Sunday, October 31, 2010

of all the falls


Years have gone and passed like whispers in the night. Flying by as almost invisible. But then there is a moment that takes your breathe. Or maybe, that moment actually allows you to breathe.


To breathe in the scent of life all around you. To truly feel as if your senses have burst into life.


These moments, these beautiful things of perfection, these are what matter most. These are what we will carry with us always.


The wind singing through the trees, the falling leaves that have given their last, the squirrels chattering, crisp breezes against bare cheeks, and two beautiful boys full of life and promise.




These are the moments. Of all the falls, this, now, is my favorite. I will savor every sweet moment...

Friday, October 29, 2010

wonderful beautiful

Wonderful, Beautiful, Baby



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

recipe wednesday

The best breakfast- Pumpkin muffins!
15 ounces canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
3 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
When I made these I added extra pumpkin (this made them super moist!) and added nutmeg and ginger (about three shakes of ginger and one good shake of nutmeg-just do it too taste!). I wanted it to have a pumpkin pie flavor. They are the most moist muffins I have ever made and taste delicious! Just add all the ingredients together and bake at 350 until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of your largest muffin comes out clean! Do not over bake. Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is your home a "safe" place?

Well, instead of thinking over and over how I wanted to start this series, I am just diving in with a topic that has been on my heart this morning.

Is your home a "safe" place?

I am sure you have heard of the countless recalls that have been happening lately. Cribs, strollers, high chairs, car seats, Tylenol, teething tablets, etc etc. The list goes on and on. Whether voluntary or mandatory, it seems as though everything we have trusted is being recalled. And as mothers, our children's safety and well being comes first doesn't it? Do the recalls make you upset? They do for me. I worry about my babies all day. I love them and want what is best. When I hear about a company that has let us down again, I worry more. As if I need more of that. But is their well being really first. Am I, their mother, doing everything I can to ensure that?

For me, the answer is no. Can I recall myself? Most days, that's exactly what I need.

Although we can not control third parties, and the sad fact is that there will probably always be recalls, we have the ability to affect them emotionally and spiritually every day. Aren't these things just as important?

As mothers, our to-do lists are extensive. The house is never clean, the laundry is never finished, there are errands to run, and noses to wipe. Diapers, thirteen clothing changes for the messy toddler, and the cat always needs a playmate. And in the hurry and rush of it all, we are missing the most important thing. Our children.

How many times a day does a plea for a book to be read get the standard "not now sweetie" ? How many times does "just another hug and kiss" get forgotten? How often do we forgo some floor play time for some floor cleaning? Why when in a rush, the first thing cancelled in our daily home school curriculum is our devotional? Why is the academic material superior to God's word?
Why are we measuring ourselves by all the wrong standards?

The truth is that my children's spiritual and emotional growth has not received my best effort. And for this I take full blame.

I yell too much and am too quick to snap at a cup of spilled milk or a lost shoe. I chalk it up to stress, but the stress is self inflicted to fulfill some absurd standard. Well I am finished with that.

Our homes should be a safe place. Nurturing, nourishing, loving and filled with an abundance of patience and peace. Children should feel comfortable growing emotionally and encouraged to grow spiritually. We are the sole providers for these needs and too often we fail them.

As a family, we home school, cloth diaper, co-sleep, attend church every Sunday, talk about God, eat healthy meals, and wear clean clothes. But the daily loving and learning? The tiny moments that really matter? I missed that completely.

So my challenge to you and myself, is to create a home that is a safe place. A place where the Lord leads. A quiet retreat that fosters growth of all kinds, both of little hearts and little minds. And you know what? It starts with us.

Today, I will not yell or raise my voice once. I will not say no to another book or another hug. I will use my soft and patience voice when it is hardest too. I will teach about Jesus and not only with words, but with actions. I will talk to my children and really play with them. I will get outside for some fresh air and run with them. I will laugh with them.

I will turn off my computer and live.

When it is all said and done, and our children are grown, these are things I want to give to them. I want to be there, really there. I want to be an arrow for Jesus and a mom who gave it her all.

