Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rachelle and Josh


A few days ago I decided that I wanted to write about all of my friends individually and how I met each of them. I plan to do this over time though, not all at once.

With the upcoming Lifelight festival this weekend I figured it is fitting to make my first friends post about Rachelle and Josh Brewer. A wonderful Christian couple that we know here in Sioux Falls. They were our first friends here! This story begins with a radio commercial.

I had never heard about LifeLight until 2006, a few months before I moved to Sioux Falls. I was sitting in my car in San Diego and I heard a radio commercial for this LifeLight music festival in SIOUX FALLS, SD of all places. I was amazed! I had never even heard of Sioux Falls before 2006 and then all of the sudden I was going to be moving there (well, here...) and then I heard about it on the radio in San Diego! We did not attend Lifelight that year though because we didn't arrive in Sioux Falls until September 30, a few weeks after the festival.

Right after we moved here I was browsing on MySpace and I saw one girl in a Wedding dress who lived in Sioux Falls. I saw her profile and I found out that she had just gotten married 6 days after we did! Her name was Rachelle. I sent her a friendly message introducing myself and saying congrats on her new marriage. We became MySpace friends and within a month, after a Bebo Norman concert, she invited us to come to Perkins to hang out with her, her husband, and her friends. As we are sitting at the table, she asked if we had ever heard of Lifelight. I then remembered the radio commercial I had heard a few months before and so I said, yes! I had heard of it. Well, it turns out that her parents are the founders of Lifelight - The Greenes. They then tried to describe to me how big and amazing and fun the festival is and I got very excited. I had always wanted to go to a big Christian music festival but never could afford it!
So all year I very much looked forward to Lifelight. It finally came and it was exactly as I had pictured it :) It was so much fun. However, I was pregnant and not feeling well and my back hurt VERY bad that weekend so that did put a damper on things.

We hung out with Rachelle and Josh quite a bit when we first met - we went to a Bible study at the Greene's for a few months but the study ended because they got so busy with Lifelight. Rachelle & Josh got involved in missions and so we didn't really see them much this past year unfortunately. However...Rachelle is expecting a baby now! So this means they will be in town for at least 9 months, haha. I'm so excited for them! I hope they have a girl. Zoe needs more girlfriends! Rachelle's best friend Rachel is also pregnant and expecting a little boy! I think they are due the same month. I'm so excited about all these babies due next year!

Both Rachelle and Josh share a strong desire for reaching the lost. In the past year they have been in missionary boot camp, they went to Mexico, and to Haiti. They are currently running the Lifelight Missions, and Josh is starting a street team this year that will be going around Lifelight sharing the gospel to whoever needs to hear it. (Gage was going to be part of that group but unfortunately Gage has to work on Sat and Sun.)


Rachelle will be performing at this year's Lifelight in the Coffee House on Sunday at 6pm I believe. Josh is speaking on the Souled Out stage (I think) on Saturday.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekly Agenda

Well I managed to complete nearly everything on my list for last week, except my homework. Which is the same thing I didn't complete in the previous week. Therefore, my homework is considered high priority this week. We'll see if I manage to actually complete a packet! I am excited about LifeLight because 3 of my favorite artists are going to be there this year.

Mon: Breadsmith. Menu Plan. Homework.

Tues: Clean upstairs bathroom. Homework.

Wed: Get together with friends(?). De-clutter the house.

Thurs: Baby & Me Class: Temperament, Weigh Zoe. Gage attends LifeLight meeting.
Anna & Kevin come over for dinner.

Fri: Kitchen cleaning. LifeLight (Switchfoot! I haven't seen them in a couple years!)

Sat: LifeLight (The Afters!!, Lincoln Brewster!! Our friend Josh is speaking!)

Sun: LifeLight (My friend Rachelle is performing and Matthew West is performing!)

-

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Butterfly House

Zoe and I went to the Butterfly House a couple of weeks ago with some new friends. It was my first time being there. For the past few years I've kind of disliked butterflies because I looked at one too closely one time and realized just how scary looking they really are (the bug itself, not the pretty wings) haha. I got over my "fear" though and really enjoyed the Butterfly House here in Sioux Falls! A couple even landed on Zoe :)

She really seemed to enjoy herself! She looked around at all the butterflies and tried to grab them.

