Monday, January 31, 2011

A message for daddy...

I love you daddy!  I miss you so much...I can't wait for you to come home.  Travel safe!  Big hugs and I'll see you tomorrow afternoon - muah! :) 

Emma's eats

Little girl is getting big, and Ms Emma has been eating veggies for a few weeks now.  It's been fun to pick out veggies for her then watch her reaction each day to see how she feels about it. 

So far, she's decided that she likes peas, spinach and carrots.  Not so much on the green beans and broccoli.
 ...the messes have fun!
 no, she doesn't feed herself :)  She just happened to have pull the spoon away from me while I was trying to snap a shot of a 'no more brocolli' face ;)

...Here she is with what I think is her favorite meal of the day: night-time bottle with daddy :) 

...and daddy's trained her to hold her bottle for herself;0
She'll be moving on to fruits towards the end of this next week.  She's so ready for a larger palette.  When we're sitting at the table eating she just wants to dig in to whatever is on our plates!  ....sigh...time is going by so quick!  Before we know it, she'll be running all over the place. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

CAR! part 1

Well...the quick and easy thing to say here is...
...we got a car!

but hi, do you know ME?! :)  I'm not gonna make a 'story' that short.  Of course, you need the background infos to fully appreciate how exciting this is to us!! 

SO, last car was a lease.  A few months after my dad passed away, the lease was up.  At that point in my life, i was beginning to feel 'changes' in my heart, aka, God was starting to work on my new direction;)  I was working towards going in to the nursing program taking classes at MJC in the evenings, working during the day.  I was living at home with mama and I had taken over my dad's financial responsibilities.  

Nursing at MJC is a 2 year full time program, so I wasn't in a position to take on a financial responsibility such as a car payment.  The logical thing, at that point, was for me to use my dad's car.  

THEN, I found out that some of my classes wouldn't transfer over (to fulfill prereq's), which meant that I would need to either flat quit my job and go to school full-time, or prolong even being able to apply for the 2 year program...blah, blah, blah...and we decided that Tyler couldn't financially support both us and my mom, so this just wasn't the time to pursue a career change.  Is that interesting to you now that you know where our minds were last January?! :) 

I continued to borrow the car all the while we: saved to pay off debt, saved to buy a house, saved for the down payment for a car. of last February, we'd done all those things (payed off debt, bought our home, had our cash in the bank for the car) THEN we were at the point where I was going towards going back to school, or getting a new job...we thought ;0..., and we didn't feel we could afford a car payment.  So, we talked about getting a new car, we asked if we could just buy it (my dad's car) from my mom several times over the past 4 years and finally in December it was like, "OK we MUST do something and we just need to make something happen here."  

We were in much prayer over it.  I was obsessed with Carmax searches as we knew that we wouldnt' be buying brand new.  I struggled with myself over the price range, and pretty much had convinced Tyler to 'want' what I wanted :)  I thought we should get a larger car 7-9 seater, mini SUV/crossover.  The logical thought to me was to buy something that we could grow in to and that we'd have 'forever' - pay it off and not have to replace for some time.  This was what 'I had decided on' back when I was still working and perhaps that would have made sense. 

"Why so big?" you may ask, well, this way we could fit more kids (as they come) and be able to also have my mom and whomever else with us wherever we're going.  We just always go places in groups, and thought it would be nice to be able to have others pack in our car to get to wherever we're going.  

We were seeking advice and prayers from family, friends, mentors from church - everyone.  No one was saying what I wanted to hear ;) I needed to continue to pray for the person that would say just the right thing, right?! :)  Every message we were hearing at church or online or reading was saying the same thing: God will provide your needs.  Then...the day we went to church with Grandma Boyd, oh that was a hoot, my mind paraphrases something that was said, "God's not going to give you what you want, he's going to continue providing what you NEED."  

Over the past year, the Lord has done nothing but prove to us over and over again that HE is our PROVIDER.  He hands us just what we need right when we need it.  Seriously.  Emma's bedding for $10, financial assistance to not pay anything for her being born, additional income each month to continue paying for our bills +, gifts for Emma that we receive of things we don't have to buy for her, baby food and cereal people have that is 'extra' that they give to us.

