Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We don't do scary at our house. I just don't like really scary things and I don't let the boys watch shows with big, scary bad guys. I mean, the world is scary enough and I want them to be guarded as long as possible. And good grief, my oldest is only 3! But, even the sweetest of shows (Veggie Tales and Blues Clues) have scary-ish episodes. Of course, from just these small influences, the wild imagination of a child takes off running.

For some reason, Jackson thinks it's fun to tell scary stories to each other, ones that are not at all scary but are as scary as it gets to him. As you can see in this picture (that makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it) today he was telling me a big one. He had this big elaborate story about a ghost that makes playground equipment disappear - truly his worst nightmare! Then, it's my turn. He finishes his story with a big oooooooh and then giggles and says, your turn! Here was my scary story:

"Once upon a time there was a Mommy who was kept up all night by two little boys. She barely got any sleep and woke up super early and super tired. Then, as she slowly crept into the kitchen she realized there was NO COFFEEEEE!!!!! AGGGHHHH!"

Ha! Hope everyone had a great Tuesday :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Weekend

I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,

I didn't make the bed,

I took his hand and followed

Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,

My little son and I...

Exploring all the great outdoors

Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,

We wandered through a wood...

My kitchen wasn't swept today

But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade

And now my small son knows

How Mother Bunny hides her nest,

Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,

We climbed a sunlit hill...

Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,

We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,

That I didn't brush the stairs,

In twenty years, no one on earth

Will know, or even care.

But that I've helped my little boy

To noble manhood grow,

In twenty years, the whole wide world

May look and see and know.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I am the worst blogger in the world! I post once every two months and I know everyone is wondering what in the world we are doing. Here is a recap.
It's so stinkin hot that we hardly do anything outside that doesn't involve water. Here is a picture of Jackson after he'd been in the pool, mid sentence. Because he has elaborate stories and talks non stop.
We have come down with some sort of cootie crud that will not go away. I started feeling down the Friday that we finished VBS and by the next morning I was so sick I went to the walk in clinic in my pajamas with my hair just barely pulled back. The dr kept saying, "I'm so sorry you feel so bad" which we all know is code for "daaaang girl, you are looking rough!" Ben took this picture after I had been in the bed for almost 2 days. Luke was missing his mama snuggles.
It has been two weeks since my dr's visit and even though I feel better than I did (praying for Jesus to return) I still have this inappropriate involuntary cough that interjects itself mid sentence, it has a life of its own.
Last Saturday we went swimming at my Aunt Regina's. We got to her house about 30 minutes after the power went out and it did not come back on until 30 minutes before we went home that night! The boys had a lot of fun and I'm glad we went because they woke up sick Monday morning and we've been stuck inside ever since.
We couldn't go to church this morning because the boys were still snotty, much better but still snotty. This afternoon we couldn't take it anymore and decided to take the boys to see Winnie the Pooh. We just found a nice little corner by ourselves and enjoyed being out of the house for a little while. We are so looking forward to not being sick anymore. I mean, good grief it's still summer!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Bad Friend

Random fact about me: After our boys fall asleep I go in their room, cover them back up and watch them sleep for a few minutes. I just love seeing them all sweet and peaceful, something I rarely see during the day. I like to pray over them and whisper how much I love them in their ears. Then I make sure they know Jesus loves them. Even when their sleeping I want them to know how much they've always been loved and wanted. It's one of my favorite times of day.

I gave my testimony to our bible study group not too long ago and even though most of it was about an eating disorder I used to struggle with, a big portion of my life has centered around rejection. After I finished, my friend Berkli came up to me and referenced what I said on Mother's Day the Sunday before. In Sunday School, just two days before, when asked what we hoped our children would say about their parents 20 years from now my response was that I hoped they would know they were always loved and wanted. After I spoke at our Bible Study, Berkli simply stated that she now understood why that was important to me. And, honestly, it really is.

You see, my Mom and Dad divorced when I was two and I haven't seen or heard from him since I was 4, maybe 5. I can't even remember what he looks like. Over the years I've battled with some pretty big rejection over that. I've done some healing but when I had my boys it took a whole new turn. I just thought about how nothing in this whole world would ever keep me from seeing them. Not money, time, jobs, other relationships. Nothing. I'm already looking into where we are going to college some day. Ha! *kidding. sort of.

