Proverbs 16:24

"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

November 23, 2011

thinking of thanking

[[I snagged this post from THIS lady, who is awesome!]]

1. Who do I appreciate? My husband, my kiddos, my parents, my Savior, and my sisters (and brothers too, don't feel left out).

2. What material possessions am I thankful for? Our house, the money to do projects on our house, my sweater collection, and my toothbrush.

3. What abilities do I have that I'm grateful for? I am grateful for the ability to drive. I get my "mommy time" when I can drive off and run some errands. I am grateful that I can sing, because during these away times, I BLAST some tunes and sing as loud as I can!

4. What about my surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) am I thankful for? Our fabulous friends, Gabe and Kari, just moved in like five blocks away! I just wish we weren't moving away now...horrible timing.

5. What experiences have I had that I am grateful for? All of my life experiences led me to where I am now. I have met the man of my dreams, only because of all the roads that I took before that led me to him. I have two lovely children, and they are experiences of their own! I am thankful for my time in basic training and tech school where I really learned a lot about myself. I am thankful for the people I have met through all these experiences, because people really make life one big, beautiful experience.

6. What happened today/yesterday/this week/this month/this year that I am grateful for? I am grateful that Tom is starting a job in a few days that is so in line with what his life dreams are. It makes my heart happy to see that his dreams are something that we can make happen!

7. What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for? I am so very thankful for the opportunity I have each day to shape and mold my children to be little Christ-like kiddos. I am also super thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts via blog!

8. What have others in my life done that I am thankful for? I am thankful for my parents opening their home to us in this time of transition. I am thankful for the women in my life who have spoken truth to me, even when I was not listening. I am forever thankful for the patience that my husband gives me every day.

9. What relationships am I thankful for? I am thankful for SO many relationships, but mainly right now, what comes to mind, is my relationship with my husband, my mom, and my sisters/soul sisters.

10. What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for? Our furnace, my pillow, our shower.

11. What is there about the challenges/difficulties I have experienced (or am currently experiencing) that I can be thankful for? (e.g., What have I learned? How have I grown?) Raising kids is ... CHALLENGING. But I am so thankful, because it is forcing me to grow up. I have realized that I have some beliefs that I don't follow through on because I lack the discipline to carry them out, but having kids that will be always looking to me as an example forces me to be the person I want to be, the person I was created to be!

12. What is different today than it was a year ago that I'm thankful for? I am married! And significantly less round in the uteran region :) HAHAHA. (But super excited to get pregnant again!)

13. What insights have I gained that I am grateful for? I have gained so much insight about relationships. About how to treat others. About how to truly love. About how to mean it when I ask for forgiveness and about how many people I owe apologies to. About sacrifice. About what is not ok to sacrifice. About patience. About baking. About HUMILITY. About mother/wifehood.

November 21, 2011

i don't think he's an optimist...

I think God is a realist.

When I think about God, I would like to think that He sits in a field, smiling at daisies, laughing a big belly laugh. But I think that if I really thought about who God is, it would be more of a realist...but a joyful realist.

I think He smiles and wishes that every situation would be rainbows and jellybeans, but He knows that it's necessary to weep and to war. He knows that there is a time for serious contemplation and tough action. He knows there is a time for justice and a time for discipline. Also, I am so sure that He laughs, smiles, sings, and dances.

I have a hard time feeling like 'optimism = joyfulness'. I think reality sucks. But the reality of that attitude is that it's a lie. There are starving, dying, sick, sinful, lost people everywhere. I need to be aware of that. I can't write that out of my optimistic world. I can't pretend that this isn't a fallen world, deeply in need of active warriors for Christ, out fighting the good fight.

Sometimes, the sadness of it all is weighty. SO weighty. It sits on my heart like a greasy cheeseburger. And I want to forget about it. I want to have ignorant bliss. But we are called to serve, we are called to action, we are called to help the hurt and lost and broken. The widows and orphans and helpless.

And we are also called to be joyful in the knowledge of God's unfailing faithfulness, His vast promises, His gracious gift of salvation and eternity. So, this realism, this new has to be balanced with an abiding joy in the absolute perfection of the plan that Christ has for each of His lovely creations. He takes all the broken, mixed up garbage in the world and turns it around to glorify His worthy name!

What an amazing God we love!

November 20, 2011

the horrible, nasty, mean things that i think...

The view from Monkey Bear Falls
I'm back!!! Hello!

