Friday, December 03, 2010

Our newest news

So, this was a surprise.  Absolutely unexpected.  Absolutely "unplanned".  Guess the Lord knows best, because my thoughts were more along the line that I wasn't up to or ready for being pregnant again ANY time soon.  I'm praying His grace will be sufficient as He has promised! 

Am I happy?  YES!!  

Am I petrified?  YES to that too!!

Honestly, this past year has been exhausting and SUCH a struggle for me and my sweet husband. We had been saying that we wanted and needed a bit of a break, some time to just BE, before considering a new member of our family.  I have struggled tremendously this past year with extreme postpartum-like symptoms.  It got to the point that I began to wonder if I was going to need medical help to get past what I was feeling and experiencing.  Thankfully, the Lord showed me that that the cause was something relatively simple and could be addressed in a more natural way, but I only began in July to treat the problems and am still struggling with lingering symptoms.

If I am being completely honest, even after a good result from blood tests that showed proper levels of hormones, I'm fearful of losing this baby because of all the problems I've had this past year and because I know how important hormone levels are to a successful pregnancy. 

So, I'm once again on a roller-coaster ride of emotions!  Pray that I will be able to TRUST and REST as this pregnancy progresses.  I know in my head that the Lord is good, that He does all things well.  I want to hold to this in my heart as well!!  From now to July when this itty bitty is expected to be born, I desire to keep some equilibrium and NOT stay on the roller-coaster of feelings I'm having right now!

Oh, and on a lighter note, I'm really hoping and praying for a baby GIRL!!!  We want some PINK around here!!!!!!!!  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Selah - Unredeemed

My Story

I have bad days. I have good days.  I have days I think will never end.  I have days when I think life couldn't get any sweeter.  Isn't it like that for everyone?

After my previous post, I thought I would share a bit more about my journey in Christianity, in learning that it's ok to trust God and it's ok to hurt.  It is life in a sinful world that makes Christ so necessary!

Since the day our daughter died in the spring of 2003, my beliefs have been sorely tested.  I had only been a Christian for about a year when the Lord saw fit to take her home to be with Him. 

Before the Lord saved me, I struggled regularly with depression, and at times, thoughts of suicide even crossed my mind.  I knew I could never act on it, but still, to even think it.... 

After losing Abigail, those thoughts (not the suicidal thoughts, just the depression and cast-down-all-the-time feelings) that I had hoped were gone for good came back with a vengeance.  I doubted my salvation; I doubted God; I doubted my husband and our relationship; I doubted.  I couldn't reconcile in my mind the truth that God loved me and wanted the best for me with the fact that He just took my child out of my womb, and I would never hear her voice or touch her warm skin or watch her grow and change.  I would never have my daughter back. 

I stopped reading the Word regularly.  Going to church was something done because I knew I needed to, not because I necessarily wanted to be there.  I drifted father and farther from my only source of Comfort, and instead, tried to find the healing my heart and soul needed so desperately in other places. Keeping busy, going to school, putting on a brave face for everyone, spouting the words I knew I was expected to say, though my heart didn't really believe it in those moments-these and so much more never brought any comfort, only more and more emptiness.

Many other things encompassed the struggles I had during that time, but ultimately, the Lord in His mercy continued to lead me and guide me in the midst of all the darkness and pain I was experiencing.  Three short months after losing Abigail, I discovered I was pregnant with Ryan, and I started a journey to healing and forgiveness.  It was still a while before I felt the assurance of God's love and protection again, but the Lord used my pregnancy to slowly draw me back to Himself and to the place where I was trusting again, rather than questioning.  I began to see the light at the end of the intense grief and pain.  I began to believe that maybe going on was ok and that moving on didn't mean leaving behind my baby girl, but just that all those memories and feelings got tucked inside to a place where I would always remember, but not hurt so badly anymore.  It wasn't a quick process, this healing and restoration, but instead it was slowly, slowly, over time.  I began to really hear when I was at church.  The messages began to mean something and the hunger for God began to grow in my heart again.  I began to take up the Scriptures and find some comfort, instead of seeing only questions or meaningless words.  God's Spirit wooed my broken heart and I learned again to love.

