Saturday, December 22, 2012

Having an eternal perspective

I have been thinking about the title of my blog, which comes from my favorite verse, Ecclesiastes 3:11,

"He has made everything beautiful in his time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet none can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

That is the reason I am a Christian, because God has set eternity in my heart. I know that this life is not all there is, that I have desires and longings that can't be satisfied by any things or relationships here on earth. My husband and I have a great relationship that is a source of encouragement and joy to me, but it isn't perfect. Sometimes we have problems with miscommunication or selfishness or unmet expectations, because our relationship is just a representation of our relationship with God.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known." - 1 Cor. 13:12.

This morning, in my Bible study, I read a verse that really inspired me to have an eternal perspective on life, and a desire for heavenly things. The verse is in Hebrews 11, which talks about men and women who had faith in God's promises, even though they didn't always see the fulfillment of them.

"But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." - Hebrews 11:16

"God is not ashamed to be called their God" - what powerful words! God wants us to desire heaven, and to desire HIS presence. Looking at things in view of eternity brings a new perspective to the rest of life. Sometimes being the parent of a toddler and an infant is tiring and discouraging, but being a mom means more than just trying to keep my kids from destroying the house and driving me crazy. God's word tells me that I am raising my sons to be servants of the most high God! They have eternal souls, that were made to praise and glorify God. Remembering that encourages me to diligently correct and discipline them. It is not for my glory, it is for the glory of God!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - November 5

Here is what our family is eating this week:

Monday - Sausage, potatoes, and carrots

Tuesday - Chili and cornbread

Wednesday - Bourbon Chicken, brown rice, and green beans

Thursday - Hunter's Delight and peas

Friday - Tortellini

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - October 15

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday - Lawnmower tacos, guacamole and chips

Tuesday - Out to dinner

Wednesday - Meatloaf, roasted potatoes, and glazed carrots

Thursday - Baked Mahi-Mahi, quinoa, and green beans

Friday - Pizza bagels

Saturday - Harvest festival at church

Sunday - Chicken rice soup and honey-wheat rolls

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Caleb was relaxing in the beanbag, and Titus decided to join him : )

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - October 8

It is finally starting to feel like fall here in PA! The days are crisp and cool, which always makes me want to bake and drink hot tea : )  So I'll probably be making some bread, muffins, cookies, etc., in addition to the meals I have planned for this week ; )

Here is the plan for the week:

Monday - Mongolian Beef, brown rice, and green beans

Tuesday - Chicken quesadillas and corn

Wednesday - Pork fried rice

Thursday - Shrimp Fettucine (with penne instead of fettucine) and peas

Friday - Leftovers/on your own

Friday, October 5, 2012

Toddler Slipper Tutorial

I've finally perfected my toddler slipper pattern (based on my favorite baby slipper pattern). And I am so excited about it that I want to share it with everyone! They are super easy to make and are customizable to any size feet. I am going to give instructions on how to draft your own pattern and sew up these slippers for the little person in your life : )

Here are the things you will need:

- Polar Fleece (about 1/4 yd should be enough)
- 1 foot of 1/8" wide elastic
- Grippy fabric ( I found mine in the utility fabrics section at Joann Fabrics)
- Sewing machine
- Coordinating thread
- Scissors
- Pins
- Lightweight cardboard (a cereal box is good for this)

Creating a slipper pattern:

Have your intended slipper recipient stand on a piece of cardboard, and trace around his or her foot. You can make right and left slippers if you want to, but for simplicity's sake, I rounded out the top of the slipper and straightened out the inside curve, so the right and left slipper would be identical and could be used interchangeably. Add 1/2" around the shape you traced, on all sides, and cut out the new, slightly larger foot shape. This piece will be the sole of your slipper.

 Then make a semi-circle shaped piece that is half as tall as the sole (my sole was 7" long so this piece was 3.5" tall), and it should be the width of the sole piece plus about 2" at the widest part (my sole was 3" wide, so this piece was 5" wide). I'll call this piece the toe of the slipper.

Then, place the toe piece on top of the sole piece, lining up the top edges, and measure the circumference of the part of the sole that sticks out, as seen below. (I got 9" when I measured this part).

 Take that measurement and add 1". This will be the length of the heel piece, and the width should be about 3". (So my heel piece was 10" X 3"). Cut out a rectangle of these dimensions to use as a pattern for the heel.