So, over the last few days I have been thinking on the fact that I have some pretty skewed views. I have some attitudes, habits, and opinions that are way more worldly than Godly...and I would like to explore these things in a little mini-series.

Today, I was thinking about how justified I feel in my harsh responses toward my husband and my kids. I make every kind of excuse as to why it should be alright for me to be quick to anger.

Some examples, you ask?? How about when it's "that time of the month" and I rudely push my husband away? How about when I am trying to listen to someone talk and Hunter makes an obnoxious noise and I angrily tell him to be quiet? How about when Adalia woke up from her seven second nap, when I really wanted a break, and I pull her out of her crib with a crappy attitude? How about when I have been up for two hours with the kids, and my husband wakes up still feeling "tired" and I sit there thinking to myself, "What a prick...HE is tired...he has NO CLUE what tired even is"?

I bet some of you readers are thinking...."You are a horrible person. I am never reading your blog again. I don't think those things; you have some major issues." Probably true. But stick with me. I am trying to be honest in hopes of sharing some of the beauty of God with you.

My ugliness comes from a sinful nature that is so deep in us that sometimes I think my bones are made of a desire to sin. That being said, I am a new creation, made COMPLETELY complete in the blood of Christ. And I strongly desire to be Christ-like in all that I do. Those thoughts, those attitudes, those actions, they are coming from a place in me that I fight. The world, satan, and our lazy sinfulness would tell me that I am completely justified in my frustration. But, I believe that God has something else to say about it.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Rather than blaming my attitude on the circumstances around me, I want to take responsibility for my wrongs and try to change. I want to always respond in love, in gentleness, with kindness and understanding.

Do you ever blame your attitude on your circumstances? Is this an area that God is trying to work on your heart?

November 17, 2011

"let me pour you a glass of white, so you forget all of my lies"

(Title quote from Elenowen)

Sorry for being so absent as of late...

We are finishing up our house projects so that we can put our home on the market! I will add some pictures later, but I have to email them to myself from my phone first.

Today, we are heading up to Grand Forks to look at three houses...two of which I think may be our future home!!!! I am so ecstatic...I cannot even put into words how important it feels to me. I am so ready to have a home, settle into it, not live out of a suitcase, have more babies there, raise little farm animals, and try desperately to build up my character and the character of our kiddos! (I am not waiting to work on that last one till we have a house, just in case you were concerned!)

Also, I have a small mountain of work to get done so I am registered for school in the spring!

Anyway, with that being said...I have way to much to do to be blogging, so forgive me if I am short and absent...I shall return!!

Well wishes from me!

November 14, 2011

"as the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts"

(Title quote from Mumford & Sons)

We spent a few weeks at my inlaws house while they had to be out of town. They own a fishing resort on Rush Lake. We had a sweet time there and got some great pictures on one of the chillier days where we could bundle up in cute winter stuff!

This girl is so stinkin cute!

Daddy and baby!

Our big boy, Hunter!

So, yesterday, we returned to Moorhead and got unpacked. Then we invited some guests over for dinner! My brother, Christian, my friend, Courtney, and our friends, the Irvis' and the Dion's! It was so great to see everyone and their kiddos! Adalia and Hunter had a blast with all the extra kiddos running around!

I can't wait for Thanksgiving! We are going down to visit my sister and her family down in Minneapolis! For those of you already planning a menu, here is my favorite turkey rub recipe!

The Most Delicious Turkey Rub EVER
1tbsp garlic powder
2tsp seasoned salt
1tsp poultry seasoning
1tsp paprika
1tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1/4tsp cayenne pepper
1/4tsp basil

Mix dry ingredients. Make some sage butter, rub butter under skin of turkey and all over around the outside. Then, generously apply the dry rub under the skin and all over the outside.

November 13, 2011

good pizza and better friends

So, just a super plain quick message....we had a blast having dinner guests tonight! And I will blog tomorrow. I am off to bed!

November 11, 2011

aren't we so quick to judge?

When we see someone prettier, thinner, more put together, a working mother, a family out with terribly misbehaved children.

Or even when we read someone's words.

We are so quick to judge. We think, "She must not eat well if she is thin" or "She must be ok with daycare since she works" or "She must not care about her baby as well as I care for mine if she uses formula" or "She must have a perfect life" or "She ..."

Why is our first instinct to judge rather than understand? Why do we assume the worst rather than the best? Why isn't love our default setting on how we treat others?