So tell me, is your home a "safe" place? Or are you running to fast that you miss what is right in front of you?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

it's here and I'm not happy about it

Well it took two trips to Children's Medical Center, two ivs, and two doses of iv antibiotics, but our little man is getting better! Thank you for all of your prayers!

Well today marks day 1 of the "flu" season here at our house. Sweet Ej has a fever.

Adam, Austin, and EJ went to the park this morning but when they came back EJ was fussing and felt hot to me. Sure enough....100 degrees via the temple scanner. Nice.

I know you all remember last year. EJ almost didn't survive flu season. It doesn't seem possible that he was first admitted a year ago this month. How does a year slip by so fast? On the other hand, I am not ready to face this season of illness. I have to make some choices now. What level of isolation am I comfortable with and what is necessary. We have an appointment on November 11th with our hematologist and we will be going over everything. I have to admit I have been spoiled by our uneventful summer. It was nice, everything was normal. All seasons change though.

So could you say a small prayer for us, that this fall will bring health? Also maybe another, that his current fever stays low. 100.5 is the point that we have to go in for blood cultures and I really don't want that. Thank you all so very much!

loving the indoors

Fall, Fall, FALL!!

I think it is obvious I love fall! I mean, I only say it every post :)

Does anyone else feel like nesting when crisper air hits? From decor, food, candles, and even a fab new end table.

Well one of my favorite companies, CSN, is going to help with my nesting by letting me do another review! I have to admit I am thrilled! I love this company so much! So anticipate that and also something special for you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

carrot apple soup

I made this last night and it is delicious! Such a great fall recipe!

Carrot Apple soup
1 medium onion
1 leek, white part only
1 lb carrots (peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch slices)
1 tart apple like granny smith (peeled, cored, and chopped)
1 tb canola oil
3 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet or dutch oven. Chop the onion and the leek and saute in skillet with oil until translucent. Add carrots and apple and saute for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.Reduce to low-medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are very soft. Once finished cooking, add in batches to a food processor and liquefy. Add more chicken stock if needed to reach desired consistency. Add back to skillet or dutch over and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Then serve!

So good and so healthy! Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

meet finley

Well our family has grown by four paws. Meet sweet Finley, our newest addition.



He is such a little snuggle bug and we are thrilled to have him!

Also, I wanted to let you all know I am allowing comments again. A lot of you have requested them and I have missed you all! Thank you for all of your support over the past year. You all mean so much!

just one of the herd


Thursday, October 14, 2010

could I share this one prayer with you today?

Could I take but a moment and sit in this stillness, and share just one prayer with you today?

That our feet, and not just our hearts, be prompted to move.

Our path was laid out by Jesus Christ himself, but do we dare follow? Do we dare to even try to comprehend what living with out all this North American gluttony would be like? Do we even attempt to bridge the gap?

I am struggling today with the weight of knowing I am but a soul longing. I long to not be a part of this world, only to be in it but not of it. I long to see Him face to face. Are my good intentions even worthy of being in our Kings presence? How am I anything but filth?


But where does grace end? Where am I and who am I in this world? Like stagnant water we breed disease and sin. Not moving in any direction, even with great intentions, we are still useless stagnant water. Waiting for a hurricane of circumstance to move us and breathe new life, but what if that never comes? Or worse, what if it comes and we still aren't moved? Or maybe our hearts are broken, but our feet never take a step. Or our minds are filled with conviction but we never give of ourselves. What of stagnant people?


I pray for God to speak to me and to show me the way. I pray that I will then heed that call and follow. But some days I don't even know what direction I am headed and most days I feel so lost. I take it to Him in prayer, and prayer is powerful. I have learned to prayer expectantly, not only hopefully, and I do. But when I open my eyes, and I am once again surrounded not by Him, but of my world, I then become lukewarm. How does the flame that He ignites, turn to but a warmth in moments. How is the passion of a sermon tucked into the depths of our hearts to just then fizzle and die? How do I take the jump into the radical? What is radical when you have a husband and two small children?


We are called to move and act. We are all called to be disciples. We are called to give and then to give more. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. How often do we see this command acted out? Where is Jesus in a self loving, self promoting, materialistic world? And where do we belong, as His followers, in all this chaos?