It's been a joy in my heart to continually see His provision for us over and over again.  A couple of days prior to that Sunday, Tyler and I sat down and talked and we said, "OK, lets really pray about this car situation over this next week.  If a great deal comes up by Friday, then we'll go for it.  If not, on Monday, when Tyler's home, we'll start the car search all over and down size the car we're searching for."  Then that Sunday, the message just pounded in to my heart and I was like 'OK, quit asking for more than you need.  Be practical and logical, not lustful and greedy."

I spent all week resisting the temptation to search for cars.  I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't search for another car until after we'd gotten past this week.  And it was on my mind so much I decided to pray about it each time I thought about it :)  Seriously obsessed folks!  

Monday, I went to Bible study and at the end I asked for prayer about 'my car situation.'  Before we got up and started to make our way out, a gal, Bobbie, spoke up and said, "Connie, are you having car problems?  Need to have a car fixed?  Need to sell a car?  Need to buy a car?"  I laughed (and realized I really could have a car 'problem' but was blessed to just be in the situation I was in!) and told her that we needed a car.  The next words out of her mouth were, "Ah, I have a car for you.  My in-laws are selling a car, it's 6 years old with 50 k miles on it, looks and smells brand-new.  We've been looking for someone to buy it." ...then, dare I ask?!, "What kind of car is it?" (seriously, I cringed kinda not knowing what she was going to say) "Dodge Stratus, I had one of them with my first two kids.  It was perfect, I loved it.  It fit them and everything needed to lug around for them.  I kept it until we had our 3rd..."

My thoughts were, 'OK this is it.  She just told me it's all I need for this stage of my life.  My sister had one and she loved it...'

Wow this is getting forward: It was only $3,000.  We continued to pray over it.  Felt completely at peace with moving forward with this, and by the following week it was ours (last week).

...and here it is!  

we love it!  it's perfect for us.  It is a 2004 Dodge Stratus.
...and...yes, the title says 'part 1' which means there will be a 'part 2'.  I'll try to give you a break before posting that one so as to not deter you from ever looking at this blog again due to my wordiness here :)  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fun for all ages ;)

Emma got to attend her first birthday party!!  ...and it was my first in quite some time :) it was a joy to see kids having a great time playing together :) 

They played musical chairs for a bit...
 Here's the birthday girl, Marisol, playing pin the tail on the donkey...
 ...this little guy took a peek while he was trying to pin :)  
 Then, the hit of the party: donut eating contest.  The kids had SO much fun playing!
 and the moms had a ball helping them out much fun, in fact, someone had the bright idea to have all the moms go too! :)

 ...this little cutie wasn't able to play yet...but she sure did have fun hanging with the fam!!

My cousins are such a riot ;)  I look forward to many more birthday party festivities with this bunch!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lunch with Grandma Boyd

A couple of weeks ago, we received a lunch invite from Grandma Boyd, and we were thrilled to go over and visit! It had been too long since we'd spent some time with her.

Since it had been a while, we decided to surprise her and meet her at church.  

Since we went right home with her afterwards, we had a little time to just hang while lunch was being made.  

We looked through a few photo albums and read and learned lots about the previous generations.  What a neat treat for her to have put a scrapbook together with all those details.  Definitely something to cherish.

Back to the visit ;0...Emma looked at pictures with Daddy:)
pictures will have to be important to us since we have so much family that isn't around to just drop in and visit.  
Of course I think my child is adorable :)  And this is a picture to show it!
 Emma wore her cute sweater that Grandma Boyd gave us...and she looks super cute in it!

We had such a nice time visiting...and enjoyed a yummy meal and a SCRUMPTIOUS desert (thank you for the recipe, by the way!).  When I remember to pick up the ingredients, I will have to share it as well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What a story

I watched Oprah yesterday, and if you did also you probably remember the story of the gentleman, Kristian Anderson, with cancer.  I searched the video they showed pieces of on youtube today.  See the romantic video this man did for his wife HERE

On the side bar, I saw what looked like it might be their wedding video.  I know, your thinking I'm a stalker :)  Well, I just love weddings and the 'stories' they show about the couples.  I love love, what can I say.  And as I've been processing 'dying to self' and not being selfish; putting my husband first, I just had to click the video and check it out.  If you too would like to see a wedding video of complete strangers, click HERE.

