Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marie-Madeline quilt give-away

I've seen this site advertised before and love the looks of the things they make. Maybe someday, I'll be able to get one of the skirts for Lilia. Until then, I'm excited to enter into the quilt give-away. Check out the grab button on the side of my blog or go to their site:

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Freedom in an Envelope

I have to write about a new practice we have put in place for our finances that has been an amazing idea. Really, it's not a new idea at all. We first read about it when we were getting ready to be married 6 years ago, but for some reason, we never tried it until a few weeks ago.

We've made loose budgets, been frugal, and seen the Lord provide in incredible ways. Yet, we were feeling overwhelmed with the lack of real structure in the way we spent our money. When I feel insecure about finances, I tend to pull the purse strings tighter and not spend on anything, even things we might need. After some feelings of being a little overwhelmed, Gerrad and I decided to really sit down, make a realistic budget, and set some financial goals. One tool we decided to implement is the envelope system. It is the idea of setting aside a certain amount in different categories and literally placing the cash in an envelope. When the amount is gone, you don't spend more unless you rearrange the other envelopes. We decided not to do this with bills or groceries as it is a little bit of an inconvenient way to pay and keep track, but when it comes to other categories, like dining, gifts, entertainment, extras, etc. , it has been awesome. I feel so much freedom to make the purchases we need to, as well as do the things as a family we need to in order to relax sometimes. We squeezed 3 meals eaten out( a definite rarity) last week during sickness and extreme busyness. We spent only what was in the envelope, because I knew how much to spend in order to not go over. It was such a blessing.

As the weeks go on using this method, I'm amazed at how much stress it has relieved, and we are also really seeing more progress in our financial goals too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pregnancy Update: 12 weeks to go!

It has been quite a while since I've blogged, but felt inspired today to sit down and write some of the things going on around here. I am officially 12 weeks away from delivering our little boy. I'm having a repeat c-section, so we scheduled delivery day for June 17th at my last dr.'s appointment. I am so excited and feeling like now is the time to get some things done to prepare. A couple of days ago I made a list of things I want to get done in the next 12 weeks. I'm usually not too much of a list maker, just groceries mainly, but I thought it might be helpful to write some things down to keep myself on track. I have really been thankful during this pregnancy to be able to read the blogs of other women getting ready too. It has given me some great ideas. So here's the list:

Wash and put away baby clothes- Got this done this week. I was concerned that since our other son was born in January, the clothes might not work, but God is so good, I have more than enough basics to clothe this new little guy. Once again, God has shown how He provides.

Get crib ready

Make food to freeze
- An idea I got from another blogger. I'm not going to go overboard, but thought it might be helpful to make a few things ahead and freeze. I'm going to do easy things like meatballs, waffles, pizza dough, taco meat, etc. Thankfully, ground chuck is on sale this week, so I'm going to stock up a little bit.

Pack for hospital

Buy diapers and wipes when on sale- I use cloth diapers when my babies are little- saves us so much money and not too hard to use- but the first few weeks it is nice to not worry about too much laundry. Plus, it is good to have diapers when going out.

Clean back room, move in futon- Right now this room is a catch-all room. My parents are coming right after the baby is born, so we definitely need to get the space ready for them.

Clean our bedroom, make room for bassinet- Definitely don't want to be tripping over things when getting up with the baby at night.

Put away winter, pull out summer clothes for kids

Pull together clothes for me to wear post-baby
- That oh-so-fun time when nothing fits!

Buy mini-van- We're joining the mini-van clan. Thankfully, we have tax money to help pay for it.

Help Lilia and Benjamin pick out a present for new baby- Not too worried about sibling rivalry, but want to do everything I can to make the transition smooth for them.

Well, that mostly does it. A few things might get dropped or added in the next 12 weeks. I'm so excited to get ready for and meet this little blessing very soon!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Doesn't the title make you think of the song from "Fiddler on the Roof?" Last night, before we put the kids to bed, I had this realization that we were establishing traditions for our children. I felt really honored that God had given me the privilege of passing down traditions to my children. Some of them carry over from our childhoods. Others are new and creative ideas that we are using with our kids. What an awesome way to give our kids a sense of who they are and where they come from.

The thing that led me to this train of thought was a tradition my husband has started with the kids before bed. Rather than reading a book (though that still happens sometimes), Gerrad and the kids take turns telling stories. Occasionally, I get to join them. The stories are usually very simple, sometimes silly, but so much fun. I love to see the creative minds of my children at work. I'm also thankful for the opportunity it gives us to share our past, truths about God, and the values we hold onto. I pray that when my kids look back at this tradition, they will remember it with joy and realize how much love we had as we shared this with them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ups and Downs

Today is a good day. I heard a guy say on T.V. last night that, "Everyday is a good day. Some are just better than others." So I guess I should say today is one of my better days. I pray that I would keep that attitude about all my days. I am thankful for each one and all the blessings God gives in them. In the midst of my sickness, sometimes disobedient children, and any of the other things life throws my way, sometimes I forgot to have that perspective.

Life is a little bit of a, I guess the right word is, dichotomy. I find myself on each side of the coin. I am absolutely thrilled and excited to be expecting another baby. I feel such peace about my role as a wife and mother. I feel God's hand on our family in amazing ways. But then there is the flip side of the coin. Being pregnant is really tough. I am lot less sick than many people I'm sure, but I do have my times. And every day I battle this sense of lethargy. It takes all I have just to take care of my kids. I do not have a natural talent in keeping house. Cooking, love it! Cleaning, not so much. Before I got pregnant, I was really challenged in the area of self-discipline and carrying that over into my home. I struggled, but saw many victories along the way. I'm feeling total set-back right now. I'm not too hard on myself, because I know this is just a short period in my life. Things will get back to normal. There are moments when I do get overwhelmed though. But overall, like I said, today was one of my "better" good days.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Christmas in October

I decided I wanted to play around a little bit with adding things to my blog, like pictures. Also, thought this was a fun one to post, since it is all of the family and kind of a fun story. My parents came to visit us for a couple weeks during October. We decided it would be fun to celebrate Christmas with them while they were here. It is really hard and expensive to travel in December, so it will be a rare occasion that we will be able to celebrate together at Christmas time. We set up the tree and some of the decorations. The kids had a blast helping. We turned on the Christmas music, and planned a special meal. It was awesome. It felt so nice to share that time of giving to each other, without the commercialism and busyness that seems to permeate the Christmas season. Have to say it helped the budget a little bit to, spreading out the gift-giving. We moved the tree to a back room and went back to enjoying fall, but I wouldn't have traded that special time with my parents and kids for anything.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And Baby Makes Three...

Yes! I am pregnant with our third child. I'm six weeks along and in the throes of all the side effects of pregnancy. We are extremely excited and blessed to be having another baby. We knew it was God's timing for our family. Wow am I exhausted, though. I remember being tired with my last pregnancy. Lilia was only 18 months when Benjamin was born. But the level of exhaustion I feel seems way beyond that. I know we have a lot more things going on now. A growing family brings much more activity. Somehow I feel at peace(most of the time) even though my house is quite the mess, my family is eating much more convenience food, and I generally have a hard time doing much of anything during the day. After a couple go-arounds of pregnancy, I've finally come to realize how quickly this season comes and goes. I truly do look forward to all the milestones and moments that a growing baby inside of me will bring. There is definitely not the same focus like I had with my first baby, but still there is such a specialness to this time. I can't wait to meet this little person who God is forming inside of me and all the plans and purposes He has for this little life.