Monday, February 28, 2011

thoughts on fear, obedience, and living life


This past Friday I heard some terrible news that sent me into a whirlwind of thoughts.  Robbers broke into an orphanage in Kenya murdering a fellow YWAMer, leaving behind his wife and 2 small children. (See article here.)  It's horrible, horrible news, and I can't even pretend to know what his family is feeling.

My mind began reeling with thoughts, and I recalled our break-in incident that happened just over 2 years ago.  It was the worst feeling in the world to know that someone broke into our home while we were sleeping and stole such valuables as my computer and a truck.  I don't think the reality of what could have happened but didn't hit me until the security company showed up.  One guy said, "You must have had angels watching over you."  That's when I realized that they didn't take the most valuable possessions in our husband, my 2 kids, my brother-in-law, and our friend who lived with us.  I am so thankful for God's protection.

That incident produced so much fear in me that I had to walk through for a while.  Fear is such a paralyzing thing.  It can easily grip us and overpower us.  We live in an unsafe world where evil is present, but I can't let fear dictate how I live my life.

My situation is nothing like what happened to these missionaries in Kenya, but hearing this terrible news makes those fears bubble up to the surface again.  They can and will paralyze to the point of disobedience if I'm not careful.  I know I'm talking about fear regarding safety, but fear can come in many forms.  My challenge for you today is to walk in obedience to God and give your fears to Him.  Don't give them the power of holding you back from being radical, which simply translates to being obedient.

My thoughts should in no way water down this tragedy.  Please pray for the Kremer family as they walk through this very difficult time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

butter chicken

butter chicken

Jeremy and I love butter chicken.  We actually love Indian food in general.  Butter chicken and a good tikka masala makes my mouth water.  I recently tried this butter chicken recipe that I found off of Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen site.  I forgot to marinate the chicken overnight, didn't use cardamom, and used fresh tomatoes instead of canned.  Despite all that, it still turned out tasty.  I loved the spice that the little bit of cayenne added.  I'm looking forward to trying out more butter chicken recipes until I find the "perfect" one that makes me feel I'm eating in an Indian restaurant...or better yet, India!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

nighttime ritual

Joshua's love for reading is steadily increasing, and I love it!  The nighttime scene right before he drifts off to sleep...


Friday, February 25, 2011


where : it all began in india

When I read the Joy of Love theme of "Where" the other night, my mind immediately traveled back to India which is such a coincidence (or is it??) seeing as how I'm going there in 3 weeks (yes, 3 weeks!). 

The idea was to photograph where you first met your loved one, or where you fell in love, or where you were married, etc.  Can you believe, for Jeremy and I, that it all began on a very l-o-n-g plane ride to India, where our seats just happened to be booked together the entire way?  Thank You, Jesus!  It's a little hard to photograph THAT right now (hence the cheesy hand heart around India on the map).

Cliche´ or not, it feels like just yesterday that we whittled away those 72 hours talking the.whole.time.  I DID let him borrow my pillow for a little snooze at some point and he returned it wet from drool.  It had to be love that it didn't faze me.  If he did that now, it would be a different story. :)  I love this happy memory, and I love that I get to go back there soon!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a praying opportunity

the poor caddy

About a month ago, we were driving along the road, coming back from a family outing, when the car started acting funny.  That is never a good sign.  It's an even worse sign when the car won't shift and you realize top speed is somewhere in the 35-40 mph zone.  You guessed it...the transmission was going out.

I hate car repairs.  They're never small and they're never cheap.  I knew a shot transmission would definitely not be on the cheap side.  In fact, with some of the other problems, it's not worth fixing at this point.  Jeremy and I began to pray about what to do.  It's so easy to simply try to fix the need in our own strength (notice I said try).  How often we (I) forget to stop and just ask God for direction concerning things like car problems!

Jeremy and I also felt like this was a praying opportunity for our kids, for us as a family.   As they get older, their involvement in matters such as these should increase, I believe.  We've prayed several times as a family that God would direct our steps.  Of course, with kids, you also get prayers like, "Please can we have a yellow car with flames on the side."  God, please no! :)

Through this situation, I feel challenged to be on the lookout for these praying opportunities for my kids.  I want them to grow up knowing that God answers prayers and that we should always turn to Him.  I want them to see the power of prayer and allow it to increase their faith. 

The timing of this is so inconvenient on so many levels (although when are car problems convenient?), but increasing our trust and faith in Him is always right.  So...we keep driving the caddy at a steady 40 mph, we keep praying, and we follow God's direction...together as a family.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

joy of love time

It was fun to put the timer on the camera and get BOTH Jeremy and I in some shots this past week.  We don't take enough pictures of the two of us together and I certainly don't take enough pictures of myself.  My kids will want pics of us someday!

kiss : sweet, intimate hands and lips
kiss : sweet daddy/daughter moment

together : lovers
together : lovers

staying in : our staying in treat consists of watching a movie or tv show in bed (while i knit) accompanied by dark chocolate and hot tea!
staying in : watching something

going out : coffee date (while the kids are in school, the adults will play)
going out : coffee date

when they're gone : quiet
in the rare moments that everyone is out of the house but me, it's so quiet, you can hear a pin drop
whey they're away : quiet

when they're home : i love the evidence of my two tornadoes barreling through the door!
when they're home : a good tornado

hands : she loves bringing me wildflowers
hands : bringing me flowers

portrait : my smoking hot redhead
portrait : my smoking hot husband

Any of you participating in the Joy of Love e-course?  It's rolling admission if you're interested!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

photo journal :: day at the park


monkey bars!

daddy on the bars

on the bars


mommy on the bars

family shadow

on the slide

jman peeking through

eg peeking through

sitting on the bars

karate kick

riding on the shoulders


And how was your President's Day weekend?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

chocolate pudding

chocolate pudding

I didn't grace my family with a beautiful Valentine's meal.  No, actually leftovers filled our plates right before we rushed out the door to a basketball game.  I did, however, think to have some chocolate pudding to add a little something special for our return from the game.  (You know, sugar and chocolate are best eaten right before a later bedtime.  You didn't know that?)