It's always a journey, isn't it?  Every day, every moment leads to the next, even if we think we can't go on.  The Lord is in those moments.  He does really know where we are and what we're feeling and how He's going to lead us gently to the other side of the darkness.

God's love is an amazing thing.  When I really believe and cling to the knowledge that He loves His own, me, with an everlasting love,  I find myself in a place of such rest and peace!  I haven't found the answer to every question.  I still have thoughts of doubt and pain at times when I think about Abigail, but the Lord is ever faithful to remind me of all with which He has blessed me. He is enough

I miss my daughter every day, and I still have times I have to let it all go again to God's loving hands, but God is teaching me more and more to just rest, to just trust, to just live in this moment and believe that He is all He has said and will do all He has promised.

Though I feel that losing Abigail was one of the most defining moments of my life, so much has happened in the last seven years that all come together to bring me to where I am at today.  I hope to share more later.  Until then, I'll leave you with these verses.

Isa. 43:1-3
But now, thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fires, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.

Isa. 25:4,8,9
Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Being Honest

How deceiving the computer screen can be!!! 

Too often we read blogs, updates on Facebook or emails and make assumptions about the person on the other side. They have it all together. They know how to do it all. They have the perfect relationship with their husband, children, family. They have achieved a "higher level" of spirituality and never fall or fail or struggle with sin. We forget that that post or note is just a snap shot of a moment in time, never an accurate picture of reality.  No one shares everything, and too often we only share the best side of ourselves with the cyber world.  Sadly, this is too often true in our real life relationships as well.

I want to try to be more true to my life.  It could get messy. It could be ugly.  It's going to take some humility on my part, but ultimately, it could be more glorifying to God because it will be a picture of me, a sinner who fails miserably, but is washed continually in the blood of Christ and restored again and again to the place of rest found only in a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are Christians perfect? Often they are "expected" to be, but the absolute truth is that we are only human. Therefore, by definition, we are prone to falter and fail and sin.  In fact, until one comes to the understanding of no ability in themselves to become better or change, they cannot become a Christian.  Psalm 116:6- The LORD preserveth the simple(someone unable to help themselves in any way): I was brought low and he helped me.  Only in humility will anyone find the saving hand of Jesus, for He saves the poor, the needy, those who recognize the true hopelessness of being born a sinner into a sinful world with no inward ability to restore that relationship with the Creator God.

The last few years have brought so much pain, so many questions, so much doubt and too much anger into my heart and mind.  I have doubted the love of God. I have screamed (yes, literally, not being dramatic here!) at Him to make me understand the "Why????" of all that was falling apart around me and within me.  Why such seemingly continuous loss?  Why such pain?  Why such doubt and struggle? Why so many betrayals? Why so much SIN and FAILURE in my life????

Does that shock you?  I think it shocks me to write it.  I've always been good at putting on a face when I walk out my door, but the truth is that failure has been my constant companion, falling has been my norm. 

I wonder why in the world the Almighty God continues to show me His love and continues to give me moments of light and hope, even in the face of defiant disobedience.  The truth? Only because He has promised to love me.  He chose me. He knew I would face this season of struggles, of rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall.  A roller coaster ride wouldn't have as many ups and downs as my emotions have had these past months!  He knew I would betray Him.  He knew that I would turn to Him for forgiveness, only to fall again in the next moment!  He knew before time began that I would be me, and that I would have these weaknesses, that I would give into the pull of certain sins.  But you know what??  That is the amazing love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ!!!  He loved us when we were yet sinners-SINNERS!!  Depraved, wholly unlovable, completely without anything to cause any to love us.  Yet He did.  He does.  Even when I give in to the sin, He is there to draw me back through His love and mercy.