We went there with my new friend Anna and some of her friends. I met Anna at the New Baby & Me class that I attend nearly every week at the hospital where Zoe was born. She has a daughter, Kj, who was born 10 days after Zoe. When I arrived at the Butterfly House she introduced me to a couple women from her church home group and their kids. Tracy - who has 3 children, and Breanna who also had 3 children.


There were SO many butterflies! I didn't even know there were blue and black butterflies, pink and black butterflies, neon GREEN butterflies!
After the Butterfly House we went over to the park and had a picnic lunch.

Every week during the summer they get together and go to a park or do some fun event with the kids. This past Wednesday we went to Brea's house for the day. We just hung out, talked, played a fun game, and ate M onkey Munch! I haven't had that since I was a kid!
You know, the chex cereal with chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Yummmmm! I should try making it later this year sometime.














Saturday, August 23, 2008

Empty Words

This song was written by my Dad in the 80's for his band, The Omega Band. This has always been my favorite song ever, probably because I heard it my entire life and it was my Daddy singing it, hehe. But seriously, I love the music 80's style music, the lyrics are awesome and true, and my Daddy sings it, which makes it 100 times better than it would be if any other person was singing it ;o)

This song can currently be heard on my myspace page. Http://www.myspace.com/shaina_christine

"Empty Words" by Greg Skodacek (The Omega Band)

Search for the answers with an open mind
Look for some movement to get behind
Another "helps" group, another start
Empty words to fill an empty heart

Empty words so sincerely spoken
Promises that soon are broken
Like grass withers on a hot dry day
Empty words will fade away

Words
To ease the emptiness in your soul
Words
Set to music like rock and roll
The best advice, the wisest proverbs
Without the Spirit they're just empty words

Humanistic leaders so worldly wise
Teachers to enlighten man's hungry eyes
Twisted answers for all those who seek
Empty words, half-truths, doublespeak

Professing to be wise, they become fools
Teach It's an archaic set of rules
The Mystery that confounds the clever
The Word of God will stand forever!

Words
To ease the emptiness in your soul
Words
Set to music like rock and roll
The best advice, the wisest proverbs
Without the Spirit they're just empty words

Truth-Seeking

(This post in a way makes me seem angry and bitter but there really are no other words to describe ignorance and as prideful as it seems to write about ignorance in the world today, I fully believe it IS possible to be ignorant of truth and I use the word in a different way that our society uses it.)

Atheists, Barack Obama, Pro-Choicers, Vaccines, the GREEN movement, the Emergent Church, Anti-Homeschoolers, Anti-Homemakers, Feminists.... these are people and things that have really been bothering me lately. I shouldn't let it bother me but I can't seem to help it. I have my beliefs and I have reasons for those beliefs, but people are not tolerant. Christians are so discriminated against. People say that there is no right or wrong, no absolutes, no truth, and no way really know anything. Yet at the same time they are very animate about what they believe to be right. It's a strange concept coming from a society that has an abundance of knowledge available to them. They have the opportunity to learn anything they want but most choose to live in denial (of many things, not just Christianity) because a) they don't care one way or the other, b) they don't want to cause trouble so they go with the flow, or c) they are so full of pride they are not open to even thinking they could be wrong. I believe we ALL need to at least acknowledge that there is a right and a wrong.

People these days are more judgmental and ignorant (lacking knowledge of the truth) than ever before. Everyone is politically correct, misinformed, and very closed-minded. No one cares to do any truth seeking anymore, they just go with the flow and criticize anyone who seeks truth. So many people don't even know why they believe things, and if they do know why they haven't taken the time to find out if what they believe is true or not. I'm a truth-seeker. I don't want to go with the flow, I don't want to be ignorant, I don't want to teach my children things that are not true.

One thing I don't understand is why people can't see how a society without God just doesn't work. The more this country loses its morals, the worse everything gets. Not just for Christians, but for everyone.

I see and hear so many things that are just horrible and biblically incorrect and I start thinking that I should stop having children. I look at my daughter now and I can't even imagine the horrors she is going to have to deal with growing up in a world like this. It just keeps getting worse as time goes on.


