Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Teamwork Works For Me

As the preschool show characters of The Wonder Pets would say: "Whats gonna work? TEAMWORK!!"
And its so true! A group of ladies at my church got together the other night for a sewing night.
We gathered donated fabric from members of our church and a few of us brought our sewing machines and we all pitched in and worked on making bible bags for our ladies retreat.
It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. But by the end of the evening we had 50 bible bags made!! Teamwork definitely Works For Me!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Final Additions to 30 by 30 List

ok, its taken me a few weeks but I've finally finished my list of 30 Things to Do Before I'm 30.
I wish I'd have started this list awhile ago. The list would be different and I'd have made a dent in it by now! Things like "get married" and "have babies" would be checked off. But I didn't think it was fair to put things on the list that I'd already done. Anyway, don't judge me... some of these things are mature... others practical... but a few are just silly - but if you know me at all then you wouldn't expect anything else from me! So, here you go. Let me know what you think!

21. Get all my completed scrapbook pages into albums! I have piles of pages that are stacking up that I have no albums to put them into!

22. Finish reading through the whole bible with my husband. We got off to a good start awhile back and got out of the habit. Need to start back up and finish this time!

23. Go to a Hearts at Home conference. I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now and have not been able to work it out. One of these days… it will happen!

24. Find a way to show my husband how much I appreciate him. He is such a big part of my life and while he certainly challenges me… I think I take all the good things about him for granted sometimes.

25. Help start a monthly ladies fellowship time. Our church has great teaching in place but I feel the women of our body would benefit from more time to develop and deepen our relationships on a personal level that we just can’t do on Sunday mornings.

26. Go see Wicked (or some other live musical). I have always enjoyed musicals and haven’t been to many live shows lately. I’m one of those dorks who will sing along and annoy whoever is sitting next to me!!

27. Help make some positive changes to the women’s ministry at my church. I think there are a lot of women who would benefit from some regular fellowship time where we can develop our relationships on a deeper level than what we can do on Sunday mornings.

28. Write out our will. It is not a fun job. No one (ok, I don’t) looks forward to thinking about what will happen when their gone from this world. But it has got to be done.

29. Take a continuing education class for fun. I was looking in the paper a few weeks ago and there were a few that I am interested in: cooking, etiquette, how to build your photography business, and others. Maybe I could talk someone into doing it with me!

30. Read a book that my husband recommended (from cover to cover, not just a couple of chapters!). My DH and I do not have similar taste in books at all. I read mostly fiction with some fluffy self help or DIY books in the mix. He on the other hand reads mostly theological stuff that generally bores me!

By the way.... this is my 400 blog post!! ah! I didn't realize I had so much to say to the world wide web!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I still haven't gotten back into the swing of scrappin' regularly. I've had alot of other projects going on. This week we had a special sewing night at church. I helped with that some but I also created a poster board "advertising" our ladies retreat coming up in a couple of months. What do you think? I have to give credit where its due: Sniz did the chalk lettering. Isn't it cute?
Ok, I'm actually going to do all the Sunday Scrappin' stuff that I usually forget to do.
My TaDa's:
well... the retreat display board
getting my scrappin' supplies into my new armoire (mostly organized)
My ToDo's:
scrap at least 2 layouts this week
continue to work on getting organized in a practical and user-friendly way (I'll post pix when I am happy w/ the way I have things set up!)

There you go. Thats all I have for now. For more craftiness check out Sunday Scrappin'!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Partied Out!

