put away, and I’m working on the long list of thank yous.  Aaron and I were truly humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and generosity of our church family last Sunday at the shower.  The decorations were lovely and had just the right amount of personal touches from ideas I had suggested, the food was scrumptious, and the company superb.  I can’t say thank you enough to the many ladies who put forth so much time, effort, and energy into making the shower such a wonderful success and memory.

There were many photos taken, and I tried to take a few at home of just some of the fabulous gifts we received.  I’m going to put most of the photos in gallery format to save some time.  I hope you enjoy the pictures and the sneak peeks you’ll see of the nursery in progress!

Tent Grumbling

24 Apr

I have not been sleeping well.  Between the heartburn and not being able to get comfortable, despite being surrounded by tons of pillows, I am feeling the effects of lousy sleep.  I feel that dark cloud creeping overhead.  The anxiety of all that I still need to get done around the house and to prepare for Kasen’s arrival is crowding out happy thoughts.  I am becoming Mrs. Grumble. (Anyone else read these books as a kid?  I loved Miss Sunshine!)

As I was forcing myself (yes, I grumbled), into reading my devotion this morning, I felt like God was on vacation.  “Hello?  Are You taking an extended Spring Break?  Did you forget about little me?  Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.”

This was the scripture I read on Girlfriends in God:

13 But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wilderness they put God to the test.

24 Then they despised the pleasant land;
they did not believe his promise.
25 They grumbled in their tents
and did not obey the LORD.”

Psalm 106: 13-14, 24-25

And there it was; God’s not so subtle response to my grumbling.  I was sitting there, grumbling in my tent, and God was more than happy to point that out.  I have been grumbling because I’m tired, stressed, and a bit overwhelmed.

Who isn’t? Continue reading

Shower Sneak Peek

23 Apr

I was treated to a fabulous baby shower yesterday at church!  Kasen is already one very blessed baby boy.  The upside of such a tremendous time was getting to share the time with the wonderful people in our church.  The downside is one very exhausted mom come Monday.

After helping teach Sunday School, being up on my feet a little too long, and an almost 3 hr-shower, I went home and rested.  Actually, no, I didn’t.  My mom and I sorted through all the goodies and then stayed up way too late watching the latest Hallmark movie, Firelight.  Only one commercial made me tear up; the one with the basketball team and coach.

Well, I did not get my shower photos edited yet or all the rest I need, so I have been taking it easier today, and just enjoying time with Micah as he entertains me with his antics.

Here is a peek at one of the amazing gifts we received at the shower.  I look forward to sharing the rest of the pictures of my sweet shower soon.

This will be such a delightful addition to Kasen's nursery! Thank you to the Rhodes family!

This was snapped last night as a quick pic, so please excuse the less than stellar quality.  I’ll take another that will do this art justice!

Gracefully~~Heather

Quick Thought on Ministry Life

20 Apr

I saw this on Facebook and just had to share it with my other friends and family who are in ministry.

Can I get an AMEN?

More money always gives a bit more breathing room for creature comforts, and we’d love to be able to give, give, give, but we know that money is not in ministry.  That’s not the point.

We feel called to see broken lives restored to fullness in Christ, and that is the richest reward we could ever hope for.

So for all of you called to a life in ministry, blessings as you journey on and remember to keep your eyes on Christ, not the pay stub!

Time to Shower

20 Apr

It’s Friday! Yay?!

Happy Friday!!!!
Yes, I am really this happy!

As a stay-at-home-mom Fridays aren’t quite as exciting as they are when I was in the “working world.”  Fridays are Aaron’s day off though since Sundays are his big work day at the church.  That makes them happy days!

I know I’ve been a little absent this week from posting, but it’s been for good reason.  We have made some good progress on the cleaning and organization at the house, and my little Micah man had his first ear infection early in the week so I got some extra cuddling time.

Now he is on the mend (YAY) and boxes are practically emptying themselves (not so much), so I thought I’d take a short break to share my excitement about this Sunday.

