Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkins and Coffee


Today is COFFEE DAY!



It is also... PUMPKIN DAY!


Yes, according to GreetingCards.com and a few other sources, today is both Pumpkin AND Coffee Day. Perhaps today would have been a good time to try....


Pumpkin Coffee!!

Maybe next year :)

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Menu Plan Monday

Week of: Sept 29 - Oct 5

It is Menu Plan Monday! We didn't stick to last week's menu because our kitchen floor was being redone and then we went out of town and it was just a crazy week. Hopefully this week we can stick to the plan, it's basically the same as last week's list.


Monday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch – Sandwiches
Dinner – Hot Dogs & Beans, Pork, Carrots & Broccoli

Tuesday

Breakfast – Eggs and Toast
Lunch – Soup and Salad
Dinner – Tuna Noodle Casserole, Peas & Corn

Wednesday

Breakfast – Breakfast Quesadillas
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Ham, Cheese, & Broccoli Potatoes, Salad

Thursday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch – Smoothies & Fruit
Dinner – Chicken Parmesan, Salad

Friday

Breakfast - Bagels from Bagel Boy
Lunch - Tuna Melts
Dinner - Mushroom Macaroni, Broccoli

Saturday

Breakfast- Malt 'O Meal and Fruit
Lunch - Grilled Cheese & Soup
Dinner- Chili, Corn Bread, Mashed Potatoes

Sunday

Breakfast – Coffee Cake
Lunch – Macaroni & Cheese, Leftovers
Dinner – @ Parent’s House

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Zoe's 6 Month Photos!

Last Thursday a local photographer (Stacy Shmidt from Expressions By Stacey) was taking pictures of babies at a local store called Elegant Mommy. All she charged was $35 for a 20 minute photo session and at the end she put all the pictures on a disk and gave them to us! Talk about a blessing! We haven't had any "professional" pics of her taken yet so I was hoping to get some done at 6 months, but we didn't have the money to spend $100 or more at Sears or JC Penney.

Zoe was in a pretty good mood, but she didn't really do any of her big smiles while we were there. Babies are very unpredictable! I'm so glad she wasn't crying the entire time.

I played around with a few of them in Photoshop ;) Here are a few of my favorites!


Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge



It is finally Fall and I have a long list of books that I would like to read. The problem is that I have absolutely no motivation to do so. I've decided to join this reading challenge, "Fall Into Reading 2008" I have a list of 5 books that I would like to complete by the end of Fall (December 20th). I choose only 5 to be safe, but who knows? Maybe I'll read more than 5!

  1. The Way of the Master - Ray Comfort (a book I have been trying to read for a year!)
  2. Created to be his Help Meet - Debi Pearl (a book I have been trying to read for 2 years!)
  3. Desiring God - John Piper
  4. The Excellent Wife - Martha Peace
  5. Still Growing - Kirk Cameron

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Update and Random Stuff

Highlights of this past week:

-The Way of the Master class on Sunday was very intense but awesome. I love this Ministry. They are very Biblical, which is of utmost importance to my husband and me. Gage and I have been listening to their radio station for almost a year now and recently our church began their Evangalism School, which is something we had been hoping and praying for.

-The Sermon on Sunday really helped me figure out some aspects of my character that I really need to work on.

-We went to a Family Picnic Gathering at Sertoma Park with some friends. It was pretty fun, we met some new people too.

-Our Kitchen floor was torn up the day before yesterday. They are putting in new tile. Today they managed to put in half the tile and tomorrow they'll put in the rest. We cannot walk in the kitchen at all though because the tile has to set...so as you can imagine, this hasn't really been convenient. Tonight we can't use our stove/oven or microwave so we bought food and brought it home to eat. Oh, and currently our fridge is in the living room and our stove/oven is out in the patio room. You have to squeeze through the space between the couch and the fridge to get to the hallway or the front door. Fun fun!

-I have been reading blogs like crazy! I had no idea there were blogs for pretty much every topic you can think of. I've found a blog about bread making, blogs with awesome recipes posted every day, blogs with cleaning tips, blogs about coupons & money-saving ideas, homemaking blogs, bible study blogs... the list goes on and on. I have to limit my time of reading each day now because there is an endless supply of awesome information out there just waiting for me to read it haha.

-We're preparing for our trip to Minneapolis on Fri & Sat to celebrate our Anniversary :)

That's basically what we've been up to!

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Five things on today's "To Do" list:


1. Isaiah Bible Study
2. Call WIC and set up an appt.
3. Go to the Apple Orchard and pick apples! Yum!
4. Order a few prints of Zoe's 6 month photos.
5. Figure out how to live without a kitchen for yet another day.

Ten Years ago what were you doing?

In 1998 I was in 8th grade, 13 years old, living in Vista, CA. My Dad re-married that year. I was in public school for half the year then my Mom decided to home school me again. I spent a lot of time with my friends in the apartment complex that I was living in, when I wasn't with my friends, I was in my room organizing or creating something, learning how to make websites, or chatting online.

If I were a Billionaire:

Honestly, I've been given more than anything money could buy. I've been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. I wouldn't want to be a billionaire or even a millionaire, in fact I have no desire whatsoever for that to ever happen. However, if I did for some reason acquire a large sum of money...I'd probably buy a 5 bedroom house (since we hope to have 4 children), furniture for the house, a car big enough to fit our family, buy houses for my friends and family, throw a little chunk of it into savings, and then I'd give the rest away to people who actually need it and ministries that I support.