My heart hurts for all those in need. For all that don't know a mother's touch. For all of those who are hungry, not only for food, but for love. For those without clothing and water. For those without shelter or a pillow to lay their head. For those with broken hearts and broken homes. For all that NEED.
My heart is broken but do my, or your, feet ever take a step?

So although I do not know the answers, I know who does. Although I am filthy rags, I am saved by grace. Although I fail, He conquers. Although I am sin, He is perfection.

So dear friends, on this day, my prayer is that our feet, not only our hearts, will be prompted to move. And that we may obey.
What has the Lord been prompting you to do? Have you listened?

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:34-40

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sneaky snapshots

Sometimes when they are being really quiet, they aren't up to no good! Austin sat reading to EJ for almost an hour. I sat peeking around the door watching, thinking my heart was about to explode. Man I love those boys!

And yes I know these are horrible quality. I was way out of range for my flash and the natural light is not so great in their room. But I don't care. They are priceless. Oh and yes I do believe that is slobber on the arm rail in one of those pictures! Ha. The joys of boys :)They melt my heart!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For 20 months

For 20 months, EJ has been here with us. Growing, playing, learning, laughing, and loving. We are thrilled to have him and count every day as a blessing. It is true ya know. God really does give you just what you need when you need it.


love everything that is going on in this picture!

alone at last...


love photoshop

soccer star

watching the game




I never knew how much I needed these two boys until I was given them. I am so blessed and so thankful!
EJ goes back to the hematologist soon and I can't wait to see if he has grown any! He sure is changing in other ways! Just this week he started saying "phone" and he is now saying fish perfectly.His favorite thing is still a "ball" and telling people "bye". He says "night night" when he is tired and "please" when he wants something! "Love you" still sounds like "ov ewww" and his kisses melt my heart.
He absolutely loves soccer and will run onto the field in a moments notice. He can already kick the soccer ball all around the field. Watch out world!
Austin is of course still in love with them and they are playing army as I type. They normally play as puppies and crawl around the house barking and panting. I love that their imaginations are so intact and that they can feed off of each other. I am so blessed to be able to watch these two brothers play together. How I am worthy to be blessed with such beautiful boys, I will never know. I am just filled to overflowing.
Thank you for 20 months baby boy. Lets slow down just a little and not get to two so quickly, okay ;)

Friday, October 8, 2010


First off thank you so very much for all of your participation!! You all made my first annual Fall-Tacular event a blast! Thank you!

So here they are, the winners! You all have 48 hours to email me :)
(ienault at yahoo dot com)

Schwinn Bike Trailer:
Trinity said...
My husband and I are big bike people and we have actually been looking into getting a trailer for our two kids.
We actually have two of their bikes already so I love all their products! Thanks for this giveaway.

September 22, 2010 1:09 PM

Indigo Fragrance Reed Diffuser Set:
Shanna said...
daily tweet!/swnurse2010/status/26685076713

Corrina Couture Dress:
PoniLinda said...
I'm public follower of your blog and another dress I like is
The Arianna dress by Corinna Couture

October 1, 2010 5:44 PM

Herbolution Wrist Rest:
emily said...
i would love this!!! being at the computer all day would be so much better with this! Definitely might get one if I don't win this!

September 26, 2010 5:07 PM

Bragging Bags:
Raechel said...
I follow you on Twitter as @giftofbreath

September 27, 2010 2:34 PM

Visa Giftcard:
Pam M. said...
Oh my goodness! I NEED this! This would definitely go towards Christmas gifts! Thank you so much for the giveaways!

September 27, 2010 12:47 PM

KitchenAid Mixer:
Terri said...
Oh my! I am so glad I made in before this ended!!!!! I LOVE the red! This would be a dream come true to have this mixer! Thank you!

October 8, 2010 11:03 AM

Congrats to all the winners!!!!!!

Fall-Tacular Recipes- some of my favorite!

Since today is the last day of my Fall-Tacular event I wanted to end it with my favorite!
Here are some of my current favorite recipes! Enjoy!
(I can't take credit for any of these recipes, but I promise they are DELISH!)