Making the slippers:

Trace around the pattern pieces you made. To make a pair of slippers you'll need:

- 4 fleece toe pieces
- 2 fleece heel pieces
- 2 fleece sole pieces
- 2 grippy fabric sole pieces

Using a zig-zag stitch around the edge, sew the fleece sole piece to the grippy fabric sole piece, this is the sole of your slipper

 Fold the long edge of the heel piece over 3/4" and sew close to the edge of the folded over fabric to make a casing for the elastic

 Use a small safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing, and sew to secure the elastic in each end of the casing

 It should look like this when you are finished

 Pin the heel piece on top of one of the toe pieces, as shown in the picture below

 And pin the other toe piece on top of the heel piece, sandwiching the heel piece between the toe pieces

 Sew along the edge of the toe-heel sandwich, 1/4" from the edge

Then bring the 2 toe pieces together so the seam is hidden inside of them. It should look like this.

 Sew the toe pieces together, 1/8" from the edge. The top of the slipper is now finished.

 Pin the sole piece onto the top piece, right sides together. VERY IMPORTANT: the grippy fabric should be facing the INSIDE of the slipper right now, so it will be on the outside after the slipper is turned right side out. Don't be like me and sew the pieces together the wrong way twice! Picking out those seams was a major pain. If you have pinned it correctly, your slipper should look like this on the bottom:

 And like this on the top:

 Sew a seam all the way around the slipper, 1/4" from the edge. Note that the grippy fabric is inside the slipper, because it is still inside out.

 Turn your slipper right side out. All the raw edges should be on the inside, and the grippy fabric should be on the bottom of the slipper, to prevent slipping : )

Now repeat all the steps for the other slipper and you will have a cute and comfy pair of custom-made toddler slippers!

This post is linked to: Sew Cute Tuesday and Making the World Cuter Monday 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our newly expanded family

Sorry about the unintended 2 month long vacation from blogging. I gave birth to another little boy, then things just became busy, and writing in this blog wasn't a priority. I'm hoping to be able to set aside some time to blog. My main hurdle is remembering to take pictures and upload them to my computer (I think I need to hire a photographer ; )

Here are the important details : )

Caleb Daniel
Born August 22, 2012, at 10:47pm
Weighed 5 lb 1 oz and was 18 in long

The top picture was taken when Caleb was 2 days old. He is now 6 weeks old, and he had gained 2 lbs and grown 3 inches at his 1 month check-up! Life is a little busier with 2, but still very manageable : ) Titus loves his new brother, and Caleb is happy to just look around and take it all in (most of the time).

God gives such good gifts!

Friday, August 3, 2012

More birthday fun!

Here are some pictures from Titus' birthday:

Titus and his birthday balloon - hours of entertainment!

Titus' special tent that Grammy made for him!

Daddy and Titus playing with the tent : )

Relaxing on the beanbag inside the tent

Titus' birthday gift from Sarah, James, and Andrew - a camo jacket!

Blowing out candles!

Looks yummy : )

Titus pretty much just ate the frosting and left the cupcake - but it is his birthday, he can do that if he wants to ; )

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Titus' 2nd Birthday!

Yesterday was the day we celebrated Titus being with us for 2 whole years! He has been such a joy and a blessing, and our lives are fuller and richer because of him : ) I, unfortunately, forgot to take any pictures, so there is no visual documentation to accompany this post. However, my wonderful mother-in-law came to spend the day with us, and she got some pictures of Titus opening presents and playing with them. So I may share those at a later date. This is just a recap of how we celebrated Titus turning 2.

We started the day with pancakes that had sprinkles added to them to make them special birthday pancakes ; )   While Titus was waiting for the pancakes to be ready, George and I gave him our birthday present, his own toy mailbox! Titus loves getting the mail from the real mailbox, and he was thrilled to have a mailbox all his own : )

After breakfast, Titus and I picked up his friend Claire and her mom Adrienne and we went to go see a $1 movie at the Regal Movie Theater. We wanted to see the movie Rio, but the movie theater hadn't gotten it in for some reason, so they were showing a different movie that Adrienne and I didn't think our kids would be able to sit through. So, after a quick change of plans, we headed to Monkey Joe's, which is a play place filled with different moon bounces and bouncy castles. Titus had a great time jumping on the bounces and going down the slides!  Then we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, because I had a coupon for a free meal for Titus on his birthday. We ate some chicken nuggets and waffle fries, and Titus and Claire played on the play place. : )

After I took Claire and Adrienne home, I put Titus down for a nap. George's mom was waiting at the house for us, so I spent some time talking with her while Titus was sleeping. I had to run an errand, and while I was out I decided to get a Mylar balloon for Titus from the dollar store. When I got home he was awake from his nap and was so happy with his balloon! It was a great source of entertainment for only a dollar.