It just baffles me when I think about it. Though this blog post might lend you to think differently, I really don't think about it very much at all. Unless someone brings it up or I'm in a Bible Study Group being asked how God has shaped my life.

As most women in America do, I struggle with insecurity. Big time. My friend Nikki boldy sent me a copy of Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity because she and I both know I need to read it. I struggle with body image, being liked, being wanted, being worth anyone's time. wondering if I have any talents, if I'm replaceable. All things, that I'm realizing from this book are from life circumstances I've let take root in my life.

Maybe you don't struggle with insecurity, and Praise the Lord if you don't! But if you do, in any way, I recommend grabbing a copy and reading it cover to cover as soon as possible. No matter what your root is, we have a Perfect Heavenly waiting for us, never absent, always present.

Like Beth says, insecurity has been a bad friend and quite frankly I'm tired of it hanging around.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wigley Boys

Mary Avery and I have been talking about taking pictures of her boys for a while now but every time we plan on it the weather does not cooperate or something is going on with our families. This past Saturday we finally just made the time to do it! It was a thousand degrees and we found out later that both boys were sick! Good thing they are both super precious so we got a few good shots of her beautiful boys.
These are my two favorites. I love that they are so different yet have that common look that lets you know they are brothers.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Matchy Matchy

I wonder at what point will they get tired of me matching them all the time and make me stop? I hope never. Yes, I said it. I hope they are 60 and wearing matching clothes. Don't judge.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I put another three miles on these legs tonight. I managed a respectable pace, but. it's clear that I've lost a step or two since I ran distance in High School. The other night, I was telling Bethany, after you hit thirty, you are suddenly conscious of the odometer on your knees. You realize that it may not roll over as many times as you want it to, and you start to appreciate them more. I digress...

During my cool down, I walked to the end of the street- down where there are no houses. Just fields and sky. As I turned back toward home, my attention was upward. What a sky it was - golden hues of the setting sun ringed by the ever-deepening blues and violets of dusk. The fleeting tail of another glorious day. How had I missed that? How had that scene not stopped me in my tracks during the course of my run? I felt The Lord whispering my name...

Ben, look at this, isn't it something...

I stopped and stared because what else could I do.
The heavens declare the glory of God; 
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

I think that about sums up my feelings. I needed to get back home and get things done. So many things drain my time at night- necessary and otherwise.  Still, I heard that whisper - Stop. Wait.

What is it Lord, what are you trying to tell me here?

So I just stood there in the middle of the street, in awe of that sky. I just took it in, absorbed it, tried my best to see it as if I'd never seen the sky before. That's when I heard Him again...

I did this in a day. What is it that you are so afraid to ask me?

Thirty minutes later, I'm still not exactly sure where God is going with this, but I had to jot this down before I forget. Maybe this is for one of you reading this too, and you need to ask yourself that same question.

We (self, that means you too!) get so entangled in our pride here on earth. It is all about us, isn't it? That's our deal, right? For goodness sakes, a few years ago, Time Magazine's person of the year was who? Yep, you remember - it was You. It was me, it was all of us. Says a lot, doesn't it? It's all about us. Tonight I was so into what I had just accomplished, so proud, that I missed the greatest love letter of all time, stretched across a limitless sky.

I'm glad that God still takes time to whisper our name and speak words of affirmation into our hearts.I encourage all of us to listen a little more this week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

I had SUCH a great Mother's Day weekend! First, Ben would not let me do anything. All weekend. I would try to clean or do a project and he would just lead me away from it, making me just relax...which is something I have a really hard time doing. I took his advice though and overly enjoyed myself. Saturday Kacy and I decided we would try our first 5 mile run. It was intense to put it lightly. This part is funny though - We got to where Kacy had mapped the trail out for us and there was already a race going on. When we got to one of the check points they thought we were racers and didn't know why we wouldn't go around the cone! It was funny - they did share some water with us though so that was nice. It was both of our first ever race crashing experience -ha!
Sunday Morning I was showered with way too many gifts by my boys. I got these two beautiful new plants, one from each of my boys.
Then I got a pair of flip flops - my favorites!
And then a gift card to a local spa - Ben is in trouble for doing so much!
I really wanted a picture with my boys, so before church we attempted a few. Some turned out good but as you can see in this one- they weren't having it. I just laugh when I see this because it is so true to life. Those boys do not want to stand still!
We had lunch at our house after church for my Mom and then dinner at Mama Fu's that night.
It was such a great day, I really didn't want it to end. I told Ben it was like having two birthdays in one year :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy 17 Month's Luke!