Three bad habits:

1. Being very quick to anger.

2. Not wanting to go to bed. But I love sleep.

3. Being "too tired" to exercise.


Five places I've lived:

1. Riverside, CA (where I was born)

2. Vista, CA

3. Escondido, CA

4. Danville, KY

5. Sioux Falls, SD


Five jobs I've had:

1. McDonalds Cashier

2. Bath & Body Works Sales Associate

3. Macy's Price Auditor

4. Gerardy Photography - Packaging

5. Current job: Being a Homemaker, Wife, and Mother.

Hanson

October 19, 2001
My 1st Time Meeting Hanson (at a Lifehouse/Michelle Branch concert)


Left to Right: Kelly, Isaac, Me, Katharine, Taylor, Zac, and Angela

I have many fond memories of all of these people. :)


If you knew me when I was young, you'd know that I was a HUGE fan of Hanson for 7 years, and then just a fan for the past 4 years haha. I have been a fan of Hanson for 11 years and we are going to see them on Friday night! I'm so excited!

I was such a BIG fan... I mean this was over-the-top! I practically lived on their website, Hanson.net. I won signed prizes for how much time I spent on that site. I was a Hanson.net Community Leader. I was the Editor of The Hanson.net Gazette on their website. I met them 4 times, saw them in concert 8 times, saw them at other people's concerts 3 times. I've EVEN been to the house they grew up in - in Tulsa, OK. I had every last bit of Hanson paraphernalia, and I knew all there was to know about each of the Hanson brothers and their family. When my friends and I were together, all we would talk about was Hanson.























Little did I know at the time that I was actually worshiping Hanson. They were my idols. Though I would never admit it to myself, they were more important to me than my relationship with Christ. When I was about 18 I finally realized it and I actually think that is when I truly got saved. I became a true follower of Christ (a Christian) and ever since then my life has been totally different. I still enjoy Hanson's music though, I think they have been blessed with a lot of talent. I'm totally looking forward to seeing them in concert again! It's been 3 years since I last saw them.

Some people have even pointed out to me that Hanson's youngest sister's name is Zoe and I named my daugher Zoe.... I can assure you though, it had nothing to do with that! haha. If there is anyone to blame for me liking the name Zoe, it is the Christian pop group ZOEgirl.

If you're wondering what these guys are up to these days. They are still making music, they have their own record label, and Isaac, Taylor, and Zac are all married now and all have children of their own. Taylor has 2 boys (Ezra and River) and a girl (Penelope). Isaac has a son named Everett, born last year. Zac has a son named Shepherd, who was born in May of this year.

Photo above: Zac Hanson and Me. Taken October 20, 2001 at a Phantom Planet concert

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The Fridge is in the Living Room.

OK, I'm positive there are many reasons why I should not allow myself to get so angry about sin, but I do and sometimes, I just need to vent. But enough ranting for now. Onto what's going on in our little world :)

Currently, our fridge is in the living room. Why, you may ask? Gage's grandparents are replacing the tile in the kitchen, so all of the old tile was torn up today leaving a thick layer of dust covering every object and surface in the kitchen and living room. I'm going to have a LOT of cleaning to do when this is over (hopefully by Thursday!) Honestly, its kind of convenient having the fridge in the living room, hehe.

I will post pictures soon :)

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Publish Post

Monday, September 22, 2008

LIFE is precious!

My Views on Abortion:

I can't understand how a person could think of abortion as anything less than murder.

At what point does life become life? It has to be at conception, it IS at conception. There is no other way around it. Once a child is conceived, that is a LIFE you are dealing with, not a choice.

That is not a matter of opinion, that is a fact. This is a matter of sin! God has clearly stated that each life has a purpose.

Jer 1:5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world."

I mean, what? Did you think God was kidding when he said such a thing?? God knew us! He's always known us. He created us in our mother's womb, each one of us.

I'm curious to see just how a person might try and twist that scripture or change its meaning in order to suit their own opinions. There is absolutely no getting around this! This is one "issue" that I can't even believe is an "issue" to begin with. To abort a baby is to cause it to die (that is the definition of abortion) - by causing a baby to die, you are murdering them. It is a sin to murder, I don't think anyone would argue with me there. So what makes it right to murder a child who hasn't shown its face in the outside world yet? A baby is the same inside the womb and outside of the womb - a new, living, growing person.

Even if that verse didn't exist, what makes it right for a woman to have a choice in whether her child should live or not? Seriously! It seems like such a NO brainer! Abortion is absolutely disgusting and it makes me sick to my stomach to know that people actually support such a thing. It is the one "issue" that decides who I vote for. I don't care about any of the other issues, as long as a person is pro-life, they are worth voting for. Even if they ruined our country, at least they wouldn't be supporters of murdering children.

Each child that is formed was meant to be there! No child is an "accident". How completely selfish, foolish, and heartless of a person to think such a thing. If you really don't want the child, if you were raped, if the child has a disease, even if the child is going to die...there is no excuse for taking the child's life. There are no excuses for killing children for the sake of inconvenience. Even if the child is sick or if the Dr. tells you "The baby will die before it is born." Let it happen. Don't take matters into your own hands. No matter what the odds are, neither you or your Dr. know what the outcome will be. What if that child lives?