Have I reached a place of completely overcoming? NO!!  In fact, I fear tomorrow will hold many more failures, but I'm beginning to slowly grasp again the simplicity of the truth that the Spirit of God spoke to my heart the night Jesus saved me.  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." I John 1:9.  It really is that simple. But it's not easy.  It can only be worked in my heart by God's miraculous power, but that is why it is possible!  It's only in Christ, His love, His sacrifice, His workings within us that we are kept and sustained in a life of following Jesus and seeking His will for each day, each decision, each moment.  It's not about doing, but about being totally dependent on Christ alone for every need, for every strength, for everything.  There's nothing that I do or don't do as a Christian, as a wife or as a mother that keeps me in His love and on the right path.  Only Jesus' power is capable of that.  Nothing I commit to in my daily life is going to make me better or keep me from falling.  I can only seek to stay focused on Christ's work for me and in me.  The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for the sinner and the saint. I need to remind myself again and again of these truths and rest in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and simply trust that He has the power to keep my soul from death.

Psalm 116 :1-13 
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our LORD is merciful.
The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
I said in my haste, All men are liars.
What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Maybe I'll be able to share more of what's been going on behind the computer screen in my life, but now isn't the time.  I hope these verses that the Lord has been using in my heart and mind to calm my struggles and answer my uncertainties will help someone else tonight.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hoping to support a GREAT cause that is close to my heart!

Hi all,

Many of you know that I sell Avon.

What you may not know is that Avon is involved in supporting breast cancer awareness. Since this disease has hit so close to home for our family, I thought I'd let each of you know that you can go to my website, click "shopnow" then "fundraising" and you can help support this worthy cause by purchasing one of the great Breast Cancer Crusade items. I hope you will. There are some really cute items like a tennis bracelet and a super cute pendant necklace or one of my favorites, Foot Works Overnight Renewing Foot Cream. The prices are low--great for gift giving!

By the way, I don't earn anything from these sales. 100% of the net profits go to Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade.

I hope y'all will take a minute to look around! Oh, and please share this with anyone who might be interested!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Today is "Get a Referral" day--Do you want to be my friend???

It's the day to make a new friend!!

Click on the sign up tab below and get ready to start using the internet to get free stuff. Just use Swagbucks as you would any other search engine or toolbar and you'll earn Swagbucks which can be turned into my favorite--AMAZON GIFT CARDS.  Also, until 4:00 PDT today, check out the "swag codes" button on my widget (below) to find a code worth 20 swagbucks to get you started! It's fun, it's free, it get you FREE stuff, so why not???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Resources For Busy, Busy Moms!

I came across a great resource today over at MSM and had to share!!

Motivated Moms is a website that offers daily chore list that inexpensive and look easy to use. They come in different page sizes, so you can easily add them to a planner or post them on your refrigerator, like I plan to do. There are even options with daily Bible reading to help you read through the Bible in one year.

For a limited time, Motivated Moms is offering a 2010 3-month planner for only $2!! AND if you use the code LLNOE, you will get $1 off your order.

Anyway, I thought some of you very busy moms out there may find this helpful. Personally, I can't wait to print mine out and get started!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The start of our homeschooling adventures

My baby boy turned six this summer!  I cannot believe he's already ready for first grade, but alas, the time has come!

We struggled over whether to enroll him in the local public school or to homeschool him.  In the end, though, we came down on the side of homeschooling.  We had many reasons, but primarily, the level of education he would receive at home versus in the public school setting, and above that, the desire to protect him as long we possibly can from the negative influences found even in our small-town, rural school were the final decision makers.

So began my search to find the "perfect" curriculum.  To my dismay, there are WAY too many choices available to the modern homeschooler!!!  So many choices only served to confuse me and the next "neat" thing that I came across in my search of the internet ended up a distraction rather than a help.  I finally saw that to be able to really make a final decision, I was going to have to decide what was most important to our family, what I thought would work for both Ryan as the student and me as the teacher, and of course, what it would COST.

Along the way, I found a few options that jumped out at me and a few websites that were particularly helpful.  You can check out my sidebar over the next few weeks as I start to add them to my favorite homeschooling sites.

My Father's World is still at the top of my list as a possibility for the future, thought I opted against it this year mostly for budgeting reasons. The whole idea of a unit study is to include all your children, regardless of grade level, in one subject saving your time and promoting family togetherness. MFW is a a great option for history and geography from a biblical standpoint.  It also is a great Bible curriculum.

