Monday, August 31, 2009

It is the end of August..

The end of August! This month just flew by.

It's the beginning of another week. Today marks the first day of a road trip for Gage's Mom, Grandparents, and younger brother Brad! They will be on the road for 4-5 weeks. For those of you who know Brad and are interested in reading Brad's travel blog, send me an e-mail at, and I'll give you the link!

While they are gone I will be taking over Brad's weekly paper route. He delivers the local shopping news once a week to 3 different neighborhoods. This will tie in great with my walking plan!

Gage is continuing with his school, tutoring other students, homework, and working. The first couple weeks of school are always the most difficult to get through. It's hard to adjust to him being so busy. There is a light at the end of the tunnel this year though! He will graduate, get a job, and then... we'll have to re-adjust to him working a full-time job haha.

Zoe's New Adventures:

- Many, many trips to the pantry to take out the Cheerios, find Mommy or Daddy, and say "CheeO? CheeO?"

- Climbing up and gracefully getting down from the couch. She decided that falling down head first was just not the way to go.

- She says well over 100 words now. I can actually somewhat have a conversation with her!

- Favorite things to say: "Awk" (Walk), "I see you!", "Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!", "Foo" (food), "Tissue", "Trash", "All duhh!" (All Done), "Daeee" (Daddy).

- She has started to announce when she needs a diaper change. We take this as the first indication that we need to get started on potty training soon!

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Part 1

Many of us have seen the commercials in the last couple of years in which the Corn Refiner's Association attempts to make all of the people who are wary of high fructose corn syrup out to be ignorant, uneducated, and darn right stupid.  They state that we need to "get the facts".   So that is exactly what I intend to do.  Quite frankly, the commercials bug me. I think that if a product has a hundred saftey concerns associated with it, they are in no position to mock those who have concerns.

HFCS is most widely used to as a sugar substitute.  It costs less to produce and it is easier to blend and transport because it is liquid.

Perhaps the biggest concern I have is that a small amount of Mercury could be passed into the HFCS through the process it goes through before it becomes HFCS. Another concern I have is that it is in nearly every packaged product we eat and drink!  If there are concerns regarding something I am giving my family to eat, I want to know what it is and what the concerns are.

What does the CRA say?

I took some time to read what the CRA (Corn Refiners Association) had to say about all of this and surprisingly the website does not cover a lot of the safety concerns. It does, however, cover about 10-15 of the most popular concerns. The website seems to be pretty thorough and truthful in its explainations except for a few in which they are clearly making excuses and avoiding solid answers.    Simply stating facts as these does not prove them to be true.

Audrae Erickson, President of the Corn Refiners Association has said, “Americans should know that no mercury or mercury-based technology is used in the production of high fructose corn syrup in North America.” He also says, "High fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets FDA’s requirements for the use of the term ‘natural.’"

Those are some pretty big claims.  Especially since the FDA does not have requirements or regulations for the use of the term 'natural'!    They put it through a high level of processing and they use at least one genetically modified (GMO) enzyme to produce it.   Does this sound natural to you?

And then there is the mercury...
pilot study reported that some high-fructose corn syrup manufactured in the U.S. in 2005 contained trace amounts of mercury. The mercury appeared to come from caustic soda andhydrochloric acid, two chemicals used in the manufacture of high-fructose corn syrup. It has been found that caustic soda used by HFCS has been produced in industrial chlorine chlor-alkali plants using the mercury cell Castner-Kellner process, and can contain traces of mercury....Nine of the twenty samples tested did contain measurable amounts of mercury.   - Wikipedia on HFCS

High Fructos Corn Syrup: Part 2 (Coming Soon)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Taking a Walk!

My daughter and I started taking walks about a month ago. I haven't been super consistent but I can say I've gone on more walks in a month than I ever have in my adult years so far.

I want to set up a challenge for myself. I'm a huge fan of setting goals. I figure the best way for me to do that is to announce it on my blog for the world (cough :: the5peoplethatreadthis :cough ) to see!

This is a very basic plan that is not very detailed. It IS a plan though and it does give me weekly goals which is what I need. Feel free to join me if you would like!

Shaina's 5 Week Walking Plan - September 2009

Week #1: 4 walks, 1 hr each
Week #2: 4 walks, 1 hr each
Week #3: 4 walks, 1-1.5 hrs each
Week #4: 5 walks, 1-1.5 hrs each
Week #5: 5 walks, 1-2 hrs each

Week 1 begins tomorrow!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"New" Wedding Photos!