But then I remember that this is how it is supposed to be. These are the last days.

2 Timothy 3: 1-8
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Whenever my fear of the world starts to really get to me, my husband reminds me that we are here for a purpose and God has called us to have and to raise godly children that will grow up to defend what is right. I want to have more children, many in fact, but it does scare me that they will be living in a society that progressively gets worse and worse each year. This is where faith and trust come in. God is in control of everything that happens, and the things that are occuring today are exactly as He said they would be, and we just need to trust and know that truth is real, there is right and wrong, there are absolutes, and Jesus Christ is way, the truth, and the life.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slow to Anger

James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (NIV)

Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)

Sinful Anger

For a long time now I have had the problem with getting very angry over the simplest of problems (disagreements, accidents, inconveniences, stressful situations), and if it is a real intentional offense, I literally feel like there is smoke coming out of my ears! I'm not sure where this anger came from. Obviously I am a human and therefore I am a sinner, it is a given that I will be angry for the wrong reasons at times. It is even good to be angry when there is sin involved. However, I think its the way I express it and my lack of dealing with it that is the problem. I think when I feel angry or hurt (emotionally OR physically) I also feel the need to express myself, and usually in the process I end up saying or doing things I know I shouldn't do. This is a sin that absolutely needs to be dealt with. I have a child now and plan to have more in the future and I never want to yell at my children for an unjust reason, ever. I yell at my dog all the time, and though a dog doesn't really compare to a child, in a way it does. My dog doesn't know better half the time she does something wrong and I should treat her with love and patience just as I would a child. And if she does know better and she still does wrong, I have to remember that she is a dog! If my daughter Zoe does something wrong (in the future) and she knows its wrong, yes she should be absolutely be disciplined but I also need to remember that she is a child and she is learning. In fact, in many cases, I need to expect Zoe to do things over and over and over again before she finally understands the consequence. It is what children do.

My whole life I have felt that I've had the quick to listen and slow to speak thing down pat! haha.. Being as painfully shy as I was (and still am at times), I never was one to just blurt things out and not hear what the other person is saying. Being slow to anger though, that has always been an issue for me. Even though I may not blurt out harsh words at everyone, I am definitely thinking them. That is what I want to change about myself.

Love and Anger

Being angry over injustice or a sin is not wrong, but we shouldn't have the immediate response of anger when we haven't heard the entire story and we shouldn't express our anger in sinful ways. There are times when you should be angry, but it should never turn into an all-consuming hate. We are angry because of the sin that is being done, but the anger should be motivated by love. I hate the saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Because it allows for sin to be tolerated. But this saying is partially true. We should always be acting in love while at the same time, we are to hate the sins that we commit. But we shouldn't be allowed to get away with sin. We should be angry when a person is purposely sinning. The saying should say, "Love the sinner, be angry with the sinner, and hate the sin."

One thing I need to always remind myself is that Jesus Christ has forgiven me for all of the millions of offenses I have done to Him. Christ forgave me when I didn't deserve it, therefore I have no right to get angry over childish behaviors (whether it is actually a child or an adult).

Harboring Anger

Lastly there is one more thing I need to learn how to deal with. Anger that is just and right but there is nothing I can do about the situation because it is out of my control (such as abortion, homosexuality, premarital sex). Instead of letting it burden me for weeks, months, even years, I need to remember that this is a sinful world we are living in and until I die or Christ returns, these problems will be there and life needs to go on. All the is left to do is pray, and honestly, that is a huge thing that anyone can do. Prayer is *POWERFUL*. The Lord can do anything and we just need to have faith an trust that in the end, we will understand why certain things happen.


My Prayer

Dear Lord,
Thank you for being forgiving and just. Forgive me for all of my anger issues and please teach me how to deal with anger in better ways. Help me to be patient and kind towards others, especially with those who do not know You. I know that I should desire to live a righteous life because that is what your will is for me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Routines

Well I accomplished everything on my list for the day! I am still working on the menu for the next two weeks though.

