Monday, December 13, 2010

if i had the time...

...i would make these.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Mary's Prayer

I've never read something that says what I have felt (in a millionth of a fraction)as a mother quite like this. Like I said, Isaac was born about a week before Christmas, so there was no way not to think of Mary and how she must've felt about her new baby. And on top of that, add the humiliation, fear, embarassment & sea of unanswered questions she still had.

Mary’s Prayer

God. O infant-God. Heaven’s fairest child. Conceived by the union of divine grace with our disgrace. Sleep well.

Sleep well. Bask in the coolness of this night bright with diamonds. Sleep well, for the heat of anger simmers nearby. Enjoy the silence of the crib, for the noise of confusion rumbles in your future. Savor the sweet safety of my arms, for a day is soon coming when I cannot protect you.

Rest well, tiny hands. For though you belong to a king, you will touch no satin, own no gold. You will grasp no pen, guide no brush. No, your tiny hands are reserved for works more precious:
to touch a leper’s open wound,
to wipe a widow’s weary tear,
to claw the ground of Gethsemane.

Your hands, so tiny, so white—clutched tonight in an infant’s fist. They aren’t destined to hold a scepter nor wave from a palace balcony. They are reserved instead for a Roman spike that will staple them to a Roman cross.

Sleep deeply, tiny eyes. Sleep while you can. For soon the blurriness will clear and you will see the mess we have made of your world.

You will see our nakedness, for we cannot hide.

You will see our selfishness, for we cannot give.

You will see our pain, for we cannot heal.

O eyes that will see hell’s darkest pit and witness her ugly prince . . . sleep, please sleep; sleep while you can.

Lie still, tiny mouth. Lie still, mouth from which eternity will speak.

Tiny tongue that will soon summon the dead, that will define grace, that will silence our foolishness.

Rosebud lips—upon which ride a starborn kiss of forgiveness to those who believe you, and of death to those who deny you—lie still.

And tiny feet cupped in the palm of my hand, rest. For many difficult steps lie ahead for you.

Do you taste the dust of the trails you will travel?

Do you feel the cold seawater upon which you will walk?

Do you wrench at the invasion of the nail you will bear?

Do you fear the steep descent down the spiral staircase into Satan’s domain?

Rest, tiny feet. Rest today so that tomorrow you might walk with power. Rest. For millions will follow in your steps.

And little heart . . . holy heart . . . pumping the blood of life through the universe: How many times will we break you?

You’ll be torn by the thorns of our accusations.

You’ll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin.

You’ll be crushed under the weight of your own sorrow.

And you’ll be pierced by the spear of our rejection.

Yet in that piercing, in that ultimate ripping of muscle and membrane, in that final rush of blood and water, you will find rest. Your hands will be freed, your eyes will see justice, your lips will smile, and your feet will carry you home.

And there you’ll rest again this time in the embrace of your Father.

an excerpt from Max Lucado's God Came Near

suggestions welcome

Ok, I need some help with this "closet". I have no idea what to do with it. It's not really a closet, but more shelves and storage in a doorway...yes, weird. we walk through it to go from our hallway by the bedrooms through to the kitchen/office area. the closest thing to it are the desk & pantry.

i'd love to use it practically, for storage maybe, but what does one store in a pass through closet on the way to the bedrooms?

i wanna hear what you think! do i make it decorative or functional? really, i'd love both. the opposite wall from the 2 shelves has nothing, but not really any room for coat hooks since we walk through it.


in the spirit of christmas...

What are 7 areas where you can be happier with LESS??

Thursday, December 02, 2010

advent calendar tutorial

I have to give credit to my friend Jennifer of Laineybug Creations for the inspiration of this calendar. The above picture is the banner she made for the hospital door when Isaac was born last year. It reads "Baby Isaac" and has a blank tag in the middle where we filled in all of his stats. It made it easy for visitors to find our hospital room, and we now have it hanging in his room. So when I wanted to make a simple advent calendar, I used this banner as a jumping off point.