I grew up on the "other side" of the birthday party. In some ways it was good for me. In others... I think it ruined me! ;-)
It started out when my mom became a clown - literally. She did face painting and balloon animals at parties and company picnics, etc. Then we started doing pony rides for those same parties. I went to ALOT of parties. I saw how much money people spent on their kids birthdays. I think its wasteful and frivolous to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to throw a party every time you celebrate birthday or event. Please don't get me wrong. I enjoy entertaining. I love to celebrate special occasions with my friends and families. But I do not think you have to spend a ton of money to do that!
I think during birthdays and Christmas alike it is very easy for kids (and adults) to get overwhelmed with the gifts. The "gimme" attitude is far more likely to take over the more presents are that are given. I'd much rather
My husband and I have agreed that we will primarily celebrate our kids' birthdays with our immediate families only. We've designated 1, 5, 10, 13, 16, and 18 as milestone birthdays that we plan on having larger "friends" parties. I think its good to differentiate between the years. Its important to make every birthday special but if you make a huge deal every year is it really different from the year before?
Every family is different as is there style of parenting, of celebrating and so on. And for that matter everyone has a different financial situation that they live in. Money certainly is not our primary reason for downsizing our birthday events. But we are consciously choosing to take steps to emphasize to our children that family and relationships are more valuable than material things. And this is one of the ways that we are trying to teach them that value.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Pancakes @ IHOP!!

Join IHOP to celebrate National Pancake Day on Tuesday February 24th. Come in between 7am-10pm and receive a stack of 3 pancakes for FREE. All they ask is that you consider donating to Children's Miracle Network and other local charities.
Here is what IHOP's official website had to say about National Pancake Day:
Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly two million dollars to support charities in the communities in which it operates. With your help, we hope to raise $1,000,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in 2009!

So... if you are interested find out where you can find an IHOP near you!! Free Pancakes WORK FOR ME!! ;-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Girls Weekend!

These are my "girls". I have other women friends obviously... but these will always be my "girls". We were fast friends in college (years ago!) and have remained close despite the distance between us. We have been able to all get together at least once a year for an annual Girls Weekend.When I came home after college I had a hard time getting plugged in again at my home church. I quickly went from young and single to being married and soon after a mom. Part of me did not know where I fit in. Part of me did not want to make new friends, to get close to other women. I missed my "girls" so much that all I wanted was to be with them again. But God has softened my heart over the last few years. He has allowed and helped me to branch out and develop some other relationships that I am now very thankful for also. Some are in my church, others are not. Some are close in age, others are older, some younger. Diversity in friendships is a beautiful thing!
Thankfully, it is not one or the other. I do not have to give up my "girls" to have other friends (duh, me). Each of my friends is so different. They are able to offer me encouragement and support in different ways. I feel that I am a more complete person because I have so many wonderful women to lean on when I need it. God has blessed me so much through the women in my life!
Thank you God, and thank you friends for your roles in my life. I love you all!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Altered Item

For the women's event I helped coordinate last week I altered this oatmeal container to collect our love offering. It was my first "altered item" so its a little rough around the edges... but its inspired me to do more stuff like this! And that's my scrappin' for the week! Check out other paper crafts at Sunday Scrappin'.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This is a little late, but this is National Delurking Week. What is delurking you may ask? Well, if you have been lurking around here reading my blog but not commenting, it is time to come out of the shadows. Come out and say hi. Really, it would make my day!

So if you read this post, please leave me a comment to say hi. In fact, leave me a question you might have for me. Who knows... maybe I will answer your questions in a future post. It's your turn to interview me, so seize the opportunity.

I stole this post from Suz's 30 by 30 blog because I love getting comments. And when I see that I've gotten tons more hits than comments it irks me! If you stop by you must have something to say! I rarely stop by a blog and don't leave a comment because I know most bloggers are like me and enjoy a little comment-love!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Event Planner Crash!

Over the past couple of months I have been planning a ladies event at my church. We hosted author/speaker Jill Savage. I have spent alot of time and energy planning the details of this event. And now its over... but my hubby keeps reminding me that the effects of the event will continue to go on.
I was so excited to get such a great response from the ladies in my church and the community. The whole thing came together so beautifully in the end! I had my girls pitch in to help and the result was awesome. The energy in the room was incredible! Everyone was so excited to be there and you could feel it!
Ann Kroeker and I have been blog buddies for something like a year now and she came! It was so great to finally meet her in person!
What a blessing it was to see women from my home church, my friends from my neighborhood and women from our community (even the blogging community!) all come together to worship, fellowship and learn together as women of God! Thanks so much to Jill for sharing with us and all the ladies that helped bring the event together! God is good!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Tips from Kate

I was checking out 5MinutesForMom and there was a podcast with Jon Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus Eight. So of course I followed the link to TLC's Jon and Kate page. I found this great list of tips on organization from Kate. Check it out:

Tip #1 Organize

As a mother of sextuplets and twins, one of the best methods for keeping a family organized is lists! No one has the memory of an elephant! Keep a constant running list of "To Dos" and then cross things off as they are completed! My to-do lists consists of meals for the week, which loads of laundry need to be done, and which parts of the house needs attention. Lists will keep you and your family organized.