The past two nights I have started a good bedtime routine with Zoe. We go outside and swing on the swing for half an hour, starting at about 7pm. Then I bring her in, give her a bath, feed her, and by 8:00 she is tired enough to go right to sleep. Hopefully this routine sticks for a little while! A few days ago, I think on the 14th, she started saying "Maamamaamama" lol It is soooo cute! She usually does that when she is upset though. She gets to be more and more alert every day, she is so fascinated by the simplest things. I love it!

I don't know what is going on with me, but the last 3 days I have been so sooo hungry. I snack on foods (veggies, applesauce, bread & butter...) all day long and that is the last thing I want to do. I'm trying to loose the baby weight, not gain more... :-/ I am so hungry though. I joined a gym today (well, I get a free month because I had Zoe at Sanford so I am taking advantage of the free month, then I probably won't continue the gym, but I want to continue exercising). I want to start an exercise routine of some kind. I was already overweight before I was pregnant, now I'm 20 lbs more than that haha.

Gage started his 2nd semester at STI today. Right now he should just be finishing up his Psychology class. (He called right after I finished typing that sentence! haha) Psychology is one of the few non-computer classes he has to take. Hopefully he enjoys it! I loved my Psychology class in college. I got an A :) I even thought about majoring in it. Gage is taking 5 classes this semester! He plans to go to school, work at HyVee most evenings, and work with Joe painting on Fridays.


-

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekly Project List

Usually I am pretty good about finishing all my tasks on my to-do lists. Not this week. It is Sunday again and my to-do list still hasn't been completed.

Monday: Clean the patio room. Make a schedule for daily tasks. Create a menu plan.
Tuesday: Pull the 10 ft weeds in the garden (we haven't even touched that garden this year!) and mow the backyard.
Wednesday: Clean the basement.
Thursday: Make both bathrooms and the kitchen spotless!
Friday: Dust and Vacuum the entire house.
Saturday: Work on Photography Homework

We didn't actually pull the weeds. Gage's grandparents said they'd do it when they got here so they are in the process of pulling the weeds now. I guess 3 out of 7 tasks is better than nothing.

Here is my new project list for the week:

Mon: Do ALL Laundry. Make daily tasks schedule, work on Menu Planning, make a list of foods we need at the store. Go sign up at the Family Wellness center (I get a free month because I had Zoe at Sanford!). Go to the bank.

Tues: Grocery Shopping, Dust and Vacuum house

Wed: Work on Photography Homework

Thurs: Work on our Budget

Fri: Clean the bathrooms and the kitchen (cupboards, fridge, floor, etc)

Sat: READ! I have so many baby magazines and recipe magazines I have put off reading for months... I need to look at them at some point haha.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad / Family Returns!


First things first...

Happy 52nd Birthday Dad!!!

And in other news...

Gage's parents and his younger brothers have been on vacation - driving in their motor home, camping, and visiting various places for the past two months. We joined them for one week (the first week in July) while we were out in California. We went to Yosemite National Park, San Francisco for the 4th, and Auburn (the Sacramento area) to visit family.

They returned to Sioux Falls yesterday! Along with Gage's grandparents (the Murrays) who will be staying at our home (which is actually their house) for the next 4 or 5 months. Though I have enjoyed this alone time with just my husband and my daughter, I definitely missed the family.

One of their many adventures on their trip was a trip to Disneyland. They showed us a few things that they bought at Disneyland and I was really starting to miss it haha. I realized that I have not been to Disneyland since Dec. 2005! I used to go every year! It is just so expensive now. Over $60 a person. I'm hoping that next year when we are are in CA we can make a trip to Disneyland. Of course Zoe won't really know what's going on but she'll know who Mickey Mouse is and there are a few rides we can take her on :) I just want to see that new Finding Nemo ride!! Finding Nemo is one of my all-time favorites.

We have not see Russell yet because he arrived late last night. He went on an Alaskan Cruise! Hopefully we will see him later on today. Gage is working at HyVee today. My poor dear husband has not had a day off in 3 weeks (he is working 2 jobs) and during the week he works 10 hour days! Once school begins next week he'll get a few days off, which will be wonderful!

And in other random news...

Can you believe Madonna turns 50 years old today?? Sheesh.
I didn't know my Dad and Madonna had the same birthday until today.


