Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Over Memorial Weekend we had a fun few days at the lakehouse. Though it was disappointing that it rained three of the four days we were there... but we had good company with family and friends so we still had a good time! Here are a few pictures.
Here is one of me and my girls. Two of them live up near the lakehouse so we get to see them on most of our visits - the other lives near us but took advantage of the long weekend too. ;-)
Here is one of my BEAUTIFUL girl's toothy grin! She has been working hard with her First Steps therapists and gaining strength with every session. Her sitting has improved so much and she is starting to pivot on her tummy. Its exciting to see her progressing. Christine is a very good-natured girl and such a joy to be around!

This one is of Joe on his new tricycle. We are hoping using the trike will help him to learn reciprocal motion and aid in his learning to walk. He has become much more mobile in his walkers both at home and at school. I am having to take more notice of stuff left on the desk and table because Joe will scoot around and yank things off of any surface he can reach! Its hard babyproofing for a four year old toddler. But we are very thankful for the progress he is making.
Ah, Nate. He has been very full of energy lately. The curtain and blinds in the boys' room were pulled down by Joe and they have been without them for a few days now. With the sun peaking into their room bright and early Nate has been up at 6am almost every day! Not good for mommy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Product Review

With the boys I bought rubber name bands for their sippy cups because I was constantly losing them. We are working on getting Christine to use a cup now. So I decided I'd try Applied Labels for Christine instead.
But I wanted to be efficient so I got labels with our last name on them instead of Christine's name so that I could use them on items for everyone instead of just her (we prefer to keep our last name private which is why I am using a stock photo). Well... I have only actually used a couple of the labels. I like them. I have been pleased with the quality of the product but I have found that I just haven't found a need for them as much as I thought I would. I think we might use them more if my kids were in public school and we had more personal items to keep track of in groups.

*The product in this post was given to me for review. I was not paid for this post. The opinions shared are my own. Thanks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hubby's B-day

My wonderful husband celebrated his twenty-ninth birthday yesterday - yes, I married a young'n. ;-) We have been pretty busy lately with putting the house on the market and other things so nothing big was planned (we'll save that for his 30th next year!). But we were able to slip away sans children for a nice dinner out.
We went to a place really enjoy dining at: The Claddagh Irish Pub. We have found that Restaurant.com often has certificates for this place, so we got there fairly often (once every other month maybe?). We usually stick to our favorite dishes but this time we were brave and branched out. We tried two signature dishes: the shamrock wings and the corned beef and cabbage entree. The wings were good. But the corned beef and cabbage was amazing! SO good! We'll definitely be ordering that again!
We thought about going to the movies but we discussed at length how ridiculous the prices have gotten and we decided to go cheap and we rented a movie instead. We were excited to find Vertigo (number nine on the AFI Top 100 List). It is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film. Very eerie. I was a little unsettled after watching it. So we had to watch "something happy" for a bit to clear my head before going to bed.

Anyway... we enjoyed spending the evening together. But this morning I realized that I forgot to get my hubby a birthday card. So here it is:

How do I begin to tell you how honored I am
To have you in my life?
I'll start by saying it was a dream come true
The day I became your wife.

You're my best friend in the good times
And my rock in times of sorrow.
You're the reason for sweet yesterdays
And my promise for tomorrow.

I never thought I could feel this loved
Until I became your wife.
You made this year and each other year

The best of my life.

Love always,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We recently put our house on the market. And when I say recently I really mean it. Its been a week now. We were both blessed and cursed by having a call the day after we listed it for a showing. Ah! We had not yet checked off all the things on our To Do List. Well we had a mad dash cleaning spree for a day and with the help of my mom and sis and friend (yes, it took that many people to get our house show ready) we had decluttered nearly our whole home. My parents were gracious enough to allow us to store some stuff in their barn during the staging/selling process.
While I do not really have "before" pictures, let me just say that my house does not normally look like this. We have three kids... two special needs... we normally have toys in every room, laundry baskets here and there, folded and unfolded laundry frequently takes over the master bedroom. You get the idea.
I have watched a lot of HGTV while nursing in the last year and I think I was finally able to put all that information that I've absorbed to good use! I can't remember which show it was on but I remember one of the hosts say that there are Three D's of Staging: Declutter, Depersonalize and Disassociate.
Basically, we went through the house and packed up anything that we thought we would not need for a few months (really hope we've sold by the time we need our winter clothes again!).
So, we reorganized our closets, rearranged furniture, depersonalized by taking down some (but not all) of our family photos, did whatever we could to make the rooms look as big as possible (which included getting rid of a few bookcases and other misc pieces of furniture that were just adding to the clutter). We even "staged" the deck to look its best too. Here are a few links that I found helpful:

HGTV's Ultimate Staging Checklist

Staging Checklist

Another version of the Three D's of Staging

While we have not yet sold our house... I do feel much more prepared for showings and I definitely think that the work we have done (and will continue to do) will pay off in the long run. So hopefully soon I will be able to say for certain that staging worked for us!

Feel free to share your "Works for Me Wednesday" post at We are THAT Family!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Who I Am...