Here are the supplies you'll need:

-Scrapbook paper (I used 4 different coordinating colors. You can use more or less, depending on how uniform you want your calendar to be)
-9 feet of 1/4" ribbon (I found mine in the scrapbooking section at JoAnn's for $1 a spool)
-Glue stick
-Hole punch
-Ruler & pencil
-Letter stamps & coordinating color ink pad (optional)
-Craft punch (optional)

1. Choose 3 coordinating colors (optional if you want all one color) for the tags themselves and 2 colors for the numbers & background.

2. Fold the paper in half, and then in half again.

3. Cut the piece of folded paper in equal parts. You should get four in each piece.

I glued the insides of the paper to itself (glue white to white) to make it a little sturdier.

4. Cut 25 rectangles of coordinating colors to use as the backgrounds for the numbers. You will also need circles for each numerical digit (one circle for the 2 and 5 in "25"). I used a craft punch, but you could use scissors if you wanted.

5. Assemble the pieces in the pattern that you choose.

6. Use stamps, markers, or whatever you choose to number each dot on the cards. Then put the Scriptures in each card. There are several books and online resources for finding Advent Scriptures.

7. Using a hole punch, make holes in the corners of each card. Use the ribbon to tie each tag together, making sure to tie a ribbon on each end for hanging.

Hang it somewhere you'll see every day. We have ours in the kitchen doorway where we can see it while we eat breakfast. I even considered wrapping it around our Christmas tree like a garland. Either way, enjoy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

starting advent

my mom always had an advent wreath on our table growing up. the one with three red candles and one white, for the last Sunday or Christmas. we jumped around several different denominations and churches when we were young, finally finding a home in a Christian church in Virginia. so needless to say, i've had a lot of experience dabbling in other church Christmas traditions. my paternal grandfather was a clergyman in the Episcopal church and i think we, at one point or another, have attended Presbyterian, Nazerene, United Methodist, Church of Christ, and Christian church. whew. i'm pretty sure all we've concluded from our "church shopping" as we always called it whenever we moved somewhere new, was that if a church honors the Lord, follows Jesus as Savior, and believes the Bible is God's inspired word and LIVES IT, then they're ok with us. or me. i guess i shouldn't speak for the rest of my family.

not to get into unnecessary discussions about denominations, blah blah crappity crap.

my POINT is... i've been aware of the celebration of advent since i was a kid. (sorry it took me so long to get there).

now that tim and i are parents, we have been forced to step back and really evaluate how our life looks to others. we realize that our children can be told what's important a bazillion times, but i'd rather them KNOW what's important because they see us making priorities. one thing that tim will "soapbox" about is the hype and ridiculousness that is Christmas gifts. how is our celebration of Christmas really any different than someone who doesn't follow Christ? oh, er...*awkward silence. i guess it's not.

enter, advent calendar. not the cardboard calendar where you get a piece of chocolate when you open each numbered door (which i loved dearly as a kid), but one that really hits home with the anticipation of Christmas. that's what we all love about the holiday anyway. so, instead of anticipating gifts and Santa and getting, getting, getting we hope to create a season of celebration and wonder and excitement for celebrating the coming of a baby named Jesus. we're still decorating like crazy, playing Jingle Bells, and buying gifts but the excitement will hopefully come from a different perspective.

it's only the first day, but already, i love it. we worked on our homemade advent calendar together (that's a first!) and i think it turned out pretty good. each day has a Scripture to read. we've decided to get up early (ok earlier than isaac), eat breakfast together (meaning i need to actually make it) and read that day's verse as a family. whoa. that's high expectations for us. today's verse was Romans 13:11-14.

this time of year brings back strong memories for us, since our isaac was born about a week before Christmas. we had the anticipation of a baby in real life. i never payed attention to the words of songs like "Mary Did You Know" and "What Child is This?" like i did last year. the wonder and anticipation of a baby is pretty amazing any month of the year, but near Christmas it just seemed escalated. i would wonder if what i felt was just a smidgen of how Mary did when we was too swollen and tired to put up her Christmas tree. or ride on a donkey. whatever.

i'd love for you to follow along with us as we go on our advent journey as a family. i'm not even going to dare to say that i will blog about each day, but maybe in the next 24 days i will have a few to highlight. this has also inspired me to change up the breakfast menu a bit. i have several omelettes, fruit & oat scones, and an apple & sausage breakfast casserole (interesting) planned to get us away from the pancakes/waffles i usually depend on.

happy december, everyone! may you see Christ this Christmas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

4. anger

This blog post from a frequently visited site on my list is just great. Read it.