-

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friends

God has blessed me with so many wonderfully unique friends in the past year! I am so thankful for them. For a long time was struggling because when I moved here I wanted instant best friends and I knew that wouldn't happen. Over the past two years I have met many people and developed friendships with many of them (mostly in the past year) and it is interesting because 95% of them are all at least 3 years older than me, some much older, but surprisingly I very rarely feel like a little kid around them, whereas before I would have probably never have made friends with someone older than me because I always felt intimidated. Maybe that is a sign that I am in fact growing up....*sigh*
It's a good thing! Really, it is. Haha.

Mel & Tim, Marie & Steve, Rachel (and Evan!), Rachelle & Josh, Rick & Amber, Greg & Beth, Cara & Eric, Kristin & Nate, and Anna - I am blessed to know you all. I look forward to getting to know you more as the years go by.

-Shaina

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elliott

Elliott's Dedication


Elliott is my cousin Adam's son. He is almost 2 years old now, he was born 4 days after our Wedding. He was dedicated at church (Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, CA) on August 3rd. He managed to entertain the whole crowd the entire time he was up there! This video is so adorable it makes me cry every time I see it haha.

-Shaina

Breadsmith


If someone were to ask me to create a list of my top 10 favorite scents, freshly baked bread would absolutely be one of them! We have a Breadsmith here in Sioux Falls, and nearly every woman I have met here has raved about how amazing their bread is. Recently I started buying this bread. It really is *awesome* bread! This morning I was the first customer of the day and my loaf of bread was super fresh out of the oven! My plan is to buy this bread more often than the store brands. It is a little more expensive though and you end up with less bread, but I think the quality and the nutritional value is way worth the money. All Breadsmith bread is hand made with no additives or preservatives. Check to see if your city has a Breadsmith (www.breadsmith.com)! They are in some states but not all states. If we ever move out of this city, this is one place that will be greatly missed.

-Shaina

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

5 Months!

(Zoe Kimberly - 8/12/08)



My dear daughter Zoe is 5 months old now! Time is just flying by. Before I know it, it'll be her first birthday. She rolls from her back to her tummy but not the other way around yet. She smiles a LOT and she has even laughed a few times! She loves to be in new places and seeing new things. She rarely cries when we take her out. I am still breastfeeding her and that is going well. I am so thankful for her, she is such an amazing blessing!

-Shaina

Constructive Criticism

Recently I have been reminded that many of us Christians have the tendency to sit on our high horses and look down on any who have ideas that differ from our own. I don't mean differences in religion, but differences in doctrine - differences in our Biblical beliefs. There is so much tension between Christians on these issues. I do have many firm beliefs on doctrine and I will be willing to explain my beliefs to anyone who may ask. However, I don't believe it is right for a person to dismiss any criticism whatsoever, because we are not all perfect, we are all sinners and we all fall short of God's glory, and we just may be the ones in the wrong. It is very hard, especially for me, to ignore my pride and actually think that, "Yes, I could be wrong on this issue." But we MUST be willing to take constructive criticism from people.

I would like to ask that anyone who reads my blog and sees that there is something that you believe may be unBiblical or if you believe I am sinning, please bring that up to me in a constructive and loving manner, the way the Bible instructs us to do (Galatians 6:1-2). This is a very scary thing for me to do because I know I have definitely been wrong many times but never would admit it.

Of course if it is something that is not a sin or something that just irks you, please refrain from trying to start a debate. Some things can actually be a sin for you where they are not sins for me (read Romans 14) and likewise. I actually am glad when a person points out things that I am doing wrong because then I can learn from it and change when it is appropriate for me to do so. Of course it is hard to hear that kind of stuff and it is very difficult not to get angry but the Bible says (Proverbs 14:29) we need to be slow to anger and we need to be understanding.

Seeing as this is MY blog, it is very much like a personal journal. I want to keep it that way and if I need to vent or if I believe a particular ministry is not Biblical, I am going to write about it because... I do have opinions and beliefs. I know not everyone will always agree with me but I try my best to stay Biblical and to be honest and hopefully others will agree with me or at least be understanding ;oD


-Shaina

Monday, August 11, 2008

Joyce Meyer

I struggled for years with low self esteem, depression, loneliness, fear of people, etc. Our culture screams that in order to be somebody you have to know how to love yourself above anything else, because if you can't love yourself, you can't begin to love others. I have actually heard people say that and it is the furthest thing from the truth!