MathUSee was recommended to me by two friends who have homeschooled their multiple children from the beginning and have seen great results using this curriculum.  Since I have been involved in both teaching and tutoring math in the past, I was leery of choosing mathematics that I am not familiar with, i.e. Saxon Math.  However, after taking an hour and a half to listen to the video introductions, I was highly impressed with the teaching techniques and the concepts presented by MUS.  I'm hoping to be able to use this in the coming years with our boys.

Confessions of a Homeschooler is a blog particularly for parents of preschoolers, but full of great ideas for any homeschooler.  She offers many FREE resources that are easily downloaded right to your computer, as well as link to other free or inexpensive ideas for curriculum and fun activities. Definitely check it out if you are just beginning to get a feel for what is out there!

Robinson Curriculum is another, very different, approach to schooling your children at home.  My husband and I were both impressed with the concept.  When you break homeschooling down to the basics, you get reading, writing, and arithmetic.  That is what RC is all about.  You purchase their set of cd's for a very reasonable cost, and you have all that you need to teach reading and writing to any child from 1-12 grade.  A math curriculum has to be supplemented, as well as the beginning learning to read and write.  They have every book you need for your child to receive an intense, balanced, Christian education. It's simply time spent writing, time spent reading, time spent learning math.  Ideally, your child should be able to work alone most of the time with limited input by you as a teacher.  They learn to learn on their own!

After a couple months of perusing the internet, looking at catalogs, asking lots of questions of my very patient parents and Aunt Michelle (a successful homeschooling mom of 5!) I finally settled with some very basic curriculum that I was already familiar with.  Since I was taught using Abeka, I opted to go with that for our first year, as well as purchasing the Robinson Curriculum to use, or at least supplement, down the road.

At first, I shied away from Abeka simply because it is very intensive, but now that we have been using it a while, I'm finding that the detailed lesson plans actually help me stay focused and know what to DO as a first time homeschooler.  After a couple days of trying to wing it without teacher manuals, I told my mom I had no idea what to actually DO to teach Ryan.  HOW was I supposed to do this thing called homeschooling???  Abeka's teacher manual for homeschoolers has really helped me!! By the way, Ebay is a great place to find Abeka non-consumables at inexpensive prices.

Ryan and I both have been on a roller coaster ride since this school year started, but I think we're finally finding our groove and getting settled in.  He had his first math test last week and aced it!  He was so was actually kinda cute!  Now, he looks forward to Wednesdays because he gets to take another test. :-)

I am finding that above all, homeschooling takes lots of PATIENCE and GRACE and a CONVICTION to see it through.  There are days that I think it would be so much easier to just drive down the road, enroll him in public school, and let someone else take care of teaching him, but that would be the lazy way out.  The good days are beginning to outnumber the bad, and I'm starting to enjoy teaching him more and more.  Seeing him learn to read and have a hunger for learning is awesome!  I hope that my impatient days don't rob him of that joy of learning, but I know that ultimately, my son's future is the Lord's hands--hands much more capable than mine ever could be!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Keeping the faith

Hymns for Kids 
Recently, my friend Jessica, gave me a copy of Hymns for Kids. We have so been enjoying it!  Ryan is constantly asking to sing hymns now and recognizing songs during church services, while Brandon is watching his brother and beginning to try to sing these songs of faith.  For me, it's so calming to have hymns playing throughout the day, especially on those days (seemingly more often, than not!) when things get hectic and chaotic all around me.  
Leaning On the Everlasting Arms
Amazing Grace
Holy, Holy, Holy
Come Thou Fount 
--The words to these, and others, are timely reminders to keep my heart and mind focused on Christ when in the middle of such "mundane" things as home schooling, washing dishes, changing diapers or cleaning up regularly occurring messes. I've learned, often the hard way, that when my eyes are not of the Lord as my All in All, as the only Giver of Grace, that I can only fall and stumble and fail my husband and my children.  My prayer today is that God would give me patience in this task of motherhood and grant me the grace to keep my faith pure before my family.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


I spent an evening last week playing with my camera. It's a talent that I'd love to learn, photography, but I'm not sure when I'll ever have the time to take a class! :-) Anyway, until then, I continue to snap pictures, hoping a few come out nice enough to keep around awhile.