Then it was time for Titus to open his gifts from Grammy (George's mom), and Aunt Sarah, Uncle James, and Andrew (George's sister, her husband, and their son). Grammy gave Titus an awesome flashlight and a canopy that could be draped over a folding table to create his own little tent. He played with them for the rest of the afternoon! Sarah, James, and Andrew gave Titus a fleece camouflage jacket, which is so fun because George hunts, so now Titus has camo just like daddy!

After Titus played with his new gifts for several hours, we had barbeque beef sandwiches for dinner and vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles for dessert. Titus loves to blow out candles, so that was a highlight of his day, blowing out the 2 candles in his cupcake : )

After dinner, we went to our church's VBS and the kids sang "Happy Birthday" to Titus! It was a great ending to a wonderful day.

I am so glad George's mom, Adrienne, and Claire were able to celebrate Titus' birthday with us. I think Titus had a really great day, I know I did!  Titus is learning so many new things and is such a happy, energetic two-year-old. He loves strawberries, tomatoes, animals, and music, among other things. He knows to pray before eating and will sometimes randomly interject "Praise God!" I have really enjoyed seeing his personality develop, and am so excited to see what the years to come will hold for our family. I am praying that he will love his new brother or sister and be a great older brother.

Happy Birthday Titus! You are a wonderful gift to us from God!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Todder entertainment

Toddlers are so easy to entertain! Titus had a great time playing with a dishpan of water and some plastic dishes. He also loves spraying his little spray bottle filled with water (that is an outside activity). So, if you have toddlers, skip the expensive electronic toys (although they are still lots of fun) and just give them some Tupperware ; )

Monday, July 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - July 9

Here is what our family is eating this week:

Monday - Mongolian beef, brown rice, and green beans

Tuesday - Pizza and salad

Wednesday - Enchiladas and corn

Thursday - Tuna melts and salad

Friday - Chicken and veggie saute over pasta

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sleepy little man

I went in to see if Titus was done his nap the other day and this is how I found him : ) How is this possibly a comfortable position to sleep in? Of course I had to take a picture because it was so cute and funny. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - July 2

Here is what our family will be eating this week:

Monday - Chicken noodle stir-fry

Tuesday - Pierogies, peppers, and onions

Wednesday - 4th of July cookout! - BBQ chicken legs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, and whatever our guests bring ; )

Thursday - Pork tenderloin, rice, and sauteed zucchini

Friday - Pork fried rice

Thursday, June 28, 2012

28 weeks!

I haven't really written anything about this pregnancy so far, because I really haven't written much of anything on here at all lately! I think the main problem that I have been so lazy about posting is that getting pictures put up just seems like so much work. So this will be a picture-less update post, but I am hoping to post some pictures soon of projects I have been working on, Titus, etc.

As I mentioned in the title I am 28 weeks along in this pregnancy. 28 weeks signifies the beginning of the 3rd trimester, and it also means I will be going for visits to the midwives every 2 weeks instead of every 4 weeks. People are commenting that my belly is really starting to "pop" and I am getting comments from strangers about being pregnant : ) I feel great right now because the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester are a thing of the past, and I am not so huge that it is uncomfortable yet : )

This pregnancy has had a different range of emotions than my first pregnancy. I am very happy to be pregnant and excited to have another child, but I also really enjoy just being Titus' mom and spending time with him. I am looking forward to the birth of this baby, but also trying to slow down and enjoy my only child for the rest of the summer. Titus loves stroller rides, being read to, and snuggling with me, and I love doing those things with him! He fills my life with joy and I love seeing his personality become more evident each day, even though George and I are now having to deal with discipline issues : / Life will probably be a lot different for Titus this fall, with the arrival of a sibling, hopefully different in a good way!

I have been working on some projects for the new baby, so stay tuned for an upcoming post with some pictures : ) I also packed my bag to take to the Birth Center. I realize that it is still very early, but it was a little stressful not to have anything packed when Titus arrived so early, so it feels good to know that I at least have that done. July is probably going to be a pretty busy month for us, so I am hoping to use the month of August to make preparations. Some of the things I want to get done are:

- Make meals for the freezer so I don't have to think too much about dinner after the baby arrives
- Make some thank you cards in anticipation of receiving meals, gifts, etc.
- Read "I'm a big brother" books to Titus to prepare him for a little brother or sister
- Buy another dresser and fill it with the newborn clothes from the basement
- Order some diapers for the baby and for Titus, since I will probably take a break from cloth for the first month or so
- Make a basket of snacks and water bottles to have on hand after the baby is born to keep my milk supply up (and so George and Titus will have convenient snacks as well)
- Sew some cute things for this new baby to wear. Maybe I'll even make something pink.  I have a 50% chance of having a girl ; )