Don't get me wrong. The Bible does tell us we should be joyful and of course we should never hate ourselves but our lives should not be focused on ourselves. It should ALL be about Jesus.

I struggle with this 'me me me!' mentality all the time. I'm not skinny enough, my hair isn't pretty enough, my face isn't clear enough, I don't have enough stuff for my kitchen, I need ____ and I need ____. I think everyone in our culture deals with this and most people don't even realize that they are doing it. But what we need to keep in mind is that we are no longer living for ourselves if we are Christians. We should be striving for Biblical attitudes towards life.

Joyce Meyer is the author of over 50 self-help books that apparently include Biblical principles.

I know people who love her and people who can't stand her. She does have a lot of good to say. From the average Christian's perspective, she is very inspiring and you can get a lot out of what she says. That is the problem though, I don't know how much God can be glorified by anything that she says. On the surface, everything appears to be Biblical but if you take the time to really look at what she's teaching, it doesn't look so Biblical anymore. In fact in many cases she is not being true to what the Bible actually teaches.

So this brings up the question - is it wrong for us, as Christians, to want to be happy and motivated? Of course not. We do need to look at everything from a Biblical perspective though. The way Joyce Meyer puts things makes it seem like your happiness comes first and then Jesus. She writes paragraphs about how we have such a hard time getting motivated to do stuff and then she'll add a verse in there, totally out of context, and say it relates to what she's talking about. Very similar to what many pastors do these days - playing with the Bible as if it were a toy. Her books are ALL about enjoying YOURSELF, loving YOURSELF, and motivating YOURSELF.

The Bible points us to one person, Jesus Christ - not ourselves. In fact the Bible says the exact opposite. The Bible was not written to increase your self-esteem. You should never read your Bible with the intent of it just making you a better person. Many people do this. You read the Bible to help you grow in your knowledge of Jesus Christ and through that you develop a relationship with our God. When you become a Christian, your life is dedicated to God. You die to yourself.


Quotes by Joyce Meyer:

"One of my greatest desires is to see people thoroughly enjoy the quality of life Jesus died to give us—to actually be happy." - Joyce Meyer

Ok WOW. Wow. Wow. Wow. No, Joyce. I am sorry but you are wrong. Very wrong in fact. Jesus did not die so that you or I would have a greater quality of life and so we could go to Heaven to be even happier with ourselves. Jesus died because we are horrible, rotten sinners and we deserve to go to Hell and if he did not die for us, we would be in big trouble. He saved us from our SINS that we commit on a daily basis.

"I have great news for you: God wants you to be happy today and every day. He really does. Jesus’ statement about life in John 10:10 is absolutely amazing to me: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overfl ows).”" - Joyce Meyer

Ok I cannot find the version that says "that they might have and enjoy life" Not even The Message adds that part. I just don't know why people feel they need to add to the Bible. Besides, I believe that scripture is referring to the life we have in CHRIST for all eternity, not the life we have on Earth.

Did you know that if you don't like yourself, you are never going to like anybody else, and you won't be able to help your spouse like himself or herself? - Joyce Meyer

"Remember, He died so we could experience authentic happiness." - Joyce Meyer

No, he died so that we could be saved by faith in his son. Of course that alone should make one jump for joy and weep tears of pure joy! But the happiness Joyce is talking about is not the same happiness that we receive through Christ. Her happiness is focused on what she can do for herself and how she can make other people happy.

Those are just a few quotes I found on a couple pages in one of her books... she has over 50 books. I'm sure I'll be writing about her again in the future.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To-Do List

I have a giant list of projects that must be done at some point and I don't know where to begin. I work well with lists, so I am going to make a list of the major things to accomplish this week. Gage's family will be returning from their 2 month long vacation next week and I really want to get this house clean because his Grandparents will be living here for a few months (after all, it IS their house!).

This is my to-do list for the week:

Monday: Clean the patio room. Make a schedule for daily tasks. Create a menu plan.

Tuesday: Pull the 10 ft weeds in the garden (we haven't even touched that garden this year!) and mow the backyard.