My dear friend, Vivian, who passed away two months ago, would always encourage me to keep trying and keep looking through that lens. I thought about her a lot while I was out there with my roses, trying to capture the beauty in God's creation.

Here are a few of my favorites.

I love how each one is totally unique. Even on the same bush, you won't find two blooms exactly alike. God's handiwork it wonderful!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My sweet boy is getting so big!!

Posted by Picasa


As you can see, my blog is "under construction" and I'm planning a few changes. I really want to get back to posting more often, but I need to get my "thots" in better order and decide on a more themed approach. I'll be around now and then, so don't give up on me, my few and faithful bloggy friends!!


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Super Deal on Diapers!!!!

For those of you who wanted more details from my post on Facebook, here you go!! is having a promotion right now for their Subscribe and Save program which automatically gives you 15% off certain products and free shipping. They are offering an extra 15% off select diaper and wipe products for a limited time. That is a total of 30% off!!! This program allows you to lock in the current price(15% off) and have your order shipped to you on a set schedule. You can cancel your subscription at any point.

I combined this with a coupon for 20% off any Amazon diaper purchase from the current Parents Magazine. (It was also in last months' issue, so you may be able to find more than one of these coupons to score two boxes of diapers!!!)

My total came to $12.54. I used two $5 Amazon gift cards I won through using Swagbucks and brought my total to $2.54 out of pocket.

Item(s) Subtotal: $25.08
Shipping & Handling: $0.00
Promotion Applied: -$7.52
Promotion Applied: -$5.02
Total Before Tax: $12.54
Sales Tax: $0.00
Gift Certificate/Card Amount: $10.00
Total for This Shipment: $2.54

BUT, I also use Ebates on a semi-regular basis! They just sent my my quarterly earnings, and I am transferring that to my bank account to cover the $2.54. That way, I essentially just bought a 76-ct box of Huggies diapers for FREE!!!!!

Here's a bit of info on Swagbucks and Ebates for those of you who may not know about these websites.

Swagbucks is a search engine that gives you points, or Swagbucks, for simply using their search bar. There are other ways you can earn these points, like taking surveys or getting referrals. Once you reach 450 Swagbucks, you can purchase a $5 Amazon e-gift card from the Swag Store. This is what I always buy with my SB's, but they a large variety of other items to choose from.

Ebates is a site that pays you a percentage of your purchase when you shop through their site. For example, I regularly buy from JcPenney online. Instead of going directly to JcPenney's website I go first to Ebates and click through to JcPenney. I then get a small percentage cash back from my purchase. Obviously, it's not a huge amount, but for me, every penny saved is a penny earned, and therefore, worth the few extra seconds it takes to me to go to Ebates first!!

Between this Amazon deal, the great deal CVS had last week, and scoring super cheap wipes at Walgreens yesterday, I am stocked to the ceiling (literally!!!) with diapers and wipes for my little guy. It's been neat to see how the Lord has provided for us by allowing to me to learn to bargain shop and use LOTS of coupons. He must get all the praise for being our Great Sustainer!!

For those of you who are just beginning, or wanting to begin to learn more about how to save on your grocery bill and never have to pay full price ever again for things like diapers, shampoo, toothpaste, even laundry soap, take a few minutes and check out my favorite frugal website, Money Saving Mom or find her on Facebook. She offers itemized lists each week for your local stores that includes what coupons you will need and where to find them, as well as a myriad of other posts on everything from homeschooling to starting your own business and everything in between!! I highly recommend that you sign up to receive her emails or RSS feed. It'll save you money and be worth every minute you invest to read her posts!!!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Jesus, I am Resting

Our dear sweet sister in the Lord, Vivian Risse, passed into His presence during the night. How our hearts break for her family, but are at the same time filled with joy in the knowledge that she is resting in the arms of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I miss you already, my friend!!
She always loved the lyrics to this hymn and said many times she wanted it used at her funeral.