I am just as guilty, or more so, than anyone else. I desire so strongly to live as an example of understanding, of love, of sisterhood! I want to band together with other women, loving them, supporting them, sticking up for them, protecting their reputation. Its an epidemic, because too often, after we are hurt, we turn and do the same to others. We need to all work together to change this trend of betrayal and hatred and judgement toward one another.

Is this an area you struggle with as well? Will you work on this with me?

November 10, 2011

real life hannah banana

So, I would call this a 'faq' post, but no one is asking questions yet! I will just call this a list of random facts about me and my life!

photo taken by mama near Holden Village, WA

I have been married to the love of my life for nine months today.
We have two lovely children.
Our oldest, Hunter, is my step son.
Our yougest, Adalia, is not biologically my husband's daughter.
Jesus loves me, despite my past...but more importantly, because of my past.
I am a bible-believing, non-denominational Jesus follower!
I play the cello and sing.
My favorite things to do: (besides spend time with my family) hike, sing, canoe, blog, camp, go to farmers markets, learn to cook, and take pictures!
I am twenty-two, almost twenty-three.
56 has always been my favorite number...for no reason that I am aware of.
Green is HANDS DOWN my favorite color!
I am technologically illiterate.
I have completed three semesters of school for Natural Resources.
I took a few years off of school to join the Air National Guard, and also ended up getting married and starting a family!
My husband and I would love to buy a farm, raise some animals, and live as sustainably as we can manage. (shoot me an email if you want to know more about this!)
My husband is starting a new job as a personal trainer with a Lvl 1 Crossfit Certification.
Phineas and Ferb is my favorite cartoon!
We are excited to expand our family, and I am starting some ovulation testing next week!
I blog. (hahahahaha)
I love great music...a few of my favorites are: Sara Bareilles, Adele, The Band Perry, Chris August, Goot, Eels, Eric Hutchinson, Colbie Callait, Jose Gonzalez, Peter Bradley Adams, Missy Higgins, Shawn Mcdonald, and Paolo Nutini.
My parents are my heros. See why here.

If you are curious about anything else, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

November 09, 2011

snow flakes and shopping

Daddy and Me, December 2010

Today, I did some early Christmas shopping.

In trying to be reasonable, I bought our eight month old ONE thing. That is right! If you want to congratulate me on my restraint, feel free! I bought her a stuffed llama. She is going to be the coolest kid ever.

I bought my neice and my sister this beautiful horse music box. Since my parents started a non-profit youth ranch, all of us kids, and all our kids, have been totally into all things horse! I also bought my younger neice a cute plush horse set that you can find here. We got our son a couple of Thomas the Train puzzles, a wooden train whistle, and a cool science project.

I believe strongly that Christmas is not about gifts. Although, it is quite fun to enjoy a season of giving while celebrating the REAL reason for the season which is...of main man and Savior and Creator and King, Jesus Christ.

((On a totally unrelated note, to you readers who also blog...THANK YOU! I have been so encouraged by the words of wisdom and the words of funny-ness that you all share. What a cool and random community we have here in Blogland. So, keep on keepin' on.))

Today, post-Christmas shopping, I went to run some errands and  it started to snow! What a beautiful sight! I was seriously rejuvinated by those big, beautiful flakes. I hope we get enough that I can celebrate my birthday (November 23rd) with some snow on the ground. I will use any reason to wear a great sweater, and there are few better excuses than snow!

November 08, 2011

"babies are always more trouble than you thought- and more wonderful"

(Title quote by Charles Osgood)

When I found out that I was pregnant, I had high hopes and big plans. I planned to breastfeed till Adalia was at least one, use cloth diapers, make my own baby food, get her sleeping through the night by three months, use only natural soaps, and never let any food coloring or preservatives touch my precious babies lips.

Now, almost nine months later, Adalia is in generic Target brand diapers, drinking formula, just licked her first Dorito, still not sleeping through the night, and getting soaped up with any baby soap that I can reach at the time.

And, guess what? I DON'T MIND! Haha.

My big, bold baby plans were smashed to bits when this sweet bundle was set on my chest after twenty short minutes of pushing her out of the safest home she will ever know.

She is currently teething, has fallen off a full size (full height) bed, falls down regularly and often finds the corner of something on the way down. She screams so loud it legitimately hurts my ears, making them ring for a few minutes after her most peircing shreiks.