Today in the mail we received a CD with photos from our Wedding!! Gage's Great-Uncle Garry had taken some photos at our Wedding and had forgotten that he had them. We were married on September 16, 2006 - our 3rd Anniversary is coming up very soon!

Friday, August 28, 2009

No Facebook for a Week! :o)

I typically check my Facebook account once every 3-4 hours during the day. If Zoe is napping, if she's watching a TV show or something that I can't really participate in. Sometimes its more sometimes its much less. I think FB is a wonderful site overall and I think it is amazing that I can be in touch with nearly everyone I have ever known, every single day. I get so excited when I hear of a new baby coming or when someone posts pictures of their family that I haven't seen in years. Nearly everyone in my family (even my Grandma!) is on there so its a great way for them to hear what is going on with us here in South Dakota. FB has so many wonderful aspects to it! It also has its drawbacks though.

However, lately I have been noticing that my attitude during the day is in direct connection with what is going on in the lives of my friends and family on facebook. If I see an argument between friends or if someone disagrees with something I say or if someone posts something utterly disgusting and it leaves me questioning who they are as a person, it is almost guaranteed that I will be affected by it in a bad way for the rest of the day. The same goes for days when everything is going well on facebook, my day is a better day. This is not how a person's life should be! Of course I love to hear great updates and news from friends and family, but facebook has become a 2nd home to people where they feel completely comfortable announcing to the whole world about their troubles, no matter how personal they may be. There are also people who have no problem complaining day after day after day in their status'. They think it will draw sympathy for them when really it does the exact opposite. I honestly have a very negative view of a lot of my friends that I never would have had without it. No I'm not just pointing fingers here, I am very guilty of doing these same things. I'm sure there are people who are not impressed with things I post on there sometimes as well.

I am taking a week off from facebook starting today to get back to reality. I'm hoping that I can get to a point where I just check FB maybe once every 3-4 days and have most of my corresponding be through e-mail or phone. I'll see how this week goes and then maybe I'll take another week off as well.

I want my life to reflect Jesus Christ. The only way for that to happen is for me to stop relying on what everyone else is doing and focus on my own walk with God.

A Mother's Influence is Unmatched

"Mothers, please don't let the world rob you of the incredible joy of a life invested in your children.

They are your mark on the world.

They are your legacy, your testimony, and your contribution to mankind.

Don't let some other woman steal your influence.

Remember, 'The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.'

That saying didn't just show up one day.

That proverb is the result of centuries of observation.

A mother's influence is unmatched."

-Voddie Bauchaum, Family Driven Faith

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Discovering True Patience

I became a Mother about a year and a half ago. My journey into motherhood was not as difficult as I had always imagined it would be. I got through the pregnancy (although definitely not pain-free!), I made it through labor & delivory (which had always been my greatest fear!), and the first year of motherhood was surprisingly simple. I was patient with my daughter, attentitive to her needs, and every moment I had to care for her I was glad to do it! This was a shock to me because I have always been an impatient person and I had always worried about how I would be as a mother. God definitely answered my prayers in getting me through the initial shock of being Mom. I fully understood that she was a baby, she did not know any better when she did things wrong (to a certain extent) and when she cried it was for a purpose.

Somehow as my daughter has begun to learn how to talk, walk, and express her personality, my level of patience has decreased. I'm starting to realize why God has placed such an emphasis on patience in the Bible. It affects our own lives, our families' lives, and the lives of those around us. For this reason I have been seeking encouragement and biblical advice on how to practice patience in everything I do, not just when it comes to motherhood, but in everything that I do.

These are some verses that have been encouraging to me at this time...

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.

Colossians 3:12-13
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Oh if only it were simple to just say, "Ok God! From now on I am going to be the woman that you desire for me to be. I will be slow to become angry. I am going to be humble, patient, merciful, kind, and tenderhearted towards every person that I meet. I will forgive anyone who offends me, and I will always be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer."

Yes, it would be nice if we could be all we are called to be in one instant. But that is not how God has designed us! He continues to teach us His ways through His word, and through Him we can know that these things are perfectly attainable! God is not finished with me yet. As I continue to grow in my walk with Christ, He will (as he has promised!) grant me the wisdom needed to attain all of these things! Everything the Word of God says a woman should be is something we all should stive to achieve, because God WILL bless us with these qualities the more we seek His truths.

