Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Stuff of Childhood

For some, October 31st is a day of rebelling against the evil that surfaces on this particular day of the year by not participating in an ounce of celebration. We understand why some feel this way, but our version of rebelling against evil looks a little different.

Romans 12:21 says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." We interpret this scripture to mean that we should reclaim a day that Satan thinks he owns by overcoming evil with good! After all, this is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it! So we will carve happy pumpkins, dress in fun, non-scary costumes, play games and win candy at church carnivals, laugh, play, love on our neighbor's, and relish in the joys of youth, riddled with imagination and wonder.

Here's a slide show of the past two days for your viewing pleasure. Since some of you have trouble viewing the fancy slide shows I create through, all the pictures are right here in the post this time.

Emma loved pulling out pumpkin goop and squishing seeds between her fingers!

Helping Papa with his pumpkin

Watching Grammy start to carve

Me getting ready to carve my silly-faced pumpkin

The final product. The cross is a little stubby, but you get the idea.

Who's this little ladybug on my porch?!

She's a keeper, be careful not to squash her! Is my Emma Grace not the most beautiful little Cinderella you've ever seen?!
(Mommy's have the right to blatantly gush right!)
Cinderella and the ladybug, getting ready to go to daddy's work for trick-or-treating.

Walking the cubicles at Daddy's work

Cinderella turned into Bugs Bunny! This is a costume we got for free from a friend and we thought it might be a bit warmer for night time trick-or-treating. Emma loved the chance to dress up twice. Here she is, ready to visit a few neighbor friends.

Yes, this is a four-wheelin wagon! Grammy finds the greatest stuff at garage sales!

Getting dark and getting cold!

Last stop, Uncle Tyler's house, where he and Kim made a nice warm fire and popped in Finding Nemo for Emma and Chloe. We'll do the church carnival next year when Chloe will be able to enjoy it too.

Tyler carving his masterpiece.
Plum tuckered!
What a fun and full day! Memories made, messes still abound. Tomorrow I'll be ready for a "normal" day of cleaning up house and playing with the girls. Hope your October 31st was a GOOD one!
In Him,

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Must Be Crazy!

I know, I know, "do I hear CHRISTMAS MUSIC?!" you ask yourselves. The answer, yes. Is it just me, or is one month far to short to enjoy some of the best music ever created!? So for those of you who aren't ready to start your holiday season with me, simply go down to my playlist and press pause. But for the rest of you, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ten things I LOVE about you!

Ever just get overcome with all the things you appreciate about your mate? Well, humor me while I relish in the blessing that is being married to Travis.

1. He works SO hard to provide for our family, which allows me to be home fulltime with our girls. He also works hard around the house. He just finished doing our whole backyard sprinkler system on his own!

2. He is so wise and dilligent in leading us in the management of our money.

3. He gets up with me when the girls are sick and jumps right in to cleaning up the "mess".

4. He lets me sleep in when I really need a few extra z's.

5. He is an amazing, affectionate, humorous, compassionate, and engaged father to our girls.

6. He still persues me with simple acts of romance and selflessness.

7. He shares his heart with me, his struggles and dreams and feelings, on a regular basis.

8. He tells me how wonderful he thinks I am, gives me genuine and specific compliments often.

9. He desires to grow in his spiritual leadership of our family.

10. He LIKES me, he enjoys spending time with me, joking, laughing, flirting, just doing things together that we both like.

There are way more than ten things I love about you babe, but this is just my little way of saying, I'm one lucky girl! Thanks for being just who you are.

Love, Sarah

Friday, October 19, 2007

Meeting Amy

Wow, there just aren't words to tell you how fun today was! Those of you who have made special connections through this thing called blogging will get the picture. Jenn, from Munchkin Land, and I have been long-time friends. We grew up in the same town, even went to the same elementary school for years. But this weekend, we got to meet Amy, from Amy Oh My! , and all I have to say is, Amy, oh my! You are one beautiful lady, inside and out! It was such a pleasure to give you a hug and get to visit with you, laugh with you, and find that we have so much in common. After cramming in conversation in car rides and amidst the chaos that is corralling three families with kids through dinner, I sit here tonight feeling like it just wasn't enough time. Thank you for this day Amy, thank you for being beautiful you. Thank you for climbing out of the computer and coming to visit! We're real life friends now, and I just can't wait to continue getting to know you and encouraging one another on this journey.
Even though this picture was taken at the end of a very full day, the smiles came easily.
This picture is just priceless!

Me and the girls going down the "Bounce!" slide with Amy's Parker.

Fun times were had by all. The kids are sleeping soundly. This is the day the Lord has made, I am rejoicing! I miss you already Amy, we WILL see you again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Raising Awareness Giveaway!

Thanks to 5 Minutes for Mom, we all have the chance to win this beautiful camera, and raise breast cancer awareness in the process.
Click here for more information.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's for Dinner?

Okay ladies, what does this little age-old question evoke in you? Do the creative juices start flowing as you think of all the delicious meals you know how to make to nourish your family with? Or do you cringe with sinking dread as you stressfully rack your brain for last minute ideas, wondering if you have all the ingredients? Or perhaps every night is a blank stare into the fridge and pantry wondering, "what can I make with chicken breasts and a can pinto beans?" This post has been brewing in me now for a couple weeks. I think the answer to the question, "What's for dinner", has a telling and important answer for each of us. I think we can agree that we as women were created to nurture those around us. For centuries and longer, a big part of the way women have nurtured those they love is through the preparation of meals. I know most of us have read Proverbs 31, and perhaps some can't see how it applies to the modern woman. But consider too that we may be called to do things differently, to be different, than our culture's modern woman. Verses 14 and 15 say,