I was thrilled to see that they displayed prayer in their video!  So of course, as this man is battling his life here on earth, I'm guessing he has the promise of eternal life. smile :)

THEN...I found a link to their blog.  Ug...they've gone through a rough time recently.  And yes, confirmation, in my opinion, that they're believers.  SMILE :)  They can certainly use prayer!  If you'd like to stalk them to the degree I did :)  (let me know so I can feel the company of my fellow stalkers!) click HERE.  Whether you look in to their lives or not, please pray for the family and all they're going through. 

...and now, on I go to get to what I've been procrastinating on all week.  Please pray for me.  It's a very emotional thing.  I know I will share it, but just not yet :)  certainly in the weeks to come.  

On the mind today...

Today I'm feeling like I'm on I'm diving in to every devotional, video and blog that I come across to help get that gauge back up :)  It's been a long and very busy week.

A couple of weeks back or so, I posted a link to a Beth Moore video (here is that link).  Here is the conclusion of that video, as I know several of you really felt that first one :)

Earlier this week, Lysa TerKeurst shared a few links on her blog, and I've clicked back on them throughout the week.  This was a good one: Holly Furtick.  In case it doesn't link you exactly where I was trying to get you to, it's the post title of The 6th Love Language... Death.  Man, good one...Do you ever feel like the one area you're focusing in is the one that gets some road blocks all of a sudden?  I guess it makes sense.  We have been praying about getting our life group back together, since ours broke up.  It broke up due to our leader, who was our pastor, taking a position in Ohio.  We've also been praying about our involvement in building our Married's ministry.  As you know, it's an area where the Lord's placed a deep passion inside of me, and Tyler also feels a strong passion for encouraging others in this area.  Looks like God has married the two :)  We are meeting this weekend to finalize logistics on starting a new life group, inviting our old buddies, in the home of the Married's ministry leaders...with Tyler and I and another couple co-leading.  (that's my background FYI I guess;0).  WELL...I feel like I have consistently had to apologize to Tyler for one thing or another. reading this, just made me think about the fact that I've felt a little challenged in the wife area while we're gearing up to lead a group and encourage many!  So...prayers in this area would be greatly appreciated :) ANYWAY, back to the post!  It was a 'OUCH' moment for me :)...especially after this am.  

...AND lastly, another thing that just replaced a cup of coffee 'wake-me-up' that I was in need now, off I go directly to the source ;)  Enjoy a trip over to Wendy Blight's blog

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend :) ...and stay tuned for some catch-up posts.

Isaiah's 9 months!

This handsome little man turned 9 months last week!  We can hardly believe it's time to start planning the first birthday for the 1 year olds this year.

Not too long ago, Crystal and Blair decided to cut Isaiah's curls, so he looks even more like a little man...

 mama got some lovin' time ;)

Isn't he just a doll?  
...sorry to the Emma fans.  She was a good girl and slept the whole time we took pictures! none of her no this day :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Emma Update

Well, it's been a little bit since I've talked about Emma, how dare I?! :)  Well, it's because she's doing so well!  (there's nothing to complain about!).  On January 3 she turned FIVE months...where has the time gone?!  (especially since that was 2 weeks ago now).  On that day, we went to Granny Lina's for coffee and to hang with the girls ;)  Emma loves to go over there...

She is sleeping and eating well, growing daily.  She loves to just play by herself.  Sometimes in her crib when she wakes up and I decide to finish something up before I go get her (and sometimes that causes her to take another little nap ;0) sometimes after we've played together for a bit...she's really good at entertaining herself, which I adore about her ;)  She's definitely aware of mommy and daddy when we're coming in and out of the room she's in.  She lights up when she sees us.  She LOVES attention.  Oh man does she.  If we're hanging out with others and not getting any, she starts to talk louder than our voices so we can look her way!.  

When we went out to run errands the other day, I saw her looking out the window just looking as we're driving by the houses.  Thursday we were sitting in the car in the rain and she just watched the rain drops  land on the window.  She's so great at observing...just taking it all in. 

We know all this stuff is 'normal' but it's new to us!  We're so thrilled that she's doing so well.  So, I've just been soaking it all up, spending lots of cuddle and play time with her.  Being amazed by how well she's growing and doing.  It just melts my heart to have her smile at me...sigh...can't wait for hugs and kisses!!

So there ya are, what Ms Emma Lou-Lou is up to.  Next up for her - SIX MONTH update and check-up!! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1/15 SSMT

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV
My verse for the next two weeks :)  What is SSMT? Click here

Friday, January 14, 2011

Birthdays and photo shoots and tamales...oh my!