So much to look forward to this fall! It is such an exciting time for our family. Praise God for his goodness to us : )

Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - June 25

Here is our menu plan for this week:

Monday - Chicken parmesan, spaghetti, and peas

Tuesday - Sloppy joes and corn

Wednesday - Teriyaki salmon, brown rice, and green beans

Thursday - Black bean taco salad

Friday - Scalloped potatoes and ham (and some veggie)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Menu Plan - May 29

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day! Ours was very peaceful and relaxing.  : )

Here is our menu for the week:

Monday - Nachos, grilled shrimp, sausages, potatoes, broccoli, and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Tomato-basil pasta and spinach salad

Wednesday - Bourbon chicken, brown rice, and green beans

Thursday - I have Bible study, so probably just sandwiches or something quick

Friday - Chili and cornbread

Monday, May 21, 2012

Animal crackers

I embarked on a little baking adventure with Titus this afternoon. We made animal crackers (from my Kinder Krunchies cookbook) for an afternoon snack. It was pretty messy, and I had to work to control my adult perfectionistic tendencies and just let Titus do his thing ; ) But I think it was a fun project for both of us. Here is some photo documentation of the experience.

Titus mixing the dough with his hands

Cutting out shapes (we don't have any animal cookie cutters, so we just used the cookie cutters we had on hand)

The crackers before going into the oven

Titus helping to clean up : )

The crackers after being baked

I changed some things a little, so here is the recipe with my modifications.


1/2 cup oatmeal (ground in a blender until fine)
6 TBSP whole wheat flour
6TBSP white flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Add 1 TBSP honey and stir well

Add 1/4 cup softened butter and use your hands to work the butter into the flour mixture until you have a crumbly, uniform mixture.

Add 1/4 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk with a splash of lemon juice added)

Turn onto a floured surface and roll very thin. My dough was pretty sticky, so I needed to incorporate a lot of flour to make it workable.

Cut out with cookie cutters, animal ones if you have them.

Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes (until slightly brown around the edges)

I thought these crackers turned out really well! They had an interesting texture from the oatmeal, and the honey gave them just a little sweetness. One recipe made about 50 little cookies for us, but I think you would get a higher yield if you weren't working with a messy one-year-old ; )

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scripture Quilt

   This project has been consuming a lot of my time lately, and I am glad it is finished and has been delivered to the recipient!  I am more of an instant gratification sewer, so making even a small lap quilt was a monumental project for me ; )

   I made this quilt for my grandmother, and had originally intended to give it to her for her birthday (May 1st), but I wasn't able to finish it in time, so I gave it to her on Mother's Day instead : ) It is a combination of nine-patch quilt blocks and snowball quilt blocks. I hand embroidered some of my favorite Bible verses on 12 of the snowball quilt blocks. That part was very time consuming, but it is what I really love about the quilt.

   A word of advice to anyone who is thinking of making a similar quilt. The embroidery done in yellow floss is difficult to read, so I would recommend using darker colors for the embroidery.  Otherwise, I am very happy with this quilt. It turned out just the way I envisioned it : )

Here is a close-up photo of the embroidery:

I apologize for the blurriness of this photo. I wanted to get some pictures before I wrapped the quilt and I didn't really take my time. I hope it is still a good representation of the quilt ; )

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Yesterday I celebrated Mother's Day with my family, and it was such a nice, relaxing time : )

We went to church, and I enjoyed a convicting sermon and some great praise and worship. After church we had lunch with some good friends (crab legs, shrimp, and steak - yum!), then we went to my parent's house and spent time with my mom and grandmother, and my father-in-law came by in the evening to see George and I, and to play with Titus of course : )

George washed the dishes (from Saturday - yikes!) and cleaned the kitchen for me and Titus gave me hugs and tickles. They really were the best kind of gifts! Also I got to finished up the Rita's in the freezer ; )

This post wouldn't be complete without me thanking my own mom for all she has done in my life. I am just starting to learn what a beautiful and challenging thing motherhood is, and I am so thankful for all the time and work you put into me, and that you now shower your grandson with love! Thank you so much mom!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer sewing

I have had my eye on a few sewing projects to do this summer before the baby comes. I decided to list the links to the projects I want to do on my blog, to help me remember what I want to make, and also to provide inspiration to anyone who reads my blog : )

I think this cover looks perfect for a napping baby. Titus used to sleep in his infant carrier all the time, so I want to make this cover for this time around : )

I used this tutorial to make a nursing cover for when Titus was nursing, and it turned out really well. I'd like to have an extra cover, so I can wash them, and still have a cover to put in my diaper bag. 

