Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hiatus!


Just wanted to let you know that the blog will be on hiatus for a while.
Check back around 11/11 for an update and tons of awesome news and photos!
:)
Happy November!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Katie Grace!

We have had a very busy past few weeks and I am regretful that I didn't get Katie's birthday post up on her birthday. So..here goes!
Yesterday, we celebrated Katie's 7th birthday!
Katie lost her first tooth on the day after her birthday last year, and has also since then gotten new glasses, and her hair cut off for locks of love. I knew her photo this year would be so different, because she has also lost 6 MORE teeth since then, and has her "big" teeth in front now. WOW, what a change she has had this year! Look at the comparison. Both of these photos were taken ON her birthdays.



(click to view larger!)

We started the day with a visit to North Point Mall...
Katie opening her gift from Mommy, Daddy, and Noah...
an AMERICAN GIRL STORE gift card!



Showing off her purchase:
With the gift card and cash she received from my mom and dad and grandmother, she was able to get:
Ta da! KITT KITTREDGE! (the depression era doll, book, and accessory kit!)



Katie and her loot in front of the store on the way out.
We went into a Sephora store to look for something and Katie told the lady that it was her birthday.
Turns out, it was the store clerks birthday also! She gave Katie a free mini lip gloss!



We had lunch at Pappsito's. It was our first time there. They make FRESH flour tortillas (you can watch them being made) and have delicious fajitas! Mmmmm!

We tried a new dessert, a surprise choice from the waiter who insisted we try it.
It was called Tres Leches, and was WONDERFUL!



Katie and Noah on the porch of the restaurant.



Beautiful seven year old Katie.


Today was another busy day. Downtown Cartersville hosted trick or treating this afternoon.
Noah was BATMAN!



Katie was Belle.


We had such a fun time yesterday and today!
Happy Birthday to my sweet seven year old girl!
I can't believe how smart, beautiful, and grown-up you are becoming!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Word on Fear


Last night's Esther study explored the sentence: "It's Tough Being a Woman in the Tight Fist of Fear." I can't say enough how this study has spoken to me personally every week. Her words are no doubt inspired and anointed. If you have the chance to participate in this in depth look at the book of Esther, please do!

Beth Moore spoke from the passage where Esther goes from being terrified (for those who enter the presence of the King without being summoned the king has but one law, that they be put to death) to a state of being at total peace with what she must do (if I perish, I perish).

The three points she made were:

1. Esther had a choice.
You always have a choice. You must overcome yourself in order to do what God has created you and positioned you to do....
1 Corinthians 2:9: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him."

2. Esther face the fear.
Fill in this blank with your worst fear: If ___________, then _____________. No matter how many different things you think might happen "IF fill in the blank happened..." eventually you will get to the point where God is the only thing left.... so whatever happens, tiny fears, big fears, ...THEN GOD. He will be faithful. Not only to protect you from things that you fear, but to carry you when things you fear actually DO happen.
"DO NOT BE AFRAID" the NUMBER ONE most frequently mentioned command in the Bible.
She had so many awesome points on this one. Facing your fears....being courageous. GREAT stuff! Worth going to the website and paying $4 to watch even if you aren't doing this study! :)
In this part she also addressed the fear of death. I loved this verse she shared and the wording from The Message:
Hebrews 2:14-15 "By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil's hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death."
Such great words. No need to fear death. We really have already been dead once and are now living our eternal lives. Our earthly death is just one small blip on the eternal timeline and it is a very intentional and vital part of our destinies.
Philippians 1:6 "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." It doesn't say "will carry it on to completion when you die."
How many times have people had incredible impact through their death? Impacting so many more and through the words people speak of them after death? Your destiny is not complete until "the day of Christ Jesus" so therefore death is not the "end." Fear not! Not that people should try to bring on death, but it shouldn't be something we live in fear of happening. From the workbook: "Walking in the shadow of death was as perilous as dying." If you live in constant fear of death, the psychological effects can be as if you are dead already.

