Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Season...

As i walked outside this morning something wonderful happened...i saw my breath as it steamed up into the air of dawn. It was a perfect morning. One that seemed to usher in one of my favorite seasons, Autumn. I must admit, my least favorite season is the summer! I just am not a hot weather girl. My idea of a wonderful vacation is a road trip up to New England as the leaves burst into an array of colors.

There are just so many great things that come with the fall season that have to do with family. So i have decided to compile a list of the top 20 things i love to do in the fall (you will find many have to do with food. I find it funny that so many of the joys in my life revolve around food. My mother nurtured that in me. LOL)...

1. Collect leaves with Juli and make crafts with them.
2. Bake a Pumpkin Pie
3. Have a bon fire in the back yard and toast marshmallows.
4. Our church ladies retreat at America's Keswick.
5. Run through a local corn maze.
6. Go pumpkin picking.
7. Carve our pumpkins.
8. Make homemade Applesauce (my recipe below)
9. Apple picking
10. Bake an Apple Pie
11. Halloween at Aunt Lora's.
12. Thanksgiving here at our house with our family.
13. The start of all our favorite fall shows.
14. School festivities that as a mom i love to participate in.
15. Fall scented candles in the house!!!!!
16. Making caramel apples with those silly wrappers that come in the box in the grocery store.
17. FOOTBALL Season!!!
18. Getting to wear hoodie sweatshirts with jeans.
19. The smell of fire places in the air.
20. Local harvest festivals. They have a great one at Quiet Valley Historical Farm in Pa.

Here is my recipe for apple sauce.

Easy Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce:
(Thanks Karen I.)
*8 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks or slices.
*1 tsp. cinnamon
*1/2 cup water
*1/2 to 1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hrs.

This recipe is so easy and yummy! You will love it. My kids do!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We all make them, experience them etc. We all have so many memories surrounding great milestones, in our lives, the lives of those we love, even the history of our nation. Markers of where we are and where we are going

My daughter hits a milestone in the morning. Her first day of kindergarten. I know every mom goes through it. The blubbering as your child walks onto that bus and drives off into their future, leaving their toddlers years officially behind.

Amidst the sadness there is such triumph though. I think so often of my kids' lives and try to put them into perspective. There is a song Juli and i love because it begins with this music that sounds like a chinese music box playing. And we used to listen to it as we prepared to travel to China for Aimee and giggle about how lucky we were that we were going to see the Orient!!!

But the song has such an awesome message. It is called "Forgiven" by Sanctus Real. Sometimes when i listen to that song I am actually brought to my knees. When i think of all that was done for me on the cross. Completely forgiven. But the one set of lyrics that stood out to me went like this...

This verse puts every piece of my kids' lives into perspective for me. My children could have been nothing more than a statistic... 3 of the 145 million orphans around the globe. According to the majority of the world, orphans don't measure up to very much. They often live in institutions where they are fed, bathed, taught to go potty etc. in mass groups. Often they don't get much personal interaction from their caregivers, maybe not because they don't want to but because there are just too many.

My 3 amazing, beautiful children could have grown up forgotten by this world, measuring up to what others may have not seen as very much in this life. But to God, they are his treasures. When they weren't being held by people, they were treasures in his arms. And because of his love, we were brought together to be this family that now can celebrate their milestones. Just like tomorrow for Juli.

So, while i am sad tonight that we are taking this step tomorrow and leaving her baby years behind, I rejoice that because of a divine plan, my daughter will make this and many more milestones in her life. And so will all the children who were once orphans but are no longer.

Wow! God is so good!

"Who am I oh sovereign Lord, and who is my family that you have brought us this far?!"
2 Samuel 7:18

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Do you ever sit back and wonder if you are doing all you can? I don't mean when it comes to cleaning the house or socializing. I mean when it comes to humanity.

I ask myself this almost daily and I cannot seem to ever say yes. I sit down and think about all the things that require people to stand up and make a difference...
1. 145 million orphans globally (UNICEF 2008)
2. Genocide and displacement in Darfur
3. Haiti's millions of people who are still homeless following the earthquake
4. The HIV epidemic in Africa
5. The millions of people world wide who cannot freely worship Jesus Christ and are persecuted for doing so.

These are only a few.

And when i sit and look at this list a few things come to my mind.
First i feel helpless. As a mom who spends her days changing poopy diapers and watching elmo while practicing piano with my daughter i cannot help but feel helpless and often useless in this crazy world that we live in. I at times fight the question of my purpose here. Yet i know that God has called me to be this mom right now.

I look at that orphan statistic and again, though i know i am doing what i have been called for this season to do, there are still so many more children in this world who deserve, no, have the right to a mother and father.

Then i look at the government. I pay taxes to a government who is squandering it all away over greed and useless politics when they could be using the wealth and freedom we have to help others when they are in desperate need. How often do people around the world pray for the United States to come and help them when they are in the midst of a tragedy. I think we would be surprised to know this answer.

And i cannot help but wonder if God cries. I know he knows everything that has, and will happen on this earth from the beginning of time until eternity is here. But still, when i think that God loves us more than we can fathom.... when my daughter is hurting I am torn up inside. And he is our father, imagine the grief he must experience when he sees the vast amount of suffering we endure and even cause one another.

But, he is faithful. No matter how things seem to be, he is faithful. And he will be victorious at the end of this earth. His plan is grand and will overcome the sufferings we face here.

But i still am brought back to my responsibility. I need to examine if i am holding up my end so to speak. The blessings i have... am i showing my gratitude for them?

I love the new song out by Matt Maher called Hold us Together when he says,

I want the whole world to see how we as Christians hold one another together with the strength of Christ as our support. I have experienced that support; my Christian family holding me together. It is an amazing feeling. And I have seen it and been a part of holding others together when i traveled to Haiti with Dayspring. That was mind blowing. I want to be and do and see more of that. On a global scale. And I am going to pray that more people will see the difference they can make. I just hope that more people will answer the call.

I can serve as a mom in so many ways. We all can serve right where we are in so many ways. We just need to step out in faith and take that leap for Christ and his kingdom and his suffering world. And i want to step I am...send me...please.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Son...

So, Elias is at stage in his life where he lacks any form of self control. He is TERRIBLY TWO!
I daily get so frustrated with him. He respects no boundaries i set for him, no matter how i try to impress them upon him. And he so enjoys pushing the limits.

The other day he kept turning on the water in the tub in my bathroom while i was putting my make up on. Finally after trying all angles, i put him outside the bathroom door and said "do not pass this door way." Well, he stood their and inched his toe forward just enough to get it past that door way. Then he would giggle hysterically to himself almost falling on the floor he thought he was so funny. On a side note, he thinks he is the absolute funniest person on the planet. And I have to say he is quite a laugh grabber!

Long story short...every time he gets me angry with him for his behavior, I find myself saying, "You are so lucky that you are so stinkin' adorable." And he TOTALLY is. And that is what gets me by most of the time.

So, with that said, I have decided to encourage myself as another tough day has ended with some proof. That he is super cute!

Mostly Funnies of Elias...