December 30, 2011

2011 in Review

2011 has been a very significant year!  Here is a review of 2011:

December 24, 2010: Found out we were expecting our first baby!

April: Traveled to LA for my VISTA training.  Rode in an airplane for the first time- and was 5 months pregnant!  :)





 May: Received my Monmouth College diploma!



June: Had the grand opening for Family Outreach Community Center.

June 18th: Kelsi was welcomed into our family as she married Randy!  Travis had a bit too much free beer at the reception.. ;)

June 24th: Stood by Alicia as she married her best friend!



Became licensed as an EMT-B. 



Made a complete first year scrapbook for Lucas.

Gutted two rooms in our house to prepare for Lucas.  Finished our living room in November and we're still working on Lucas' room. 

Went to Indianapolis to watch the last Haste the Day concert.  

Had our first baby, Lucas, on August 4th.

Lucas was a cow for Halloween.  Travis was a golfer off of CaddyShack and I was the cheerleader from SNL.  

Celebrated our 23rd birthdays.


January 1st, 2012: Travis, Ed, and the guys are going to watch the 49ers play in St. Louis.

December 21, 2011

DIY's I Want to Try

Of course, I found all of these wonderful creations on Pinterest, so follow me to see the specific websites to create these projects!

Greeting Card Holder







 Button Tree on Canvas- Actually making as a Christmas gift this year!













Want to make these for Halloween next year!







Lost sock board!  We need this badly!







Weekly outfit box for Lucas' clothes.. what a fabulous idea!

December 20, 2011

Teething Helpers

Lucas has started teething, so I went online in search of some teething solutions for my poor little man.  I figure there are more moms out there that could benefit from my research so here are some ideas that I found online:

1. A baby sock knotted on the end with an ice cube inside
2. A net teether with partly frozen fruit inside
3. Cold, wet washcloth
4. homeopathic teething tablets (Hylands)
5. The amber necklace
6. Fill pacifier with water and freeze
7. Cut a washcloth in strips and tie a big knot in the middle to avoid him taking in too much.  Freeze them.

Another Bawling Session...

So I heard another song today that brought me to tears.  Steven Curtis Chapman sings in his song "All I Want" about a little child who only wants a family for Christmas.  Powerful song!  Here are the lyrics:

Well I don’t know if you remember me or not
I’m one of the kids they brought in from the home
I was the red-haired boy in an old green flannel shirt
You may not have seen me – I was standing off alone
I didn’t come and talk to you, ‘cause that’s never worked before
And you’ll prob’ly never see this letter anyway
But just in case there’s something you can do to help me out
I’ll ask you one more time

All I really want for Christmas
Is someone to tuck me in
A shoulder to cry on if I lose
Shoulders to ride on if I win
There’s so much I could ask for
But there’s just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas is a family

Well I guess I should go ahead and tell you now
If it’s really true about that list you have
Somehow I always seem to end up in a fight
But I’m really trying hard not to be bad
But maybe if I had a brother or a dad to wrestle with
Well, maybe they could teach me how to get along
And from everything I’ve heard
Sounds like the greatest gift on earth would be a mom

All I really want for Christmas
Is someone to tuck me in
A shoulder to cry on if I lose
Shoulders to ride on if I win
There’s so much I could ask for
But there’s just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas

Is someone who’ll be there
To sing me “Happy Birthday”
For the next 100 years
And it’s OK if they’re not perfect
Well, even if they’re a little broken, that’s alright
‘Cause so am I

Well, I guess I should go
It’s almost time for bed
And maybe next time I write you
I’ll be at home

‘Cause all I really want for Christmas
Is someone to tuck me in
Tell me I’ll never be alone
Someone whose love will never end
Of all that I could ask for
Well, there’s just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas
All I really want for Christmas is a family

Just a family

That’s all I really need

December 2, 2011

Family Matters

Day 1: I called Aunt Molly on my way home from work last night and we had a short chat about Lucas, Christmas, the house, and work.  She is going to be at Mom's tomorrow, so we're going to go and visit her.  Lucas will enjoy seeing Aunt Mo and Uncle Andy!  :)

Day 2: I text Grandma Pence and Ed to see if they would like to come over one night next week for dinner.  They are coming either on Thursday or Friday!  I am excited to show them the new room and to just spend time with them!  Since they are farther away (but still close enough for distance to not be an excuse) we don't spend as much time with them as we should and would like to.  They are wonderful people and make us laugh, so I am aiming to get closer with them in 2012!