 My sweet baby boy turned 17 months old this past Sunday. How is that even possible?! He is so rotten. You can't even tell that by these pictures can you?
 He has such a big personality and let's us in a new aspect of it each day. I can hardly keep up with him - sometimes he is very intense.
 He wants to "go" all the time and makes sure I know it. Sometimes he'll just grab his shoes and head to the door.
 He and Jackson have a very special brotherly bond. One minute Luke is hitting him upside the head and the next Jackson is giving him a kiss. They really are as different as night and day.
These two boys keep me on my toes - especially that wild 17 month old. I couldn't imagine our life without him :)

Monday, May 2, 2011


I have a confession to make. I have a boyfriend. We met up about 2 months ago and he has done wonders for my self esteem. I mean, who knew that one simple change could make such a big difference? Here he is – my teasing comb. He’s the best $5 I’ve ever spent. J
At church yesterday, a sweet friend said she loved the way I fixed my hair – words I never thought I’d hear anyone say! She asked me how I got it to poof up and I almost said, “Oh, it’s my boyfriend!” and then quickly realized that would not come out right – ha! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Praise the Lord!

I should have written this post a few weeks ago but we have been so crazy busy with everything that I'm just now having time. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our family - Ben was offered a full time job a few weeks ago and we are overjoyed that God chose to bless us in such a short amount of time.

Like I said before, our church family has more than taken care of us with food, prayer and anonymous blessings that have more than overwhelmed us. I have never, in all my life seen such Godly people in action. It was a blessing to be be a part of. So thank you for praying with us and for us. We are so grateful to everyone who has called, emailed, written letters, left comments and anonymously prayed. You really have no idea how thankful we are.

We serve a God who is able. No matter what your life circumstances. I was fully aware that He might not ever give Ben another full time job but I knew He would take care of our family and He did. Did you know that since Ben was laid off in late January we have not had to go to the dr one time? I'm sorry but with a toddler and 3 year old who are very active in church and social outings that is a miracle straight from His hands!!! We get insurance again next month and I'm so thankful that He carried our family through until then. I am aware that for the next few months we might come down with the plague :)

Friday, April 1, 2011


Jackson turned three and a half years old today. Sigh. How does that even happen? I mean, I know your children get older but they don't ever really get older to you. I see him now and think of this face. This sweet newborn baby. I remember how we struggled to get started nursing and then how we later struggled to get him to quit - ha!
I remember so many wonderful firsts - the first time I saw him, held him, knew my life would never be the same.
He has always been such a precious child and I'm so thankful to be his mom. I just wish he'd stay little forever. I love his sweet fabricated stories, crazy dance moves and the way he'll just randomly run up to hug me and whisper, "I love you Mommy" in my ear. He is growing like a weed - some 4T stuff is getting to be too short for him.
He read his first "real" book today. It had 6 pages each with 2 sentences on them and he sounded out each word until he read it. I mean, he's too little for that! He should still be learning shapes and colors or something. It just goes too fast for this crazy old mom :)
Happy 3.5 Bear! We love you.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Look at this cute print I got for the boys that came in today! Here it is up close:
So cute and will be perfect for their room.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fun Day