One person I have truly been blessed by lately is
Michelle Duggar. This may be the first time I have ever looked up to a person that I do not actually know haha. She is a mother of 18 children, yes I did say 18! She and her family have a reality show on the TLC network. This show has been such a blessing to me because everytime I turn it on I am absolutely amazed by Michelle's stature. She has a heart for God, she submits to her husband, she loves her children, she is sooo kind to everyone she meets, and her patience with each and every one of her children is one the things I admire most about her. Michelle and her husband Jim Bob teach their children in the way of the Lord. That is something I strive for with Zoe, and at this point in my life I feel like I don't even know where to begin!

This week I have one goal: Not to express any harsh tones towards my daughter. I want to exercise true godly patience towards her. I can be stern and let her know when she is doing wrong of course, but I do not want her to think that I am angry when I am disciplining her. That is one area I consistently fail in.

So that is it for now! God is in control and I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to work in me in the next few weeks.

More on the TV show: 18 Kids & Counting -- I did some reading about the Duggar family on their website and they said they would not do the show if they were going to edit out their faith. TLC does a surprisingly great job at not editing out the times when they talk about thair faith in Jesus. It's amazing! It is so unlike any other TV show I've seen before. I definitely recommend it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Christian Mothers and The Bible

One of my favorite websites is You can go there and ask just about any question pertaining to the Bible and you will most often get an accurate and thorough response with many references to verses in the Bible. Here is what it says regarding Christian mothers. I found this to be extremely helpful! - Shaina

Question: "What does the Bible say about Christian mothers?"

Being a mother is a very important role that the Lord chooses to give to many women. A Christian mother is told to love her children (Titus 2:4-5), in part so that she does not bring reproach on the Lord and on the Savior whose name she bears.

Children are a gift from the Lord (
Psalm 127:3-5). In Titus 2:4, the Greek word phileoteknos appears in reference to mothers loving their children. This word represents a special kind of “mother love.” The idea that flows out of this word is that of caring for our children, nurturing them, affectionately embracing them, meeting their needs, and tenderly befriending each one as a unique gift from the hand of God.

Several things are commanded of Christian mothers in God’s Word:

Availability – morning, noon, and night (
Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Involvement – interacting, discussing, thinking, and processing life together (
Ephesians 6:4)

Teaching – the Scriptures and a biblical worldview (
Psalm 78:5-6;Deuteronomy 4:10; Ephesians 6:4)

Training – helping a child to develop skills and discover his/her strengths (
Proverbs 22:6) and spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12)

Discipline – teaching the fear of the Lord, drawing the line consistently, lovingly, firmly (
Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 13:24; 19:18;22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15-17)

Nurture – providing an environment of constant verbal support, freedom to fail, acceptance, affection, unconditional love (
Titus 2:4; 2 Timothy 1:7;Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:1-2; Galatians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:8-9)

Modeling with Integrity – living what you say, being a model from which a child can learn by “catching” the essence of godly living (
Deuteronomy 4:9, 15, 23; Proverbs 10:9; 11:3; Psalm 37:18, 37).

The Bible never states that every woman should be a mother. However, it does say that those whom the Lord blesses to be mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Carolyn's Story

I just came across a tribute that Carolyn Mahaney's daughters wrote about her and I had to share it on here! It literally brought me to tears. This is exactly what I hope and pray Zoe will think of me one day, this is exactly what I believe every woman should strive for. Check out here story here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beginning a Healthy Lifestyle

I have been reading a lot about eating healthier by buying whole organic foods and making food from scratch. I'd say the majority of the time when I am at the store, I tend to buy the cheapest foods reguardless of their nutritional value. My husband works part time (as he is in school full time) and I am a stay-at-home Mom. As you can imagine, our income is not very much. My goal each month has been to spend $200 or less on groceries. This can be extremely difficult to do if you want to buy nutritious foods!

Today was a start, and I'd say we did very well! We spent $145.00 at the grocery store today on a month's worth of food. (Well, almost. In a couple weeks I'll return to the store to stock up again on fruits & veggies and dairy products.) It was not nearly all organic or even natural (*gasp* yes... I did buy Spaghetti O's....hehe), but we did significantly increase the amount of nutritious foods in the basket and it did include some organic things. I don't know that we'll ever get to a point where we only buy whole organic foods, but I definitely do want to get us to a point where we are eating nutritionally on a regular basis.

