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?