Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,...And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

Sunday, November 27, 2011

north pole breakfast

Now that Spencer is almost 4 years old, I have been putting more thought into family holiday traditions. This year, we introduced the Elf on the Shelf to the kids by having a North Pole breakfast (I wish this was an original idea, but I first saw it here). Buddy, our elf, brought us "snowballs" and hot chocolate with marshmallows. We read the story, talked about what it means to be naughty and what it means to be nice, and listened to Christmas music. We also made a list of all of the fun activities that we are wanting to do in the coming month. Later in the day we decorated the Christmas tree. What a great way to start the holiday season!

Crosby was able to get in on the fun for a little bit before nap time.

The "snowballs" were a huge hit.

In addition to breakfast, Buddy also wrote a note to each of the children and brought socks to keep their feet warm. He also brought them an elf puppet to play with.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


"We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace."
- Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I have been reflecting on the past year, and I am overwhelmed by God's ever present grace in my life and in the lives of my family and loved ones. Thank you, Lord.

I give thanks for...
1. my daughter's health and well-being.
2. the birth of my amazing son, Crosby Samuel.
3. my husband's successful career.
4. being able to stay home during this sweet time when my children are young.
5. celebrating 8 years of marriage.
6. my dear friend, LS, who has been a breath of fresh air and a constant source of inspiration.
7. sticky fingers and peanut butter and jelly kisses.
8. my comfortable home where precious memories are being made.
9. my thoughtful neighbor, BB, who is always there for me and for my family.
10. my father, who can still make everything that is wrong, right again with a hug.
11. toothless grins and a drool covered chin.
12. a wonderful group of women that I have come to depend on for fellowship and support.
13. my brother who is willing to move heaven and earth for the people he loves.
14. those who prayed for my daughter during her health scare earlier this year.
15. sunshine streaming in through my windows after several days of gray skies and rain.
16. hearing my baby boy say "mama" for the first time (today).
17. fresh bread baking in the oven and hands that are able.
18. my mother who has become my best friend.
19. rocking back and forth, back and forth...the weight of a sleeping baby on my chest.
20. my sister who never fails to make me laugh.
21. my crock-pot.
22. early mornings spent with a cup of coffee in a silent, sleeping house.
23. tea parties, dance parties, slumber parties, and the opportunity to see the world through innocent eyes.
24. every moment of my life that has led me here...I am truly blessed.

May God's blessings be yours this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a bump in the road

Earlier this summer, my daughter had an episode of hematuria (blood in the urine). After a thorough work up including urinalysis, blood work and an ultrasound of her kidneys, everything came back normal and healthy. Praise Him!!!! The pediatrician warned that if it happened again, we should have her see a specialist to determine the exact cause of the bloody urine.

At the end of August, she had another episode, so we were referred to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. We were able to see the pediatric nephrologist about a week later. It has been determined that my daughter will need to have a kidney biopsy which will require general anesthesia, an overnight stay in the hospital and about a week of rest to completely recover. It is minimally invasive and is a low risk procedure, but not without potential complications (as with any surgery).

This has been a particularly tough pill for me to swallow, especially since we have only dealt with minor illnesses and stomach bugs up to this point. So, if you are a person who prays, please lift my daughter up. Her procedure is scheduled for Friday, September 23rd, and we won't know the results until about a week later.

Lord, your grace is sufficient. I cannot see what you see, and I do not know what you know, but I do know that you are good. You love my sweet girl more than I could ever imagine and even now you are wrapping your loving arms of comfort and protection around her. Please be with the doctors and nurses that will be taking care of my little one and help her have a successful procedure with no complications and a quick recovery. I pray that there will be no disease or disorder in my child's body, and that she would continue to be happy and healthy. Lord, whatever the outcome, I give you all of the praise and all of the glory. Amen.

UPDATE: 9/27/11
The biopsy results are in, and it is GOOD news!!! Spencer has Thin Basement Membrane Disease (TBMD) which is a benign diagnosis and the best outcome we could have hoped for. She will have episodes of blood in her urine from time to time, but her kidneys are functioning perfectly and should continue to do so for the rest of her life. We will be following up with the nephrologist once a year to monitor her condition, and she will not require any special treatment or medication. Praise HIM!!!!!!!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this time. The power of prayer is alive and well!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We had a great summer! Trips to the zoo, baseball games, swimming lessons and pinterest!

If you are like me (and also recently discovered pinterest) than you completely understand. My husband would say that it has become an obsession, but I contest that it is more of a healthy dependence. Where else can you spend 5 minutes and completely decorate your dream home, find great activities to do with the kids and have 3 new recipes to try?

