Love Story

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pregnant at Christmas

Let me start by saying that I am naturally an emotional person. And all of the tradition and sentiment of Christmas has a way of making me extra emotional. This year I have added pregnancy to that! Today I have just felt overwhelmed, in a good way I must add, but overwhelmed nonetheless. Just realizing all that I have and how good this year has been for us. I have a husband who continues to amaze me and make me fall more in love with him the longer we are married. I have two handsome healthy boys who continue to reveal to me what life is really about. We have been blessed to be adding to our family in June of 2010 and have had a healthy pregnancy thus far. This year we joined an amazing church family and I have become friends with some amazing Christian mommies and wives who help me grow in my faith each and every day. I couldn't possibly ask for more. At times it scares me to feel so good about everything. How can this possibly last? The truth is, it may not. But luckily, I believe that there is a God who knew me before I was ever conceived and that he has a plan and a purpose for my life. Whatever may come my way, I can always hold onto that. So this holiday season I choose to reflect on all that I have, feel incredibly blessed and give all the praise and glory to God. I appreciate that He made me who I am and that I am blessed to be pregnant at this time of year, emotions and all:)

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letter to a Mouse

Dear Mr. Mouse,

Now I realize that you are one of God’s creatures and in being so I probably shouldn’t loathe you as much as I do. And perhaps under different circumstances we could get along. But seeing as you are not only an uninvited house guest but that you also made yourself visually known to me today when you scurried from my bathroom across my bedroom floor and into my closet, I cannot find it in me to have any nice feelings towards you. I realize that you are feeling pretty good about yourself at this point. You have managed to avoid running into either of our cats (them I will deal with later) and you have worked your way around the multiple mouse traps my husband has strategically placed out for you. I too would be pretty confident right about now if I was you. But this will not go on forever. You will have to leave eventually. And I am sorry to say that you will most likely be leaving here in a mini body bag. This is not the way I would prefer it, trust me. But as I am completely unable to deal with you, I have left it up to my husband. And he has chosen to take care of you with deadly force. Like I said before, under different conditions I would love to see you live. Would smile at you if you were caged up in a pet store. Watch in amusement if you scampered through my yard. But you crossed the line the day you stepped foot in my house. Around here that is a punishable offense. Death penalty. Best wishes in the afterlife my furry little enemy.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's beginning to look alot like....cold season!

I love this time of year for so many reasons. Holidays, decorations, family gatherings, Christmas music. But there is one thing that I absolutely despise about this time of year. Yes, this even beats out snow on my list. It's cold and flu season. This has become a dreaded topic for me. These feelings mostly revolve around my experience last year with our youngest. Jordan had a cold every 3 to 4 weeks until March when he was hospitalized with pneumonia and RSV. It was such a trying time. Watching my little one suffer and feeling helpless to do anything about it. It seemed that whatever precaution I took held no baring on whether or not he'd get sick. I must say since that hospitalization he has been relatively healthy. But as his first cold of the winter season hit, it is bringing back all of those bad feelings. Not only worry that it will turn into something bigger, but a reminder of what he is like when he is sick. His sleep is very disrupted, which in turn means my sleep is very disrupted. He stops eating as much. This combination of tired, hungry, and miserable creates the crankiest whiniest little person ever. A few days in and I stop feeling sorry for him and start wanting to ring his neck. That is so horrible to say, but true. At this point I am just trying to do my best to weather this current storm. And praying that we will have a long break before the next sickness makes its round in our household. Ah, the smell of Lysol is filling the air!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our Dream Date

This time a week ago was the beginning of an amazing date with Jeremy that I had been looking forward to for what seems like forever. After sending the kids off to grandma and papa's house, we headed downtown and checked into the beautiful Montvale Hotel. We ate an early dinner at Catacombs, which is in the basement of the hotel. It is a really interesting restaurant that makes you feel like you are in the lower levels of a castle or something. No windows, stone walls, tapestries, the works. We had a delicious dinner that included crab dip and bread for an appetizer, Caprice Salads, and I had a wonderful Wild Mushroom Ravioli. By the end we were way too stuffed for dessert but I'm sure that would have been great too. My only disappointment was not getting to try out one of the martini's that my best friend had raved about forever since I'm pregnant. But that just gives me an excuse to come back after the baby is born:)

After that we drove around a little and then found some parking and headed into the INB Performing Arts Center to see The Lion King. We had seats really close to the orchestra, it was a really good view. What a difference from when we were there not even a month before for a Skillet Concert! The opening act blew me away and even had me tearing up just because it was so powerful and moving. The costumes in that show are like nothing I have ever seen before and I was constantly amazed at the ability of the actors to move in with such elaborate garments on. The show was everything everyone had said it would be and I not only recommend it but would love to go back. Jeremy bought me two masks as keepsakes of this amazing night.

