Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Matthew 5:14-16

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Grace Goes Green: Day One

I'm in MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers). It's awesome! Once a month, moms come together for a devotion, a speaker, food, fun, and encouragement. I'm at the green table. My table-mates are great - I'm enjoying getting to know them. They encourage me to be a better wife, mom, and follower of Jesus. My mentor mom is amazing!  I think she is the living version of "What I wanna be when I grow up..." She doesn't know that, yet! I have much to learn from her, and I know that it was no accident that I'm at her table!! She is inspiring to all of us "Green Team Mamas!"

Last month, my group was talking about being busy and frazzled. Some days are so busy that the only time for Bible reading is while doing the dishes. I hatched an idea and made my table a flip-book devotional. I've decided to share that with you ... Little by little. :-) It sits on the windowsill right about my sink. Perfect for reading and reflecting while I wash, rinse, dry, and repeat.

Day 1: A New Creation!
I'm so grateful that I'm not the same old Sarah. Jesus has transformed me to be a new creation. A new person who reflects His love and glory! Amazing that the Creator of the universe cares about me enough to make me more like Him. 
I'm working on memorizing these 30 verses, and I'm already working on the second edition ...  :-)

What's your favorite verse? (If you can pick just one... I can't!!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Guest Post at "Careless in the Care of God"

Hey everyone! 

Today, I'm super excited to link to "Careless in the Care of God."  I follow this blog and love to hear the story of encouragement and healing shared there.  Every Friday, there's a guest post on Matthew 6:26.  I'm thrilled to be the guest post today!!

Check out my guest post here.

Visit to keep up with future posts, as well!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Painting with Marshmallows

I wanted to give my little one a different painting experience this week. I took a few marshmallows (not mini-size) and plastic straws from our Take and Toss sippy cups. I stuck each marshmallow with a straw. Once the marshmallow stamps were done, I put a dab of glue on a paper plate, and we painted!

I demonstrated for my son, and he picked it up very quickly. This was a great painting experience!

He dotted and brushed and stamped. He tried a few colors and painted for about 20 minutes. When he was done with the marshmallows, he fingerprinted for a couple more minutes before telling me "Ah Done."

I will definitely repeat this craft. My little one enjoyed it, and it wasn't too messy. Preparation was about 5 minutes, and it's an out-of-the-box painting activity. The only drawback is that the marshmallows break down after about 10 minutes, so we had to replace the marshmallows halfway into painting. 

Do you have any painting projects that your little ones love?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trip to the Zoo

We have a zoo within an hour's drive from us.  A few months ago, we signed up for the annual membership.  We've been a handful of times already, and it's been worth every penny of the investment. 
My little guy loves animals.  This started with Go Diego Go!  Now, we play with the dinosaurs at the library every trip, check out animal books, and look for age-appropriate animal toys.  He can say many animal names and duplicate about 20 animal sounds. 
The very first time we went to the zoo, he learned the flamingo sound.  They make this honk/grunt sound, which surprised me since they are such graceful-looking animals.  This trip to the zoo, however, we got a little too close to the flamingos.  In this picture, they're all sleeping and looking peaceful.  One minute after the picture was taken, one flamingo decided to get closer to the water and started honking and flapping his way to the water.  This, of course, frightened my little guy, and he started shrieking!  After some comfort from Mama, he was better and we moved to another exhibit!

We also really like the giraffes and elephants at the zoo.  We have both of these in toy form, and my little one enjoyed seeing them up close and moving!  We watched the elephants take a walk with the zookeeper, and we saw the giraffes eating leaves way above our heads!
Ok, I saved the coolest part ... Our zoo just opened a kangaroo exhibit.  In this exhibit, you can actually walk around IN the exhibit.  You have to stay on the path, but you're within 10 feet of most of the kangaroos.  If they hop onto the path, you can pet them!  So... we got to pet a kangaroo!  Seriously!  How many people get to pet a kangaroo?!  That was our favorite part of the zoo trip! 

What's your favorite zoo animal?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Playing With Cars ... Painter's Tape Edition

We play with cars every day.  We have a basket full of random kid's meal cars and garage sale finds.  While my little one is content with just cars, I try to introduce some variety into playtime. 