I had never made homemade pudding before.  This recipe from Taste of Home was easy and tasted great!  Definitely a keeper!

The kids have tomorrow off for President's Day, so I'll see you back here on Tuesday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

she loves him...

she loves her daddy

Friday, February 18, 2011

valentine's gifting :: sewing & bath paints

In case you haven't noticed with all my Valentine posts, one of the goals I set for myself was that the majority of items that made their way into the Valentine mailbox be hand made.  Between knitting, sewing, and crafting I was able to stick pretty closely with my goal!

looking at picture book

picture book cover

First off, I made little card holders like the one I did for the Valentine giveaway (and the ones that are available in my shop).  Instead of filling them with postcards, I had some simple photo books done using a gift card I won in December.  These weren't just any old photos, these were photos from our summer family vacation.  It was such a memorable time for all of us, and Joshua and Emma G were so excited to get these!  (Couldn't find Miss Emma's for the sake of the photo shoot!)

hand sewn bookmarks

valentine bookmarks

Thanks to a little incentive from Six Flags, the kids have been reading lots to each get a free ticket.  360 minutes later they've completed that goal but the reading continues!  I used some leftover mesh from the knitted nesting boxes and sewed them some simple bookmarks.  Of course, you can't give bookmarks without a book, right?  I ordered them each book through their school which means their classroom received a free book!

drawstring bag

star wars battle

The last Valentine's sewing project was a simple drawstring bag.  In case you haven't noticed, the red and white fabric piece I found in the As Is section of Ikea was HUGE, so I've been using it for lots of projects.  Back to the drawstring bag, I found a set of 2 Star Wars guys at Target for $3.  One guy usually costs $7, so this was a score.  In keeping with my goal, I made the bag to hold all his guys.  He loves the new addition to his set.

bath paints

painting in the

Emma G has really been resistant lately to taking a bath.  I tried to convince her it is fun and all that, but it wasn't working.  I try to be a smart mama, problem solving these things but I was clueless until a friend mentioned that maybe she was bored in the tub.  That was precisely the problem.  Since we've been back, I haven't invested in bathtub toys of any sort.  I decided to make her some bath paints.  I had made these before, but she didn't remember.  When I ran the water for her evening bath, she said, "Now I have something to do in there!"  And I think to myself, "Why didn't I do this sooner..."

Well, that concludes my Valentine's gifting.  My crazy brain is already onto other birthday boy, and 2 birthday nieces! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

valentine's gifting :: knitting

We had such a fun Valentine's week!  Who doesn't like getting little surprises in their mailboxes every day?  I showed you the sock monkeys I made the kids.  They definitely went to good homes, because they are getting loved like crazy.  As an afterthought I decided those monkeys needed something to eat, so I made them each a banana.  Yarn monkeys like yarn bananas, you know?

knitted monkeys and bananas

knitted banana

To appease the kid's sweet tooth (without candy), I made them snickerdoodles with a little heart decoration (perfect project to use up scrap yarn).  I knitted hearts last year and they are still floating around.  I figure in a few years I'll use them to make a Valentine garland or something.  Wouldn't that be festive and cute?

knitted hearts

As if Emma G needed another purse, I gave her my last scrappy purse.  She had been asking me for it.  With all of the other projects I was working on, I was glad it was already finished!  Of course, it already has a spot on that beautiful white.  I was informed today that I must have given it to her that way, because she didn't do it.  Ahem...

scrappy purse

Moving right along the project list...I decided about a month ago that the kids needed new scarves.  Scarves are not my favorite thing to knit, so I honestly don't know why I chose to knit Emma G a scarf with fingering yarn.  It was like string and took me FOREVER.  Only about a couple of inches into my work, I thought of scrapping it for something else.  That is, until she saw it and asked in her sweet voice, "Is that for me?"  I smiled and knew there was no scrapping it now. 

folded scarf

serious scarf model

To give myself a break, I worked on it in between projects.  It took me a couple of weeks to complete, but she has worn it almost every day since I gave it to her.  Makes it all worth it, if you ask me.  And that light weight fingering yarn (Paton Lace in Woodrose, if you're interested) makes for the perfect spring Kid Merino Lace Scarf!

scarf close-up

modeling his scarf

I went to the other extreme with Joshua's scarf, choosing a very bulky yarn, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Fisherman and Grass.  The advantage is that I finished it it just a few hours.  The disadvantage?   Our winter weather is gone for now, and it's too hot to wear it!  At least he has a new Ribbed Scarf when he needs it.  I rather like the color and stripe action going on.

I have one more Valentine post tomorrow.  It is still Valentine's Week, right?

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