A few of my other goals:

  • We are unable to afford it now, but at some point I'd love for us to be able to get our eggs, milk, beef, pork, and chicken all from local farmers.
  • I'd also love to look into buying whole foods in bulk from something similar to Azure Standard.
  • Learn how to garden so that we can make our own veggies.
  • Learn how to do canning!
  • Make just about everything from scratch.

For some good reading on nutritional foods, check out the following blogs:

Getting Real with Food. This is a series that Laura from Heavenly Homemakers wrote. She gives excellent advice on what whole (real) food is, how to buy nutritious foods on a budget, and more. Just search for "Part 1" and go from there. She's quite an entertaining writer!

Natural Living 101 - Lindsay from Passionate Homemaking has compiled a list of articles, books, and resources on all topics related to extablishing a nourishing kitchen and home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Resolutions Update

I was going over my list of resolutions for this year and I noticed that more than half of them have not yet been completed, let alone started! I have a lot of work to do if I'm going to complete my list of resolutions for the year!

Let's see, it's August. That means I have about 4.5 months 10 books, learn to sew, try about 80 new things, read the entire Old Testament, scrounge up another $1000 for our savings, lose 6 lbs...etc. Somehow I don't think that is going to happen! haha. The truth is, I completely forgot about my list of resolutions for about 6 months out of this year. Next year I'll have to print out my list and post it in a place that I see every day.

I did managed to get a few of the things finished! To see which ones, check out my list. I was so excited to be able to cross off some of them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Proverbs 31:10-31

I have been listening to/reading Nancy Leigh Demoss' series on the Biblical Womanhood over at Revive Our Hearts Radio. Yesterday I listened to, "A Biblical View of Womanhood", and today it is "A Virtuous Woman". This is a series that was originally done in February 2007. It is available for anyone to do at any time and you can find it here: The Counter-Cultural Woman: A Fresh Look at Proverbs 31. It begins with, "The Most Important Lesson".

I have read through Proverbs 31 many times, especially within the last 3 years as I've been a married woman. I've always had a difficult time understanding what some of these things mean, which is why I am doing this study. I thank the Lord for Proverbs 31. It is a beautiful portrait of true womanhood! I can only hope and pray that I will at least somewhat emuIate the Proverbs 31 woman in the years to come. I am so excited to study this passage over the next month or so.

I am so encouraged by Nancy's teaching. God is the focus of her studies, which is so refreshing to hear.

Here is the portion of Proverbs 31 where it gives instruction for Mothers:

Proverbs 31:10-31 (NLT)
10 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 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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Prayer for Women

by Pastor John Piper

My earnest challenge and prayer for you is . . .

. . . That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.

. . . That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.


. . . That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in Heaven.


. . . That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching; that meditation on biblical truth be the source of hope and faith; that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.


. . . That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God will be opened to you, and so the power of faith and holiness will descend upon you; that your spiritual influence may increase at home and at church and in the world.


. . . That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God which undergirds all these spiritual processes; and that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers of these things.


. . . That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific calling; that you not fritter away your time on soaps or women’s magazines or unimportant hobbies or shopping; that you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Story

Gage and I both grew up in San Diego, CA. We met through in August 2005. I had just created a San Diego County Christians group on MySpace and since Gage was a new Christian with no Christian friends, he joined with the hope that he would meet some new friends. I invited him to join my friends and I at a bible study and we met in person at Calvary Chapel Hidden Valley on September 8, 2005. Two months later we were a couple and a little over one year after we met we married on September 16, 2006. Our first kiss was on our Wedding day!

Our honeymoon was a 2 day stay at a bed & breakfast in Julian, CA and then a 10 day road trip to our new home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We made stops in Zion National Park, four corners, a couple towns in Colorado, and the Black Hills (Mt. Rushmore). It was an amazing journey! We arrived here October 1st. We have lived here for nearly 3 years now and we love it. We enjoy meeting new people and learning to adapt to life in the midwest. We love the different seasons (although we do wish winter was shorter than 5-6 months!), we are happy to live near Gage's family, and we have found a wonderful church, First Evangelical Free Church of Sioux Falls.

On March 12, 2008 we welcomed our first child into the world! A baby girl named Zoe Kimberly (named after her Grandma Kimberly, my mother, who passed away in 2005 just a month before I met Gage). She is the greatest blessing God has granted us with. She is such a joy to have and we look forward watching her grow.