Yesterday we met some friends at a new park in town. It has a lot of fun playground equipment but it is also super busy which makes me nervous by myself with these two wild boys. Luckily, Ben was just a few streets over and came to help me eventually.
The park also has a little creek next to the walking trail that was my favorite part. My boys love to throw rocks into water so I was able to contain them there for a small, peaceful moment.
Today we had playgroup and had the best time. I forgot my camera at home but just imagine a bunch of kids running around playing and all of their mothers in the kitchen eating and laughing and you'll get the right picture. Amanda made us dinner tonight and I did get a picture of that.
It was fantastic. And dangerous. I had to stop myself from eating 5 portions. We have the best friends. Hands down! Since Ben lost his job our Sunday School class has blessed us each week with dinner. It has all been soooo good and such a huge blessing to our family. That's something our church does really well (in addition to so many other things) is take meals to people. Sometimes it's because they had a baby, other times because they have been sick and sometimes just to say they're thinking of you. I love that. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


God has really been putting my focus on his 2 commandments lately: Love Him and Love others. You think these things are easy to do until you really try to apply them all of the time no.matter.what. Yeesh. That, my friends is tough! More recently I have been pressed by what Jesus said in his command to love one another as He did - a sacrificial love that knows no boundaries. I don't know about you but I'd much rather love those who love me back but that's just not what He did. He loved us all.

There are so many ways we can love and be love to others as Christ commands but the one that stands out the most to me tonight and the one that will be the focus of my week is Ephesians 3:29:

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

How can we love others if we are constantly bringing them down or causing them to either stumble or be downcast? It's impossible and if we are going to truly do as Christ so boldly commanded then we have to consider what we are saying before we say it. I know a lot of times I will just talk or complain about something before I even realize how my words may be affecting someone else who is listening -someone my original intention may have never had anything to do with. I don't know about you, but I want to be helpful to others. I want to be an encouragement, a joy - something positive in this world full of negativity and hate. Put simply, If I don't have anything nice to say then I won't say anything at all.

Further reinforcement for this goal is Matthew 12:36, 

"But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken."

Ouch. Raise your hand if you're excited about that one? Where was this verse 10 years ago?! I mean, doesn't it make you kinda not ever want to speak again? There is a reason God takes what we say so seriously - He knows how powerful words can be.

Clearly not speaking is impossible for me so I'm going to focus on Him. I'm going to think before I speak and hope that my faith and love for Jesus will literally speak for itself.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan Relief Effort and Prayer

I would love it if you joined me over on my Big Red Pot blog to aid the relief efforts over in Japan.

Please do not underestimate the power of your prayer - join us in not only praying for everyone affected by this tragedy but also the other prayer requests listed here.

Thank You.

"May the Lord repay you for what you have done." Ruth 2:12

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh How He Loves Us

Blogs are misleading. Most of the time, we only write about things that are good. Pictures that are cute, stories that are funny and recipes that are delicious. We rarely, if ever, tell what's really going on in our lives. I'm guilty of it with this blog. But not today.

One friday in late January, Ben came home with a look on his face that I'll never, ever forget. He walked into th kitchen, leaned against the counter and fought to hold back the tears. He managed to barely whisper out, "I lost my job today and I'm so, so sorry. I'll fix it. I promise." Clearly, he didn't do anything wrong, we live in a time of uncertainty and our economy is wavering. But still, my heart sank, I got angry (not at him) and went numb for a few minutes. Then, in the realization of what was happening I went to our bedroom and cried. Cried tears, cried out to God and my mind went a thousand different directions. "What will we do? We just moved here. How will we pay our bills? Will I have to go back to work? What will people say?" The last question is the worst for me. It stings. That should never have even crossed my mind. But, it did. You see, we've been here before. In September 2007, two weeks before we had Jackson, Ben was laid off from Acxiom along with a lot of other people. I still remember those long 9 months before he found another real job. And even more than the wait, I remember the looks and comments. Not uplifting, kind comments. Mean words, wondering where our resources were coming from and why Ben was taking so long finding a job. Oh it hurt. We are hard working people, why was this happening?

And now, why is this happening again?

I can look back on the 2007 job loss fondly now because I know where God took us. You see, in 2007 we were both working full time, with good income and the thought of saving money or using coupons were the last things on our minds. I remember one evening in January, watching a Fox News Special where the creator of the Grocery Game was featured and I was fascinated with what she was able to get with those coupons! I thought to myself, "Why did I not know about this? Why has nobody told me?" So I learned and saved and my knowledge grew and eventually I was able to use what little we had to more than provide for our family. That saving streak has not ended and because of the struggles that our family faced I started this blog - just one of many savings blogs out there but I get emails all the time from people telling me that they were able to provide for their family because they shopped sales and coupons that they heard about on my blog - not a testimony to me, but to God. I know exactly how they feel and so I'm thankful, so very thankful for how God blessed that time in our lives. It was a struggle, we had to lean on each other, Ben stocked shelves for Keebler at all hours of the day and night and we used our tax refund to go as far as we could make it go and we managed until Ben got a job at FedEx in May.