All in all, it truly was a dream night. Even the next morning when we weren't able to sleep in (old habits die hard!), we took a two hour walk downtown starting with Starbucks and spending time in numerous little shops getting some Christmas shopping done. While I was sad to leave and end our great experience, I was excited to go pick up the boys. As much as I always anticipate getting some time away from them, I quickly find myself missing them and looking forward to having them home again.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Moments Like These

I just love moments like the one I shared with boys tonight. When everything comes together just right to make the everyday, mundane, routine things seem extra special. My husband is working night shift this weekend, which I always dread. It has become easier to do dinner and bedtime with the boys by myself but I am not especially fond of it. Then you throw in bath nights and I can really go into it with a bad attitude. But something about tonight was different. Bath time went so smoothly and they did a great job getting into pjs and brushing teeth. Then we moved onto story time and as I was sitting on the couch snuggled between my two little guys I just realized how lucky I was. That this was a moment to cherish. It won't be long before they won't want to sit in my lap anymore. Me telling stories will no longer seem exciting. They will put themselves to bed, no more prayers and songs. This time we are in together is only temporary and one day I will look back and miss it. And so tonight, I chose to live in the moment. Cherish it. Truly take part in enjoying the small things that make life so great. We read extra stories using funny voices and made our way to their bedrooms pretending to be airplanes. They loved it and so did I.

I realize that it isn't a likelihood, or even possible, to live every moment like this. In full realization of what awesome blessings we have been given or in recognition of how fleeting time can be. So when that moment comes where I am able to truly appreciate what I am doing, I chose to live in it and be grateful. I pray for more moments like these.

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He loves his beak!

Jordan is not so thrilled with the process:)

My cute little animals:)

Yes, I continue to be ridiculously behind in blogging. I swear my life is not that much busier, I guess I have just been lazy:) So here we go with Halloween stuff.

On Halloween we let the kids dress up when we went to lunch with Grandma and Papa Murphy so that they could see their costumes. The kids were excited and they got lots of attention for being so cute. We made that night special by adding the face paint to complete their costumes. Nathan absolutely LOVED getting his face painted. Jordan, not so much. But they looked adorable non the less and we set out for our church's Harvest Festival. It is such a cool set up. One building is dedicated to preschoolers and one to elementary aged children. They got to do 20 different booths that had games ranging from fishing, to ring toss, to Plinko. At each booth they earned candy and sometimes a prize. They also had 3 bouncy houses. That was the kids' favorite part! Best of all, it was all free. By the end of it, they were exhausted. They only made it through about 12 booths but all that bouncing must have worn them out.

It was a lot of fun spending that day as a family making it about fun things. I know that since then we have had to dig out the face paint just for fun because Nathan liked that part of it so much. I'll try to get around to posting those pictures sometime soon too:)

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jeremy's Baptism

Okay, I am SO behind on my blogging! Life finally gets interesting enough to write about and then I don't take the time...go figure:)

A week ago my husband was baptized. What an amazing thing to be able to witness. I have seen this man transform from the stubborn teenager who thought he had everything figured out and didn't need anything from anyone into a man who serves his family in many ways and has humbled himself to accept that his life was not complete without Jesus as an integral part of it. Watching him dive into his new faith has really strengthened mine. Being on this journey together is so much better than it ever could be alone. I am proud of the decision he made to be baptized and am thankful for all the support he had from so many around us. Looking forward to continuing on this amazing journey with him for many years to come.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jordan's 2nd Birthday

This took me a few days to get around to writing since I have actually found myself busy lately but I wanted to take the time to write about Jordan's birthday before it slips too far away. My baby turned 2 on Sunday, I can't even believe it. Time just continues to go by faster and faster. We had a great day, started by singing to him when he woke up which he was not so thrilled about. I made pancakes for breakfast because that is his favorite and then we went to church. After his nap it was time for his party which went really well. He was great at opening his presents and was so gracious in sharing with all the other kids, especially his brother who was convinced it was his birthday again and that all the gifts were for him. His big gift was a remote control dinosaur that provided many laughs as he traded off between squealing while running away or roaring back at the dinosaur. I was amazed at how great he did with his cupcake. He blew the candles out on the first shot! All in all it was a good day and we had so much fun celebrating 2 years with our little man. Our family just wouldn't be the same with out him, he brings his own unique personality into the mix and keeps things interesting to say the least. We love you Jordan!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Submission, Service and...SEX

Yes, I used the word sex in my title! For those of you looking for something graphic, sorry you came to the wrong place. For those of you who turn red faced just reading the word, don't worry I am just talking briefly about the importance of sex in a marriage.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a women's conference at my church called Pursue. One component of this conference was a series of workshops in the afternoon. They offered 8 total and we were allowed to choose 2. I was immediately drawn to the Pursuing Your Husband and Pursuing Your Children workshops as wife and mother are the two main roles in my life. I wanted to share with you all what I got out of the husband workshop as I felt it gave me a lot to think and pray about and could be beneficial to other women trying to become better wives.