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Menu Plan Monday

Week of: Sept 21-28


Monday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch – Sandwiches
Dinner – Chili Cheeseburgers and Corn

Tuesday

Breakfast – Eggs and Toast
Lunch – Soup
Dinner – Tuna Noodle Casserole

Wednesday

Breakfast – Breakfast Quesadillas
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Ham, Cheese, & Broccoli Potatoes

Thursday

Breakfast – Cereal or Oatmeal
Lunch – Soup
Dinner – Fettuccine Alfredo

Friday

Out of town for Anniversary (Minneapolis, MN)

Saturday

Out of town for Anniversary (Minneapolis, MN)

Sunday

Breakfast – Coffee Cake
Lunch – Macaroni & Cheese
Dinner – @ Parent’s House

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Title!

I spent hours trying to come up with a real name for my blog. Herrmann Family Homemaker was a temporary name because, after days of trying to think of the perfect name, I couldn't find one so I chose the temporary name.

Rather than thinking up a very unique and memorable name, I chose a very simple, to-the-point title. I realize there are many other blogs out there with titles very similar to mine (however I could not find a blog with the same exact name, which was good!) The reason I have chosen this title is because above everything else in life, I want God to be first in everything. He gave me life, He gave me this family, He gave me this home, and I deserve none of it. The Lord has BLESSED me in more ways that I can count. I believe everything I do, everything I say, everything I even think should follow in the teachings of His Word. I try to look at everything from a Biblical perspective and I am the keeper of my home, thus the title Biblical Homekeeping. I feel it suits this blog very well.

AND just in case you are wondering (which I doubt you are) That beautiful precious girl at the top of the page is my lovely 6 month old daughter Zoe Kimberly.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something came from Nothing?

Think of nothing. Can you even imagine what nothing is?

Can something come from nothing?

Doesn't it take more faith to think that something came from nothing, than to believe that something was created? Anyone that does not believe there is a God is running on FAITH alone because when you look at the universe, there is absolutely NO chance that it could have created itself.

If you see a watch on the ground in the forest, there is no way you would ever think, "Oh wow, look what the dust, rain, and leaves came together to create over a period of billions and billions of years!" No, the idea is preposterous. You know that the watch was created by a human being because it is way too intricate to have been designed by chance and let alone, designed by itself.

The same goes for the Universe. Did you know they have counted over 70 Sextillion stars so far? Do you know the intricacies of how the eyball works? Did you know that new discoveries are still being made about the individual cell? Do you really believe that everything that exists could come from one tiny speck of star dust that came to be on its own (which is what MANY well known scientists believe).

I don't know, I think that takes more faith to believe that than to see with my very eyes the incredible CREATION that is the Universe. It's just so plain... how can someone not see it?

Macro evolution is not a reasonable theory, it is driven by culture and not fact. Evolutionists will do and say everything they can to try and prove that this theory has any legitimate claims and can coincide with science, but when it comes down to it - they are not willing to examine the claims of the creationist and therefore, they cannot be labeled as true scientists. To be a scientist you must look at ALL possibilities and be willing to follow the truth wherever it leads. Every evolutionist fails at answering the ultimate question, because they do not want to believe that God could exist. But the question still lingers...How did something come from nothing?

Most scientists acknowledge that this theory of evolution is no longer relevant. However, our culture has grasped onto it SO tightly because it means that maybe, just maybe... life could have created itself and therefore, there is no need for a God.

Famous philosophers and scientists have always struggled with this question of something coming from nothing because no matter what path they take to try and explain it, it always leads up to..."I don't know. I can't know."

What makes a scientist so much smarter than the average person? What makes people believe everything they hear a philosopher say? I have no more or less respect for scientists and philosophers because all they do is learn how the earth works and functions in a particular and and why the earth exists. I already know the answers to both of these.

No matter how hard one tries to explain the box (that is the universe), you will never understand it until you look outside the box.

-Shaina

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Only 99 days left...


...until CHRISTMAS!

Yes. Just 99 days left. ;o)

For the past few years I have started my Christmas plans in October, start buying and packaging things in November, and then I try to leave the month of December for enjoying the season stress-free (at least that is the goal haha). In December I love to decorate the house, put up and decorate the tree, attend special church services and those adorable children's Nativity plays (I very vividly remember being a sheep for two years and an angel for one year when I was a kid). I love to at least make an attempt to bake something, I love to watch Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate, spend quality time with family. Beginning my plans 3 months in advance has been a good system for me.

However this year I came across a couple of websites that have got me super excited for the Christmas season! I think I just may begin my planning a little early this year, hehe.

Organized Christmas

Christmas Organizing

Buy Nothing Christmas

My goals for this year's Christmas are:

1) Create a Budget and stick to it. Spend as little money as possible.
2) Buy a Nativity Set (I've wanted one for a long time but always end up not having the money.)
3) Have a Christmas Party, a small one with friends and family, in our home.
4) Find ways to keep the focus on the birth of Jesus rather than Santa Claus.
5) Create a "My First Christmas" ornament for Zoe with her hand print on it.

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Our 2nd Anniversary!


1Cr 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
1Cr 13:5 or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
1Cr 13:6 It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
1Cr 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1Cr 13:8 Love will last forever.