3. Esther TOOK the courage she was offered.
God can provide all the courage we need...we just have to TAKE it. Take the courage of His presence.
He will be faithful.
1 John 4:18: "Perfect love drives out fear!"

Esther had two choices. One was to approach the king and die unless he spared her. The other choice was to not approach the king and her entire family and family line would die. Either way she was dead. Same thing with us. We can either face our fear and do something with our lives and destinies that will undoubtedly be awesome with God on our side...or we can be too fearful and be dead in life.

From Beth Moore...it is possible to protect and shelter yourself right out of your destiny.
Don't deny your fears. Deny their authority to control your life.

Pumpkin Recipes!

Someone shared these recipes on facebook the other day and I was having trouble finding them again amidst all the "Stuff" on there. So, when I found them again I decided to go ahead and post them on here so I was sure to not lose them. Also... someone else wanted the recipes and was going to get them from here also...
Here are two pumpkin recipes that sound awesome!


Pumpkin Fluff Dip:
(can you believe I found that photo?!?!)
1 16 oz cool whip,
1 5oz pkg of instant vanilla pudding,
1 -15 oz can of solid pack pumpkin,
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
In a large bowl, mix the pudding, the pumpkin, and the spice together. Fold in the Cool Whip. Chill in the frig..until serving.... Serve with Graham
Crackers or wafers.


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies:
(I have actually made these before, but it has been years!)
1 sm can of pumpkin,
2 tsp baking soda,
4 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp salt,... Read More
2 tsp cinnamon,
4 cups of flour,
2 cups of sugar,
2 eggs beaten,
1 tbsp milk,

1 cup of oil,
2 tsp. vanilla,
6 oz of real choco. chips,
1 cup of nuts (chopped optional).

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Drop by the tsp fulls onto un-greased sheet Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully; when bottoms are well browned remove and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

If you make them, let me know what you think!




Friday, October 23, 2009

Laughing at myself!

Tomorrow is Katie's turn to take snack for her Daisy Troop Meeting. Since it is her birthday month we volunteered to do this week so we could share a birthday celebration snack.

I had high hopes! I even picked up some various sized pumpkin cookie cutters for the occasion! Well...... The cookie cutters and I were not friends today. A total mess.
So, I decided to just make balls and create a pumpkin out of the circle cookies.
The dough really is a very nice shade of orange, it just doesn't look like it here.


I was SO very proud of myself when I thought of using candy corns to make a stem for the pumpkin by inserting them into the cookies sideways like so.... I was very excited about what they were going to look like in the end!


As I started decorating the results were not what I had in mind.
The pumpkin lines were looking more like spider legs. So I experimented with faces instead.
The faces did NOT make me very happy. ha ha. You will see...
I gave it time thinking that when I added the "leaves" at the top it would just complete the look and they would be adorable! HAHA HAHA HAHAHAHA!

The pumpkins aren't THAT bad. They really look better on here than they do in person!
I wasn't able to get everything quite as "orange" as I would have liked.
I didn't have orange food coloring and was adding a good bit of red and yellow. I really don't like to use dye at all, so when I got to a color that would pass for orange I decided to let it be.


And here is why I am laughing at myself.
Doesn't the one in the middle look like an orange Pillsbury doughboy with a party hat?
HA HA HA HA!
I guess great cookie decorating only came around once in a lifetime for me!
Check out those fuzzy green eyebrows!
Oh well...
they taste good!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Party!

We celebrated Katie's 7th Birthday this weekend!
Her actual birthday isn't until the 28th, but being so close to Halloween it becomes tricky to plan things with friends. So, we celebrated early with a Pumpkin Patch party! (the one I have been working for this month)
Here is the party crew....


And a silly shot of the party crew:


First, we sang Happy Birthday to the birthday girl.


Here is an up close shot of the Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes.
The big ones are chocolate with buttercream cheese frosting. The little ones are pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Of course, they are all topped off with a candy pumpkin (like candy corns).
The scarecrow is propped on a sign that says "Happy 7th Birthday Katie."
I drew green pumpkin vines on the white parchment paper, but it doesn't show up well on here. In the top left corner you can see the caramel/chocolate apples that were party favors.