Right now Gage is attending school at Southeast Technical Institute (STI). He has already received a diploma as a Software Support Specialist, and is continuing his work to earn an A.A.S. in Computer Programming. I am a stay-at-home-Mom now and I absolutely love it! I couldn't ask for a better job than this! God has truly blessed me. I spend most of my days at home, going to parks, going for walks, learning anything that I can, organizing/cleaning, teaching my daughter anything and everything, and in addition to this I love to write and I love photography. I have just earned a Diploma in Photography and hope to one day earn money through my photography. Right now my focus is entirely on God, my husband, and my daughter.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book List

This is my current list of books to read.

1.Where’s Mom?
Dorothy Patterson

2.Lies Women Believe
Nancy DeMoss

3.Feminine Appeal
Carolyn Mahaney

4.To Train Up a Child
Michael & Debi Pearl

5.Radical Womanhood
Carolyn McCulley

6.The Way of the Master
Ray Comfort

7.Biblical Womanhood in the Home
Crossway Books

8.Biblical Portrait of Womanhood
Nancy DeMoss

9.No More Whining
Ginger Plowman

10.Heaven at Home
Ginger Plowman

11.The Excellent Wife
Martha Peace

12.Kitchen Organization Tips and Secrets
Deniese Schofield

13.Shepherding a Child’s Heart
Ted Tripp

14.Still Growing
Kirk Cameron

15.A Full House of Growing Pains
Barbara Cameron

16.Mission of Motherhood
Sally Clarkson

17.Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
C.J. Mahaney

18.Death by Love
Mark Driscoll

19.What Did Jesus Do?
Ray Comfort

20.Discipline of Spiritual Discernment
Tim Challies

21.Don’t Waste Your Life
John Piper

22.Desiring God
John Piper

23.Christless Christianity
Michael Horton

24.Love or Die
Alexander Strauch

25.The Reason for God
Tim Keller

26.The Way Home
Mary Pride

27. 20 and Counting
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

28. Passionate Housewives – Desperate for God
Stacy McDonald

Happy 53rd Birthday Dad!

Photo above: May 2009 / My silly Dad in his favorite place - Hawaii!

Happy 53rd Birthday Dad!!

Ted and Katharine Oswald!

She looked so beautiful!! I found this picture on facebook posted by Katharine's friend Lindsay. Katharine is the 3rd out of my 6 bridesmaids to be married now. She has now husband Ted Oswald were wed yesterday in San Diego, CA. It's hard to think that she is no longer Katharine Daulton anymore! I feel so bad that I could not make it to their Wedding. I searched for affordable tickets for 2 months before the Wedding and I guess this is a bad time to buy plane tickets because there was never anything I could afford.

Katharine and I met in late Dec 2000 online. We were both huge Hanson fans. We met in person in January 2001 at my 16th birthday party in Temecula, CA and from then on we made many happy memories together by attending concerts, going to Hollywood for the first time, and hanging out at each others houses. She lived in Carlsbad and I lived in Escondido. What a huge blessing Ted is for Katharine. I am so glad the Lord has provided her with a husband who will love and cherish her all her life! I look forward to meeting him someday. They live in Phillidelphia, PA now so it may be a while before that happens.

I pray that the Lord blesses them and that they would keep the Lord the in center of their marriage.

Congratulations Katharine & Ted!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saving Money

Ever since we returned from California in late June I have been slacking on my endevours to save money. I just spent the last 20 minutes or so going over a few of my favorite Money-Saving blogs and now I think I am motivated to get back into it. With Gage working part-time and me being a stay-at-home Mom we obviously are on an extremely tight budget and every penny we can save helps us tremendously!

One little highlight of last Sunday was when we made a short trip to Target and used 3 coupons, saving us about $5 on what would have been a $23 purchase. We ended up spending $18!

I had a $1.50 coupon for a Johnson & Johnson Baby Bath product and it included the hair detangeler. Zoe is getting to that age where I need to use detangeler sometimes so I was excited about this $1.50 off coupon for something that is rarely over $3.00. We got to the isle and we found that on the actual bottle of detangeler was a 2nd coupon for "$1.00 off NOW!" So guess what? We ended up using both coupons and walla! FREE detangeler. :) The third coupon we had was a $3 off coupon for Cruisers diapers that were already on sale at Target for about $19.

Coupons are indeed marvelous things!

Zoe is 17 Months Old!

Cutest Moments of the Week:

A few days ago Zoe told Great-Grandma Sandy she wanted to go outside. We all made our way out to the patio room. I got her shoes, we put them on her and now we're all set to walk outside. Before we know it, Zoe has changed her mind. Zoe then climbs up the stairs to go into the house, she looks at Grandma and says, "Bye bye!!"

