Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Confessions: This is Amazing Grace

This song by Phil Wickham really struck me this week in church... 
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness?
Who's love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings. 
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder?
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings.

I have unlimited access to all the strength I could possibly need to overcome sin all day, every day. And not just any strength, supernatural strength. And I don't even need to ask for it! I just need to accept it!

The Creator and King has given me access to the power over sin and darkness I face every day.

But you know what is even more amazing than that? This part...

This is amazing grace.
This is unfailing love.
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross.
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free.
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You've done for me.
He took my place.

And here I am sinning every day like He didn't get tortured and die so I could be free of it.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave.

Overcoming sin is hard. It's so easy to find an excuse or two (or ten) to keep eating, choose the junk food, cheat on the calorie tracking, take just one more day off of working out...

But the Lamb who was slain in my place is worthy, worthy worthy.

"...fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." Proverbs 3:7b-8

Saturday, April 26, 2014

K is for Kite

This past week in school we kept it simple. I didn't add anything to The Letter of the Week curriculum for Jack (except we started working on Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons). But it worked out perfectly because we did "K is for Kite" and today we went to the "Kite Komotion" festival in Shipshewana! This was our third year going and we thoroughly enjoyed it as usual!

It's free to the public which is how we like to do things. We got to watch professional kite flyers "dance" (according to Marie) and "race" (according to Jack) their incredible kites.

They also had beautiful and fascinating kites anchored to the ground for our viewing pleasure.

That is Jack with his free "ferbie" in his mouth.

The kids got to make their own kites! Marie made one two years ago and still uses it. Somehow these free kites beat out store bought kites any day!

After making our kites, we went out and flew them. Unfortunately, the camera was not on a good setting so no pics to share :/ But the kids had a blast! Kempton only flew his for a minute then decided to chase down everybody else's kites.

We did spend a little money this year and got the kids a shaved ice.

As we were leaving, I asked Jack what letter "kite" started with and he didn't even hesitate to give me the correct answer. He really shouldn't be old enough to know these things.

These flowers are spinning incredibly fast. Interesting that you can't tell in the picture!
Derek's wheel fell off of his truck early this morning while he was headed out to go turkey hunting. Talk about stressful. But spending the afternoon all together enjoying some free fun was a beautiful reminder that God not only is in control, but also blesses us beyond what we could ever deserve. Derek is safe, we have another vehicle to lean on, and we got to enjoy kites on a beautiful day together.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Introducing: WOVE Designs!

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

WOVE Designs was born on Christmas Eve of 2013. Three sisters, each with a desire to create and share our creations, came up with this little business with the help of the founders of J2Marketing

Meet Rebecca:
Rebecca with her husband (my brother!), Erik, and their pup, Charlie.
Her grandma introduced her to the art of crochet and passed along the natural gift! Rebecca creates beautiful headbands, booties, coffee sleeves, and more with just a needle and some yarn. 
She has a heart for kids and a passion for missions, which is one of the reasons WOVE designs hopes to aid in the fight against sex trafficking. 

Meet Stephanie: 
Stephanie with her husband (also my brother!) Kyle and their two girls, Abigail and Hannah.
Stephanie is the ideas girl. She helps with designing, marketing, and selling. She also creates some of the headbands and hair bows with her gift of creativity and completing projects! She makes things happen!
Outside of WOVE, she is raising 2 beautiful baby girls while supporting her hard working husband. She is also a certified personal trainer and nutritionist in all of her spare time! (Check out her blog!)

Meet Lindsay:

Oh wait, you already know me! And you might remember that I used to make jewelry. I took a couple years off for my own sanity. But I am back! 
I've simplified the way I will do things including joining forces with my sisters so the work load is significantly less. I'm excited to be joining my siblings on this adventure!

While the 3 of us are the founders, WOVE Designs has the pleasure of including two other crafty women: Angela Yoder and Amy Sheckler. Two beautiful and creative women who are incredible assets to our little business. Thank you, Ladies!

We also would not exist without the help of my brothers and their marketing expertise!

Now that you know a little bit about us, check out our website - WOVE DESIGNS - and our Facebook Page! And keep an eye on my blog for weekly deals/coupons/giveaways!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Confessions of a Food Addict

If you know me even a little, you know I've had issues with my weight. As much as I'd love to blame it on... well... anything else, I can't because it is my fault. It is a sin issue that I continue to battle every single stinkin day.