Enter a roll of painter's tape. 

I love this stuff. I taped several boxes and lines on the carpet. 

My son is still very young (19 months), so he is still learning the wide world of imagination. I tried to show him how to drive on the lines, line the cars up in a parade, and create a "garage" for the extra cars. 

My little one?  He was content to "vroom" as usual. :-)

We left the tape on the carpet on the floor for a few days. Each day he interacted more with the taped roadways. This is probably an activity that he will appreciate more when he is a little older, but we had fun with it anyway. 

I think the best part for him was pulling up all the tape at the end. He twirled and threw tape pieces around the room for about 20 minutes before we cleaned it all up. 

One roll of painter's tape stretches a long way to create hours and hours of toddler playtime. 

What's your favorite playtime creation?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Refuge in the Storm

This verse is comforting to me when I am struggling.  I love to know that God has a hiding place for me.  He will give me refuge in His wings while I'm in the midst of a storm. 
Last week was a struggling week for me.  I was in the middle of a storm of worry and busy-ness.  I wasn't sleeping well, and I felt like I could not catch up with everything that I needed to get done. 
Enter Psalm 57:1.  God reminded me to slow down, to call on Him for mercy and healing, and to REST in Him during my tough week. 
What comfort to know that the Creator of the universe invites me to rest in the shadow of His wings when I am having a tough time.  He holds me close and gives me comfort when I feel like I can't get anything done.  He invites me to rest.
Resting... for a mama of a toddler, this is a precious commodity!  Nap time is too short, and my son doesn't always sleep through the night.  Feeling well-rested is something I took for granted for most of my adult life.  Now that I've been without rest, I realize how amazing a full night of solid sleep can be. 
When I think about resting in God, I equate peace and comfort with this term.  I'm so thankful that I can have peace and rest and calm even in a busy week with little sleep. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Story Hour: Things That Grow

Our library has story hour four days a week. Me and the little mister have been twice in the last month. Each week is a different theme, and the same stories are repeated each day that week. 

The first time we attended story hour, there were so many kiddos that we didn't stay for craft time.  

This time, however, we stayed for the whole thing. They started with stories and songs about "Things That Grow."  Trees, fruit, animals, and people were the themes of the books we read and songs we sang. My little one enjoyed shouting out animal sounds as familiar animals appeared on pages. He even braved the circle mat for a few minutes with the other toddlers and preschoolers. 

For craft time, he got to make a fall tree. 

Step One: With a brown or black crayon, he drew a tree and branches. (Mama helped a little).

Step Two: Paint clear glue all over tree branches. He loves to paint, so this was easy-peasy for him!

Step Three: Stick pre-cut tissue paper squares on the glue. 

As you can see, some squares are neat, and some squares are squished. This was due to the creative freedom of the 19-month-old artist. :)  The fine motor requirements of this craft are a little advanced for a young toddler because the tissue pieces were clumped together.  I separated the pieces for him once I saw this problem.  Older toddlers repeating this craft would find this step a little easier than a 1-year-old.
Here is the finished product. 
Great outing for mama and son - can't wait til next week!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ephesians 2:8-10

I love this! 

-saved by grace through faith
-it's not from ourselves-can't earn it
-it's a gift!
-we are God's workmanship! His design!
-He's already prepared good works for us to do. 

Not only did God created me, He chose to save me, and I can't earn that salvation. It's a gift!  And then... He's thought about me and prepared good works for me to do. How amazing is that!  

Not only did God create and save me, but He also thought of me and has a plan for me to change my world. How deep the Father's love for us!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter!  This was lunch yesterday...

I had to eat lunch during naptime because my little one is too young for peanut butter. Our pediatrician said to wait until 2. 

I've got another 5 months to wait until I can share the awesomeness of peanut butter with my sweet boy. I sure hope he is not allergic!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quiet Time Thursday

Here are just a few verses from my quiet time Thursday ...
I want to be the kind of person that promotes love and brings cheer to others.

