Saturday, December 31, 2011

The (Eva) Joy of Our Lives

Our precious little Eva is almost five months old! That is so extremely hard to believe, considering the last two weeks of my pregnancy lasted three months! But nevertheless, she is such a sweet part of our lives. We love to cuddle her, and love on her. She gives us the biggest grins! It's amazing how such a little person, in such a short time takes such a big place!

Little screamer, cute though she may be:

Dressed in her church bonnet:
Love her sleeping cheeks!

Contagious smile:
Watching movies with the biggest brother:
Yes, she's our girl!

Thankful in December

Today is church-cleaning day. Sometimes it is rough... on my attitude. It's not that I mind vacuuming. I don't mind washing dishes, and straightening hymnals. It doesn't bother me to change a trash bag. What does bother me is that we do it with all three kiddos... sometimes all screaming. So the tension adds up, just like the messes we are cleaning. And I find myself steaming, annoyed, and basically not right with God.
Today, during one of those such moments, the Lord shared a thought with me: I should be so thankful! First of all, that I do have three little kiddos. They can all scream, therefore they are pretty healthy! ;) We have been called into the ministry, and this was a small opportunity to serve the Lord together... as a family.
Let's all remember to be thankful, even for a small way to serve God!

Flash Figures and Frogs

I have been teaching Sunday School since mid-September. It has been so fun for me! I first started teaching Sunday School when I was 14 years old. I taught primaries, and I usually had 3 in my class. :) Even then I loved it. I loved being in charge. I loved teaching God's Word. I loved how it helped me study and want to know more, even about the most familiar Bible stories. But most of all, I loved to plan the "fun stuff." :)
I stopped teaching when I started college. It just became too much for me with all my studies. A few years after college when Jamin was a youth pastor, I would occasionally fill in for an absent teacher. And other times, we would split the teens and I would teach the girls. I loved it.
Since we have been in Ohio, I haven't really had the opportunity to teach. I have taught ladies' meeting a few times. And I taught the teens once or twice. But not until this September did I realize how much I love to teach kids! I have really missed it and have felt so much more at peace since I started. Maybe that sounds weird, but I think it's just "for me."
So I want to share a couple things. It's not that I'm creative at all, I just want to share a few of my ideas in case it could help you.
I recently decided not to use curriculum any more. Some of the lessons were so "empty," and I think it's so fun to write my own Bible stories so I launched out. I'm starting on the "Miracles of Jesus" tomorrow and I'm very excited about it. But the problem with writing my own lessons is that they don't come with visuals. We have great flannelgraph at the church (Betty Lukens), but it gets boring if used week after week. I can't draw. Sometimes I can find a few things online, but usually only one picture... and that's not enough for an entire story. So... I asked my talented sister-in-law Becky to draw for me. So she did. And she did a great job! Tomorrow I am doing the story of Jesus turning the water into wine and here are the pictures she drew:
I think they are so good! She drew them as pencil sketches and emailed them to me. And since my printer decided to run out of ink today and wouldn't print them clearly, I traced over them, chalked them, and laminated them. I have decided to coin the term flash figures. :) Woo hoo!
Also, instead of trying to find a craft or activity for my difficult ages (4-12 yikes!) I'm going to start implementing Bible games for review. I got them from Ed Dunlop books. If you have never heard of him, I suggest you read one of his books. He is very good! And he has a lot of experience. Tomorrow we are playing Leap Frog! Here is the game ready to go in my classroom:
The students have to answer a review question correctly, then they choose a log from each row to try to get across. Some logs have alligators behind them and eat frogs! And some of the logs say "pass" so they don't have to choose another log. I think the kids will love it. So we shall see!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cloth Diapering Adventures

So, we're trying cloth diapering around here. :) I have done a lot of research on the internet, and talked to other moms who cloth diaper. The primary reason is money. Diapers are SO expensive, but they are definitely necessary!
There are SO many options out there. Some of the big names are BumGenius and FuzziBunz. Honestly, I would love to use these diapers! They are SO adorable! But if the main reason to cloth diaper is because of cost, these are too expensive. I mean, you may spend around $500 (probably more) to diaper your baby until potty-training, but I needed a cheaper way.
Then I discovered the Econobum system. They boast "Diaper your baby for $100." So, hey, I can do that! I ordered a sample for $10 on It was one prefold diaper, and one one-size cover. I really liked it!! As I researched more, I discovered the Snappi. This way, you can use old-fashioned prefold cloth diapers, (which are super cheap) but without the pins.
So... I've been using all these discoveries on Timothy. I'm very happy with the results. :)
Here's the plain cloth diaper fastened with the Snappi. It's very easy!
I want to mention that one time, I didn't have the front layer (the wings) under the back layer where I had the snappi fastened, and it was digging into his skin. Poor little guy!
The Econobums waterproof diaper cover... I love it! It's supposed to be from 8-35 lbs. See all the snaps? It's very adjustable. I just think it will be very bulky on a little one. And I'll wait to use them on Eva until she's a few months old. It still has a row to go on Timothy.
Cute little soft bottom!
I tried them at night once, and I probably never will again. And I'm not going to put them on Timothy when we're going out. It's just too much mess. You have to have a bag to put the wet ones in, and they're so bulky to pack. So disposables are still our friends, but just using them some has helped already. We haven't bought diapers in 3-4 weeks.
I still have a lot to learn. I'm learning how to deal with the dirty ones... it's just so much more complicated. But so far it's going good, and I just wanted to share my finds!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini Vacation