WELL...this is a rewind to December 14...but it was such a big day i couldn't just pass right over it! :) 

It was my mom's birthday.  We had a little party over breakfast :)  For YEARS my favorite thing ever has been the apricot white chocolate scones from Olde Tyme Pastries (or Village baking company).  Now that I'm on a 'make my own' kick, I figured no better time to try to make them myself!!
 so EASY and YUMMY...they were a hit!!
 Tio Beto stopped by and got to play with Emma Lou for a bit ;)
 Emma and Jayce played a together a little too
 Tia Ann was trying to spread the love to all the kiddos :)
 My mom got all jazzed about taking pics with the kids by the tree since they were all there.  I had gotten these santa hats at Target's $1 area to try to get pics of the 3 kids together, so they were all ready to shoot.

 It was a rough go, but in the end, this was the best photo we were able to get :)  Usually there was one fussing while the other two were somewhat cooperating...oh well :)
 and Teremama with her 2 great-grands :) 
THEN...after all the company left, we set out what we'd set aside to do that day to begin with...making tamales... 

...not sure how this all worked out, but it was just the three of us making tamales for the whole family...hmm...Oh and my mom's friend Charlotte hung with us for a bit too :) 

Lita said she used to do all the work while her kids were growing up, and now her kids can do it themselves :), she and emma just hang out with us while we worked away :)
 We didn't exactly count how many dozens we made, but the counter was full!
...and we were all set for Christmas dinner with that LONG day :)  ....they were yummy!  And now we'll be enjoying them throughout the year.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011


FOR YOU NANI!!  i know you said you love when babies find their hands and feet. 
She was more interested in her feet (that she decided can entertain her now) than finishing up her squash ;)

sorry 1 min plus of my emma and her feet ;)

A new day, a new week...exhale ;)

Isn't this a neat photo?  When Tyler and i opened the door this morning for him to leave for work we both enjoyed this site
Made us think of Indiana a bit :) 

I've been struggling to post.  I've been exhausted.  I've been struggling to do just about anything, really...Not going to bed early like I know I should, and there have been more nights than not where Ms Emma either goes down late or wakes up at 2/3 AM for a feeding or even 4 am but I've gone to bed late.  She was on a pretty regular schedule that made it easy to plan my days, but not lately.  my day depends on the time the little darling decides to wake up :)  Well, with my undiagnosed condition, not good sleep means I ache.  And the aches have been pretty regular.  Yesterday's were no fun at all.  I also haven't been working out.  for the past 3 weekends, I've gone to the gym 1ce, which makes for a 1ce a week work out:)  My body also needs the exercise to help the joints and pains, so needless to say I need more.  And man have I been crabby!  I think Tyler, for one, can attest to that (so sorry, again!).  I've been in the Word, reading devos, praying for others and trying to encourage them, but I hadn't been getting that jolt of God caffeine feeling that I love...we've been praying hard over our car situation and the repeated lesson and neon signs to us are: abide in Him and He will provide.  He's definitely gotten the providing for us part down.  And we get it.  Provision for what we need not necessarily what we want.  I am beginning to think I'm not abiding correctly or sufficiently (which essentially would be doing it incorrectly, I guess) with how many times we hear it (Sunday's radio messages, verses we come across).  So there's where I am and what's been on the mind for the past few weeks here.  

This am I heard a message by Chip Ingram.  It's on his series from Good to Great in God's Eyes (that he also has a great book with the same title I'm in the middle of reading).  It reminds us that not only do we need to be pouring in to other's lives, but having someone pour in to ours as well.  'light bulb'.  And am currently open for any takers with the desire to pour in :)  ...haven't met with my mentor since Emma was born, but would you know it - she reached out last week and said 'lets get together!'.  I love God's perfect timing ;0

Last night, Ms Emma slept 10 hours, which allowed mama to have 8.  Heard this and another great message by Greg Laurie.  Got some devo time in.  Worked out before Emma woke up at 9ish (and got to work out last night!).  Great day ahead ;)  Now off I go to 'start' it :)  ...beginning to think Emma waking up in the 9 o'clock hour isn't too that mama's not being able to be the 4 am early bird ;)  Glad we leave it to God to know our needs better than we think we know them.