Two years ago on this day at approximately 2pm, my husband and I made a commitment before God and before family & friends to love, honor, and cherish each other until death parts us. We're 2 years older now, we've been through much already and we've learned more about each other in the past two years than I ever thought we would in that time. I can't even imagine what it will be like at 5 years, 10 years...25? Wow. I look forward to each and every year with my dear husband. I look forward to raising our darling daughter together! I look forward to having more children and the years we will spend trying to learn how to parent to the best of our ability. I even look forward to the hard times because those times will bring us even closer to each other and closer to God.

My husband Gage is a man of God. He always puts God first, he has a heart for the lost, he yearns to spread the Gospel like no one else I've ever known, he is extremely trustworthy, he treats me like a queen, he is polite, intelligent, and he never ever yells, which is way more than I can say for myself. He is the sweetest, kindest, most amazing man I have ever known. I thank God for him. I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful husband!

Eph 5:31 As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."[fn2]
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
Eph 5:33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Teeny Tiny Fingernails


The most difficult task of parenting so far has not been the dirty diapers, the baths, the changing of their clothes - sometimes many times in a day -, or even getting used to someone needing my attention 24/7 ....no, its trying to cut those little fingernails! It becomes increasingly more difficult as Zoe gets older because now she is a constant wiggler and she grabs and anything and everything she possibly can.

Everyone says, "Just bite them off!"

Yeah... I'd like to know just how you get your giant adult teeth (which are bigger than the entire nail itself) around those teeny tiny fingernails in order to actually bite them off, and doing so without taking off too much! And then there's the baby clippers. Again, the nails are just too tiny! And if you do manage to cut one, it is uneven and then what to do you?

My solution has been the baby scissors. Seems like the last thing that would work right? Well with the baby scissors I don't have to worry about accidentally cutting her skin because I can see what I am doing, and they are not as sharp as the nail clippers.

Even with the best tools and the best strategy, it is still nearly impossible to clip their nails once they reach about 4 months old because by then they realize... it's no longer fun to just sit there!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Is there a point?

Pro 26:22 What dainty morsels rumors are-but they sink deep into one's heart.


It saddens me to say that a lot of what shapes our culture today is the rumors and lies we all have a part in without even knowing it. I mean think about it. There are a lot of words that you hear each day that influence the way you think about things. We are influenced by our friends, family, new people we meet, the news, movies, TV, radio, and many others.

"Did you hear about ___?" , "This candidate said _____, therefore ____". You hear it, you don't really think about what it means or if its true and before you know it, you believe what you heard. And I'm talking about everything from a person's favorite color to their views on abortion to why things work to what makes the world go round'. This is something I do every day but I've been doing more and more to make sure that it doesn't happen. No matter what the circumstance, I always want to make sure it is true before I go and continue to spread the information.

My issue today is Democrats and Republicans. They are so hateful towards each other. They are disrespectful, sarcastic, and rude and no one seems to mind. Politics is one of my absolute least favorite subjects because it seems like no matter what, when a discussion of politics comes up someone is bound to start sinning. Facts go out the door and it turns into gossip, slander, and rumors. It is very rare that I hear someone talking about why they think their candidate is best, they focus more on why the other candidate is worse. (And don't get me wrong, I am completely at fault here too!) I think there is way too much emphasis on bringing the other candidate down. We should be focusing on why our candidate is worth voting for. No matter what the circumstances may be, we should never waste our time thinking of ways to hurt each other.

I just received an e-mail from a family member whose absolute favorite pastime is gossiping and criticizing everything and everybody. This email was chock full of false information on John McCain and trying to get people to believe things like Barak Obama is a Christian and John McCain is not, blah blah blah. I can assure you that Barak Obama has just as many faults as John McCain. If I really wanted to, I could come up with a list of things to ridicule and slander him as well. My question is, what is the point? Why do people feel the need to ridicule and pass totally false accusations of people? This is why I don't like politics. They lie or get as close to lying as they can, they treat each other poorly, and it seriously makes them look like fools. I wish people and politicians could at least be honest with each other instead of having to make things up.

Granted the person who sent me the email is not a Christian but even so, what good can ever come from gossip? Our culture literally bathes in it and honestly I believe a lot of the problems we have today are a result of rumors and gossip.

So why am I writing this blog? I just want to get the message out there asking people to think before they speak.

Pro 10:19 Don't talk too much, for it fosters sin. He who holds his tongue is wise.




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Good Person?

About 95% of people will tell you they are a good person. Is that true though? Are you good enough to go to Heaven when you die? Click here to take the Good Person Test.


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Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Solids


Yesterday Zoe turned 6 months old and so to "celebrate" I decided to start feeding her solids on that day. She sits up on her own now, she watches us very intently when we eat our foods, and she opens her mouth like she wants to eat our food sometimes. All of these are signs that she's ready to start eating solid foods.

I bought some Organic Whole-Grain Rice Cereal and mixed that with breast milk. She seemed to be a little confused at first but she actually opened her mouth for the spoon a few times! Most of the time I had to kind of put the spoon in her mouth, then some (or most) would fall out of her mouth... it really is a messy job! She did push it out of her mouth a few times but I think that is normal, even for a baby that is ready for solids. I know some people say that if a baby consistently pushes the food out of their mouth it means they are not ready (because it is a natural instinct for a baby to push stuff -- other than milk -- out of their mouth up to a certain age), but she actually consumed more than half of what I gave her, which tells me that she is in fact ready for solid foods!


Part of me was a little sad yesterday because I am no longer her only source for nutrition. Honestly it is an amazing thing to know that she survived 6 months on Mommy's milk alone. She was *completely* dependent on me for nutrition from the day she was conceived until yesterday. A little heart wrenching, but its a good thing that she is developing normally and ready to start eating foods :) In addition to her food, I do plan to nurse her until she is a year old though.