The first thing we discussed was submission. Why is it important to submit to our husband's? To answer this we dug into God's word. Here is the list of verses we looked at:
Genesis 3:16, Proverbs 21:9, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, Ephesians 5:22, 24; 1 Peter3:1-2. I think that after reading these verses you will see God's clear calling for wives. It is our duty to submit to our husbands, to give him the role as head of the household because this is what is pleasing to God. Is this easy to do? Not for most women. We are raised to be independent and strong and believe we can do it all on our own. And there is nothing wrong with that. But once we are married, we are to give that control over to our husbands. Does that mean we are always going to trust our husband's to make the right decisions? No, but that is where trust in God comes in. Trust that He will guide your husband to lead your household in a way that is pleasing to Him. I urge all of you wives out there to look at your relationship, look at areas where you try to take all the control. Try to let go of just one thing. You will be amazed at how God will begin to use your husband.

The second thing we talked about was service. What does serving your husband look like and why is it important? Once again, we dove right into God's word for this:
Genesis 2:18, Proverbs 31:20, 27; Matthew 20:26-28, Luke 10:27, Romans 15:2, Ephesians 4:29. The simple answer to the question of why we serve our husbands is because in doing so we are serving God. Our pastor often says that those who are considered greatest in the world's eyes are those who HAVE servants while those considered greatest in God's eyes are those who ARE servants. Jesus came here to serve and that is what we are called to do as well. And that starts at home. One thing we were asked to do was to try to do something you don't normally do for your husband, something that will be out of the norm so he knows that you are serving him. This may be something as simple as taking out the trash so that he has time to relax or do something else.

Finally we get to the juiciest of the s So often Christian women are taught to feel dirty about sex. We focus so much on why it is wrong before marriage that we forget to focus on why it is important after marriage. Men are sexual creatures, this is how they experience intimacy. If we as wives are not meeting these sexual needs, they will find other ways to meet them. Here are some verses that touch on what God says about sex:
Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 5:19, Song of Songs 7:10, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5, 9; Ephesians 5:24, Hebrews 13:4. Here God talks about how our bodies are not just ours alone but also our husband's and how we are not to deprive them of it. It is our job to protect our husbands from the temptations that they encounter each day. If they are having their needs met at home, these temptations won't be nearly as powerful. So before your husband heads off for a business trip or a hunting trip or a day at a water park (hello, half-naked women) make sure that he is taken care of. I think often we as women put sex at the bottom of our list of things to do. There is just so much more going on in a day. But I think the more you read God's word and pray about it you will realize not only how important it is to your husband but also to your marriage. And when you also realize that this is a gift that God has given us to enjoy with our spouse, it becomes that much more special.

I know that I took a lot away from this and I am continuing to spend time in God's word and praying so that I can do a better job of being the wife God wants me to be and my husband deserves to have. All of these are areas that I need work in and I am slowly making an effort to put myself aside and make room for what God has in store for me. I am already seeing the fruit of this as I submit myself to God's amazing design for me as a wife.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

That is one big zucchini!!

The muffins(above)
The individually packaged portions(below)

Shredded zucchini(above)
Pureed zucchini (below)

The giant zucchini!!!

We are blessed enough to have both family and friends who grow their own gardens and love to share produce with us. But sometimes we get so much it seems overwhelming to try to use it all. Jeremy's grandpa always gives us the biggest zucchini's and for the longest time I had no idea what to do with them. So I thought I would share with you all what I did with this last zucchini.
Here's what you will need: a cutting board and knife, a food processor, spatula, measuring cups, ziploc sandwhich size bags, and a marker. What I do is cut the zucchini in half and put half of it in the food processor to be pureed. This is for my muffin recipe. I use the spatula to fill up the 1 cup measuring cup, then put it in a ziploc that has been marked with what it is and the date. Once that half of the zucchini is done, I put the other half into the food processor to grate or shred. This is for my zucchini bread recipe. This calls for 2 cup portions so that is what I put in each ziploc, again writing what it is and the date on the bag. When finished they all go in the freezer. Now I have individually bagged portions of zucchini that I just pull out and defrost when I am ready to bake with them! From the zucchini pictured I got enough to make 5 dozen muffins and 9 loaves of bread. Here are my recipes (kindly passed on from my mother-in-law) if you are interested:

Zucchini Muffins:
1 c sugar
1 c pureed zucchini
1 egg
1/4 c cooking oil
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the first four ingredients together in a large bowl. Then combine all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips in a smaller bowl and mix. Add that to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Add in chocolate chips. Divide evenly among greased 12 muffin pan. Set oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove immediately with knife and let cool on a rack.