Warm Onion Dip:
1 Large Vidalia Onion
1 medium size jar of real mayo (I think like 15-20 oz?)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Coarsely chop the onion, mix in the mayo and cheese and bake at 350 until bubbly
So good! I serve it with triscuits!

Easy Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin:
1 lb. large cauliflower florets
1 lb. large broccoli florets
1/2 cup water
4 oz. cream cheese cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 ritz crackers, crushed
3 tbsp. 100% grated Parmesan cheese

place cauliflower and broccoli in microwave safe dish. Add water, cover and microwave on high about 10 minutes (or until tender). Set aside.

Microwave cream cheese and milk in 2 cup microwave safe measuring cup or medium bowl for 1 minute or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is blended when stirred. Add sour cream, mix well. Pour over vegetables, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, microwave 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Mix cracker crumbs and parm. Sprinkle over vegetables! Enjoy!

Cheese, Wild Mushroom, and bacon pie:

3 garlic cloves, peeled
1tsp. canola oil
4 bacon strips
1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 eggs
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp paprika

drizzle garlic with oil and bake garlic wrapped in foil at 425 for about 10-20 minutes, set aside.
In large skillet, cook all four slices of bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Once cool, crumble.

Use 2 tsp of bacon dripping from pan to saute mushrooms and onion until tender.

In large bowl, beat eggs until foamy and then add softened cream cheese and beat well. Mix in salt, pepper, mushroom mixture and softened garlic.

Unroll pie crust in 9 inch pie plate. fill with grated cheddar and crumbled bacon. Pour egg mixture over the top. sprinkle with parm and paprika and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest 15 minutes, then Enjoy!

Layered Pumpkin Loaf:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 egg whites, divided
1.2 cup fat free milk
1/4 cups canola oil
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 8oz package cream cheese

heat over to 350. Grease a non stick 9x5 inch loaf pan , set aside. Mix pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, 3 of the egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt, stir just until moistened, set aside.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 2 tbsp of granulated sugar and remaining egg white with wire whisk until well blended.

Spoon half the pumpkin batter into prepared loaf pan, spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. cover with remaining pumpkin batter.
bake 1 hour-1 hour 5 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run knife around edges, cool in pan for 10 minutes. remove bread from pan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall-Tacular decor- hurricanes

I love hurricanes. They are versatile and elegant. I especially LOVE these from William Sonoma

Gorgeous right?
What I don't love is their price tag! I was blog browsing one night and I came across this post and it changed my life. Decor Chick did a great tutorial on how to do dollar store hurricanes! Can you believe it? For only 2 dollars you can make your own!
And then this post by Thrifty Decor Chick. I was hooked!
So I went and bought 5 candle sticks (1 dollar each) and two vases, two candle holders, and a weird shallow circular dish (all for 1 dollar each as well). I just hot glued them together and filled them with goodies! (I wont do a tutorial here b/c the decor chicks have pretty much got that covered :)

And here it is!

Then you just fill them with all kinds of yummy fall goodness. (Remember yesterday when I mentioned that natural elements are key?) Well go outside and gather yourself some pine cones, berries, and whatever else you want to use! Or you could go to Hob Lob and have a heart attack at all the bliss. Seriously that store will be my undoing. Who can go in there and only spend a few dollars? I try to avoid it at all costs because of the greatness of EVERYTHING in that store. But I digress...
I used acorns, pine cones, candles, tiny little nameless berries that Austin picked for me, and crape myrtle seeds. I wrapped the largest two with some pumpkin ribbon I got from Dollar Tree. That's it!

Decorating our homes should be wonderful and should show your personality, but shouldn't have to break the bank. I just love getting our home ready for the holidays!

Sorry for the horrible quality of these pictures! The lighting is really bad today and I didnt want to use flash!

Fall-Tacular guest post- Candle Vases

Although these are very similar to the hurricanes I made, I LOVED the idea of having two separate spaces (one for the candle and one for the filler), so I had to share! My lovely friend Erin was willing to do a guest post to share her idea!

Hey there! I'm Erin, known in the blogging world as Mama Dub. You can find me over at "Life in the Dub Lane". I'm an avid blogger and a fellow Fall lover. I'm not exactly sure what draws me to Fall, but I have a pretty good feeling it's a mix of the cooler weather, the fragrances, the approaching holidays and the foods! What is there not to love!