For those of you with babies that are ready to begin solids, here are some recommendations. They recommend rice cereal because it is mild, but you certainly do not need to start with cereal, you can do anything you choose, but for a baby's first foods it is recommended that it be something mild. It is also good to wait 3-4 days until trying something new just to make sure your baby does not have an allergic reaction, it makes it easier to determine what caused the reaction if they do have one.

Here is what you need:

- Rice Cereal (or something mild like Avocado or Banana)

- Soft Spoons

- Small Bowls

- Formula or Breastmilk (you can use water if you don't have these things available at the time)

For your baby's first solids mix 1 Tbsp of cereal with 3-4 Tbsp's of formula or breast milk.


Pretty simple! I've heard that it is better to start a baby eating solids in a reclined position but we don't have a high chair yet so the Bumbo worked pretty well for us. If you have a Bumbo you can buy a tray for it for about $10.00. We plan to buy a high chair pretty soon so we don't have the tray. Also, if you use a Bumbo and you set in on the table, make sure you are right there with them at ALL times! Babies have fallen out of the Bumbos and because it is not a restraint they can easily get out of them if they really try. They actually recalled them last year and put labels on them telling you not to set them on elevated surfaces, but I think that if you are sitting right there with them the entire time, its no problem. Zoe has almost grown out of the Bumbo though (she tries to get out of it the entire time she's sitting in it and she knows how to sit up on her own now) so we're hoping to find a high chair soon!





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Friday, September 12, 2008

Zoe is 6 Months Old!


My darling daughter is now half a year old today! I cannot believe how fast time flies when you have a child! I saw a newborn yesterday and I realized just how much Zoe has grown in the last 6 months. She still hasn't doubled her birth weight but she is almost there. She is about 13.5 lbs right now. She will be starting solid foods today! I am going to start with some Organic Whole-Grain Rice Cereal and we'll go from there. I haven't decided what her first veggie or fruit will be but I'll decide in a few days. Zoe is learning how to sit up on her own and she's doing very well! She's actually stopped herself from falling a few times. She still doesn't like to be on her tummy so I think crawling will come later rather than sooner.

Zoe is such an amazing little girl. My love for her grows deeper every single day. Last night it was like she was really trying to talk to me! Just before she went to bed, I nursed her and then she was in a very good mood, talking away and making facial expressions that she's probably learned from me, really looking like she was engaging in a conversation haha. She was so adorable and it made me cry! She is only a little baby for a short time and I am enjoying every second of it. Even when she's screaming her lungs out or crying for no apparent reason, it is all a part of being a baby and its her only way of communicating that she's upset and when that happens I just try my best to help her get through the problem. Most of the time when she is upset it just means she wants to change settings so I can usually take her outside and she's fine.

I love being a Mommy!


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Approval of Men?


“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or God? Or am I still trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

This week has been a difficult one for me. Today I realized that I've been trying to win the approval of my friends and family over the approval of God. It's hard living in a society like ours. The world is screaming for us to impress one another. I find myself constantly feeling like I need to defend the things I believe are Biblical and unquestionably true. The Bible says it will not be easy to be a follower of Christ and boy is that right. But you know what? In the end, it will all be worth it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beef Stew Recipe

Tonight's Dinner: Easy Slow-Cooker Beef Stew




Recipe from KraftFoods.com


What You Need


1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
1/4 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 lb. boneless beef chuck for stew, cut into 1-1/4-inch cubes
1 lb. red potatoes, quartered
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. water
Make It

MIX broth, dressing, barbecue sauce and oregano in slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except flour and water; toss to coat. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours (or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours).

TRANSFER meat and vegetables to serving bowl with slotted spoon; cover with foil. Set aside.

MIX flour and water until well blended. Stir into juices in slow cooker; cover. Cook on HIGH for 15 min. or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon over meat and vegetables.


This turned out to be a pretty good meal. However, the meat I used turned into shredded meat and I used garlic rather than an onion and I had no oregano so I just used parsley haha. It turned out pretty good! Very easy. I definitely recommend it.

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Beth Moore

Spiritual discernment and doctrinal truth is very important to me. Everything I do, think, say, and believe should first be brought to Christ. I want nothing more than to see the world through the eyes of Christ. As I said in my previous post, it will take time to obtain godly wisdom and of course we'll never be able to fully see all that God can see, but it is SO important to allow the Holy Spirit to do what He came to do.

I don't know a lot about Beth Moore yet but I do know women who absolutely ADORE her. I actually have a friend who called Beth Moore her spiritual idol, she actually said she idolizes the woman. I don't know but in my mind a HUGE red flag goes up when someone says something like that. I believe that idolizing anyone for any reason whatsoever is blasphemy, it goes directly against the law of the Bible. Maybe she just used the word in the wrong context, but maybe not. Regardless, I have heard from many women that they don't just love her studies, they love HER. Yet again, I have another red flag going up in my head.

I have not heard good things about Beth Moore's doctrine on a deeper level but in every other aspect everyone adores her and what she teaches. I looked at her statement of faith on her website and yes, it is all absolutely in line with the Bible. There are many issues that are not discussed though that are pretty important. One in particular is her teaching over men. She teaches over men in her church and in her ministries and despite any excuses she has come up with, even if she never intended for it to be that way, it is is definitely something the Bible very plainly states in 1 Timothy 2:12 that we're not supposed to do. Women are not to teach or be in authority over men. These are not my words but the words of Bible.