Zucchini Bread:
3 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
2 c grated zucchini
1 (8.5 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c nuts (optional)

Beat eggs in oil until thick and foaming. Add sugar and vanilla. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gently stir into the egg mixture until blended. Stir in zucchini, pineapple and nuts. Divide evenly between 2 grease and floured 9x5" loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My little apple thieves

Oh how I wish I had a camera with me at the grocery store today. We stopped in to just pick up a handful of items so Nathan was in the back of the cart and Jordan was in the seat. The first thing Jeremy puts back there with Nathan is a bag of apples and him and Jordan immediately start grabbing for them. That has been their favorite thing lately to just eat whole apples. But we told them they had to wait until we paid for them and could have one once we got home and I washed them. So we kept them fairly distracted as we picked up the few other things we had to get and decided to use self-checkout since we had so little in our cart. Jeremy takes charge of that, starting with the bag of apples and continuing with the rest of the items and I am watching to see what he is doing and helping him flag down the cashier to help with a coupon we had. No sooner had he checked out and was in the process of paying then I look over and see Jordan chomping away on an apple. I was surprised and looked passed him to see Nathan eating one too. The bag was still by Jeremy at the checkout so they must of each grabbed one before he scanned it! And you should have seen the looks on their faces, they were so proud of themselves. I just had to laugh. And then we immediately went over and found out how much it was for 2 apples and paid the cashier for them. It was just one of those moments when we obviously had to explain to them what why they shouldn't do that and what they need to do different next time, but couldn't help but laugh to each other after the fact. They were just so sneaky!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Discernment vs. Condemnation

One of the mommy sites I am on has a number of groups that you can participate in, post questions, thoughts, start debates. Needless to say it can get heated. And whether in a Christian or non-Christian group, the question of judgement often gets brought up. So I thought that I would spend some time trying to find out what the Bible says about judgement. What I have found says that there is a difference between judgement and discernment. I think this was educational to me because while I have always thought it wrong to judge, I have found it to be pretty near impossible. Now realizing there is a difference between judging and discernment, I feel like I have a better idea of what God is asking of us in this area. Please feel free to add any knowledge you have on this topic, as I have just stared looking into it and would like to know as much as I can. This is what I read about it on :


The following Greek verbs describe the scope and action of discernment:
dokimazo = to test, to examine; to interpret, to discover; to approve; to prove, to demonstrateanakrino = to ask questions, to examine; to evaluate, to scrutinize, to investigate; to search outdiakrino = to make a distinction (between persons); to weigh thoroughly each partpeirazo = to assay, to examine; to prove, to try

This Greek verb is used in Scripture to describe the scope and action of judgment:
krino = to pass judgment on, to sentence; to mentally or judicially condemn; to conclude, to decide, to determine

Six Basic Indications that Expose a Judgmental Spirit
1. If his failure improves the opinion I have of myself, I am judging.

2. If his failure decreases my concern for the faults I know I have, I am judging.

3. If his failure gives me a desire to see that he is punished, I am judging.

4. If I am eager to tell others about his failure, I am judging.

5. If his failure prompts me to review his past failures, I am judging.

6. If his failure causes me to feel that I cannot forgive him, I am judging

Six Basic Factors of Discernment vs. Judgmental Spirit
1. One who discern will thoroughly examine himself before evaluating the actions of others.(Galatians 6:4; 1 Corinthians 11:28, 31; 2 Corinthians 13:5)
2. One who discerns will check the accuracy of all facts and related factors before reaching a conclusion.(1 Corinthians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1)
3. One who discerns will deal as privately as possible with the problems he sees.(1 Corinthians 6:5-6)
4. One who judges will condemn others for their visible problems but fail to realize that their attitudes stem from root problems which he himself has not yet overcome.(Romans 2:1; 14:10)
5. One who judges will form opinions on first impressions or hearsay, and then he will look for evidence to confirm his opinions, even though, the evidence may be out of context.(John 7:24, 51; James 4:11)
6. One who judges will publicly expose those whom he condemns. This may cause others to condemn him for having the same root problem such as pride, lack of love, or a critical spirit.(Luke 6:37)
A discerning Christian is one detects a fault in another and is able to give clear direction for victory based on the principles of God’s Word and his own application of them. On this basis he is able to restore an offending brother rather than reject him. (See Galatians 6:1)

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