Let Nothing Stand Between You

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3. laundry

As I was sitting here trying to choose something to be thankful for, I remembered that I had laundry waiting to be changed over and I complained about it. How selfish! Let me complain about how I have clean clothes and towels waiting downstairs in my less-than-a-year-old front loader washing machine. Come on, Court. So I am thankful that I can do laundry any time I want; I have clothes that need washing in clean water that's fully accessible at any time of day, and I have a family that is active and gets their clothes dirty.

I suppose I should be thankful for the dirty dishes, too...that will be waiting for me tomorrow.:)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

2. growth

Not only am I thankful that my little boy is healthy and growing like a weed, learning new things every day, but I am thankful for my own growth. I've said before that I live a life of seasons, and this last year has definitely been a growing year for me. I guess becoming a parent will do that to ya. I've had to stretch beyond myself and make my life about someone other than me. The sad truth is, I should have been doing this all along. As a follower of Christ, I should have been living my life as a way of pointing to Jesus, but let's be honest.

This last year, I think Tim and I both have been re-evaluating a lot about ourselves and the way we live. We've tried to be intentional in everything we do, whether it's what we eat, who we are around, or what we spend our money on. We've had to make some major adjustments because of Isaac, but I really don't think I would change any of them. I love the challenge of trying to live more simply, more intentional, with more regard to others and the life that Jesus has come to give us. I've grown in many ways this year, and really feel like I'm finally starting to taste the fruit of this life we live for God. And it's good stuff.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

serving thanksgiving a little early...

So I have been encouraged by several Facebook friends and bloggers that have started listing one thing every day in November that they are thankful for. I'm a few nine days behind, but it will give me something to blog about daily and maybe even solidify how blessed I already know I am.

1. Grandads

This was taken the weekend of my little sister's wedding at home in Virginia. Dad wanted Isaac to try the pool, and of course, he loved it. Isaac had a disposable diaper on and it kept swelling and swelling with the water. By the end of their swim time, Isaac was practically bottoms up from the floating diaper.

Friday, October 29, 2010

is currently reading...

I don't get to go to the library very often, since we now live outside the city limits and the PUBLIC library isn't accessible to me. *whatever* Since tim has a library card with the church, I ask politely like a little girl wanting her daddy to take her to get ice cream and we make a trip.

This is what I came back with:

I'm really excited about this one. I've been wanting some really fun, intentional family traditions to start while Isaac is young and I think we will enjoy this one. You can make or buy an ornament for each day of Advent. There are devotionals to do with your kids, songs to sing that go along with that day's theme, and devotions to do with other adults as well. As a kid, we always had an Advent wreath so it's special for me, too.

This one looks really good, too. The topic of Advent had me thinking, so I picked this up.

Before you think I'm going to get all femi-Nazi on you, it's quite the opposite. But not in a spine-less, weaker link sort of way. I first heard of this author when a friend and I attended the True Woman conference last month. One of those things that change your entire perspective.

I honestly never thought I'd be reading this, just because I never thought I'd be a mom of boys. So glad I am. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

i agree...great gift ideas!

Check out one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking. In this post, she raves about great gift ideas for this Christmas and...gasp! she mentions The Pampered Chef! I love her blog about being frugal, natural, and Christ centered with her family so I was very proud to see our products on her top lists as great suggestions!

Oh, and let me know if you want any of the great stuff she suggests;)

Monday, October 25, 2010

my absurd, make believe, "if only" wish list

i suppose i can label myself as a list-maker. it's nice to simplify and gather thoughts all in one neat, little column on a petite sticky note. i make to-do lists all the time, grocery lists, wish lists, idea lists, etc. i have a tiny spiral notebook entirely dedicated to lists. in general. i try to keep it with me in the instance that i need to jot something down or make a list of something i need to remember later. i doubt it really lends itself as a useful organizing tool for me, considering the fact that it's buried underneath messy paperwork on the desk right now. to each his own.