I love that God chose us BEFORE creation and that he ADOPTED us as His children. 
Adoption is very close to my heart!

There are so many people who fit into this Scripture for me ...
family, friends, church family, fellow Starters, my MOPS group ...
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Found: What Happens When A Community Unites

Two nights ago, an Amber Alert went out for a boy from my town.  He had been missing for several hours, and the official search was beginning.

This event, though extremely scary and terrifying, brought me a sense of pride in my community.  People rallied around the family and provided prayer support and volunteered to help look for him.  I was amazed at how many people shared his Amber Alert on FaceBook.  It seemed like everyone within a 20 mile radius knew, shared, and prayed for the situation.

When the local police asked for volunteers to search, so many people showed up that many were turned town.  It was a hold-your-breath-moment for several hours as we knew police, volunteers, and helicopters were searching for this boy.

God answered our prayers, and the boy was found, unharmed, about eight hours after he went missing.  Again, FaceBook blew up with the joy of his safe return home.  I wish every Amber Alert shared this ending!

Details aside, what really stuck out to me in that moment was the community coming together.  I've lived in this community for seven years, and I've seen that unity twice.  The first time was after a terrible car accident claimed two lives.  The community rallied to support both families - benefits, fundraisers, prayer, etc. 

It amazes me what can be accomplished with true community.  I'm not talking about the three neighbors whose name I know... True community - doing life together.  When you have someone who truly knows you stand behind you and cheer you on, that can move mountains.  I am beginning to see this community in The Start Experiment (more on that later...).  People I don't even know are encouraging me and spurring me on towards greatness. 

It's an awesome feeling to experience that amount of untainted support, and I wish that more people could experience that community during the good times and the mundane times rather than in times of tragedy.

What does community mean to you?  How have you experienced community?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Busy Boy!

We've already had a busy morning. My sweet boy has played with Legos, cars, animals, and puzzles. 

He's settled in for a few minutes with his books. He really enjoys looking at books. Winnie the Pooh books are among his favorites right now. I love being near him when he's having fun, and we've had a lot of fun in the three hours he has been up!

Cherishing these moments because I know they pass too quickly!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Best Things In Life Take Time

We live in a culture of NOW.  We have lost the art of delayed gratification and waiting for what we want.  We forget that our grandparents worked for months or even years before they bought a car or a new "toy."  We see some people enjoying life's pleasures and think that we need to participate in such things NOW.
I struggled with this mindset a LOT when I was a newlywed.  Nope, it didn't matter that I'd just moved to Tennessee and had been married for only one year.  I wanted a new couch.  I wanted a new(er) car.  I wanted to live in the best neighborhood.  I didn't wait for those things, so I dug a hole of debt that took years to overcome.
More recently, I took inventory of my choices - how I was behaving around others.  I realized that I wanted change in my life - be more gentle, more loving, more Christ-like.  I think that praying one prayer will grant me instant change.  uhh... that's not how life works!
Several years ago, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class changed my world.  Not only did it give me perspective on finances and planning, but it reminded me of a key life lesson:  "The Tortoise Beats The Hare"
Change takes time.  Changing my financial path took time.  It took us three years to pay off two cars and two student loans.  It will still take more time to pay off my Master's Degree, but I'm still working towards my goal.
Changing my actions takes time.  I've attended Celebrate Recovery for over two and a half years to work on my own hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  I've been able to celebrate huge victories in working through two failed adoption attempts.  I've been amazed by God's faithfulness in the adoption of my son!  I've celebrated two and a half years of freedom from panic attacks.  This did NOT happen overnight!  This happened by living one day at a time.  This happened by trusting Jesus to bring me through those tough moments.
The deepest desires of my heart will not happen tomorrow... or even the tomorrow after that... but they will happen on some tomorrow - whether that's months or years down the road.  What I need to remember in THIS moment is that the Tortoise wins!  He wins by walking one step at a time even when he was miles behind the Hare.  The Tortoise wins by plugging along anyway.
So here I am, working towards my dreams... I'm working towards paying off my Master's degree.  I'm working on trusting Jesus more every day.  I'm working on the next adoption.  I'm working on sharing my story here.  I'm working on all of these things by taking one step ... then another ...
What's your dream?  What does the tortoise mean to you?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Discipleship Journal Day 1 - Genesis 12:1-9