Titus is just at the right age to enjoy an activity book like this. I will probably create my own pages and style, but this quiet book has some great ideas for pages I think Titus would really enjoy : )

I really like our stroller, but it doesn't have a cup holder for me. So when I saw this tutorial I thought it would be perfect! I got some laminated cotton in a cute bicycle print from my mother-in-law's fabric store that I can use to make this cup holder : )

I saw this skirt tutorial on Pinterest, and I thought it looked like the perfect summer skirt! It has an elastic waist, to accommodate my growing belly, but it still looks polished and well-made.

I made a wet bag to use with Titus, since I do cloth diapers, but I have since lost it : (   I probably won't start cloth right away with the new baby, but Titus is still in diapers, and it is nice to have a pretty wet bag to put in my diaper bag in case of diaper changes on the go.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - May 7

Here is what our family is eating this week:

Monday: Orange Rosemary Chicken, brown rice, and roasted asparagus

Tuesday: Chili beef noodle skillet and glazed carrots

Wednesday: Enchiladas and corn (moved from last week)

Thursday: Grilled cheese and salad

Friday: Mother-daughter banquet - George is on his own ; )

Friday, May 4, 2012

One more makes four!

George and Titus and I are so excited to welcome a new member into our family in September! I am about halfway through this pregnancy and have been amazed at how fast it is speeding by : )

I hope to post some fun baby projects and preparations, Lord willing. Or maybe I will just get caught up in the craziness of life and not post at all ; ) But hopefully I will be able to get it together.

There are several other women in our church who are due right around the same time I am, and it is wonderful to be able to share the joys of anticipating new life! Praise God for his blessings to our family and to all the other families that are expecting : )

Monday, April 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - April 30

It is almost May! I am so excited because May means my 25th birthday, and also strawberry season : )

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Monday - shrimp fettuccine and green beans

Tuesday - Cashew chicken and brown rice

Wednesday - Ham and bean soup and peasant bread

Thursday - Enchiladas and corn

Friday - Homemade pizza, salad, and garlic bread

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - April 2

Here is what our family will be eating this week:

Monday - Pizza surprise, salad, and bread

Tuesday - Jamaican jerk shrimp, coconut rice, and green beans

Wednesday - Three cheese enchiladas and corn

Thursday - Chicken piccata, angel hair pasta, and peas

Friday -  Meatloaf, roasted potatoes, and glazed carrots

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chai Tea

I have been on a chai tea kick lately. I make my own and it is very good, and very easy : ) The key ingredient in chai is cardamom pods, which can be a little hard to find. Other than that, the rest of the ingredients are ones that almost everyone probably has in their pantry. Here is how I make chai.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes:
4-6 cardamom pods, split open, pods and seeds
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
8-10 cloves
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups water

After the spice mixture is done simmering, turn off the heat and add 4 black tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain out tea bags and spices, and add milk or half and half (my preference) to the tea. This recipe makes about 3 cups of tea, so I usually refrigerate the leftover tea (without milk) and warm it up the next morning.

This post is linked to: The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Cute as a Button" baby shower

In February I hosted a baby shower for my friend Adriane, and her sweet baby Hunter. I chose the theme "Cute as a Button" because I could use up some of my millions of buttons (found for me by my mom at garage sales - thanks so much mom!) and also because Hunter is truly adorable ; ) My friends Jessie, Jasmine, and Jean helped with the planning and decorations, and it was a great collaboration!

I had a lot of fun putting the decorations for this party together, and I am posting pictures in the hopes that they will be helpful/inspirational to other people who are planning button themed parties : )

I glued buttons to card stock to make name cards for the food

I decorated jars with burlap, ribbon, and buttons to hold the utensils and sharpies for labeling drinks

I used strips of burlap, buttons, and pieces of twine to make simple napkin rings. The twine was threaded through the button holes and tied in a knot to hold it in place.

Jessie made an adorable garland using strips of fabric, which she used to decorate the window and fireplace

She also made this "Cute as a Button" garland. It was so simple, and yet so perfect. She decorated a frame with buttons, and put in baby pictures of Adriane, Hunter, and Mike (Adriane's husband) so people could see who Hunter looked more like : )


Jasmine counted all the buttons in this jar to make a guessing game for the shower guests

I glued large buttons to magnets, to make button magnets as favors for the guests to take home. 

I made shortbread buttons using this recipe. I cut out the buttons with a shot glass, used a slightly smaller glass to form a rim, and punched out 2 holes with a straw.
Finally, I made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and made chocolate buttons to decorate them. I melted red candy melts, and poured the melted chocolate into a button-shaped candy mold to form the buttons.