tonight, i felt like i just wanted to make a fun list. a list that isn't reality, and is a little bit materialistically (is that a word, court?) aloof. feel free to practice the art of giving if you feel so inclined. and if you're simply a reader, feel free to chuckle a bit.

this is my "i simply must do something with this money tree in my backyard that won't stop growing..." list:

1. A dutch oven (or two) like this one. I'd probably need a purple AND a green one.

2. A lifetime supply of these. And any other brand is just not the same.

3. A bright yellow one of these. They just look so fun. And ergonomically fancy shmancy designed and stuff.

4. This would actually be something Tim and I would both love. In all seriousness. And a couple extra thousand bucks. But ya could happen.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I'm never so sure if things line up in my life according to God's planning it that way, or if I'm just convincing myself that it's so. However, I am a firm believer in the practice of prayer & spending time and energy getting to know our Creator. Since I've gotten (a little) better at turning an ear towards God's leading in my life lately, I find God in the details. Everywhere. I knew He was there before, but mostly just in the major panics or blessings that would catch anyone's attention. Nowadays, I'm delighted to find Him in the every day happenings of life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.

Our adult small group has been (slowly) working through a film series called Blessed Earth by Dr. Matthew Sleeth. We're eating it up, just because it gives us an excuse to blab on about how important it is to recycle and reuse napkins, but mostly because it's so good at teaching how "following Jesus is good for the planet". It takes the trendy green movement and makes it intentional for the life of the church. Good stuff.

Our last session was entitled, "Water". Long story short, we were sent home with the assignment of trying to be more aware of how fortunate we are to have free access to clean, drinkable water 24/7. We searched the Scriptures for mention of water and took note of how Jesus even called Himself the "Living Water". We were challenged to post a verse somewhere near the sink, shower, etc. to remind us of God's thorough connection with water. I chose Psalm 65:9,
"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."

I'm telling you all this because on Thursday of this last week, our well went out. We didn't have water when we woke up, and the issue didn't get resolved until about 7:30 that evening. Isaac and I were at home all day without running water. No shower, no washing dishes, no doing laundry, and no...flushing. the. toilet. I made sure that I stopped to use the restroom when I was out running errands since I wasn't able to use it at home. It was definitely annoying and frustrating, especially since we didn't know the extent of what needed to be fixed, etc. but it definitely made me stop and think immediately about what we've just been studying.


Not only did God want me to think about it in my mind, but to feel it physically for a day. Without water, there is no life. Of course, in our readily available society, you can go buy almost anything you'd ever need, including water. But I didn't that day. I (tried) waiting patiently until it was fixed, and then continued to thank God for being my Living Water. That evening, I remember being really thirsty and being truly thankful for being able to just turn on my faucet and fill my glass.

God's in the details, guys. He may need to turn your world around for a day to make sure you're really thankful for what He's done...even if it's just reminding you that you're damn lucky to have running water. Just like your mother used to say, "There are kids in the world who don't have vegetables to eat, so be thankful!" Listen to her. It's true.

Plus, moms are always right. Psh.

Friday, September 24, 2010

9 months

it wasn't my intention to let so much time slip by between posts. it never is. ah, well.

i always feel like i have to have a picture to start with in order to get my thoughts going. it's quite intimidating to me to sit at the computer and i don't know where to start. and do you really want to hear random thoughts? or should i always have a "subject" to be writing about?

i've been trying to be really good about documenting isaac's milestones. problem is - i'm about 8 months late. better late than never, i suppose. we're well into month nine, one that i am discovering is full of independence, personality, and fun things like teething and first ear infections.

unfortunately, this is one of the very few good shots we got, since isaac was dealing with said ear infection at the time and was not happy that i kept removing the rocks from his mouth every ten seconds. too bad, kiddo. i'm not changing those diapers.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

jeremiah 17:8

my sister, ashley, recently finished up a nice little project that i had intended on doing myself one day but she got done much faster (and probably much better!) than i could have. she's currently in limbo with teaching jobs with the rest of america, so when she popped over for a visit one saturday, i "suggested" her doing these for me. i was so impressed with the result! she did it all free hand, and i love that it's one of a kind!

i've always loved that saying and the meaning it has for our family. we've both fallen in love with the symbolism of a tree in many ways. his latest tattoo (below) fits him perfectly.