It was VERY windy out! Here they all are enjoying a cupcake and juice.



Then a QUICK go at gifts. It was so windy and cool,
we wanted to get on to the activity area!




First, face painting...



Then, the petting zoo!


Stick horse racing!


And the hay maze!


Some "bull roping" fun...



And last, the hay ride.
On the way through the line to get on the hay ride, Katie got a splinter off the fence.
It was a BIG one! And went DEEP into her finger.
After several minutes of crying and wailing, we were fortunate to have one of the dad's help us get it out with tweezers. He is a police officer (used to be EMT) and was wearing his official jacket which I think helped Katie stop crying and let him work on it! ha ha!
SO, after holding up a few other people who were waiting for us to start the hayride, we finally got going, but not after Katie had cried off half of her face painted balloon.

It ended up as a fun hay ride after all!


It was a very fun day for everyone, in spite of the cold weather and wind!
I can't believe she is turning 7 years old this month!!!!!!
Happy Birthday Party Katie!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Blustery Day!


Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That's how I am feeling right about now!

I worked OUTSIDE today...8 hours, in the VERY suddenly cold weather!

The photo shows how I felt! It might not have been so bad if the wind had not been so blustery! My fingers and nose were like ice cubes all day.

I really did dress for the weather! I was sitting in a ticket booth at The Pumpkin Patch. I wore two pairs of socks, a thermal shirt under my t-shirt, under my heavy corduroy coat. I had gloves also... but they were more like hand covers because the fingers are out of the gloves. I wore that kind because I had to take money and count out tickets all day which would have been very difficult with my fingers actually in gloves.

But, apparently I actually need even more layers to be out in the cold ALL day. I can't even remember the last time I was in that cold of weather for such an extended period of time.

Hopefully I will be better prepared if it is that cold again next Saturday.
I have had a very difficult time getting warmed back up. A hot bath, a hot bowl of potato soup, and flannel pjs later, I am finally starting to thaw. If only Corey hadn't just opened the front door right beside me and let another gust of cold air innnnnnnnnn....

Double Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My First Pumpkin!

I have never carved a pumpkin myself before tonight!!!! Isn't he cute?


The kids also had two small pumpkins that they worked on painting while I cleaned, scraped, and carved the big one. We all drew a picture of our pumpkins, weighed them, measured how tall and how big around they were... then we got busy decorating! (they are still working on their painted pumpkins..you have to work in layers you know! ha!)

I took ideas from Katie and Noah about how to design the eyes, nose, etc.
Noah is going to be a great pumpkin carver one day I know, because he was advising me how to make sure the triangles in the eyes and the teeth "stayed in" while I carved.
And he was right!


Katie, for some reason, really enjoyed picking out the pumpkin seeds. She is actually still working on separating all the seeds from the rest of the insides. To each their own, right?
She hasn't complained once! ha ha!

Monday, October 12, 2009

59 Days! School Progress Thus Far....

Katie drawing in her journal.

Our school year is going very well! We logged our 59th day of school today! With a 180 day school year, that means we have 121 days of school to go for the year! WOW!

Katie is doing well in all her work. Our big struggle this year has been with conquering frustration. The need to get it perfect the first time. It seems so "not" like her personality with everything else in her life, but with school work it is the case. She is getting much better though. Working on addition and subtraction, and many more things in Math... like measuring, halves, time, place value, etc. Reading is, of course, a breeze. We are about to hit just the right level I think to go along with her comprehension level. The practice of reading books with lots of words on the page and less pictures... remembering facts about what she just read. The actual reading part isn't difficult, but again, I want to be sure she is getting the idea of reading to remember and not just to read. The spelling words aren't that difficult for her, but I want to be sure she gets the spelling rules down solidly. No reason to rush. Language, etc., going great. No complaints.