Wednesday: Clean the basement.

Thursday: Make both bathrooms and the kitchen spotless!

Friday: Dust and Vacuum the entire house. (Family returns to Sioux Falls on this day)

Saturday: Work on Photography Homework

---------------------------------------------------------------

Babies, Babies, and more Babies!


Three years ago I was living in CA and I was adjusting to life without my Mom (who had died one month earlier) and I had no idea what was in store for me in my life. I actually remember thinking, "What will my life be like in 3 years?" I figured I'd be finished with school, I'd have a full time job, and maybe, just maybe, I'd finally have a boyfriend at that time. Hah! Little did I know that in August 2005 I was about to meet the man I was going to marry one year later. At that time I never would have dreamed that I would be a wife and a MOTHER by the year 2008.

It wasn't just me though - many of my friends have been getting married and having babies lately. In fact, nearly all of my cousins and I got married within one year (yeah, 5 out of the 6 that I have! lol). I am at that age now that I always knew would come eventually but didn't think it would all come so soon! Granted I am 23 years old and it is pretty normal for all my friends and family to be getting married and having children but this age kind of snuck up on me. I now know 7 women (friends and family) who are recently married and pregnant! I also have 4 friends who have recently had babies like me. This new chapter in my life is so exciting and all so new! I love being a Mother and I love hearing that my friends and family members are going to be parents. It is such a special time and I am trying my best to enjoy every minute of it.

3 of my friends are having girls for sure (actually one just gave birth a few days ago!) but none of them live in South Dakota. The other 4 friends that I have don't know what they are having yet, but 3 of them live in Sioux Falls! I hope that at least one of them has a girl. Zoe has all boy friends right now haha. I can't believe Zoe is almost 5 months old! Oh how time flies...

My Married Friends with Babies (this year!)

Marie had a son, Luke on February 16, 2008 - her 2nd baby :)
Rachel M. had a son, Jonathan on February 20, 2008 - her 2nd baby :)
Cara had a son, Ezra on March 12, 2008 - her 3rd baby (Born in the same hospital as Zoe, 24 minutes apart, same doctor!)
Christine had a daughter named Cheyenne on Aug 4, 2008

Babies on the way!

Theresa (my 3rd cousin) is due any day now! (Aug 14, 2008)
Christina (Gallagher's sister) is due in September 2008
Rachel K (our friend) is due in February 2009
Rachelle B (our friend) is due in February 2009
Kristie (my cousin-in-law) is due in March 2009 with their 2nd!
Mel (our friend) is due in March 2009



The photo above is of me and Zoe, my cousin Wendy and her daughter Jessie, and my cousin-in-law Kristie and her son Elliott in May 2008 - New Jersey

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My New Blog

I have had a Xanga.com blog for the past 5 years. It used to be that when you compared Xanga and Blogger, Xanga was by far better in my opinion. Now,I think it is the opposite. Now I prefer to read blogs on blogger. Wordpress is my favorite though, but way confusing and that is why I am on blogger.com :)

I am a Homemaker. My husband and I got married about 2 years ago on September 16, 2006. Now we have a beautiful 4 month old daughter! My mother was home with my siblings and I while I was growing up and so I honestly never had any other ambition for my life. All I have ever wanted to do was be a wife and a mother. I think the opportunity to be a homemaker is one of the greatest blessings any woman could receive. I thank God that I do not have to work at this point in my life. I believe that every mother should be a stay at home Mom (unless it is absolutely necessary that you work). There is no excuse to throw your children in daycare for no reason other than to make extra money. If you can survive on one income, you MUST do it. Your children are precious and your time with them is short. When you put a child in daycare, you miss everything and you can never get that time back. My Mom died when I was 20 years old. I am SO thankful for the time I got to spend with my Mom at home all those years. I am absolutely positive that if my Mom had been working, we would not have had the close relationship that we had. She was my best friend and I was her best friend. That is the exact relationship that I want with my children.

I want my family to have a home, not a house.

Young woman are to..."love their husbands and children, be self-controlled, pure, submissive to their own husbands, working at home, kind, and the word of God may not be reviled." - Titus 2: 4-5


Proverbs 31: 10-31
A Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm[c] clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...