December Days of Devotion

I have the desire to use this Christmas-time to restore and deepen relationships, to encourage friends and family, and to be a better woman.  Therefore, I have developed the December Days of Devotion.  Each day in December, I will do a simple act in order to to accomplish this goal.  Here are my December Days of Devotion: 

Thursday, December 1: Call Aunt Molly just to say hi
Friday, December 2: Invite Pence’s to come over for dinner
Saturday, December 3: Text Alicia and set up a lunch date
Sunday, December 4: Go caroling with SCC
Monday, December 5: Write and send Rady’s a letter
Tuesday, December 6: Smile at everyone you see today
Wednesday, December 7: Send Dad a Christmas card
Thursday, December 8: Let Travis relax tonight
Friday, December 9: Tape candy canes to an ATM today
Saturday, December 10: Text Rachel and set a time to scrap together
Sunday, December 11: Send Mom a Christmas card
Monday, December 12: Spend all afternoon making gifts
Tuesday, December 13: Spend the morning hanging out with Danielle
Wednesday, December 14: Have a “Happy Birthday Jesus” party at church
Thursday, December 15: Give a candy cane to each operation backpack child
Friday, December 16: Spend the whole time playing with Josh after school
Saturday, December 17: Add a note of encouragement and appreciation to Grandma Pence’s Christmas gift
Sunday, December 18: Make cookies for FOCC board meeting
Monday, December 19: Write a letter to Bev Brent and give it to her
Tuesday, December 20: Go to Wyatt’s Christmas concert
Wednesday, December 21: Go visit an elderly neighbor
Thursday, December 22: Sleep in!
Friday, December 23: Read the Christmas story in the Bible
Saturday, December 24: Text Lyndsay and Ashley and tell them Merry Christmas
Sunday, December 25: Rub Travis’ head for awhile and give him a massage
Monday, December 26: Take the day off and enjoy some ‘me’ time
Tuesday, December 27: Make a trip to ‘Hopefully Yours’
Wednesday, December 28: Play with Lucas and his new toys
Thursday, December 29: Send a thank you
Friday, December 30: Spend 10 minutes in prayer today- write them if needed
Saturday, December 31: Wish 10 people a happy New Year through text

November 27, 2011

Christmas Checklist

1. Deck the halls- put up the Christmas tree and lights!
2. See the Christmas lights.
3. Drop money in the Salvation Army bucket.
4. Go Christmas caroling.
5. Make presents! :)
6. See Santa at the Mall.
7. Get a kiss under the mistletoe. ;)
8. Take a family picture by our Christmas tree.
9. Have hot chocolate.
10. Hang the stockings with care. 

November 22, 2011

Favorite Holiday Family Traditions

With the Holidays quickly approaching, I have been reflecting on the traditions that I have shared with my family and look forward to starting new ones and continuing some on with Lucas. 

One tradition that I looked forward to deeply as a youngster and even into my teenage and college years was that of decorating for Christmas.  On the day after Thanksgiving, Mom and I would break out the totes and boxes labeled 'Christmas' and dig out layers and layers of house decorations, our stockings, and the tree.  We would decorate the house all day, making it come alive with green and red.  In the evening, we would make some hot cocoa and turn on Christmas music.  Mom would lay out the ornaments on the table, while my job was to hang them on the tree.  Each year, we would reminisce about where each ornament came from as though I had no idea.  And we would laugh at the picture of me with Santa that we have kept to put on the tree.  I will never forget this memory and how I felt during these moments preparing for Christmas.  I plan to continue this tradition on with my own family, and I hope that Mom will want to share in this tradition with us.  The joy that occurs on this special night is rare and lasts a long time. 