Tip #2 Shop on a Budget

Shopping for a family of 10 means planning ahead and staying on a budget. The good news is that you can have healthy, home cooked delicious (even organic!) meals for a large family. Look for sales! Watch the sale papers and take advantage of store promotions, coupons and rainchecks. Keep a constant running list of things that are on sale and that you need at the store from week to week. This will avoid buying things that you don't need. It's also good to stock up on items that you use a lot of and that are on sale!

Tip #3 Prepare for Outings

Plan ahead! If outings are well thought out in advance, it will allow for a better time for all! Always take plenty of drinks, snacks, clothing and supplies. Make a mental plan of how the day will unfold and then adjust it as necessary!

Tip #4 Count Your Blessings

On days that your role as mom seems mundane and pointless and repetitive(we all have those), remember to count your blessings! Take a moment, see all that is positive in your life and the life of your children and it will give you that boost that you need!

Tip #5 Promote Safety

Talk about different scenarios and what is safe and acceptable and what is not safe and what they should not do in different situations! Remind them to come to YOU as a parent if they hear something that they don't understand, think that is bad or don't know what it means. You want to position yourself as their resource person to keep conversation lines open. This needs to start at a very young age.

Tip #6 Provide Order

A schedule will help everyone in the family. It removes the guesswork and a lot of frustration. It allows the things that need to get done to get done because life becomes somewhat predictable.

Tip #7 Reward Your Children

Reward them for their helpfulness and kindness—if only with your words, this will mean a lot to them. They want your approval!

Tip #8 Make Housework a Family Affair

Especially in a large family, involving all of the kids in the housework, chores, cooking, cleaning etc. This helps to provide family unity, and a sense of belonging. It also teaches kids to develop a strong work ethic. And encourage Dad to get involved—n our situation,much of what a successful mom is able to accomplish, is due to a very present and helpful dad!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

WFMW - No DVD Cases!

When my first son started being able to crawl and pull himself up he immediately began getting into our DVD cases. So we moved them up a shelf. And then another. And soon almost nothing was out of his reach and we were tired of fighting with him daily over it. So... we bought pleather cd albums (a little bit of an investment, but you could get cheaper ones if you didn't care about them looking nice). I separated our movies into categories: kids/family, comedy/romance and action/drama. All of our DVDs are stored in these albums and we don't have to worry about the boys getting into them and they take up a ton less space!

That works for me!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Road thru Marriage - 6 years!

"Marriages are most susceptible to divorce in the early years of marriage. After 5 years, approximately10 % of marriages are expected to end in divorce - another 10 % (or 20 % cumulatively) are divorced by about the tenth year after marriage. However, the 30% level is not reached until about the 18th year after marriage while the 40% level is only approached by the 50th year after marriage."
Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields
Yesterday we celebrated our six year anniversary. Both of our parents have been married only to eachother and both have been married around 30 years. And our grandparents have all had long marriages. We certainly have all had our struggles over the years... but all in all we are very blessed through our marriage and families.
If you look at the current statistics it would seem that marriage is no longer a sacred bond. It is increasingly treated carelessly instead of carefully. But God intended marriage to be a model of Christ's relationship with the church. Here is a great article I found online about God's plan for marriage.

Building Your Marriage: Some Thoughts From St. Paul

By Douglas Cowan, Psy.D.

These verses of Scripture from St. Paul are commonly used in Christian marriage ceremonies. They speak of the relationship between Christ and the Church in terms of the relationship between a husband and his wife. As beautiful as they are, they are also very misunderstood and misinterpreted. Look closely and see their wisdom for your marriage.