We kick off home groups at church this week!  For the next ten months, my church is studying the Patriarchs, both in home groups and in the sermon series.
I like that our church leaders not only encourage us to be in the Word daily but also provide resources and a common reading plan.  I can open up my church's iPhone app and get the daily reading assignment, or I can follow along in this journal.
I used to journal all the time in my quiet time - especially in high school.  Sometime in college, I got away from journaling, and I have missed it.  This is helping me get back in the habit of journaling as I read my Bible. 
This morning - Genesis 12:1-9.  What is amazing to me is that Abram is 75 when God tells him to leave.  He has no children, yet God promises to give him a new land.  He literally tells him to pack up and go.  At 75, Abram began a new and unfamiliar journey into the unknown.
Just knowing my personality, I would probably have asked a few questions. 
Where are you sending me?
What's the best way to get there?
How long will the journey take?
What supplies will be there when I arrive?
What supplies do I need to take with me?
Am I ever coming back here to visit?
You see, those six questions took be about 10 seconds to type.  Genesis 12:4 begins, "So Abram went..."  God told him to go, and he went!  What amazing faith!
If you were spying on me this morning, you'd see day 1 of my journal filled out like this...


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Junk Food Thursday

Not something I particularly want to admit... But... I definitely ate some raw cookie dough during nap time today!!

Don't judge! Moment of weakness!

Toddler Painting

We've done pudding paint for several months.  I love that it's edible!  My son really enjoys eating the pudding and painting with it.  I've been holding out on watercolor but finally decided to try it today. 

Why did I wait so long?  I was a little concerned that he would try to eat the paint.  I also anticipated paint in his hair, on his face, and all over the floor.  I need to give my son more credit.

After I showed him how it worked, I let him loose.  He did fairly well for his first watercolor painting.  It was pretty comical, even.

Here's the play-by-play:

Paintbrush to water
Paintbrush to paint... several colors at once
Paintbrush to water
*Mama - Paint on your paper, honey*
Paintbrush to paint... again, multiple colors
Paintbrush to water
*Mama - Hey baby, paint Dora*
Paintbrush to paint
Paintbrush to paper
*Mama - YAAAAAAAY  Good job!
Paintbrush to water
Paintbrush to paint
Paintbrush to water
*Mama decides to give it a rest and let him have fun!*

He had a blast!  Dora eventually got a sufficient amount of paint, as did two additional coloring pages. 

Being that this was his first time painting with watercolors, there is a certain amount of teaching and guiding that I needed to provide.  While I didn't expect him to color in the lines and have a perfect paper, I did find myself intervening too much.  He can't learn this for himself if I'm hovering!

Once I remembered that his toddler painting is about discovery and learning, I was able to relax and watch him have a great time.  He knew I was there to support him and help when he needed it, but he also had fun trying his own ideas. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Toddler Breakfasts

My little guy goes through food phases.  There are some days where he will scarf down new foods without hesitation, some days where he holds out for yogurt and goldfish, and some days in between.  While I want him to eat a balanced diet every day, he sometimes has other plans.  I continue to offer him a variety of food choices, even on the days when I feel like I fix him 12 different meals!
Here are some of my go-to breakfasts: 
Yogurt - quite possibly his most favorite food. Period.  He will eat almost any brand, almost any flavor.  And ... he will eat mass quantities!  So for economic purposes, the giant containers of yogurt make consistent appearances at my house.  We are currently eating strawberry Yoplait.
Oatmeal - I love how this breakfast option sticks with him longer than yogurt.  This is one of the foods, however, that is hit or miss.  Some days he will eat a whole bowl of oatmeal.  Other days, he will stop after one bite.  I can't predict which mood he will be in, so I often have oatmeal leftovers in my fridge.  (makes for a good mid-morning snack!)  After looking for a pattern, I think that when he refuses oatmeal for breakfast, he is really in the mood for cereal.  Which brings me to...
Cereal - This is my little guy's new favorite food!  He loves to eat cereal!  Some mornings, he will eat his cereal and then part of mine!  His all-time favorite is Fruit-in-the-Middle Frosted Mini-Wheats.  I'm good with this!  Lots of good stuff in that cereal and minimal sugar frosting!  I just break each piece in half, cover with whole milk, and let him eat!
Here was a breakfast flop:

I think this looks amazing! Mandarin Oranges, Peaches, baby goldfish, and a few lime pieces in the middle.  He will eat all of these things separately, so I thought I'd make him a breakfast that looked fancy.  He did not touch anything but the goldfish... fail!
What about you?  What are your kids' favorite breakfast foods?  What's been a breakfast flop?

Sunday, September 1, 2013


I knew rain was in the forecast, and rain clouds were rolling in as we drove to church this morning. However, I was not prepared for the torrential downpour that began 5 minutes before church let out!

Our church campus has three buildings. The main service occurs in a different building than the childcare rooms, and there is about a football field length between the two buildings. Between the walk from one building to the other to the car, we are soaked! 

I tried to snap a few pictures as soon as I got in the car. But without sound and video, I cannot do it justice!!  (Don't worry, my husband is driving, not me!)

Now, 15 minutes later, it has dwindled to mere sprinkles!  Funny how the major downpours usually occur right when I'm changing locations!!

I know this has happened to nearly everyone.  So tell me, what's your best downpour story? 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Courage - Joshua 1:6-9

This was my takeaway from quiet time this morning ...

Joshua 1:6-9

Some of you need this reminder ... as I did this morning.  :-) 

These verses are some of my favorites.  Though I still have moments of fear, weakness, and discouragement, this is my reminder of God's heart for me.  "Be strong and courageous." And ... the promise that "The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  What a promise - I am not alone!  I can rely on Him to be my strength and my courage.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pudding Paint

We have been up since 5am!

Usually I'm the only one up that early, and I love my quiet moments before the house wakes up. Lately, my little guy has been getting up around 5:30.  Today he woke up at 5:00 and would not go back to sleep. 

So we have played with his zoo play set, eaten breakfast, climbed up and down the stairs, and had three diaper changes... Now we are painting with pudding. 

He loves this activity. We don't do this often (sugar overload!), but it keeps his attention for quite a while when we paint. Imagine how long it would take you to eat an entire pack of pudding with your index finger!

Currently, he has turned the pudding upside down, and he is drumming to the beat in his head. I love watching him in these moments of exploration and creativity.  Many times, these creative moments are accompanied by a little song or new "words."  His sweet, little voice always makes me smile. 

While I may wish that he would sleep longer in the morning, I am blessed to be part of these fun moments. I know they will end way too soon. 

Ok... The pudding container just became a snowman's carrot... Time to clean up!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Toddler Travel: A 12-Hour Road Trip!

We spent 12 hours in the car yesterday.  Yes, 12!  We've been vising my husband's family in Wisconsin, but I had to be back for a meeting today.  Rather than having to leave a day earlier than we'd planned, we decided to marathon-drive our way home.  Since we have a 17-month-old son, we had to do a little extra planning on the front end of the trip.  Otherwise, we could have had a miserable day.
Here are my 5 tips for a long car ride, toddler edition:

Tip #1 - Baby Wipes

Seriously, bring MORE baby wipes than you think you need.  When we travel, I usually use between 1-2 whole 100-ct wipes packages.  It's easier to have extra on hand so that you can use as much as you need.  Whenever I bring "just enough," there is always some major mess that occurs to thwart my planning.  (Thwart?  Where did that come from?)

Tip #2 - Noisemaker 

We have a great noisemaker for nighttime that plugs into the wall.  However, that doesn't work for the car ride.  Someone gave us this little lamb when my son was born, and it has proved to be a life-saver.  My son fights naps in the car because he doesn't want to miss anything.  When mama and daddy are both awake in the car, his little brain is on overload of possible fun!  This noisemaker has a timer and several different noise settings.  Our current favorite is whale sounds.  We'll turn this on at naptime, and it helps to calm our little guy.

