Monday, February 25, 2013

Trail of Blessings

It has been a morning full of blessings. The only way to express my gratitude to my Savior is to live every moment glorifying Him.

We had to run some errands to finish off the grocery list and get some soil to get the garden started (woot!). As we're driving down the county roads, I began praying that the Lord would fill me with His Spirit. I try to make this a habit when running errands with all 3 kids.

As always, He did just that.

We're sitting at the stop light of decision... left to this store, or right to that one. I had been planning on going to "this" one first but last minute decided on "that" one.

The shortened version: The kids were so good. I found everything I needed. I did not buy anything extra in spite of the temptations. And we only had to go to one store.

The most miraculous of all: I was patient.

The Holy Spirit was in charge.

There truly is nothing more satisfying than knowing you're doing exactly what God wants you to. Even (especially??) in the day-to-day stuff.

Thank You, Holy Spirit.
  • Holy Spirit filling
  • Kempton napping in his carseat
  • Unexpected (and much needed!) chicken sale
  • Guilt-free shopping
  • "Horse" ride for a penny

Friday, February 22, 2013

Beating the Blahs {Part 3 - Spring Cleaning Edition}

{Part 1}
{Part 2}

I'll be honest, a part of me is hoping if I begin this whole spring cleaning thing, spring will come sooner! Or at least it'll feel more like spring around here.

Just let me dream.

I'm no expert at cleaning and I'm not an organized person. My approach to spring cleaning thus far has been: when the mood strikes, I follow; when I see dirt, I clean it up. So I'm just going to share with you one room that I've spent a lot of time in the past couple of days and things I've found to clean that I would not have thought of on a regular cleaning day.

Now Enter: The Bathroom.


Spring Cleaning the Bathroom

1. Go to this website: How to Clean Your Bathroom Like a Pro. This is to make sure you know the basics of cleaning a bathroom. I learned a lot from this!

2. Step back and look at what you haven't covered yet.
  • Ledge above the shower
  • Shower Curtain
  • Curtain rod
  • Curtain hangers
  • Shower head
  • Under the shampoo bottle
  • Faucets
  • Walls
  • Picture frames
  • Baseboards
  • Door
You'll find plenty of dirt in all those places!

Cleaning bathrooms has always been my most hated chore. Because of that, I'm not usually a huge fan of hanging out in my bathroom. But after the couple of hours I spent cleaning the kids' bathroom and then again in the master bathroom, they may be my favorite rooms in the house at the moment.

A couple of tips:

1. I don't have a microfiber cloth so I put Derek's old undershirts to good use. I like to clean things dry, meaning I spray surfaces down with cleaner (Melaleuca's Tub&Tile) then wipe it down with either a dry rag or toilet paper/paper towel. My bathrooms feel so much cleaner since I started doing this! Hope they actually are.

2. Put baking soda to ((another)) good use. Scrub the faucets with it and a sponge to get rid of the soap scum.

Now please, tell me what I'm missing and give me some tips! I may be somewhere in my 20s already, but I still have so much to learn.

Here is a super simple spring cleaning list on Pinterest that would be fun to follow for people who love following lists. (That group only includes me about half of the time. I haven't decided which half this time is yet).

"Beating the Blahs {Part 3 - All Things Homemade}" will be coming next month. One of the things on the list is daily shower cleaner. Any recommendations??

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Derek's 29th Birthday in iPhone pics.

You are the man God made for me.

I am so grateful for the 29 years of your life, and that I've gotten to spend the last 10 of them with you.

You wanted to work (another form of play for you) all morning. Then we ate some pizza while we drove up to Michigan to go cross country skiing.

Dinner at Olive Garden where you ate 5 bowls of Zuppa Tuscana and almost 3 baskets of breadsticks.

Then we went bowling where I kicked your butt. Thanks for the tips :)

This is Jeremy, not you :)

You complete me, and I adore you.

Happy Birthday, Love of my life.

Monday, February 18, 2013

KJ is 6 Months Old!

On February 7th, Kempton Charles turned 6 months old.

He can sit up.

He's got two bottom teeth.

He can scootch (is that a word?) around backwards, and has been experimenting with getting up on his hands and knees.

He's eating solids 3 times a day while still nursing every 3 hours, and occasionally enjoying extra meals in the night.

((I'm still a very firm believer in the parent-led method. This kid would rule the roost if I wasn't in charge!))

Oh, how I love this kid. Even in the middle of the night when some undetectable noise wakes him up, he's tossed his pacifier behind his crib, and decided that the world would end if he doesn't get a full feeding as quickly as possible, my heart is so full snuggling him in my arms. I cannot get mad at this adorable dude. 