Journal time for Noah

Noah is doing very well also. I am finding that a lot of the Abeka Math and Reading in Kindergarten and First is similar. Not exactly the same, but whereas she is mastering and applying at a more complex level, he is being introduced to some of the same concepts in a much more simple way. So, I have been doing their lessons in Math together. He may not "get" every single thing, but he is really impressing me so far. AH the advantages of having two so close together in age! He has learned his short and long vowel sounds and has just started working on special sounds (like y in fly, ay in pray, etc). It seems that once the concept of the long and short vowel thing sets in, the growth is exponential for a while! I think I almost postponed the teaching of long and short vowels because I knew that he would seem to grow a year in a day at that point! :( ha ha. So proud of him!

I have finally found a balance of how to get everything done and done well in our school day. I think! ha. I was stressed with being able to teach the lessons completely and get all the paperwork done each day. So, we have started doing the lesson parts together in the morning, then bringing the paper part upstairs to do in the afternoon or evenings. If we have a day that we aren't free in the afternoons then we can review and just do the paper part for that day. This seems to be working very nicely. Abeka works so much review and "reiteration" into their lessons that alternating out between these two plans works fine.

Overall, this school year has been fantastic!

Oh, and another note about 59...today marks 59 days until our Disney trip! Yay!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cops and Robbers


(read down for update)

I was robbed!

And I didn't even notice for MANY hours! I didn't even put it together until my neighbors told me about a string of car robberies in the neighborhood. Apparently two of our nearby neighbors' cars were broken into at some point last night. One of them is an interior designer and a notary...they took all her notary supplies and her digital camera, and many other of her work tools/supplies. Another man had some very nice and expensive tools taken out of his truck. They told me I should be careful and be sure to lock my doors....

Then...I started remembering things.....

Like the fact that today when we all went out to get in the car and I opened the passenger side door to put my bags in the seat... my glove box was hanging open.

At the time I didn't think anything of it. Two kids running out and getting in the car... things get left open.

Then... today I went to meet my mom for lunch and I opened the console between the front two seats to put something in and...it was CLEAN! I thought...WOW, Corey must have cleaned this out sometime.

Putting those pieces of the puzzle together in my mind was creating a very heavy pit in my stomach. I turned around where I was walking away from my neighbor that I had just talked to and said, "Wait, I think my car might have been broken into also!"

I didn't remember having seen the phone that I had put in there the other night after switching phones at the AT&T dealer. I had lost my phone a month or so ago, borrowed one of the little cheap "GO" type phones from my mom and actually ended up finding my old one again, so I went to get them switched back , got back in the car, and put the disconnected "go" phone in that console. And...my phone car charger was usually in there.... and my IPOD connector for the car....

I put away my cold groceries while I called Corey. He reminded me that he always told me to lock my car and I told him he should check his car also. He said he had not cleaned out the console.

I went back out, double checked, and yeah... all my stuff was gone. The glove box had who knows what missing out of it, I couldn't really tell anything. Just papers probably. All our official documents were still in the upper compartment where we keep them.

The total was probably just around $70 worth of stuff. But it is the very idea that bothers me. That someone was in our driveway last night...while we were just inside sleeping. They opened my car door and just grabbed stuff.

Corey's car was fine. His door had been locked. It is a good thing because he had some VERY valuable things in his car. The police told me that they think it is just some bored teens. All of the cars that were robbed were unlocked.

I am so very thankful that we didn't have more valuable things in there. The kids carseats were still in there (which would have just been annoying to have to replace) and a pair of Katie's brand new tennis shoes. That may not seem like a big deal, but we only "really" buy shoes twice a year and we go to Stride Rite, so those would have been the most valuable things they could have stolen! ha ha!

When I called the police to add our report to the list, Katie and Noah were fascinated. Katie got all "pretend" worried and asked if the police was going to arrest me. ha ha. She tried to follow him around the car while he was writing down info until I stopped her and she pointed out to Noah the policeman's "real gun!"

It was quite an experience for them to have the police came to our house. I guess Noah forgot about that time he dialed 911 when he was less than two years old!


My biggest concern was confirming with the officer that the info he collected about my "stats" (ie, weight) wasn't going to be printed in the newspaper report!!!!!