Thank you Jesus for speaking to us in a million ways so we can finally let it sink in, one way or another.  Thank you for sleep.  Thank you for an easy child that likes naps.  Thank you for bringing people in our lives that we can pour in to and that can pour in to well as those that enjoy to pray for others.  I appreciate your prayers, whatever you may pray for me ;0

I have pics to post!  I pray for a balance on spending time on the computer.  Patience please and thank you :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Watch this video

I very much enjoy the teachings of Beth Moore :)  I appreciate her humor, her realness and how much she puts in to learning, and turns around and shares it with us!  Here's a video that aired a couple of weeks back - check back for part II to be posted.

As always, it spoke to me in some ways and hoping it will speak to you as well!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Keep your $ in your wallet! (or account)

I have to be honest, I USED  to check my statements and compare my receipts...all that fun stuff, to make sure that all was in line and no random charges were there.  Over the past 4 years, I've gotten out of the habits I had for bills and such, so I can honestly say that I sometimes browse through things, but more often than not, I pay what I'm told without a thought.

There have been a few occasions when things have happened.  Charges we didn't make, credits not appearing, charges we've disputed that were supposed to be reversed not being reversed, etc.  With things actually happening, you'd think I'd be better at it.  I keep vowing to myself to do it, but then my papers just pile up on my desk and nothing happens.  Ug.  WELL.  I am here to encourage you (and myself) to make this a habit, and let me tell you why now :)

Early December I purchased 2 items at a store.  Mid December, 1 of those items was returned.  Statement came in the mail.  I took the statement total, subtracted my return (it didn't appear, I had just done it) and mailed the remainder.  Seems simple enough, right?  Balance should now be ZERO.

Yesterday's mail brought my new statement and I had a $7.58 balance.  Now, it's not about the amount, it's about the fact that it should have been $0 balance.  I was on the phone with about 5 different people, and in the end, they credited me the $6.50 they shorted me (the remainder was the interest), but only because i have my receipt from the return with the notes and amounts on it.

Again, not a big amount, I know - but the amounts I've contested are anywhere from $.99 to $12 or even $20 each.  They add up if you just keep paying them!  SO CHECK YOUR STUFF when it comes in the mail!!  And when you talk to peeps on the phone, make notes, and when possible, get the outcome in writing (email) from them...when things don't happen that they promise, you have something to fall back on your words usually enough when you have the date, time adn name of the customer svc rep)

PS - My dad used to tell me to check the grocery clerk as they're scanning the merch as well.  Have you noticed they go super quick?  His theory was so that they go so fast so they don't have to give you the sales prices.  Now most of the time the sale price is embedded in the scanner, but sometimes they're not.  So when I can catch it while they're scanning, I do and bring it up and they manually change the purchase price.  Other times it all happened so quick I have to sit and look at the receipt in the car and go back in (yes, I have, and wait for my $2 or $5 or whatever the amount is).

I know it seems nutty, but I hope that in taking up this practice I'm able to save you enough cash for maybe a date night or 2 throughout the year ;0...and I guess you now know a little bit about some of my nuttiness and how I work :)

It's all about being your own advocate here, guys!  No one's looking out for you but you :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Top 10 - Anita Renfroe

had to do the 'head nod...yep...agree' all the way down this list, so thought I would share!
A good woman is hard to find . . . When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say. —Proverbs 31:10, 26 MSG
Sleep researchers tell us that women have from 20 to 50 percent higher incidence of insomnia than men. They say that this is due to our fluctuating levels of estrogen. Women would tell you that this is really because we are the only gender that truly has a grip on the emotional complexities of life and once the lights go out our minds zoom in like a laser pen on the most pressing issue de jour.
I made up this list during one of those sleepless nights. It’s a countdown a la The David Letterman Showof some things I probably should pass on to a younger generation . . .
  1. Surround yourself with people who build you up.
  2. Take care of your body.
  3. You make your decisions—but then your decisions make you.
  4. A chapter of Proverbs a day keeps the stupids away.
  5. Keep your destiny in mind.
  6. Pray about everything.
  7. Never make important decisions when you are tired or hungry.
  8. Take time to decide what is worth doing, then do it with your whole heart and with excellence.
  9. Call home.
  10. Love God.
— Anita Renfroe

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

 (notice the time by my head...YES that was the ACTUAL TIME!!!)
 Little Miss Emma wanted to be a part of ringing in the first New Year in her life!! (and she also liked mommy's champagne glass)
Happy New Year!!