But you can't stay mad at a face like this :)

And just to clarify, my views on how important breastfeeding is or how much healthier cloth diapers are haven't changed...My milk dried up around six months, despite nursing often, pumping, staying hydrated and eating healthy! We switched to disposable diapers because we had to move out of our home into an apartment that doesn't have a good enough washing machine to get them clean. And she eats organic baby food, even though I buy most of it. She grabbed a dorito from her brother while I was washing dishes and by the time my hands were dry, she had already licked it.

My post was mostly just about how I had to die to some expectations. God is still good and my kids are still healthy even though its not the perfect scene I had imagined! Sometimes we have to die to our expectations of perfection, and that is what I had to do! I love my kiddos so much and always only want what is best for them!

November 06, 2011

pancakes with my punky pie!

After Adalia was asleep last night, Hunter and I got some sweet time together. We were waiting for daddy and cousin Charlie to get back from deer hunting, so we decided to make them some pancakes.

Hunter did all the stirring by himself, cause he is a big boy now!

Smooches for my sweet silly salamander.

Making pancakes is serious business...especially for a boy in a pink apron!

November 05, 2011

craft fair goooodies

Went to the Perham Craft Fair today with my fabulous sister Sara...and we had some GREAT finds!

From store Jezebel in Perham, MN

Oversized blocks for baby girl

Ridiculously soft hooded towel for baby girl

Headband/flower for baby girl, so that when she wears brown, she still looks like a girl :)

From Jezebel, 'Simpler Thyme' is the greatest smelling candle I have ever smelt!

Soft sweater for me!
I also got a wooden train with an engine, three cars that carry animals, and a caboose for the little man, but he is currently taking a nap WITH his train, so I have no picture yet!

OK...snuck a picture of the train...

November 04, 2011

"don't expect anything original from an echo"

(Title quote by unknown author)

Deer hunting starts tomorrow.

Busy next nine days! We are planning to be here at my in-laws till Sunday, then head back to Moorhead to get our house ready to put on the market. I am excited to get that project off our list and just have our house for sale and let God run the market...hopefully it sells quickly, but we shall see!

Tom and I got to have a break from the kids today because my fabulous sister-in-law offered to babysit for us! It was a great time to relax. Adalia is more than a handful sometimes!

FINALLY, a perm picture.

I promise to do better at planning out things to talk about on this blog, but today I am uncreative, unthoughtful, and unimaginative.

I will post some more craft projects, horse info, recipes, and general fun ideas over the next week or two!

Hopefully tomorrow will be full of inspiration as Sara and I take off for the Perham Craft Fair! I am so excited!!

Till tomorrow, I sign off...

November 03, 2011

to kill a woodpecker

Everyone should be kissed, often and well, by someone who loves them.

Everyone should be kissed the way my husband kissed me at the end of the day yesterday. After some daytime drama, a few disagreements, and a major baby breakdown, Tom kissed me like it was our first kiss. He kissed me in such a sweet, gentle way the I felt all his love for me in that one moment.

And that is just one of the million reasons that I love my man.

AND, more happy-ness! Things are coming together beautifully for Tom's new job that starts next month! It is such a weight off our shoulders to have some of the unknowns figured out! Woo!

November 01, 2011

a quiet fix

Last week I entered into a battle.

My heart decided that it wanted to do somthing different. I was instantly discontent with playing with the children, submitting to my husband, and sitting still. I suddenly wanted to argue, to travel, to do SOMETHING besides bathe the kids, cook dinner, clean up toys in the living room. And every time one of the kids cried or I was frustrated in any way, I felt totally justified in my discontentment.

I knew that I needed to seek the Lord, I knew that I needed to pray, I knew that my attitude was wrong. I knew that my feelings of anger toward everyone and everything was totally unfair.

So, I plowed through the week, barely maintaining sanity. The weekend sure wasn't any better. Then, yesterday, when Tom and I were at our house (just picking up a few things as we are house/business-sitting for my in-laws) I picked up a devotion book. It is called 'Quiet Places' by Jane Rubietta. It is about finding time to let God be your peace. It is about taking those five or ten minutes before the kids are up, or while they nap, or after they are in bed to retreat. To pray, to read scripture, to meditate, to sit silently in front of the Lord and let Him work on your heart.

I suggest you read it. I suggest you soak it in. And I suggest you live it.

(I even woke up early today to lead by example! And early for me, means earlier than 6:30 am when my munchkin daughter wakes up!)