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting

Jesus I am resting, resting

In the Joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power
Thou hast made me whole.


Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

O how great Thy loving kindness.
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvellous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings;
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting;
Fill me with Thy grace.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Search and WIN BIG!!!!

Do you search the internet??? Why not get rewarded for what you're doing anyways???

Search as you normally would, and win points from Swag Bucks to buy special prices, including my favorite, a $5 Amazon gift card. I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly, especially when you get others to join and start earning from referrals! Head over to Swag Bucks and sign up.

Right now is the best time to get started because this week Swag Bucks
they will be highlighting a different high value Swag Buck bill, starting today with the 25. Every 7th searching win on Swag Bucks will be awarded that big bill, meaning that more people will have big wins next week!
Don't wait!!! Go now!!!

Plus, if you sign up with Swag Bucks today, be sure to add SUMMEROFSWAG (case sensitive!!!) in the “Enter Your Swagcode” box on your homepage, and you’ll get 20 additional points added to your account!

join me in the fun of WINNING!!!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Fun giveaway from my friend Nichole!!!

TidbitsParenting is hosting a giveaway for one of these super cute, handmade balls for little ones made by Nichole Jordan at Handmade by Cole

Just follow the links and check out this cool toy for your little one!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I sell AVON!!!

Check out my website if you'd like. I like the laid back atmosphere of being able to sale at my own pace. Of course, I hope that this will turn into a true business to help my family, but for now, I'm learning about the company and the products and enjoying getting started. Help me out with some orders!!


Note: I don't know what happened, but the links are fixed now!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Still here...

Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since I've been able to post something on my blog. I miss it, but I have been so incredibly busy that to have been blogging all this time would have taken away from much more important and necessary tasks.

We are moved into our new home and still trying to settle in, even though it's been nearly five months now. It's so great to have our own place though! With so much space! I'm still working to decorate and learning to use all this space for something other than clutter!

My boys are doing well. Motherhood has definitely thrown me for some loops the last six months, but the Lord is helping to make it through each day by His grace and with lots and lots of help from my dear husband.

Ryan, who is five now, is starting to do some homeschooling. He loves learning new things, especially about math and reading. He's doing really well with spelling words and sounding out enough to read a bit. It's fun to watch him catch on to all these new things and move into this new world of SCHOOL!

Brandon is two and busy being all boy! He loves tools and anything to do with helping his Grandpa. Curious George is his favorite cartoon and shooting "bad guys" or wrestling with Daddy and Ryan are his favorite pastimes. We're working on potty training--NOT my strong suit--hopefully, we'll be past this milestone very SOON! He is still small enough that he enjoys cuddling with me. I'll be sad to see him outgrow that!

Matthew is six months old, nearly seven actually. He's very mobile! Keeping up with my floors is becoming a priority I need to be better at accomplishing since he is cleaning my floors with his tummy every day! He hasn't quite mastered actual crawling, but he does a mean army crawl! Oh, and he cut his first tooth this past week. It past with seemingly no ordeal. I didn't even realize it was coming in until I felt it when I was feeding him. He has started on lots of solids and seems to be handling it really well as long as there isn't any milk products in his diet or mine. He's still not the best sleeper, but I usually get at least six hours of rest, so I'm pretty thankful for that after months of only two or three hours for one part of the night!!

Our family is settling in after over a year of major upsets and changes. I've been through some serious emotional, mental and spiritual struggles, but I feel like there's light at the end of this tunnel. The Lord has remained faithful though I have failed in so many ways, so many times. It's been hard to be without a church family, but just this past week, I joined Calvary Baptist Church, a new work just beginning in the small town where we live now. I'm thankful that the Lord is moving us forward, and in time, I am confident that God will work in and through us to become a light in this community and a witness of His great love to those around us.

I suppose that is all for now. I don't know if anyone even stops by here anymore, but it's good for me to share some of what is going on in my life. It keeps me from becoming too focused solely on my four walls. :)

Our family-2009

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