Other than those things, I honestly don't know what to think yet because I have not done one of her studies. I have only heard from people who have done her studies. I would love to find out that she does care about giving accurate Biblical information to her readers, but until I know that, I don't know if I can really say I'm a fan.

My church has a Beth Moore study and as far as theology goes, I believe my church is very theologically sound. Therefore, the Beth Moore studies must not be as bad as some people make them out to be. I also don't believe they are as brilliant as other people seem to think they are though. Who knows, maybe one day I'll try one the studies in addition to an actual Bible study. I'm more into learning about the Bible in a literal and historical way rather than a topical and life applicable way.

We'll see.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Striving for Perfection

Gal 5:22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
I'm struggling with my emotions and feelings this week. I think it is a combination of stress from having a huge to-do list and the change in weather. I have been struggling with wanting to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect friend, the perfect sister, the perfect daughter.... and of course there is no such thing as the perfect person, but that is one thing I am really struggling with.

I want to know everything there is to know about being a wife and being a mother. I have found myself reading about wives in the Bible, reading about wives in books, reading blogs written by wives (and mothers) like me, watching the way other wives and mothers act around their husbands and children, all so I can gain the proper knowledge of what it means to be wife and a mother. My problem is that I want to do everything now. I am without a doubt completely lacking patience.

That is what I need to pray about this week and in the coming months, and years...

Proverbs 31 speaks of a virtuous and capable wife and these few verses really stick out to me.

Pro 31:25
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.

Pro 31:26
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Pro 31:27
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.


These verses describe everything I have been trying to be, which is a good thing, because it is Biblical and true but if I am lacking in any of these areas it is not the end of the world, it is nothing to become depressed about. It should actually encourage me to work harder. The Lord will provide me with the knowledge and the wisdom that I need when I actually need it. It will all come through time and experience. God does everything in His own time. The Holy Spirit provides us with the discernment that we need to learn what is right and wrong. Wisdom, kindness, strength and dignity come with time and effort.

Instead of worrying so much about whether or not I'll ever be a good enough wife and mother, I should be focusing on what I'm doing now and how I am glorifying the Lord with my life. I need to look forward (with a smile) to what is to come in the future and not dwell on the past (that is something I tend to do a LOT!). I can't allow myself to become overwhelmed and stressed over such trivial things such as a to-do list. In 80 or so years, many of the things on my lists are not going to matter. All that does matter is that God is glorified through all that I do.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You know you are from SAN DIEGO if...

I came across this list a couple years ago and every once in a while it pops up in an email or on MySpace so I thought I'd post it here for fun :) I love this list because every SINGLE thing on this list, I can relate to. Seriously. Every single one. I had to comment on a few of them hehe.


You know you are from San Diego if...


- Your high school had a surf team.

- Rolled tacos are a weekly staple in your house.

- Everyone has their favorite beach.

- You can correctly pronounce Tierrasanta, La Jolla, Rancho Penasquitos, San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Jamacha, Jamul, Cuyamaca, and El Cajon

- There are four distinct seasons: Summer, Not Quite Summer, Almost Summer, and Oh Hey Look Its Summer Again (YES! So true...)

- Your house is worth more than some small countries.

- You know what MB, OB, and PB stand for

- Every street name is either in Spanish or Spanish related, and you're surprised when other areas don't have this

- You can determine the accuracy of someone's "I'm ghetto" claim by knowing their high school. For example, El Camino High School or Crawford High School

- You see weather forecasts for four different climate zones in the same county, and aren't remotely surprised. The Micro Climate Weather

- You've tailgated at Qualcomm Stadium, and for a bonus point, also tailgated when it was Jack Murphy Stadium

- You have a favorite: the Wild Animal Park or the Zoo

- You've been on a field trip to see an Imax movie at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (8th grade!)

- You still call it the Del Mar Fair (and I'll never call it anything else!)

- You say "I'm going to the track" and people know what you mean.

- You understand what May-Gray and June-Gloom is.

- A famous skateboarder/surfer lives in your town.

- There's a North County, a South County, and an East County but no Central or West County

- "Mossy Nissan! Mossy Nissan! Mossy Nissan Moves You!" (Ohhh man... this is making me miss San Diego so much!)

- You've gotten stuck in the Horton Plaza parking structure traffic after a Padres game

- You know what "The Merge" is, and will plan your entire day around not being on it during rush hour.

- You've been to Belmont Park.

- You've seen the seals in La Jolla.

- You once went on a Whale Watching field trip in school. (6th grade - on my 12th birthday!)

- You've taken the Coaster and laughed at people sitting in traffic on the 5!

- You know the difference between Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa, and Mira Mesa, and maybe you remember Serra Mesa too.

- You've gone to Sea World on a warm day and sat in the first few rows at the Shamu Show to get cooled off.

- You've been delayed at the Border Checkpoints at the I-5 & the I-15

- There are more bands than people (HAHAHA!)

- Your house doesn't have air conditioning.

- You have walked down the pier and eaten at Ruby's in Oceanside. (That pier is my absolute favorite place to be.)

- You know it's San Diegan, not San Diegoan, or San Diegoite

- No matter what the weather is, there is always someone walking around in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops

-You live on, near or are surrounded by hills (that most other places would like to call "mountains").