We have had many plans this year for things we wanted to do. We had romantic getaway plans, which changed, but actually came about! We had family plans, which really got changed, then changed again.
But we decided it was definitely time to have a little un-interrupted family time. So we got on, found a GREAT hotel deal, and took off. On hotwire, you don't see the name of the hotel until you pay. But it was a four-star in downtown Cincy, so we took it. It turned out to be the Hyatt Regency. It was so nice, and we were really happy with it.
The boys on "their" bed. Yes, I think Jackson is picking his nose.
The boys had never been in a real pool before, just the ones we have bought them from year to year, that you blow up. :) They were so excited!
They were so scared at first. They just wanted to sit on the side. It took us a while to convince them it was fun! After a while, they were jumping in to us. We even let them go under a few times. The loved it!! The boys with Daddy:
Getting ready to check-out of our 21st-floor room. :)I had a quick dr. appointment, then on we went to EnterTrainment Junction. It is a neat little place. They have over 2 miles of track, and lots of displays. The boys loved it, but we did lots of holding because they weren't tall enough to see. ;)
My biggest "boy" building "Cranky the Crane":
They could shovel coal. They LOVED it!
Going on a "Thomas the Train" ride all by themselves! We were so proud of them:
All-in-all a fun adventure. We wouldn't pay to go often, but it was worth it! :) Our happy family:
We ran by Hobby Lobby so I could get some of those cute little crocheted hats and bows and flowers to clip on them. :) Then, we stopped by Steak-n-Shake before we went home!
We had a terrific time! It's wonderful to just spend time with our boys. We are so thankful for them. Sometimes life gets busy, and you have to slow down and just "be" together. Happy memories...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ready for the Hospital... Anytime now... Anytime...

It hit me very suddenly that if I went into labor, I would not be prepared. Even though the due date is three weeks away, it could happen. (I know it's too good to be true, but it's theoretically possible.) I could just imagine us rushing around in the middle of the night, looking for things we needed, looking for the suitcase. Waking up the boys, putting clothes on them, trying to think of who to call in the middle of the night. Kind of like a nightmare.
I put together a hospital list, and now we're ready. Our clothes are in the suitcase, all zipped up, ready to go. Our toiletries are in a tote bag, hanging on the bathroom door. We use things out of it, then put them back in. And I have a list of things we need to grab on the way out... like our phone, laptop, and a pillow for Jamin.
I'm still waiting for Eva's diaper bag to come site to store, so she's packed with our stuff. I can't wait to dress her.
Her coming-home outfit:
And I wanted to do something for the boys, so we'd be a cutesy family in the hospital. I bought shirts and iron-on letters at Hobby Lobby, and ta-da!
Now we're ready... anytime now, little Eva!

Independence Day

Sunday night, we ventured out to the race track, where we had been told were great fireworks! And they were great! We enjoyed them. The boys loved them. We sat with our neighbors, and our kids played together. It was a sweet time...
Monday morning was our town's annual cute little parade. It was lots of fun. The boys were really getting into the candy this year. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Since my blog has been neglected... here is May and June in a nutshell!

At Mom's church's ladies' meeting... Mom, Kristan and I were asked to sing. It was so much fun! The three of us with Tammy Pallotta, the pastor's wife:

With Becky, our other sister :)

The home school group took a trip to Connor Prairie in May. It was over the boys' heads, but a great, educational place to go.

Fun in the sun... at home:

In May, I learned how to make headbands! They are so easy and cute!

"Time of Refreshment Ladies' Conference" Our silly skit:

Alicia and I

Mom and I

Miss Margaret Stringer, our special speaker. She was a single missionary in Indonesia to cannibal tribes for 40 years! A very special lady. :)

Our back yard getting spruced up:

Our Summerfest booth. My friend Amy and I worked so hard! We hardly sold anything, but our stuff looked pretty!

In the Summerfest parade, showing off our Old Fashioned Sunday duds:

Fun with cousins at Grammy and Pawpaw's:

VA VBS: Jamin did a great job leading the whole thing. :)

And that brings us up-to-date! Here comes the statement:

From now on, I'll blog more often! :D

Found Out!

We have a little pond in one of our front flower beds. Well, that's what Jackson calls it.

It has a fountain, which we have never plugged in, but it's a cute little thing. After we moved in last spring and the ice thawed, we discovered a golfish in it. I don't understand how they can freeze and thaw every year and survive, but "they" say they do!

Well, Harry the goldfish was nowhere to be seen this spring after the thaw. We think the neighbor's cat probably got it.

We still don't like for the boys to go over and throw in rocks, and poke in there with sticks because they are bound to get soaked.

Be sure your sin will find you out!!!!

I don't blame him for crying. It was pretty gross!