God was providing for us then and He is doing it now too. Fastforward 3 1/2 years to this January and we're back there again. Not sure why this is happening but trusting that God has a plan. Because He always does. And just as the scripture says,

"25I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?"

I thought I was a humble person until Ben lost his job this time and God allowed me to become more humble. I'll never forget finding an envelope in my purse the Sunday after Ben lost his job, only 2 days after it happened with this note that I'll treasure as long as I live.
Just a simple, "God will take care of you." I wish I could say that I was thankful and excited about this at first but I wasn't. I was angry, I wanted to give that money back. I wanted to scream and yell and stomp my feet. "NO! This is NOT happening again!!!" You see, I want to be the one to give, I want to be the one to bless, not the one that needs it. And that envelope made the job loss real. But you know what? Shame on me. Shame on me for thinking so highly of myself. And shame on me for not recognizing a precious moment between me and my Savior when He loved on me. That envelope was just the beginning. I've gotten envelope after envelope after anonymous envelope filled with provision and scripture since this has happened. And do you know why? Not because I'm special, not because I'm worthy, but because He is good and He loves me. He loves you too.

Do you ever think about that? Truly think about it? The God of the Universe. The Creator of ALL things LOVES you. It blows my mind. I'm so wretched, so selfish, so unworthy and He freely gives, freely loves and I'm blown away. He is God Almighty and His promises are true.

I struggled with even sharing this because who wants everyone to know their struggles and insecurities? I worry about what people will say or think and how our family will be judged. But that makes it about me and it's not about me. If I don't tell you what we're going through then God doesn't get the Glory He deserves for everything He has done for us.

I get scared, I worry and I don't understand a lot of things. But, I've learned so much through this trial. One that is still going on. I've learned how much He loves me. That if it matters to me, it matters to God. I've learned the importance of the body of Christ. I love our church and the other Godly people in our lives. It is so encouraging to see people actually acting like Christians, actually loving on us not because we can do anything for them but because they love Jesus and want to be His hands and feet. It's overwhelming. And last, I've learned that no matter what we're given financially, whether through a paycheck or anonymous envelope it is from HIS hands. We don't earn anything, He gives it. That's humbling and I'm so thankful that He loves me enough to take the time to humble me so that I can become more like my Jesus.

"If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Don't Blink

Somewhere along the way my two little boys grew up.
Without asking my little babies turned into big boys.
It's so true that if you blink you'll miss it.
Who knew two little boys could drive you crazy and melt your heart all at the same time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And it just keeps snowing!

We have had a crazy amount of snow around here, as most of you already know, reaching up to 20+ inches! Last week, when we had our initial snow we were really sick with a stomach bug and now we're recovering from some coughing cooties. I guess it's best that we've had to be inside since we would have had to stay home anyway! All I want to do is eat, duh. Either the sun comes out or I'm going to weigh 500 lbs. I baked some oatmeal raisin cookies today so I wouldn't feel so guilty about eating them :) We've really enjoyed all of our family time and today we had to get down right creative so our children would not go stir crazy!
First, we fished for ice cubes. This was super fun! It's supposed to encourage hand/eye coordination and even though it was not a challenge for jackson he had a great time with it. You just put a bunch of ice cubes in a big bowl of water and then scoop them out one by one with a slotted spoon into a new bowl.
Then we experimented with different food coloring in jars to see what colors we could make.
Jackson was so excited each time to find out what the end result was going to be!
Dad wowed us further and made jarred tornadoes.
We ate a lot yesterday - taco soup for lunch and Amanda's Pork Tenderloin for dinner so tonight I think we'll have BLT's because who doesn't love bacon? I'll be honest - I'm reallllly excited about the forecast in the 50's next week!!!