In Eph 5:21 to 33 Paul writes,

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

There are four important points here:

First, Christ loves us so much that He wants to marry us.

He calls us His Bride, and He uses marriage as a picture of His relationship to the Church, and to each of us as his followers.

Second, there is the "S" word. Submission.

Submission does not imply INFERIORITY. God made Eve out of the side of Adam, to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh - his equal - his companion. To say that submission somehow implies inferiority is to say that Jesus, when he submitted to the Father, was somehow inferior to the Father.

Submission does not imply inferiority in any way. It is a voluntary reliance on another. In fact, the Apostle Paul says that we are all to submit to each other. Wives to submits to husbands, husbands to wives, both to Christ.

Third, husbands are to be the leaders of the family.

The Pastors in the home. And men are to love their wives as Christ loves the church, and even died for it.

And finally, just as Jesus is preparing his bride, the Church, for the day when she will be presented in Heaven without spot or wrinkle, so husbands, as leader, are to prepare your wives to stand before God one day. Always remember that leadership in the home is primarily a spiritual responsibility.

May God richly bless your marriage.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

More 30 by 30

So... while I am not making any "New Year's Resolutions" I have added a few things to my 30 by 30 list. Again, this is a list of things I want to do before I turn 30 (which is a year from Feb.). These things are in random order.

14. Paint our master bedroom. It’s a fairly inexpensive way to change the look of a room and I think it’d help me to be satisfied w/ our hand-me-down furniture instead of longing for something new.

15. Get in touch with a few old friends that I haven’t talked to in awhile. I know that some friends are seasonal friends and aren’t meant to last forever… but sometimes it is nice to catch up with people that you’ve lost touch with too.

16. Read all of Jane Austen’s books. I loved the movies of her books and I liked The Jane Austen Book Club… I think it’d be fun to make an “all Jane Austen all the time book club” of my own!

17. Find a new Christmas tradition to replace gifts. Every year we’re overwhelmed with the amount of toys and stuff that our boys get from friends and family. I want to stop exchanging gifts within our immediate family and take a trip or have a special outing that we do together instead – I’m just not sure what yet.

18. Begin home-schooling my boys. I was home-schooled and while I think there are many advantages to doing it… I’m a little intimidated. I want to get organized enough to do it well.

19. Decide if we are going to have more kids. When we got married I wanted four kids and Isaac wanted two. Well… after having one via unexpected c-section, and one vbac at home…one who tries my patience daily and the other who pulls at my heartstrings constantly… I’m not sure if I can handle any more kids.

20. Expand my photography business. I’ve kind of just let my business be primarily friends and family so far. But I’d like to take it a little more seriously and actually do some marketing and put my business out there for more jobs. I want to do this for two reasons: 1) I love taking pictures and want to improve my skill and a lot of that comes from experience. 2) It would be helpful to our family financially if I was able to bring in some extra income.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


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Year in Review

This is the Christmas letter I sent out to our friends and family in our Christmas cards this year. Its not alot of info, its just a brief summary of our year.

Dear Friends and Family,

We have had an eventful year here at the Penrod household. Isaac is happily employed at Penrod Counseling Center where he is both CFO and substance abuse counselor. Lawana is busy caring for our home and the boys and is happy to pick up the occasional photography gig on the side.

Nate, is three and a half. He is full of energy (and all the mischief that goes along with it!) and is eager to learn. He has already memorized almost half a dozen bible verses and has started sounding out small words. It has been so cool to see him become a little man!

Joe is twenty months old. Shortly before his first birthday we began seeking professional help to address the developmental delays we had been noticing. He has been receiving in-home therapy through First Steps since March. He has made improvements but he has a long way to go. We have seen some specialists and had a series of tests done but have yet to get any real answers as to why he is experiencing delays. We continue to be blessed by his gentle spirit and appreciate the few milestones that he has been able to reach.

We feel the Lord caring for our needs daily and we hope you feel His presence in your lives as well. We would love to hear from you all during this holiday season and throughout the year to come.

In Christ’s Love,

Isaac, Lawana, Nate and Joe Penrod