UPDATE: I was re-reading my post just now and as I read the part about the glove box being open I suddenly pictured what was in there every time I open it.... and I remembered! There was a jewelry store box that held a sapphire and diamond cross that Corey gave me when we were dating almost 10 years ago.
Back in January I went to one of those "gold selling parties" at someone's house, where you can take old, broken, unwanted jewelry and sell for cash. Well...I took this because I sold the chain. The chain was the one that had come with it at the jewelry store and had never been much of anything but a tangled mess. So, I took the chain and sold it for cash and when I left the party I put the jewelry box in the glove box to be in a safe place. Needless to say, it has been there ever since because I kept forgetting OVER AND OVER to bring it in at home. I would always notice it when I was out somewhere and thus couldn't take it in for fear of it not being safe. UGH!
I could cry now. I wasn't really that attached to the electronic things that were taken, they weren't really that expensive... but this is a priceless thing that was taken from me. I am sooooooo sad. :(

Monday, October 5, 2009

God KNOWS You Are A Girl!

I don't want to ruin this study for anyone who might participate in it later, but I do want to share two awesome quotes from tonight's session. They are incredible and if you have ever sat in on a session with Beth Moore you know that she elaborated beautifully and "anointedly" on both of them... Just think on them:

"God knows you are a girl (and all that comes with it)"
He did it on purpose! And has a plan for it!

"You cannot amputate your history from your DESTINY."

So good!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Update

I've worked two days on my job at the Pumpkin Patch Farm in Adairsville. It has been great! The first day, I helped with school groups by leading them in a ring toss game. I was there almost 4 hours. Yesterday I worked all day, from 10am-5pm. I basically sat in a ticket booth all day and sold tickets. It was quiet, but intermittently busy. The one bad thing is that they don't have cash registers so I have to use a chart that they have to see how much it costs for however many people they are paying for, then calculate the change myself from what they give me! AGH! I have never learned how to count back change and it made me feel like a 2nd grader!!! I did have a calculator to use, so I used it when I needed to and then counted back the change. Oh, and what makes it a bit more difficult, is that they don't have pennies in their cash drawers, so we round everything to the nearest nickel in the customer's favor.
I am afraid I rounded it incorrectly a couple of times, which made me really nervous!
Why have I never learned how to do that? Really, I have never felt so dumb! Maybe by the end of the month I will have it down! Oh, and maybe our kids will get to go up there and we will get a new photo... this is Katie and Kaitlyn from last year.


My job for today:



Sanitizing and cleaning everything! I love Clorox greenworks! We switched to all natural cleaners a couple of years ago, which has done WONDERS for the allergies of everyone in the house! When Clorox came out with their own line about a year ago or so, it was a lot cheaper than the other organic/natural brand, so we gave it a try. I'm telling you, I can tell a big difference when I use a "regular" cleaner, even if it is to just wipe down a mirror..Katie will start coughing as soon as she goes in the bathroom afterward if I just used it.

Noah was sick earlier in the week, (getting worse after our big day outdoors of course) and then Katie started Friday. They both seem to be on the mend, just have a lingering cough, so I am keeping them home from church for one more day of rest to be sure they are over it. Noah has his last soccer game Tuesday (we skipped yesterday's game) and I didn't want him to not be able to go to the last one. I will be cleaning and sanitizing all day today. The toothbrushes have already been boiled and today will be sheets, couches, blankets, etc.

I may get called in to the Pumpkin Patch if they need help as well. It is SO convenient to work there! It is about 5 miles from our house and they gave me a t-shirt to wear, so if they call I just have to throw on my shirt and head out!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Share

I have two blogs I want to share today.

The first one is a posting from the Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore) blog.
Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick shares her day in a "coffee shop hop"
and some really sweet things she saw throughout her day.
If you have lost confidence in people in general, it is a great read!
(click on the photos for the links)


The second one is from Stuff Christians Like.
It is a humor blog, all in good fun, a giant list of ...well..the name... such as this entry from yesterday...."Raising Dorks."
If you have kids, please read! It will encourage you!