-You are a VERY good driver. You hate tourists and their bad driving.

-You have family and or friends that have moved to Arizona

- You have been to a Wedding at Balboa Park

- You used to, and sometimes still do ride the carousel at Seaport Village

- You know someone who doesn't own pants, and have a neighbor who doesn't seem to own a shirt.

- You know what Santa Ana's are, and that they have literally nothing to do with the city of Santa Ana

- You know that the media greatly exaggerates the impact of earthquakes.

- If the menu doesn't have California burritos on it, forget it, its not real Mexican food


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Monday, September 8, 2008

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month! I know, I've never heard of it before either. It has been an Annual thing for 5 years I believe.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Ready Campaign has posted a few lists (and you know how much I loove lists!) that you can use to better prepare for a possible emergency. The first list is for a basic emergency supply kit, the next is suggestions for making a plan with your family for how to contact each other in an emergency, and the last is information on staying informed on what type of emergencies may occur in your area. You can find these lists at Ready.gov

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

* Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
* Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
* Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
* Flashlight and extra batteries
* First aid kit
* Whistle to signal for help
* Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
* Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
* Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
* Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
* Local maps

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

* Prescription medications and glasses
* Infant formula and diapers
* Pet food and extra water for your pet
* Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
* Cash or traveler's checks and change
* Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
* Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
* Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
* Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
* Fire Extinguisher
* Matches in a waterproof container
* Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
* Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
* Paper and pencil
* Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Current Favorite Song

You Are Everything - by Matthew West


I'm the one with two left feet
Standing on a lonely street
I can't even walk a straight line
And every time you look at me
I'm spinning like an autumn leaf
Bound to hit bottom sometime

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won't let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can't help but breathe you in


<!--
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> Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
I'm the one with big mistakes
Big regrets and bigger breaks
Than I ever care to confess
Oh but, You're the one who looks at me
And sees what I was meant to be
More than just a beautiful mess

Where would I be without someone to save me
Someone who won't let me fall
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can't help but breathe you in
[these lyrics are found on http://www.songlyrics.com]
Breathe again

Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
You're everything good in my life
Everything honest and true
And all of those stars hanging up in the sky
Could never shine brighter than You
You are everything that I live for
Everything that I can't believe is happening
You're standing right in front of me
With arms wide open
All I know is
Every day is filled with hope
You are everything that I believe for
And I can't help but breathe you in
Breathe again
Feeling all this life within
Every single beat of my heart
You are
You are
Jesus, You are

You are everything

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Changing Seasons

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sioux Falls, SD - Falls Park"][/caption]

Seasons are new to me. I grew up in Southern California where there are basically the Summer months and the non-Summer months. During Fall and Winter in Southern California it rains more (which is hardly any at all) and it is slightly cooler than it is in Spring and Summer. That period of non-Summer was my favorite though. It was never humid, the air was cool and fresh and there was always a slight breeze. A couple of days when I was outside swinging with Zoe as I normally do in the evening, I noticed that the humidity was gone, the weather was cooler, and there was a slight breeze...it reminded me of California weather and words cannot describe how amazingly happy it made me feel. I also noticed one other thing that evening, for the first time in my life I am excited for Fall and even Winter (the first half anyway - winter lasts 6 months here).

For the majority of my life I've never dealt with snow or changing leaves (mostly because of the lack of trees in San Diego), there was no need to buy a winter coat or pack or unpack winter clothes, there were no special recipes we had for the different seasons, I never once carved a pumpkin or picked apples to make Apple pie. I never participated in winter sports of any kind and I never had a garden of my own. I now understand why my Mom always talked about how she wanted to move to a place with seasons (which she did!). Part of me always wished that I grew up in a place with real seasons. There is so much more to life with Seasons! I would prefer it if winter didn't last half the year but I am grateful that we at least have winter here as opposed to no winter in San Diego.

I am so happy that Zoe is going to have the opportunity to grow up with the different seasons! She is going to have such happy memories associated with them. I lived in Kentucky for one year when I was 15 and those memories stick with me more than many others from my childhood because of the seasons. Maybe it'll be different for her because she's going to grow up with them but I don't know... a lot of people I've met here seem to really enjoy the seasons and actually look forward to them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sarah Palin

Ever since Sarah Palin was chosen to be the Republican VP candidate I have had mixed feelings about it. I am a strong believer that married women should be in the home raising their children. I believe that is the most Biblical and most important, rewarding, and beautiful thing a woman can dedicate her life to. If a women is not married or does not have children, its a different story. Those women can focus on the Biblical aspects of single living. However, when it comes to married women, I believe it should be only natural to be a homemaker. I applaud the women who decide to stay home with their children. Mothers need to be available to their kids whenever they need them.

One thing that bothers me about our society is that many people claim to be Christians yet they don't uphold the Biblical values that they claim to believe. They let things slide. They don't want to make judgments (even if it is a completely Biblical judgment) or make any any statements that may not be politically correct. I think that Christians should at least acknowledge that Sarah Palin is a wife and a mother and that aspect of her life should come first, before her job. We shouldn't blindly say, "Yes, women should stay home with their children. But Sarah Palin is an exception." Which is what many Christians are doing right now, they are being inconsistent with what they say they believe. This should not be the case.

I think it is much more important to be a stay-at-home-mom rather than be the Vice President of the United States. If it were me, I would have turned down the offer from John McCain. Well, I wouldn't have gotten into politics to begin with, but had I been in the situation, I would have turned down the offer.