It’s shower time!  Baby shower that is.  The church is hosting our baby shower this Sunday with a light lunch right after service and I am tickled by all the trouble certain ladies are going to!  Even some guys are pitching in and bringing yummy goodness like homemade guacamole.  Yes please!  I will feel no guilt as I shovel the green goodness in my mouth chip by chip (spoon if necessary) since I had my 33 wk Dr. visit and I have still only gained a total of 7 lbs.  I am very proud of that, so a day to splurge at the shower seems in order!

I know there are mixed feelings out there about whether or not there should be showers for second and subsequent babies, but there are actually some items we need and I think if people are willing to share in the joy and just celebrate the new baby, then shower away.  I tried to get a wide array of items on the registry and make sure there were plenty of $20 and under items, as well as actually registering for my adored Pampers diapers this time.  I even included a few darling outfits, though we aren’t too shabby in the clothes department even though the boys are Fall and Summer.  My mom sorted all 7 large bins of clothes we kept from Micah, and space bagged them to save room.  Thanks mom and great idea!

Since we didn’t need any really big baby items this time around (think stroller, pack-n-play, crib, etc), I did include a pricier, but stunning, diaper bag that I fell in love with after a friend posted about them on Facebook.

Here is the lil gal….

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Diaper Bag in Fez

You can get a closer look at all her lovely details here.  Pottery Barn Kids does the initial embroidery but you can also purchase them through Petunia Pickle Bottom or just check out all their other awesome items and designs.

Since Kasen’s middle name is Cross and we also collect crosses, I just fell head over heels for this pattern.  I also thought it was pretty without being overly feminine.  The hubs gave it the seal of daddy-carrying approval so on the registry it went!

As I said, it is pricier, $175, but well-worth all the organizing compartments and features, like zip-out changing pad.  The bags got bonus points from friend reviews that they are well-made and hold-up to the 2-3 years of daily use.  Plus, if I have to look at and carry a bag everyday for so long, I need to love it, right?!  Even if it is one of the items we have to invest in, I think it will be well worth it.

Isn’t she lovely?  What are your favorite diaper bags or baby gift items?

Well, I need to get re-focused on cleaning and organizing, so I am signing off until next week.  I will then regale you all with photos of what I know will be an amazing shower.  I might even have some sneak peeks of the nursery and some of the projects in store.  I hope you all have a fabulous and blessed weekend!

Gracefully~~Heather

Taxes and Paying it Forward

16 Apr

“6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.  8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13: 6-8

It may be April 16th, but it is TAX DAY!  Yay? Sorry to those who thought they could escape it since the 15th fell on a Sunday this year.  I’m sure most didn’t, but I wouldn’t put it past some individuals.

I thought I’d share some scripture pertaining to the wonderful world of taxes.  Yep.  Even way back in biblical times (and before) people paid their dues and hated it just as much as we do.  What I enjoy about this particular scripture passage is that the focus is not just on giving taxes.  Yes, we are to respect the governing authorities and pay our dues, but we also are to give to others what is due them.

What does that mean? Should we only respect and honor those in position over us or only those we think deserve it?  What about only those who first respect and honor us?  Is this a good way to live with others? Continue reading

10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Family Style

14 Apr

Spring has sprung for a few weeks for sure.  The pollen count is up and the tissues are everywhere!  Must be time to clean.  Ugh.  Really, again?  It seems every magazine I have opened or passed by in the store recently is pointing out the annoying reminder to deep clean everything from our closets to our over-scheduled lives.  One thing I noticed is that most of the articles and tips are geared towards women or a woman, as in the singular, you clean by yourself lady.  Why not make it a family affair if you can?

1)      Assemble the Team– Whether husbands, wives, and/or kids, gather the team, give a pep talk, and assign tasks.  You DON’T have to do it all by yourself.  Remind your family that a clean and organized home is better for everyone.

