Lightbulb Moments

Every day that passes, I feel Michaela slipping away from a baby to a little girl. It seems that in the past few weeks, she has grown so much. Her language is improving vastly every day and her motor skills are becoming more precise as well.
This week she finally understood the concept of a few of her toys that she has played with for months. It almost seemed like a lightbulb went off in her head.

This is a simple wooden stacking toy. She used to turn it over, take the rings off and crawl away. On this occasion she finally understood that she is suppose to put them back on! After she would build the stack she would look at me, smile and clap for herself. I am so proud of her for figuring this out all by herself.

You can see the look of concentration on her face.
If her tongue isn't out, the mouth is at least open!

It isn't quite in the correct order but we can take baby steps to get there.

This fun little toy is always on our fridge. Typically she would play the music and dance. Put on this day she finally understood that the pieces to the animals go in the barn. She even matched them up correctly. Once she learned to do this she repeated this over and over again. Clapping for herself at the end every time!

This was her first match!
I never knew it was possible to be so proud of your children for the smallest accomplishments!

I am so thankful that God has given us Michaela. It has been such a blessing to watch her blossom and become a toddler.

Our first Pumpkin Carving

Yesterday we carved Michaela's first pumpkin. It was actually a first for all of us. We had a pretty good time. Don't be fooled by the pictures though. She got very bored in between all of the steps so Mommy had to keep her entertained. I think next year will be more enjoyable for us.

She is watching Daddy cut off the top.
She only used the scoop a few times. She didn't really like the texture of the guts.
She is definitely a girl!

She got to help Daddy draw the outline on the pumpkin.
While Daddy cut the pumpkin, Michaela and I talked about the seeds. Then I let her work on transferring the seeds from one bowl to another. This actually kept her occupied for a while.
But of course, that wouldn't last!
She is learning to be such a great helper. She helped us clean up all of the pumpkin leftovers.
Here she is with her first pumpkin. If only we could get her to smile for pictures these days!The final product...

Sarah Palin on Focus on the Family

This is not a political blog, but I do want to pass some information on to you that I found very interesting. This is Sarah Palin on Focus on the Family discussing this election and her religious views. I found this very encouraging. She is a woman who knows God and is letting God decide who will win the election. This is not something that would ever be heard in the mainstream media so I believe it is important to get the information out.

It is about 25 minutes long but it is well worth it. On the same page as the interview you will find state voter guides and a presidential voter guide. Please have an informed vote on November 4!

Click here to go to the website.

My Little Helper

I love when teachable moments come that I do not expect. Some of you may not think this is a very teachable moment, but I think it is a great way to teach Michaela how to become a great woman.
I was cleaning the window of our front storm door. I had walked outside to wash the other side and when I looked down Michaela was "cleaning" the door with my older wipes. It was so adorable! She watched me clean and did exactly the same thing.

(Please excuse the glare. I was outside taking the picture.)

So, why would I call this a "teachable moment"? I really feel that a lot of little girls are not being trained to become true women. Women who can clean a home, nurture their children and love their husbands. The gender lines are being so blurred. I feel that any time I can make Michaela understand what it really means to be a woman I am being obedient to God.
I know helping a 1 year old "wash" a window doesn't seem like being obedient, but all too often we look over the importance of raising our children to be godly. We begin to see it as an every day task instead of our mission and ministry from God. At least I do all too often. I'm trying to open my eyes to see more of God in my every day tasks.

Expelled-No Itelligence Allowed

This is a must see movie for any Christian family. Actually, it's a must see movie for any American who believes in freedom. This was an amazing documentary about what happens to scientists, doctors, professors, etc who try to research Intelligent Design. Most of them loose their jobs! What happened to science? What happened to freedom of academia? I was appalled about what goes on in our own country.
What was even more scary is what happens when Darwinism rules the day and where this could eventually lead us. I watched this with tears in my eyes.
If you are able, please watch this movie. There is also a website set up to sign the petition for Academic Freedom. Scientists should at least be able to challenge Darwinism. Especially since it is only a THEORY!
God, please have mercy on our country.

Pumpkin Patch and Petting Animals

Michaela made her first trip to Huber's Family Farm this past weekend. This has been a great tradition in our family to venture up to Huber's in the fall. The food is delicious, the scenery is beautiful, there is a petting zoo and you get to pick your own pumpkin. You can't ask for more when it comes to fall fun.

She was very excited to pet the goats!

The horse licked her hand.

My sisters, Dad, Michaela and my nephew.

She tried to pick up the pumpkins.

She was having a blast in the pumpkin patch!

She waved goodbye to the pumpkin patch as we rode the wagon back to the farm.

If you are in the Southern Indiana area, this is a great way to spend the day with the family!

Mom was a Superhero

I remember when I was little thinking "My mom is a superhero. Who else could really clean up puke without getting sick. That is a superpower!"

I have always had a very weak stomach. I could/would get sick if I just heard someone getting sick. I cannot stand it! Therefore, I was always amazed that Mom could clean up after us when we had the flu or when we just had a simple stomach bug. I could have never done that as a child. EVER!

Two nights ago Michaela gave me the opportunity to become a superhero. I went in her room to make sure the blanket was on top of her and I found that she had gotten sick in her bed. It was everywhere including her hair.

Just then I realized something...Mom's (and Dad's-Chris helped) can do the unthinkable because they love their children. They can do the unthinkable because they want to care for their children in the best way possible. They can do the unthinkable because, well, they have to!