"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls."
Verse 27 goes on to say,
"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."
There are qualities the Lord gives us here that transcend the time in which we live. "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar...". What can we get from that? Another question may clarify. Why would a woman travel a long distance for food when there most likely was food to be had in her own village? My guess, she had something specific in mind, a plan, a menu, and knew where she could get that special or higher quality ingredient. The next verse says, "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls...". What is the virtue here? The woman described here is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to feed her family good food. Perhaps she is waking up early to prepare a healthy breakfast, maybe to make early preparations for the big meal of the day. But whatever the case, she is working hard, doing what it takes to nourish her family well.
Let's face it, we live in a culture of laziness when it comes to matters of the home. With more and more women working outside the home, culture has moved right along with this shift creating all kinds of gadgets and foods to "make things easier". To name a few, the microwave, frozen meals and fast food restaurants. But in making things easier, we have NOT made things better, coming from a nutrition standpoint. Before I say a word more, let me just say that I fully realize the pull and crunch for time the working woman must face. I do not cast judgement on women who work in the payed world; some of my dearest friends juggle work, parenting, homemaking, and marriage and are doing an amazing job! The fact is, the more we put on our plates, the more that vies for our time and attention, the more work and effort and planning it will take to do right by our families in this area. But it CAN be done! It should be done.
Before I begin to sound preachy, let me say that the primary reason this post has been on my mind is because I have failed at feeding my family well on numerous occasions. I have been lazy or ill-prepared, or just plain not in the mood to cook some nights. We've made our runs to Taco Bell, called for pizza, or thrown in those frozen meals, I couldn't go on with this without you knowing that first. In looking at my own shortcomings though, I am learning and growing, and I hope that's what we call all do together:).
Some women were born with aprons on, you know who you are. You LOVE to cook, have always loved to cook. The desire, the ability, the creativity comes naturally to you. Most likely your mothers loved to cook too and were teaching you how to do it from the ripe old age of three. Or perhaps it's a hobby to you. Your job is a little easier in this department than it is for others. But what would you think if I told you that I believe you can learn to like cooking more? More importantly, what would you think if I said that God sometimes asks us to do things we don't like to do? Do we really think it will fly to say, "I hate cooking, that's why I don't do it."? Could we say that about the care of our children in other ways? Can you imagine a woman saying, "I hate changing diapers, so I just don't do it," or "I hate getting splashed by bath water, so I just don't bath my children." Most of you are laughing at this point, but do you get my drift? If we only knew half of the harmful things, and lack of nutrition likewise, that are in most processed, frozen, or fast foods, it would make us ill. There are some amazing books out there on eating healthy, and I hope she doesn't mind but Andrea has some good suggestions (I have them on my reading list). Another book on my list is "You, The Owners Manual". The Christian title would read, "You, the Temple's Manual".
Before I get too long winded, which I fear I may have already, let me share some practical tips that I've found helpful.
1. Create a menu! I try to do one each week and then make my grocery list accordingly. A menu is a list of complete evening meals you will make, including side dishes, for each night. We usually have one left over night and one out to eat night each week, so that's only five meals, not so bad. Our breakfast and lunch meals are generally pretty simple and don't require much menu planning, I just go straight to the shopping list, but some day I hope to get a little more gourmet for these meals. (Note: This may take a little longer if you don't already have a repertoire of meals you know and like, but as your list of meals grows, this won't take so long I promise.)
*Schedule time in to make your menus. If you shop on Monday morning, maybe Sunday night you make your menu and shopping list.
2. Simple can be just as nutritious as gourmet. There are plenty of simple, delicious meals that your family will love and won't have you slaving away all day long. There are many cookbooks and websites filled with these.
3. Don't be afraid to try something new. Even if it's a flop, you will have learned something in the process. Just keep some nutritious soups on hand for back-up, brush yourself off and keep going.
4. This is one I haven't done yet, but am inspired to start doing. Keep a list of meal hits divided into categories, like main courses, side dishes, desserts, etc... This way, you can refer to these lists while planning your menus. I've found that half the battle is remembering all the great things I've made in the past. Travis said the other day, "remember that curry pumpkin soup you made, I really liked that!" I had completely forgotten about the soup. A list like this will help immensely in my menu planning I think.
5. For those of you working moms out there, or those who foresee periods of less time to cook, consider doing some freezer meals. There are many meals that are freezer friendly and can be made ahead of time. You can pull these out to thaw in the morning and then throw them in the oven when you get home from work. Then all you have left is preparing your veggies and other sides and you're done. I've heard of these neat groups of working moms who get together once a month and cook all day long making these freezer meals. Then they divide them all up and they're set.
All this said, I hope we can walk away from here energized and ready to do what it takes, not feeling defeated, but ready to be powered by the Lord to be the kind of wives, mothers, and queens of our domain that we've been called to be. Let's take captive those thoughts that would have us think we can't do this, or that it's really not that important and run to the cross. After all, we can do ALL things through Him who gives us strength. We ARE the proverbs 31 woman, we've been made new in Christ. It's only through Him that we can LIVE and ACT as we ARE. And let's encourage one another along the way. We will never arrive, let's just keep sharing what we're learning along the way. If you have more tips to add, please share!
Love, Sarah

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Our family has been hit with the stomach flu! It all began on Tuesday with Emma, then Chloe that night, then me, then my trooper husband was the last to be hit last night about midnight. Let's just say we've had enough foul bodily excretions to last us a lifetime in my book. But we are on the mend, praise the Lord. While we three girls were down and out, my wonderful man thoroughly cleaned and bleached their bathroom, shampooed the carpets, and cleaned the kitchen floor. The bleaching and laundry is in full swing today, we are determined to kill every last germ! That said, we had a wonderful weekend before this crud, at Harvest Farm, just north of our hometown. Enjoy the pictures below.
Love, Sarah

Monday, October 01, 2007