Blessings Big and Small: A Linkup

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, … Read more…

Yarn Along: So Many Babies!

What am I crocheting? I have a couple baby items I am sewing and crocheting for our nephew Blake. He is due this next month. We cannot wait to meet the little fella! I will share all my projects when they are done, but for now I am working on crocheting a sweet little vest. I am making it 9-12 months in hopes that it will fit next fall and winter. So far the pattern is easy and adorable. But I am about to start the arm holes, which tend to be tricky. When I made Rebekah’s fall sweater I … Read more…

What I’ve Observed on Raising Healthy Children

As a new parent, I sometimes find myself stressing out about whether or not I am giving Rebekah the best start in life possible. Crazy thoughts sometimes bombard me: Oh no! We haven’t started a college fund yet . . . Can I feed her non-organic food?! (Just typing some of my thoughts out loud make me realize how nutty they are!) One of my favorite things to do is to observe others. I know that makes me sound like a creeper . . . but I promise I am not! I like to observe couples and families who are raising healthy children … Read more…

Lilla Rose Sale–Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Lilla Rose hair products are beautiful, functional jewelry for your hair. Plus, they are oh so comfortable and durable! Whether you sport your hair in a ponytail, half up, or a bun or french twist, there are many styles you can create with Lilla Rose products. I am kind of obsessed with their hairbands because they are adjustable, comfortable, and stay put better than any hairband I have tried. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and Lilla Rose is hosting a 48-hour flash sale. It only lasts today and tomorrow: January 26th and 27th!  … Read more…

Winter Picture Books

1948 winner of The Caldecott Medal. Its age shows in its faded, worn cover and mostly black and white pictures. The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader is one of my favorite winter picture books.  I recently found this book at Goodwill, and I am so glad I nabbed it up. (I am always on the prowl for quality picture books.) Not only is The Big Snow a classic, but it is perfect to read this time of year. It teaches about what different animals do during the winter. For the past couple months I have been watching the flocks of geese settle … Read more…

The Sickness, Quarantine, and the Delicious Soup I Developed in the Meantime

The Sickness Ugh. Hand, foot, and mouth (HFM) can be a nasty bug to fight off! We thought Rebekah’s strain of it resembled chicken pox more than HFM. Rebekah’s primary doctor is older than he looks and had seen more than the typical pediatrician. Due to this, he had seen chicken pox firsthand (many new doctors have not) and many, many strains of HFM. Even though he was confident it was HFM, he sent pictures of her sores to Dermatology to double check. Right before Rebekah got sick, I wrote about treasuring the moments. Well, few things make you treasure your child’s smiles, … Read more…

Post-Sickness Cleaning Tips

Chores can really pile up. Especially when you have several loads of laundry after a week-long trip. Compound that with your baby coming down with a bad case of hand, foot, and mouth right after you get home. Then you get sick. And you realize you need to sanitize EVERYTHING before your husband gets sick too . . .   Sigh. Thank you for listening to my mini rant. 😉 Things are looking up. I am at least caught up on laundry. However, I am getting ready to make a game plan for the rest of the house. I find that the … Read more…

Finally . . . the reader survey results and a giveaway winner!

The blog has been a bit quiet as of late. This week Rebekah had her first real dose of sickness. And it was a doozy. She caught what our pediatrician said was the worst strain of hand, foot, and mouth he had seen in a couple years. And he sees it a lot. 🙁 A sad, sick baby makes for a sad mama. Fortunately, she has perked back up to usually self. But to her credit, even during the worst of it, when she wasn’t napping or crying, she was pulling up and trying to stand and wanting to walk. I … Read more…

Treasuring the Moments

“And his mother (Mary) treasured up all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51B) From a young age, this verse about Mary treasuring the moments always stuck in my mind. We don’t have many specifics about Mary after she is visited by Gabriel. Or Joseph for that matter. But I’ve always loved this glimpse into her heart. She knew who her son was born to be. But he was still her son. I used to think that she treasured all these things because Jesus was Emmanuel, God’s son. And, be warned, I am getting solely into the territory of my opinion here. But, now … Read more…

Our White Christmas

Christmas took us from Columbia, up to Nebraska, back to Columbia, and then down to Springfield. I fought off a cold the first leg of the trip, but all things considered, it was a lovely Christmas. Rebekah did quite well around our large families, at least until she reached nap time. Then it was nuzzle-into-mama-and-don’t-let-go time. She even slept pretty well, thanks to a rocker that some friends lent us. (Sadly, we are now on the rocker’s goodbye tour because Rebekah barely fits in it length-wise, and the tiny straps barely reach around her tummy.) It snowed on Christmas Eve. … Read more…

Connecting with Your Children Through Everyday Opportunities

For better or worse, there are many fears shared by parents around the world. Even before their child is born, mothers can go through all kinds of uncertainties. One worry that I find particularly prevalent is a fear that you’re not engaged enough in your children’s lives. This is a common qualm. But, be careful! Don’t let your fear turn into a negative self-talk and guilt complex. Instead, let it lead you toward intentionality and motivation to engage more fully with your children. If you really are drifting out of touch, don’t panic. There are various ways you can become … Read more…

Crossing Kansas

Watching the terrain change before our eyes as we travel across Kansas toward Colorado makes me marvel at how diverse we are as a nation. As I write this post, the mountains of Colorado are rising in front of us, straight out of the plains that draw our eyes miles in every direction. We made our way through a patch of winter fog earlier this morning while crossing Kansas outside Salina. Frozen cow ponds and knotted, gnarly trees draped in the heavy mist, looked as if they belonged in a gothic novel by Emily Bronte. Mitch let me pull off at … Read more…

Motivational Books for the New Year

I’ve lost my rhythm with reading. I still love it. But sometimes it feels like such a luxury that it gets pushed off into a dusty corner of my mind and life. TV at least allows me to multitask: crochet, fold laundry, etc. I’ve been reflecting on changes I would like to make in 2016. I decided that reading needs to become a bigger part of life. Reading is more than recreation. And I need it to be more than an auxiliary activity in my life. Reading encourages my imagination, sparks ideas, motivates action, helps me relate to others, relaxes me, stretches … Read more…