Mom, if you could read this, I would like to thank you for showing me what it means to be a superhero. Thanks for loving your children, caring for us in the best way possible, and doing what you had to do to! I would also like to thank you for passing those superpowers along to the next generation. God willing, I plan to pass these along to your grandchildren the best I know how.

I love technology!

We got to see our precious new miracle for the first time yesterday. It was so amazing! When I see things like this I can't help but thank God for creating us. I am in complete awe of how someone so small can be so real. In the pictures below, the baby is only about 3 inches big from head to toe but look at the details of this child. (I know it's kind of blurry because he/she is so small but it's still there). This precious little one even has a very strong heartbeat. I can't imagine how it can be legal to take away their life at such a young "age".

This last picture is remarkable to me.
You can see the profile, the legs and even the umbilical cord!

Housekeeping Mission Statement

Many business have a mission statement. The president wants the company to accomplish a certain task and the mission is usually clearly stated in 1 statement.
While I was reading Organizing Junkie's blog I found a wonderful mission statement for her household. I was going to create my own statement, but she did such a great job. I printed out this statement and put a copy on my refrigerator.

My Housekeeping Mission Statement

To provide an inviting and peaceful household environment, for my family and all that enter, that is conducive to living simply, loving deeply and laughing abundantly. I will make strides everyday to achieve this by practicing and teaching good daily habits and routines along with effective organizational skills. I will graciously and cheerfully serve my family and genuinely enjoy my commitment to creating a home sanctuary that is above all else pleasing to God.

This serves as a great reminder when I don't feel like doing the housework or am tired from a long day of serving my family.

Thanks Organizing Junkie!

Playing with the Doll House

Michaela has really started to enjoy playing with her dolls. Nana L. got Michaela this vintage Little Tykes doll house and she loves it! It is very basic but she finds so much to do!

She likes to transfer the people from one chair to the other.
(I think that might just qualify for a montessori hand transfer activity!)
She also likes to put the people in their bedShe always wants to show me that she can put them in bed. She is showing off her work!

Coupon Extravaganza at K-mart

Get those high dollar coupons out and go to K-mart this weekend! Between now and Sunday, K-mart will double all coupons up to (and including) $2.00.

Today, I spent $14.07 for all of the items below. Without my coupons, the total would have been $51.26. That is a savings of $37.19.
Proceed with caution and do not get too frustrated while shopping. A lot of the items I had coupons for were already sold out. Of course, it was the items that would have been free after coupons! Just be thankful for what you are able to purchase.

Believing God through the Sifting Process

Beth Moore is an amazing Bible teacher. Well, let me rephrase that because she would not want me giving her the glory... God has made Beth Moore an amazing teacher of His word. I have learned so much through the studies He has instructed her to write.
Presently, I am going through Believing God with Beth and a group of women at our church. It was God's perfect timing to do this study right now. It has been exactly what I have needed in my life. The basic gist of this study can be summed up in one question: You believe IN God, but do you believe Him? It has been very eye opening.
She said something tonight that I can't seem to get out of my head. I actually felt like I had to get up out of bed to share this with you all. Maybe this is for someone else besides me or maybe God just really wants this to sink in. Either way, let me back up and give you a scriptural starting point.
Luke 22:31, 32: 31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[a] as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
The person speaking to Simon in this passage was Jesus himself. God gave Beth so many nuggets in these 2 verses and I am grateful that she passed this knowledge on to us.
First of all, Satan didn't just ask to sift Simon. The "you" in verse 31 is plural. Satan was asking to sift all of us. This verse wasn't intended for this lone disciple. Satan doesn't just seek to sift the people in the ancient days. He looks to sift all of us.
Secondly, and this may be the most important point, is that God will allow Satan to sift you if there are things in your life that need to go. Otherwise, he gets a big fat no. This was very profound to me tonight because I feel like I am being sifted over and over again. Unfortunately, sometimes I feel self righteous about this because I wasn't the "cause" of the problem. I didn't throw myself into the pit, so what can I learn? It's not my fault.
Either way, God has allowed this to happen in my life. Maybe, just maybe, there hasn't been a major healing because I am not allowing God to do what he wants to do in my own life. I need to get rid of some of the fleshy things in order for the things of the Spirit to move in.
Thirdly, if Satan is allowed to sift Jesus will pray for you so that you may not fail. I can really relate to this point as well. Lately, I have felt as if I just didn't have it in me to press on. I was at my breaking point. I actually said to myself recently, "I am at the end of my rope and letting go. I really hope God is there to hold on to me." Thankfully, He was there and He will continue to be there for me, especially when I don't have the strength to pray for myself.
Lastly, when all the dust has settled we are to strengthen one another. We are to encourage one another. This was very affirming in my own life. I know that God has called me into ministry. It happened 7 months after He so graciously saved me. It has been 3 years since that calling and I have felt like maybe I got it wrong. Like maybe I was just really excited about the transformation in my life and got ahead of myself. Maybe I was ahead of myself, but I do not doubt the calling that God has on my life and Chris' life. God's timing is not mine, which is a great thing. I can tell you that if I were to pursue what God has envisioned for me right now, I would fall flat on my face. I am just not ready for that yet. I see too many things within myself that just aren't right. There is still way too much me and not enough of Him.
As for the struggles and trails, I have a new perspective. I can look at this through the lens of sifting. I will try to ask myself daily what needs to be removed from my life. I will close with a paraphrase from tonight's lesson:

He has places to take us, but there are some things in us that can't go there and some things of the Spirit that need to go there.

I am going to believe God to take us to that matter the cost.