jeremiah 17:8 is disguised in the roots of the tree on his arm and reads,
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.

i love praying for and dreaming about how tim has the great opportunity to be an example of a true man of God with his little boy. the men of the Church at large have a big calling and responsibility to stand up and be steadfast, anchored in the Word of God & rooted in love. the symmetry just jumps out all over the place when we start comparing trees & spirituality.

i pray that isaac will grow straight and tall as he gets older. that he will be rooted in faithfulness, love, and Truth. i pray that he will be able to be an example of a real man and produce fruit that gives all the glory to God. i know i have a big part in this as his mother as well, and i'm not going to pretend it's not intimidating!

for now, tim and i are going to try our hardest to tend to the little "acorn" God has given us, and remember that we have been chose to help raise one of God's disciples.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

in which i can't quiet my brain

first of all, let me give credit where credit is due. i'm at starbucks right now, enjoying my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. by myself. on a saturday night at 10pm. ahhh. my husband is awesome and letting me have time to just be myself and enjoy time reading, blogging, and indulging in highly over-priced caffeinated beverages. i mean, that's why i married him.

i have a lot on my mind and heart lately. most of it has to do with "dreams" of what i can do to get involved even more in our youth ministry, get involved in my own ministries (at home, with friends, etc.), and how to encourage those around me. it's been amazing at the time and energy i've been blessed with now that i'm not working full time. i feel like i can minister full time. whether that comes from not taking advantage of my working years and seeing them as ministry, or just not being in my "niche" is irrelevant. at least right now.

in this season of my life, i have found God putting many new opportunities in front of me to dream and plan, write, read, study and just learn about the ways i can minister and be ministered to right here in Anderson, Indiana.

a couple of things i've been brewing up lately:

-planning a fall girls' retreat for our students and challenging them to be the women they are growing up to be
-getting to (really)know the women that help us out at Bethany & finding ways to encourage them
-start a late Bible study with a few girls & inviting some we don't
-being accountable to 9 other women (some in South Korea!) about reading the Scriptures every day
-praying about & seeking opportunities to earn a small income while doing something i LOVE (like writing?)

this may seem like a small list to some, but i have to start small. i'm amazed at what mental energy was somehow buried underneath the burden of working full time and the frustration of not having the time to dive into what i wanted.

i am embracing this new season in my life as my new full time ministry. little did i know what there really is a lot to it!

by all means, i am not saying that working full time is a burden or am looking down upon it. i live a life of seasons, and right now for me, this is not what's best for my life. i often miss the pride and respect of being able to say i'm using my graduate degree and making a respectable income similar to my husband!

also, i know this picture doesn't have much to do with the post, but it's by far my favorite recent family pictures, taken today when we visited our first apple orchard of the fall season:) ok, it's really just because i like to brag about how stinkin' blessed i am with my two boys.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

a family adventure

tim finally cashed in his father's day gift IOU and found a child's carrier pack. we headed to Mounds State Park in Anderson to try it out. it was a gorgeous day and isaac didn't even notice that he didn't have lunch until 2:00 because he was so busy just looking around and giggling when either of us would "run" with the pack on our backs. his favorite thing to do was either lean as far as he could to one side so he could watch Marley walk the trails...or pull our ponytails out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

what goes around..

my grandmother sent me this picture a few months ago when i was complaining about not getting sleep with a new baby. she wanted me to "note the tired eyes" that my mother had when she was so enthusiastically feeding me.if you didn't already know how much i resemble my mom, this picture is a great example. i'm about six months old was Christmas in 1984.

what were YOU doing for Christmas in 1984??