Now with all of that said, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't vote for Sarah Palin. I think she has good values, much better values than many other politicians out there. I just don't want go with the flow and not even acknowledge that she should not have accepted the offer. She could be VP for at least 4 years and she has a child with downs syndrome, a pregnant daughter, and 2 other children at home that need their mother, and if she is chosen as VP she will be sacrificing a lot for the sake of a job.


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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Family Update

This weekend was fun! We went to LifeLight (a free Christian music festival here in Sioux Falls), saw Switchfoot on Friday night, and on Sat we saw a bunch more bands. We didn’t end up going on Sunday because Gage had to work and I couldn’t get a ride. Next year I think we plan to actually camp (in the motor home) at the Festival and next time Gage won’t forget to ask for the weekend off work...haha. My friend Rachelle actually performed a couple songs on the main stage on Sat night! I don’t know who talked her into it but man... I could tell she was nervous. There were about 85,000 people there that night! She did a wonderful job though. She is one of my 5 friends that are pregnant.


Labor day was a full day of just hanging out! Gage had the whole day off, which is very very very rare. He usually has school and/or work every single day.


Zoe is doing well. She discovered how to roll from her tummy to her back this week. She did it all backwards...she started rolling from her back to her tummy when she was 3 months old and usually babies start rolling from their tummy to their back first. She’s my little rollie pollie (sp??). She laughs at stuff all the time now and she absolutely LOVES when someone talks to her. She gets a huge smile on her face and she tries to grab at your face when you’re talking. She grabs for everything now...even hair ;o) Yay. She sits up pretty well now too, but someone has to be right next to her so she doesn’t fall flat on her face (as she did today...even though I was right there!) Zoe’s number of friends seems to grow each and every week! We have a weekly play group each week (even though 2 of the babies – Zoe included – are still too small to really play) and there was a new baby there last week. In our group there are two 5 month olds (Zoe and Kjersten born 10 days apart), two 10 month olds (born a day apart), a 2 year old, a couple 4 year olds, and I believe a 5 year old.



This week I have been focusing on getting organized. Since Zoe was born my organizational habits kind of disappeared. I’ve been making schedules, to-do lists, menu plans for the week, clipping coupons, and reading tons of blogs on homemaking and money saving. Hopefully within a week or two I will have all of my planning and organizing finished and I can actually start doing the things on my lists! Haha.


I’m excited for this week! Our Women’s Bible study on Isaiah begins on Thursday morning, our Community Group (or Small Group as most people call them) begins Thursday night (I think - actually I need to first find out which group we are going to be going to this year haha), and on Sunday before church we are doing a Way of the Master class at church. Thankfully there is childcare during each of them! Yay! This is one of many reasons to look forward to Fall.


All summer it has been the same... very warm, slight (or major) humidity, rain here and there. But yesterday, out of nowhere...it was actually kind of chilly! I enjoyed it because it reminded me of a nice evening in San Diego. There was a cool breeze, no humidity at all, and it was nice and sunny outside. Every night I go out and swing on our porch swing (which is actually located on the front lawn in front of the house) with Zoe. I loved sitting out there yesterday evening. It did make me miss CA though.


Today I went to the mall with my 'play group' friends. Then Anna and her baby Kjersten came over (she's the one who is the same age as Zoe). Later on I went over to her house, then we left the babies with her husband Kevin and we went grocery shopping. I was there during Gage's break so he walked around with me and bought me a Dr. Pepper :) Hehe. We returned to Anna's house an hour later and both babies were crying. Zoe looked SO SO SO exhausted. She only had one nap today and it was only about an hour and a half long. When I brought her home we skipped her bath and I just fed her and put her in bed and she went right to sleep at about 8:45. Now it is 10pm and Gage should be home soon! I never know if I should make dinner or not on nights when he works...sometimes he comes home hungry and other nights he comes home not wanting any food. He's got to eat *something* though so I should probably make something each night and make him eat it ;o)


Alright, I'm off to search the cupboards!


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Monday, September 1, 2008

Money Saving COUPONS!

Coupons! I have always loved coupons.

I have used coupons every once in a while since I've been married, usually only the really good ones but I've never really used them regularly. I always see, "Save 25 cents!" and I think, "Big whoop!", as I assume most people do. But if you add all of those little coupons together, you can save a lot of money! Just by taking a few minutes to cut out a few coupons each day.

I remember my Mom clipping coupons when I was young but since then, I haven't really known anyone who clipped coupons until now. A couple weeks ago I went to Target with a friend who happens to be the coupon queen (ahem...Rachel!)! She gave me a bunch of her coupons she didn't need, and I had a few of my own. I ended up saving $7 just by handing the cashier some coupons. Free money is a good thing :) Those $7 that I saved can go towards more groceries.

My goal this month is to use as many coupons as I can and see how much I save on the things I buy regularly. This Sunday I was surprised to find coupons for items I buy on a regular basis. I have been reading money-saving blogs that tell you how to find freebies, coupons, etc. I'm very excited! We don't really make enough to pay the bills each month so whatever I can do to save money will benefit us greatly.

I just found out about Walgreen's rebate program they have and you can actually get lots of pretty useful stuff for free. Right now the toothpaste that I buy is on the list and so if I buy toothpaste now, I will ultimately get it for free with the rebate. Very cool!


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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...