Tip #3 - Orange Fishies 

I think my son could eat his weight in orange fishies.  It doesn't take a lot of fishies, but 5-8 of these orange guys can work wonders!  When it was nearing lunchtime, we were in the middle of nowhere.  Orange fishies.  When we were nearly stopped from road construction traffic, my son thought it was time to get out and play.  Orange fishies.  When it was clearly dinner time, we were 15 minutes from home.  Orange fishies.  Don't underestimate the power of a few fish.

Tip #4 - A few of the favorite DVDs
My son LOOOOOVES Go Diego Go!  He is allowed to watch one episode after his nap each day, and he gets so excited to hear that theme song.  When travelling 12 hours in a car, please don't hold yourself to the normal rules of entertainment.  In a normal day, my son does not watch a movie; he does not watch multiple episodes of Diego in a row.  However, desperate times call for desperate measures.  A 12 hour car trip is one of those desperate times.  He was absolutely beside himself when he got to watch a whole disc of Diego (4 episodes) all at once.  More importantly, we got to drive 90 minutes with a very happy little boy.  I'm not suggesting that the DVD player needs to run nonstop, but a movie or a few extra episodes of your child's favorite show will work wonders in terms of parental serenity.  You can only sing the same song so many times before you go insane! 
We will get back to the normal entertainment viewing today, but it was 100% worth the extra TV time yesterday to have a few moments of quiet calmness.
Tip #5 - Toys!
We are really into animals these days.  It probably has something to do with Diego ... Anyway, we have a set of 8 safari animals.  They are an absolute must-have for a car ride.  My little guy played with these 8 animals for hours over the course of the day.  We heard a lot of lion roars and jaguar growls.  Zebra and hippo practiced their jumping skills.  Rhino took a nose dive off into the diaper bag.  He was happy playing with his favorite toys and taking them on new adventures.  We were happy that he was having fun instead of being fussy or bored.
These are just a few things that made my life easier yesterday.
Car rides are rarely fun, but we made the best out of our day.  Remember that the car will eventually stop at its destination.  Remember that you really do love everyone in the car and try to react with kindness and love. 
Remember these 5 tips for travelling with a toddler.
What tips can you share with me?  What is one item you won't leave home without?

Saturday, August 17, 2013


So, I promised to be real and transparent.  This is one of those real moments. 

If you were spying on me last night, you would have seen an ugly moment.  Not a messy hair moment, but an angry moment.

How I got there is not important, really.  There was no drama, no argument, nothing... Just a situation where I reacted.  I did not get angry outwardly, lash out, or treat anyone poorly.  No, I stuffed the anger inward and let it settle in my mind.  

After fuming for a few moments, I chose to sit outside for a few minutes.  Now, the old me would have stormed outside, stewed about the situation, and laid blame in other people.  In this situation, there is no one to blame.  Like I said, there wasn't a reason for me to get angry other than that's just what I chose.  However, the old me would have blamed someone regardless of that truth.  The old me would have sat outside fuming that my husband hadn't come to see what was wrong with me.  The old me would have plotted ways to pick a fight with someone (probably my husband) just to make myself feel better. 

However, I'm thankful that the old me is gone.  Yes, I was angry.  Yes, I wanted to blame someone.  BUT, I didn't.  I sat down to sit with my anger.  I allowed myself to feel the feelings.  I stayed angry for a few minutes.  I did not look to blame someone, and I calmed down quickly.  

I surrendered my feelings and processed through them.  I acknowledged that I am currently exhausted. I admitted that I needed a few moments alone to recharge and to refresh.  I prayed, confessed my anger, and allowed myself some grace.  Then I let it all go. 

When I was ready, I came back inside, ready to be with my family again.  The old me would have been mad all night, but not the me I am today.  I processed through the ugly moment.  I chose to let it go and enjoy the rest of my night. 

I'm not proud of my ugly moment tonight, but I am committed to remember James 1:19-20.  I am committed to be transparent with those of you who are Spying on Sarah.

What are your ugly moments like?

Only in Green Bay ...