Monday, August 16, 2010

fighting for morning

i've never been very good at carving out dedicated time each day to read my Bible. i just don't sit down and read, period. i know it's a weak link in my day and my journey in faith, but i'd just accepted the fact. tim, on the other hand, is very good at this. he is a reader, and is usually very consistent with finding time to be alone with God. this is one of the many reasons i know the Lord made us for each other. in some instances, you couldn't find two more people as opposites but complements of the other.

recently, i've actually wanted to get up early and start my day with reading & having time to myself. maybe it's because if i let isaac be my alarm, i'm not ready for the day & don't feel prepared to meet him every morning with a joyful attitude. i stumble around, trying to get him changed, get him breakfast, and wake up myself all at the same time. it's still taking tim and i some adjusting to get used to the fact that 8am is really sleeping in!

i feel like i need to be up and prepared to meet the day before my family so that i can almost pave the way for how the day starts for them. if i'm grumpy and tired, then that will definitely rub off. if i've spent time with God, praying for my family, and ready for the's amazing how much more productive and prepared i feel. i usually get more excited when isaac finally wakes up and i'm ready to start a good day.

with any new endeavor to become closer to Christ, i've learned to expect the enemy to throw a fit. he will now try to throw kinks in my plans and make me feel frustrated and stupid about what i'm trying to do. ever since i've tried to get up before isaac and get my morning started with prayer and reading, i've noticed a few things:

isaac has successfully slept through the night since 8 weeks old. occasionally, you'd have to go put a pacifier back in or cover him up, but that's about it. just this last week and a half, he's been waking several times and may have to be rocked or nursed back to sleep.

our chocolate lab, marley, has had a weird issue with getting sick at night ever since she was a puppy. it's usually not very often, but if we wake up to her getting sick, we just know it's another day. it involves taking her out, cleaning up, getting her water, getting back to bed, etc. in the last week or so, she's gotten sick three times, sometimes several times a night.

needless to say, tim and i have not been getting good sleep lately. call me crazy, but i'm not looking forward to 6:30 am when i've been up with a crying child and sick dog that night. i haven't slept well and i don't feel like getting up any earlier than i have to. i know this is the enemy trying to tell me i don't have the energy to get up and spend that time with my God.

i'm telling you all of this because maybe somehow that keeps me accountable. whether i'm up to spend time in Scripture or i'm just praying for my family and friends or i'm writing and thinking about something i read somewhere, i need to prepare my day. i've never ever been an "up earlier than i have to be" person at any point in my life so this is a new season for me. i'm excited to see how God will use it and i hope you're encouraged to start your days off with something besides that last minute cup of coffee on the way out the door.

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Marcus Aurelius

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
William Blake

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

Saturday, August 14, 2010

one day...

building a home

God's been working on my heart lately about really taking my roles as mother and wife seriously. not that i thought he was kidding before, but i've realized the peace and satisfaction that i get from fulfilling these two roles and i want to make sure i'm being the best i can be at both of them. at this point in my life, i know that my main priorities should be at home, making it a place of refuge and encouragement for T and of learning, love, and safety for I.

i never realized how accountable i would be to God for the way i handle these two roles. just like teaching at school, i feel like i am solely responsible for the atmosphere i create & the attitudes and characters that are built as a result. i'm trying not to be too 'old-fashioned' or sound as if i'm against any working mom (i was one for a short time) or wife who wants to earn her place as a financial contributor. sometimes, i don't like depending on T to be the breadwinner. i have earned two college degrees, a full time job position in the public schools, and a paycheck that is quite comparable to my husband's. i'm learning to let him provide in financial ways so that i can provide in other ways that i couldn't quite as well as if i were still working full time.

i want to briefly share the journey that God is putting me on as new mother and a wife of a minister. i'll go up against anyone who says those roles aren't challenging and sometimes frustrating. i'd also argue that they can be the most rewarding. they are roles blessed by God and to be taken very seriously.

i've found another blog (surprise, surprise) that i love dearly. it's called passionate homemaking and she writes about Titus 2:4-5 where he instructs women to be the main keepers of the home, and what a Biblical thing that is. check out her's pretty incredible. stocked with all sorts of great recipes, diy natural cleaning products, articles that make you think, and best of God is tied into all of it.

ok, back to my point. in one of her posts entitled, "homemaking is about people" she used this statement. i feel like i need to post it somewhere and remind myself every day of why i'm choosing to stay home, a choice that is sometimes looked down upon or questioned in an economy such as the one we face today. This statement explains exactly what my goals should be:

The point of being a keeper at home is to provide a haven for a godly family to thrive, to offer hospitality to fellow Christians and non-Christians alike, and to provide a place for the church to meet.