As much as I love pinterest, I often need to remind myself that what I have/am/do is sufficient and that I do not need to ACTUALLY have the dream home, spend 10 hours everyday doing elaborate activities with the kids or cook a gourmet meal. I just need to be a faithful servant and trust that He is all I really need.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

photographs in the park

Earlier today, we had the privilege of have the kids photographed by Kathryn Proto Photography. The photos turned out better than I could have ever hoped for, and I feel so thankful to have such a talent in our lives to help capture our little ones childhoods.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

strawberry picking and homemade jam

This past weekend, we spent our Saturday morning at Hilger's picking strawberries. We had a wonderful time, and came home with 5 quarts of beautiful berries. After eating quite a few (both at the farm and at home) we had enough left over to make strawberry jam. This was my first attempt at homemade jam, but not my last. $10 worth of strawberries and a few simple ingredients yielded 6 half-pint jars of jam, and a fun new family tradition.

Monday, May 30, 2011

summer reading list

While I am not the most avid reader, I have always enjoyed reading during the summer. I spend the majority of the year reading books that pertain to parenting, homemaking, cooking, etc. These books are useful and enjoyable to read, but I am looking forward to a summer spent reading "fun" books.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - a childhood favorite

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Books I plan on reading to Spencer this summer:

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Lessons From Nature by John Bunyan

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater

What books are on your summer reading list?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

acres of grace

an old stone farmhouse with creaky wooden floors; greeting the goats each morning with a song before milking time; the wonderfully sweet smell of sweat, dirt, and fresh air on my children as they come inside after completing their morning chores; weeding the garden and canning vegetables; collecting freshly laid eggs; a pumpkin patch, orchard, berries, and pies...lots of pies; hanging wet clothes out on the line to dry; the golden, sticky, sweetness of fresh honeycomb; putting in a full days work to relax on the front porch and watch my children catch fireflies; a simple, joy-filled life that harkens back to another time; sharing it all with those i love.

I have been daydreaming lately about moving out into the country and making some (if not all) of those dreams a reality. With the understanding and support of my wonderful husband, we have decided to start looking for land. It will likely take 5 years at the very least to complete this work, but the best things in life are truly worth waiting for.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

rosemary bread

Thanks to a dear friend with an overabundance of rosemary from her CSA, I had occasion to do some baking.


1 1/2 T active dry yeast
1 cup water
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 t white sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t italian seasoning
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 T fresh rosemary
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1. Proof yeast in 1 cup of warm water for five minutes. Put proofed yeast, one cup of the bread flour, sugar, salt, and oil in stand mixer and mix on medium high speed until a thick, creamy batter develops (approximately 3-5 minutes).

2. Switch stand mixer attachment to the bread hook and begin adding the remaining flour gradually along with the herbs and black pepper. Knead just until all dough pulls away from the bowl, then knead for an additional five minutes by hand.

3. Put dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for 3 hours; should triple in size. Then, punch down dough and let rise again for another 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paper towel, coat a cast iron dutch oven with olive oil. Shape dough in a rough mound, and use a sharp knife to make a 1/2 inch cut (approximate) down the middle (helps with bread growth when baking). Place dough in dutch oven and cover.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Take cover off of dutch oven and bake an additional 30 minutes.

6. Remove bread immediately after finished baking and allow it to cool. Enjoy!

I know that this recipe sounds like a lot of work, but if started toward the middle of the day, you can have this amazing bread ready in time for dinner. (Most of the time is spent waiting for it to rise, and not actively making the bread).

Friday, April 1, 2011

family mission statement

When I worked outside of the home, I often remember setting individual and company-wide goals and brainstorming to come up with the perfect mission statement. Often times as a mother, I find that I struggle with those days that the only thing I accomplish is keeping my children alive. I want to thrive during this season of my life...sleep deprivation and all.

After reading about creating a family mission statement on one of my favorite blogs, I decided to give it a try. Hopefully it will lend some perspective on those less than productive days, help me to see the big picture, and remind me to extend grace to myself.

as a family we want God to be at the center of everything we do.

we will…

live faithfully and seek God’s will.

extend compassion and love to those around us.

respect, encourage and inspire one another.

balance our time, leaving plenty of margin for play, relaxation and service.

live simply in a home that is comfortable and welcoming.

extend grace to one another.

be true to who God made us.

take care of our health.

be good stewards of creation.

be lifelong learners.


Joshua 24:15

Thursday, March 31, 2011

feathering the nest

Toward the end of my pregnancy with Crosby, I completed a decorating project that I had been working on (in my head) for quite some time. I had been collecting different images that I liked over the past year or so, and finally have them together on the wall.