I enjoy visiting my in-laws in Green Bay.  Today, I pretended to be a tourist, and I had fun taking pictures of all the Packer tributes as we ran errands to the bank, bakery, and grocery store.  I love that this city loves their team so much!  I decided to put a few fun thoughts down in honor of the green and gold.  :-)

You know you're in Green Bay when ...

You see a life-size Aaron Rogers cut out at the bank ...

You know you're in Green Bay when ...

You see this banner at the grocery store ... Along with green and gold, football-shaped cheese in the deli section!  Sadly, I did not get a picture of that one.  

Random alert ... This banner shares a moment with some downtown De Pere pictures ... And the bakery pictured in the middle is awesome!!

You know you're in Green Bay when ...

The checkout lanes are lined with Packer flags, and all the checkers are wearing Packer jerseys.  Yes, they ALL were wearing Packers jerseys!!

And... You know you're in Green Bay when ...

There's a brat fry today!

Go Pack Go!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Moment with Dad

I've started getting up at 5.  It's time for me. Quiet time, writing, reading, blogging, Facebook, breakfast... It changes daily. It is whatever I make it. I've done this for a whopping five days, but I am really enjoying that quiet time in the mornings before the rest of the house wakes up. 

We are traveling this weekend, and my husband asked me if I was still planning on getting up at 5 while visiting family. Yes!  Especially when we visit family!  It may be the only quiet moment all day. 

This morning's moment wasn't quiet, though. Today, I enjoyed a moment with my dad. Many, actually. 

By 5:15, we were both up and in the kitchen.  While he sipped his coffee and I drank my Spark, we chatted.  

My husband and I don't live in the same state as either set of our parents. While we visit each other as often as we can, these moments of quiet, uninterrupted conversation are rare.  Siblings, parents, kids, places to be, work... They can get in the way sometimes. None of these things are bad, but they can distract the time to talk and share stories. 

So, today we talked. We shared about what each of us is learning and writing. We talked about my awesome little boy and all the new and funny things he is doing. We talked about ministry. We simply hung out. 

With so many other "things" going on, it is refreshing to enjoy a moment to just "be."  

I need more of these moments. 

On the Road ...

I spent most of the day in the car ... Driving the last six hours to Wisconsin.  Well, technically my husband drove the whole way, and I rode in the back with our little mister. Anyway, I'm excited to spend the next three days with my husband's family. 

This was my view at one point. Bright sunshine, a few harmless clouds, and a bridge.  What a beautiful day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Amazed by his appetite

My sweet boy must be going through a growth spurt.  Moments like this make me anxious about his teenage years. 

Yes, this is a random post, but you're the one spying on me, remember?

This morning, my son decided that he needed to be part of the 5Club and has been up since 5am!  When I put him down for his morning nap, he had a few moments of quiet time in his room.  But then...

I heard "Eat."  While I'm thankful that he is able to communicate that need, I am amazed at how often my child requests food!  Thinking he was just trying to get out of nap time, I ignored the request for a few minutes.  However, when "Eat" was repeated, I gave in and fed him!

This is what gets me - toddler growth spurt moment!  I started by giving him a snack portion of broccoli.  When he finished that, he asked for more (both verbally and with sign language - just in case I did not receive his message clearly!).  One snack led to another and another... by the time he was finished, he had eaten more than I do in a typical meal.  He ate the following:  broccoli, watermelon, graham cracker pieces, chips and salsa (crumbs, not whole chips), and two portions of macaroni and cheese!!

If you were spying on me this morning, you would have been amazed at this big boy appetite, too.  I don't have to worry about leftovers going bad today!

Do little girls eat this much, too? 

Size 5W at 17 months.  How big will these feet be in 5 years? 10?

Book time with Baby

If you were spying on me right now...

You'd see me snuggled up with my 17-month-old son. 

You'd see the massive stack of books he pulled from the shelf. 

You'd hear his sweet voice naming the animals he knows or making animal sounds. (We read a LOT of animal books!)

You'd hear me - affirming his words, reading, correcting, encouraging, reminding him to "be gentle" ...

Most of all, you'd see me ... Loving my day job!