2)      Keep Tasks Kid-Sized– It isn’t reasonable or realistic to expect a toddler to scrub all the windows, or even for your tween to terminate all the dust bunnies by their self.  Creating small zones and setting time limits is a great way to keep older kids on task without overwhelming them.  Include younger kids and help them feel useful by keeping their capabilities in mind and putting their likes and strengths to good use.  Have a speedy, non-stop preschooler?  Give them a rag spritzed with a safe cleaner, and then tell them you will time them to see how well and quickly they can clean the windowsills.  Have a kiddo that loves to organize?  Have them check the pantry and cabinets for past-date food items.

3)      Set Goals & Rewards– If stickers make your little one happy, keep some handy to pass out as each task is completed.  Entice your crew with the reward of a trip for ice-cream or some other sweet treat if they tackle their tasks.  Or, get a roll of tickets and assign a number to each task, say 2 tickets per clean window or 5 for a spotless bedroom.  Then decide if the tickets can be redeemed for cash, prizes, or rewards such as a later bedtime.  10 tickets?  Step right up and claim your $5 iTunes gift card!  8 tickets you say?  How about an extra 30 minutes before bed?!

4)      Treasure Hunt– Tell yourself and your kids (especially if they are young) that deep cleaning usually means uncovering lost treasures.  Make it fun and create a “Lost Treasure Chest” out of a box or even a laundry hamper and then place recovered loot in it as it is discovered.  At the end, gather together to count and divvy up the spoils, sharing a few laughs at just how many pairs of socks had been MIA.  You might just unearth a few gold doubloons as well! Continue reading

Pause for Something Pretty in Purple

12 Apr

Organization and clean-up has been slow-going this week.  Just when I feel like we make some headway on the clutter, there are the everyday tasks to tackle.  Dishes need washing, laundry must be folded, toys must be put away, and I have to stop and rest every hour or two thanks to being 8 months pregnant.

During my rest breaks, I get my slightly swollen feet up and try to catch up on the blogs I follow.  One I can always count on for beautiful inspiration whether through photos or design, usually both, is le zoe musings.  Kellie has an amazing eye for design and all things beautiful, including her adorable baby girl, Zoey.  Well, she inspired me again yesterday with her recent post on damask wallpaper.  I LOVE damask print and her post provided lots of eye candy and not only kicked my organization drive up again, it caused me to do some damask dreaming of my own.

While I enjoy a pretty damask print in many hues, (my bedding is turquoise and brown damask), I wanted to focus on my favorite color; purple.

Purple and black flock wallpaper

Image source here.

Purple and Cream Damask Wallpaper

Since we live in a parsonage, we really can’t wallpaper, but a girl can dream.  And while I was dreaming of pretty purple things, I thought I’d include a few other inspiration pieces.  Continue reading

Want to Add a Little Sunshine to your Week?

11 Apr

Well, I got my first blog award!  Whether you put much stock in these awards or not, I’m proud to claim mine!  Thanks to Wendy Reid for offering up the chance to win the Sunshine Award!  I recently started following her great writer’s blog, Wendy’s Works.  You should stop by and check out some of her work!

Wendy was recently awarded the Sunshine award by submitting a flash fiction story of 100 words or less.  Instead of then choosing 10 people to pass the award to, she set the same challenge to her readers.  Submit a flash fiction story of 100 words or less, containing the word “sunshine,” and you were eligible to win the award.  If less than ten entered then everyone was a winner.

I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Continue reading

My So-Called Unorganized Life

10 Apr

Thursday I will be 8 months pregnant.  I’m not sure how, but nearing the end of my second pregnancy has snuck up on me.  I think I had my hospital bag packed, nursery done, and house clean by my 6th month last time.

I blame the toddler.

Having to capture all that cuteness just keeps me occupied!

So, here I am two months to go, and soooo much to do.  We are preparing for our church’s 10 yr anniversary on May 20th as well, which includes an open house here at the parsonage.

I have to keep reminding myself that I have time, but I can’t shake that anxious feeling that Kasen could decide to make his appearance in the world early.  Did you experience this anxiety of not being prepared?  I really didn’t quite so much with Micah, or maybe that is why I had everything done so early last time.

Here is my dirty little secret..at least the disorganized part: Continue reading