-taken from Caroyln McCulley’s Radical Womanhood

wow. so much packed into one statement! more on that later... thoughts?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


i can breathe now. we have internet at our house. like, the legit kind you don't steal from your neighbors and hope the signal's strong enough when you turn on your machine. i finally realize how much i need the internet. yes, i need it. i do.

here's why, in case any of you out there are wondering, "but court, don't you usually talk about how we need to spend time outside and having real conversations and not watching cable and all that?" yes, i do. i believe all of that too much tv stuff rots the brain and makes us think of mush. however, i have discovered a new appreciation fore the blogging community, the coupons to practically ANYTHING you could think of, and the recipes and immense amount of information to anything that wonders into my muddled brain during the course of a day.

just yesterday, i thought, "hmm. i wonder if i need to be doing anything to treat the seal around the door of my new he washer. i bet i could look it up."

this last weekend when tim was out of town (again), "ok, i'm going to hit up some community garage sales. i'll have tim look up the addresses online at work and tell me where they are. *insert stifled independent woman syndrome* oh nevermind, i'll just drive all the way down there and find out they're really tomorrow. convenient. i guess i'll just drive aimlessly around and hope to bump into some." (btw, i actually did.)

or, "i think isaac has an unusual diaper rash. i wonder if i need to change the overnight diaper covers i'm using or if there's another way to treat it besides Desitin?"

or even, "i need to pay my bills online so i don't have to use stamps and checks."

well what about, "i have a ton of watermelon. what can i do with it besides eat it cut up? or make watermelon juice? (barf.)"

but especially, "i feel like writing."


Friday, July 16, 2010

new every morning

it's funny how having a small child forces you to become a morning person. i say "forces" on purpose. i am not usually a morning person, except for Christmas mornings and such. little man usually rises in a pretty happy mood about 7am every day, usually singing to us or making bubbles through the monitor. tim and i usually wake up and giggle at him before we "rock, paper, scissors" to see who has to get him. usually, i lose. something about tim having trouble nursing...
it's scary how punctual the little booger can be about getting up in the morning. i really can't complain, since he's a very good sleeper and has been sleeping through the night successfully since about 8 weeks old. since i'm awakened by my tiny alarm clock and have to rise to the occasion of diaper duty, breakfast, and playtime all before 8am i try my best to do it joyfully and enjoy the mornings before i have to shove him out the door to catch a bus or argue over what i packed for lunch.

while we were in North Carolina on vacation with my family after my sister's wedding, i took advantage of those mornings. this particular morning, isaac rose before anyone else in the house had gotten up, including my dad who is usually an early riser himself. i claimed my 'wife of the year' award once again and let tim sleep in while i decided what to do to keep isaac occupied after his breakfast bowl was scraped clean.

um, hello. we are at the beach. i'm a big fan of the beach, but i love it mostly early in the morning and in the evenings. it's not as hot, the scenery is at its finest, and the only people out are the ones who respect the quiet time of the beach at that hour. i grabbed a beach towel and a burp rag (a regular accessory of mine at this point) and isaac and i headed to the beach by ourselves. in our pajamas. i can't even remember if i had shoes on.

it was probably my favorite memory of that vacation. i am reminded (by others and my own perspective) that all too soon i will wish i had these days back. the time isaac and i had out on the beach was priceless. i told him about the way the tide comes in and out in the mornings and evening. i showed him a fiddler crab who was brave enough to come out even in our presence. i let him feel the sand. we sat and watched the dogs play in the water down the beach and giggled about how they just plowed through the waves. we felt how warm the water was and stomped on the bubbles that it left on the sand.

i hope isaac realizes how much God was in that moment. out on the beach in the morning. just he and i. to watch him as he just took it all in. the familiar hush of the waves, the new sensations of the sand and waves. the time he and i praised God together, without saying a single thing. even though he didn't show excitement, he was peaceful in enjoying the beach God created for him to play on. what a special morning. i hope you can find peace, hope, and new beginnings in the mornings of your life. this specific morning in the outer banks with my son will be forever etched in my mind as the morning time stood still and i just enjoyed God.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

home again, home again

i promised pictures, and pictures i shall share. since i've last blogged, we've been to the east coast and back. my sister got married, isaac has now experienced the beach and the virginia heat, and we even managed to survive a flight home at 1am. whew. here are a few highlights of what we've been up to.