WhipperBerry is doing a series of posts called Who I Am... this month and while I am not being featured... I thought it would be fun to do. So here goes nuthin'.
* child of God
* daughter
* wife
* mother
* sister
* friend
* memory keeper/scrapbooker
* peacemaker
* voice of reason
extremely hard on myself (I am an oldest child of five)
a realist masquerading as a cynic who is secretly an optimist.
* soul searcher
* still learning about myself daily

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Home is Where the Heart is...

My husband and I had the house that we live in built shortly after we were married. Even then we had planned on only being here for awhile, until we had had a couple of kids and felt the need for more space. Well... it has been eight years. We have had three children now. And I have definitely been feeling the need for more space. So, we started looking around to see what was on the market right now in our area.

Over the past few years even though we were not really in the market to buy yet we have discussed the things that we were looking for in a future home. Bigger yard for kids to play in, possible basement for kids to play in ;-), little bit of a fixer upper but not too much, potential schoolroom so we don't always have to do school on the coffee table, etc... We came across a home that meets all of these "requirements" that we have had in our mind for awhile now. It has four bedrooms, 2.5 bath, basement, space for us to have our schoolroom, its on a beautiful acre yard that includes mature trees and goes back into a small ravine with a creek (which Nate adored)... but the siding needs replaced, every room needs painted and the bathrooms and kitchen are all outdated and need major face-lifts. It is pretty much exactly what we are looking for and while we realize it will be a lot of work, both Isaac and I can truly see our family in this home for many many years. There is so much that we like, dare I say love about this house.

There is so much that would have to happen in order for us to get this home. While we have already listed out current home for sale, so much work that has to be done here at our current home just in order to get it staged and actually ready to sell. I've been doing major decluttering and boxing stuff up to put into storage already. Not to mention all the work that will have to be done on the "new" house.
I am trying to keep an attitude of "if God wants us to have this house then it will happen"... but part of me is anxious and excited and scared because I really do want it a lot! And honestly, I do not want to go through all this work if its not going to work out. In an effort to keep my heart in its proper place I have found these verses for me to meditate on and use in my prayers as we take the steps forward as we are being led. I am praying that if this house is not in God's will for us that He make it very clear to us and that He comfort me from the disappointment that I am sure I would feel.

Deuteronomy 28:8 ESV - The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 11:31 ESV - For you are to cross over the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you. And when you possess it and live in it,

Genesis 12:1-3 ESV - Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Please lift us up in your prayers at this time also as we face the many tasks ahead in the process of buying/selling. Thank you friends.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Wedding Words of Wisdom

I went to a bridal shower yesterday for a lovely young woman that I have known for many years. It is exciting to see a woman who has a true heart for God be brought together with the love of her life. And what a blessing to join with other friends and family to bless her during this time. One special friend of the bride shared a short devotional with her and all of the guests. The message she shared emphasized the importance of respecting our husbands. She talked about how while we women desire and need to be loved by our husband it is actually our respect that men desire and need. She came up with an anagram to help us remember ways that we can show our husbands respect.

R - remain interested in your man
E - encourage his dreams
S - speak well of him to others
P - place yourself under his leadership
E - embrace regularly
C - create an atmosphere of respect in your home
T - tell him often that you respect him

This is so important in a marriage. A great reminder for me and I hope for you readers also. So, what are you waiting for? Go tell your man how much you respect him. ;-)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Etsy Shop Debut!

I have been working on some projects for awhile now but have only just recently gotten them listed on Etsy. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Click on the picture to view the listing for that item.

I really would love feedback since I'm still getting started. I may have a giveaway coming up sometime. Keep an eye out for future posts!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


I can hardly believe that my baby girl is one year old! It doesn't really seem like it has been a whole year since she was born. I can still remember taking a walk around our neighborhood while I was in labor and crying to Isaac that I didn't think I could make it. ;-) It was a short two hours later that our beautiful baby girl made her entrance into this world!
So much has changed since then! Christine brings such joy to our lives. My kids sure know how to keep me busy. While the days are often unbearably long the years seem to pass so quickly.

This weekend our families joined together to celebrate Christine's first birthday together. What a blessing to be loved and supported by so many.

I got inspiration for the pretzel butterfly cupcakes HERE. Thank you Martha Stewart. ;-) The mini flower cupcakes were done with candy coated almonds. Being the bargain hunter that I am I got almost everything for the party on Easter clearance. I love the Target dollar spot!
Christine was far too reserved with the cake! She gave it a good grab and got it all over her fingers but then proceeded to just slurp it off of her fingers instead of making the giant mess we were expecting.
The present opening was fun of course. She got a lot more clothes than the boys usually do. Lets face it: girls are more fun to shop for than boys! She got several really cute outfits from her grandmas and aunts. I have to say that her favorite gift seemed to be her dolly. She held it like a baby and everything. Then she chewed on its arm.
As always we are very thankful that our family is close and we can celebrate our special occasions with one another. Its great to get everyone all together once in awhile. I should have taken a picture of the whole family - both sides... but you know how it goes... I was lucky to get the pictures I did manage to take amidst the chaos! ;-)
Thanks everyone and Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby girl!