I would love to share with you a fun fall craft that I recently created. It's fun, simple, cheap and very festive.
Meet the Dub Lane $7 Fall Candle Vases.

All of the items used were purchased at The Dollar Tree.
Here's what you need:
- 2 Large Hurricane Vases {$1 each}
- 2 White Glass Jar Candles {$1 each}
- 2 Candle Holders {brown} {$1 each}
- 1 Bag Moss {I chose bag with mixes of browns and greens} {$1}
- Glue Gun {I had on hand}

Now for the easy "How-To":
* Begin by hot gluing the bottom of the hurricane vase to the candle holder. {Simple}
* Sit the White Glass Jar Candle into the Hurricane Vase. {Simple}
* Pull some of the moss out of the bag and stuff around the Jar Candle. {I used a butter knife to poke it to the bottom}.
* Trim the wick on the candles and you are done!
{Note: You will notice that the wick on the candles are about 2 inches long. I recommend that you trim them to a more appropriate wick length before burning}.

When Fall has come and gone, just change it up a bit.... Halloween, Christmas, you get the idea.... the possibilities are endless!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall-Tacular decor- wreaths

A beautiful wreath can be so stunning, not only during fall, but year round.
However, fall and Christmas wreaths are my favorite! (no surprise there!)

This year has been a bit difficult as far as decor goes. With two moves in a year and one being across the country, I had to leave behind a lot of great "stuff". Now that we are a bit settled, I find myself having little to no budget for decorations and therefore have to make it myself with what I have on hand. But, they say necessity is the mother of invention (creation?). Or...something like that!
I have three styles of wreaths in my home right now.
One I bought, but it was from the dollar tree and cost me three dollars in supplies to make it.
The other two were free. Free. I love that word!
So in the event that any of you are not wanting to spend money on decor but would still like a little something, this is for you!

Meet my wreaths:


The first photo is of a scraggly little thing made of vines we collected on a walk. Austin was thrilled to help me collect them! He even helped me wind them together! It is still a work in progress right now but hey, it is something! That shutter was on freecycle and I painted it and distressed it and that fall vine was from dollar tree. I have another vine wreath started just like this one but I am saving it for Christmas. I am going to gather a ton of evergreen branches and glue them to the wreath come winter time! This year, decorating with natural elements is the thing to do. If you have a moment check out Pottery Barn's online tutorials and pictures for inspiration. Amazing!

The second wreath is a paper craft wreath. Truth be told, I used the cardboard from a cereal box and some beige paper with a bit of cardstock added. That is it! It takes all about 10 minutes to make!
I went ahead and made another for you to show the steps ;)

Get some cardboard (I used a box here) and two plates that will be the outside and inside edge of your wreath. You could also do a square shape if you want! Just trace the plates and cut it out!

Then get some paper or material and cut it into strips. My strips were about 1 inch by 5 inches. I really want to do this with burlap as I think that would be gorgeous!

Then heat up your hot glue gun (could use regular glue or even tape and staples if need be). Glue the ends of the strips together. Go ahead and do all the strips at once. Saves time! I used about 7 pieces of printer paper for this wreath.
Then you are going to place two strips side by side and glue them. Then glue a piece a little bit behind them in the middle. Repeat this all the way around.



And that is it! The key is that it doesn't have to be perfect. Then add some embellishments (I have plans for this little white wreath), add a little looped ribbon to the back and hang! You are finished!

Here are some other paper wreaths I have seen online that I want to try!

Have fun wreath making!

ps. Don't forget to enter all my fab giveaways!! They end 10/8/2010!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

me and my shadow



This picture makes me laugh so hard! He was a puppy!



Ej and I had half a day all to ourselves today! Austin and Adam attended a birthday party and EJ and I decided to have our own fun :)
He is getting oh so big and some days I feel as if my heart may burst.
It was a beautiful day out and we couldn't resist. And I couldn't resist snapping a few photos of my little sweetness. Don't you just wish you could pause them in time for just a bit?
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