I've talked about this struggle before, but I decided to start a sort of series on my journey through fighting this addiction because I know there are so many out there facing the same battle. I know we can help each other. And I know I need the accountability, even if I hate it sometimes!

I'm planning to share things I'm learning through the Word and any other avenues God chooses to use. I'll also keep you updated on my pregnancy and post-pregnancy progress. I'm sure I'll post some tips on nutrition and exercise on occasion, but if you're looking for some excellent tips, ideas, and recipes from a real life personal trainer and nutritionist, please frequent my sis-in-law's blog - FitSteph! My focus will be on the spiritual side of it all.

To get started...

Meet me:

(I didn't hang on to many of these! These were the only ones I could find! They both date around 1994).

I'm sure there's some psychological reason behind my love of food but like I said, I can't blame anything else. My sin is my sin. I chose to indulge it even at a very young age.

I've always found comfort in food. I find it makes me happy, cheers me up, temporarily makes me feel fulfilled (in more ways than one!) I attach emotion to it. It sounds so dumb typing it out but it is true and I know I'm not alone.

Do you ever think about the things you could have done had God not intervened? I mean, sometimes I'm in awe at what He's protected me from and that's just stuff I can imagine. I'm sure He's thinking, Girl, you have no idea! One of those things He has thus far protected me from (only by His grace, not anything I earned or deserve!) is obesity. I've tipped the scales at just over 200 pounds when I was full term pregnant, but otherwise my highest lasting weight as an adult was about 168. At 5'5, that's not horrible. But that doesn't mean I did/do not fail as often or as badly as someone who wishes 200 pounds was their highest weight. Pounds on the scale is not the point. It's a heart condition. And mine is no better than any Biggest Loser contestant.

I have tasted freedom from this sin, and I'm telling you nothing tastes better! I want to thoroughly enjoy that freedom for the rest of my life by finding true joy and fulfillment in Christ alone. I hope you are encouraged and challenged by my journey!

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

Find some earlier posts on the subject HERE and HERE and HERE.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vacation Recap

We had an absolutely amazing time! What a gift! Here is a very quick rundown:

The kids were so well behaved during the super long drive.

Heading out - Indiana
Heading home - Florida
Here is our Ohio picture at our favorite park in Dayton...

Then we stopped to see my bestest and her new babe!

Followed by me being superhuman and driving the 12-4am shift.

Here is our Florida picture...

We found a park near the resort and felt like it was sooo hot at 74 degrees!

The resort was incredible. We had our own suite so we didn't have to all stuff into one room! That's always nice. And there were so many different pools and places to walk. We spent basically the whole week swimming! And the kids finally started making strides toward actually swimming.

First Day
Last Day
Kempton has always loved to swim!

In the middle of the week, Honeygram, Marie, and I went to Magic Kingdom! Worth every penny!

Meanwhile, the boys went to Gatorland which was much more interesting to them than Disney World would have been. Jack still talks about it.

The week flew by much too fast. We were so blessed to spend quality time with family in the sun. Does it get any better?

Here is our Georgia picture...

Here is what I'm calling our Kentucky picture (even though it was technically just inside Ohio)...

We never got a Tennessee picture even though we stopped to sleep there down and back.

Here is Marie's map she worked on on our way down.

She really seemed to understand what we were doing, and now she recognizes the word "Florida." She also has plans of going back to see the princesses "next week."

We didn't have a little bit of fun. We had a "BIG FUN!"

Last week we had a super busy week of spring cleaning, appointments, and playdates. This week we are back to real life! And I'm definitely ready for it.

Hope you all had a wonderful spring break and Easter!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Adding a little education to our vacation

We are heading to Florida! Woohoo! I'm not telling you this so you will be jealous, but I would understand if you are. I mean, I would be.

What's a road trip without some preschool and kindergarten level education involved??

Here are my ideas for the drive down to the sunshine state (and possibly back if they happen to... hopefully!... sleep through a state).
  • Each noodle will be provided with a map of the United States that they are free to color (HERE and HERE are good sources).

  • As we enter a new state, they will put a star sticker on that state.
  • At some point we will stop and take a picture of the 3 kids in each state.
  • For Marie (Kindergarten), I will have a page for each state (found HERE) along with a fact sheet I put together (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, template). She will either draw or write the information from the fact sheet onto her coloring page. 
I also found a Scavenger Hunt page HERE if the littles are interested!

It's very simple stuff but an excellent way to help them realize what's going on as we drive. We'll see how it goes! I'll have an update when we return.

What are some ways you like to teach your kids while on a long drive?

((Check out THESE ideas, too!))

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