i wanted to share this last picture so you could see what a goofy little man isaac is becoming. he is starting to pick up on when mommy or daddy (or whoever else within eyeshot) thinks he's being funny. i love it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

hello? are you there?

yes, i know it's been awhile. yes, i know i have probably a dozen posts that begin this way. well, tough. it will have to keep waiting. we've just moved, tim's gone to camp and back, insert small crises when he's away, now we're packing up and leaving at 5am to fly to virginia for my little sister's wedding and a beach trip with the fam. whew. so at least you have good pictures when i get back?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

a few random pictures

isaac's learning how to reach for everything in sight...with his hands and feet. he is a little monkey when he's on the floor and gets so excited when something is close enough to kick the heck out of.

this is my new sugar tin. behind it are the two remaining flour and tea canisters that survived my clumsy hands and didn't shatter all over the floor in a million, precious porcelain pieces. this set was from my bff a few Christmases back and they're from Williams Sonoma. they might be my favorite kitchen items, but only because i don't have a kitchenaid mixer. yet. :)if only the tea canister had been the victim, i might have a somewhat "small, but still makes sense" set of canisters.

these are the socks i tye-dyed for my class for field day. this year, each class had colors and we were decked out on field day in our green & yellow. i took pictures of tim helping me dye them in the sink, but failed to take pictures of the finished product. they were pretty cute, and the girls especially loved wearing them super tall like softball socks. we had one of the mothers make REALLY cute hair ties to match. yes, of course, i wore one.

this is a picture of isaac. just because. :)

homemade oreos

so don't be impressed just yet. this recipe is from Smitten Kitchen(duh) and is really fun to make. mostly because i had a small sense of self-righteousness when i said, "well i made my own homemade oreos" as if anyone ever asked me...but also because i love piping icing onto anything and making tim wander into the kitchen in a hungry, curious stupor.

despite the things i would change about this recipe for next time, we still ate the entire batch in about 3 days. i kept them in the fridge since our house is quite warm without central air and the frosting stayed together the best that way.

a couple things i'm going to change for next time (oh yes, next time):
-tim expected the cookies to be soft or chewy, but much like a "real" Oreo the cookie was crunchy with an icing filling. if it was a soft cookie, it would really be called a whoopie pie. seriously, how fun is that? i have this book waiting in my cart on
-the icing wasn't sweet enough for my taste. remember, i'm someone who craves things so rich & sweet that you MUST have an entire glass of cold milk to wash it down. Deb from SK isn't a huge sweets person, even though she makes plenty of desserts. i think myyyyyy filling will need to ante up on the sugar next time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

honey funnies

this is one of the snacks that i make that doesn't last even twenty four hours in our house. with just tim and i. not even kidding. i made them last night and tonight, i think we may have one left (and i have plans for it in a few). we both love them and they're super easy to make. i got the recipe from my mom, who used to make them a lot for us as kids (probably one of the reasons my sister developed a fatal peanut allergy later in life - only kidding). they're great for kids (after 2 years, of course)because they can be molded and shaped, like an edible playdough. i just roll (or scoop) them into balls and eat a few with a glass of milk.

1 jar creamy peanut butter
1 bear of honey (or agave nectar)*
powdered milk
wheat bran (optional)

mix all ingredients well. the measurements are really just estimates. i usually end up using almost an entire jar of peanut butter, depending on how big of a batch i make. add powdered milk and honey as you need to make a sticky but still pretty doughy consistency. you need mostly peanut butter & powdered milk, then honey & wheat germ are added for taste and to adjust texture. i add the wheat bran for nutritional value. i've seen these made several different ways and i'm sure there's a hundred things you could add like i did the wheat bran. it's just what happened to be staring at me when i opened the cabinet door.

if you want to roll them into balls by hand, go for it. i have a handy dandy cookie dough scoop from Pampered Chef *dreamy sigh* and it goes much faster. store in the refrigerator.

i might have to try them dipped in chocolate....

*note: i only used half agave and half honey. the light agave nectar that i bought isn't sticky enough to bind everything together, so it's really important to have honey. the agave adds sweetness without so much sugar. i haven't heard anyone say they notice a difference in taste yet!