Many of the little gifts I write down have to do with his tiny self. 

Curious baby blues...
Squishy arms reaching for me...
Smiles in the early morning darkness...

Thank You, Father, for the privilege of raising sweet Kempy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

BtB {Part 2} Update

Did I really promise to have all 5 of these done by now?? I'm using the handy (and very real!) excuse of having limited freedom due to 3 babies, 1 growing teenager, and 1 super hardworking man. (Refer to the end of this post for more specifics).

Here is what has been accomplished...

1. Shelves in the basement for the DVDs.

Derek took some extra pieces of wood that I made him keep after we lowered Marie's loft bed, and hung them up. So hopefully we can keep sticky little hands off of them and they might last a couple more years. And more space in the storage room! We probably shouldn't need it...

2. Lining on the fridge shelves.

I lined the first shelf. I didn't like it. The wrap doesn't cling to the glass of the shelf very well. I know there are other ways to line the fridge shelves, but it's just not worth it to me. A quick wipe of the shelves once in awhile seems easier to me.

We haven't had a chance to go back to the Habitat ReStore for some tiles. The little brown mirror is still sitting in the same place, unpainted. And the decor on Jack and Kempton's walls have not been changed.

Each time I see that little mirror still propped up against the wall, I'm reminded that there are some things that are simply not important. Instead of completing the above things, I hosted several playdates,

Totally got lucky, Justin. That's all I got to say.
worked hard at being consistent with homeschooling (and Jack has been more involved!),

got the house cleaned every evening for Derek and his student who now lives with us, dinner 11 out of the last 12 days, and continuing on the weightloss journey (and training for my next half!)

Just to name a handful of things... highlights!

Those things matter so much more to me. People.Matter.

So I'm not ashamed of my excuses :)

Oh, and tomorrow is Derek's 29th birthday. Man, he's getting old. I'm considering turning 26 in April... being 25 for the last four years is getting kinda redundant. Don't want my kids to catch up with me. ;)

((You know you love all the iPhone pics!))

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is Love

Happy Valentine's Day :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hearts, hearts, everywhere!

Valentine's Day never meant a whole lot to me. But now that I have kids and am homeschooling, I can't get enough of it! So if you're like me and trying to stuff in as many hearts as possible before the big day (tomorrow for those who weren't sure!), here's some ideas.


Paper heart necklaces.

Perfect for today or tomorrow because you probably have all the supplies that you need already. Excellent way to work on fine motor skills and sorting/patterns. Find the directions HERE.

((Refer to THIS post to find a quick list of other Valentine's crafts))

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
If you go to my church (First Baptist of Elkhart), your kid is either learning or has learned this verse. Set the verse to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat and he/she will have it down in no time! Make sure to spend some time talking to your babies about how much you love them, and how God loves them even more!


Just today I found these two pins on Pinterest...

(Thanks, Rachel!)

Of course I immediately printed out a handful of must-do activities and put the kids to work. I saved some for tomorrow.

Most of this stuff was a little easy for Marie but she still enjoyed the review. It was perfect for Jack. I'm so proud of these babies!!


This is Derek and my all-time favorite book. The first time we read it, we were just dating and we were in a library in New York City. We sat down against some book shelves and read it aloud.

One of those memories I hope never fades.

We've been reading this to our babies since Marie was still in the womb.


Does puppy chow count as baking? I don't care. This picture has been taunting me for days. Unfortunately (read: fortunately), I don't have all I need to make this so we won't be making this. But I had to share so someone out there can enjoy this whilst I only dream.

There, I just planned your Valentine's Day with your kids. You're welcome.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate."

  • Fridays
  • Craft time
  • Babies getting along
  • Friendship
  • 2-year-old "smiles"
  • Duck, duck, goose
  • Puppet shows

Friday, February 1, 2013

Valentine's Fun on Fridays

We are loving Valentine's crafts this year! Here's an update of our Beating the Blahs {Part 1}...

First we colored this...
Found HERE

Then we did our own version of this...

A few days later we took this idea...

And made these...
Marie cut her heart out all by herself.
Jack loves being a "heho"

They are currently hanging in the window above the kitchen sink. Definitely brightens my dishwashing time.

Finally (for now!) we attempted this...

My heart nearly bursts when there's a table full of littles making crafts!

This is the life.

I think ours turned out much better than the pin!

Another playdate and craft time planned for today! I can't decide which craft to do...


Or this?

Oh we'll probably do both eventually :)

Go craft with your babies. It's so fun! Make sure to invite some friends to join.

Happy February!
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