Two days ago Zoe found my coffee cup on a table that had a little left in it from earlier that morning. She picked it up and broght it over to me saying, "Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!" :)

Last night Zoe decided she was finished playing with her blocks so she put them in their small box and said, "all done!...trash!" -- this is what we say when we're all finished with changing her diaper. Hehe.

Zoe's new words:

Swing ("Wee")
Outside, Inside ("Siiiiiide")
See you!
Abby!!! (from her box of crackers, the Sesame Street character)
Elmo ("emo")
Great-Grandma = "MAAAAAA!!" haha.
Car ("Cowww")
Bath ("Bop")

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New look...

I's a new blog year, so why not give it a new look. I'm having issues with the side content though so I don't know if I'll be able to stick with this look. I sure hope so, I love it!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

1 Year Anniversary of this Blog!

I have been blogging for 6 years now, my first blog was a personal journal held at It still exists and I update it about once a year just so it'll stay up to date. I moved to blogger because I wanted a new design and a whole new start on blogging.

Today I decided to go look back at my first post here on blogger: Click here if you wish to read it. I created this blog with the purpose of writing about my many adventures in homemaking. I think I have gone through 3 different names for this blog so far and who knows if the current one (Motherly Love) will even stick... but overall I feel I have succeeded in what I set out to do. I want to document my life and whatever I am doing at the time happens to be what I write about. Right now I am a new mom, so a lot of my posts are about motherhood and the excitement of seeing my daughter try new things each day.

This is a personal journal / homemaker's blog.

I hope that by writing on this blog I am able to encourage other young women to pursue lives devoted to their families. I also want to have a document that my daughter and any other future children of ours will be able to read one day to enjoy and be encouraged by. I believe there is nothing more important for a woman to do, especially in this day and age.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Anthony and Abby - Engagement Photos

On Monday my friend Anna stopped by my house as she does a few times a week. She asked me if I would be willing to take Engagement photos for her sister-in-law Abby (Anna's husband Kevin's sister). I of course jumped at the opportunity and on Wednesday I went out to Falls Park with Abby and her fiance Anthony and we took photos. It was fun, a good experience for sure. We ate at Valentinos afterwards. It was great to meet them both and I wish them the
best in all that they do!

What I've been doing...

Here we go again! My computer has something mysteriously wrong with it. Ever since we bought it, we have had problems with it. It is the only computer in the house that consistently has problems (and we have 4 computers all together). Long story but now I am using Windows Vista - Business instead of Linux. The plan was to switch to XP but I figured I'd try Vista since we had an extra one. We'll see how well this works out. So far this computer has had Windows XP, Linux Mint, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

The problems stemmed from some work I was doing yesterday with photos. I took some engagement photos for a couple on Wednesday and I had been trying to do some editing and uploading them to I had problems all along the way and uploading took longer than editing! The thing about Linux is that its more for people who have knowledge of how computers work, like my husband. I had to keep asking him for help every day. Even though it ran better than Windows, I think for now I'm sticking with Windows. It is much easier for me.

Last night I decided to try and figure out how I can recover all of my lost photos from June & July that were lost on that hard drive that crashed. That includes alllll of the photos from our CA trip and then some. Over 2000 photos. The week before the hard drive crashed I uploaded all of those photos to shutterfly! So they are all on so I figured I'd just order a few CDs and there we go! But They do not sell photo CDs!! They sell photo DVDs and they cost money. It would have costed me $35 to recover all of the photos. I did some searching on the internet for another option and I found a free option but it requires some extensive mouse clicking. I need to "right click" and "save" each individual photo once its on my photo share site ( So I added them to our family site ( and starting clicking away... I'm almost half way done now. *sigh*


Monday, August 3, 2009

Lupkes Wedding!

My Mother-in-law, Jennifer Herrmann, made her dress! It is her 3rd Wedding dress in recent years, I think she made her own as well. Jenny made my Wedding dress, my best friend Shannon's Wedding dress, and Monique's dress! As you can see, she is an excellent seamstress!

The Beautiful Bride! Monique Murray is now Monique Lupkes.

This was an interesting Wedding for me. I was videotaping from a balcony and the only other person up there with me was the photographer. I did manage to get a few photos of my own though.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Moni & Nick's Wedding Day!

Congratulations to Nick and Monique Lupkes!
Married today at the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD

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...