Another tradition that our family has is that of giving Christmas ornaments.  Each year, us cousins would all receive an ornament from Grandma Sharon, based on what we had done that year.  For many years of my childhood, my ornament was affiliated with basketball, volleyball, or softball.  The year that I started college, Grandma gave me an ornament with books and a graduation cap.  The year I shot a deer, I got a shotgun shell ornament.  I still don't know how she found some of those perfect ornaments.  I still have each of those ornaments and cherish them dearly.  And I still look forward to receiving an ornament each year.  I hope that Lucas looks forward to Grandma's ornament as much as I did growing up.  It makes me sad to think that one day, hopefully really far down the road, Grandma will not be around to share this tradition with us.  For now, though, I will be thankful that we are so blessed to have so many wonderful grandparents and family members to share our traditions with. 

November 21, 2011

What Adult Daughters Need From Their Moms

1. Only use encouraging words.  No matter how old she gets, what you do and say will always matter.
2. Advise BUT only when asked.  If she wants your wisdom, she will ask.  Otherwise, keep your advice to yourself.
3. She needs the freedom to learn for herself.  Remember, you are done raising her, now is the time to let her learn how to be a wife, mom, friend, employee, and neighbor on her own.  
4. Share in her excitement if she brings you a new idea or is excited about something.  Never tell her the negatives. 
5. Appreciate her as a woman and mother.  Tell her good things that she does.
6. Say no if you don't want to or can't watch your grandkids. Don't feel guilty.  But if you do want to see them, tell her that in a nice way.  Say, "I would really love to spend time with you and your family," instead of "Why haven't you called me?" 
7. Don't be overly critical. Your objective is to express your love, not to make her feel guilty or badly.
8. Unconditionally love her; don't put conditions on that love.
9. The greatest gift you can give her is your approval.  If you start from the basis that you believe in her competence and mothering instincts, you will be given the opportunity to add your two cents when the going gets rough. If your daughter feels competitive with you in any way for the prize of supermotherhood, you are going to be left in the dust, no matter how valid and valuable your advice might be.  Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/young-adult/parenting/51079.html#ixzz1eNrrVD46
10. Don't clean her house or comment on her messy house.  This only makes her feel like a bad wife and mother.  Again, if she needs help, she will ask. Her house may be messy, but her kids and family have fun!  :)

Want/Need/Wear/Read/Play

I have been thinking about Christmas traditions, gifts, and Christmas in general lately.  I found a great Christmas idea- of course on pinterest- that I would love to incorporate into our Christmas traditions.  Since Lucas will only be 4 months old this Christmas, we will not be going too crazy with gifts.  I believe, however, that for future years a plan of attack would be beneficial.  Many moms go by the Want/Need/Wear/Read gift giving strategy.  However, I'm going to add one more category to this- play. 

Something they want.  Something they need.  Something to wear.  Something to read.  Something for play.

Of course, they will also be getting a stocking full of cheap items and candy.  I believe this will help us better budget our Christmas shopping and will still provide them with a decent amount of items to open on Christmas morning.  I will let you know how it works!  :)

November 18, 2011

Annual Christmas Walk

Tonight is our towns' annual Christmas walk!  This community event is one of the many that I rarely miss!  What seems like the whole town comes out to the corner of Broadway and Main, sampling tasty treats, visiting community businesses, and mingling with each other.  The town leaders have been actively working to get the decorations set up, preparing for Mr. and Mrs. Clause's arrival, and getting businesses in the business district involved.  Family Outreach Community Center is having a booth- we will be handing out our brochures, hot cider, and fresh doughnut holes. We also entered a tree into the Tree of Lights competition.  I will try to post a picture of it later.

This year, our family will take a new part in this celebration, however.  Due to it being our town's 125th Anniversary, we are having a few skits and extra events happening.  In the birth of our Savior skit, Travis will be acting as Joseph, I will take the role of Mary, and our little man will be acting as Jesus.  :)  How fun!  It took a bribe to get Travis on board, but I am so proud to take part in this community tradition in such a way! 

Community bondedness is SO important in a small community like ours.  Without knowing each other and feeling bonded with those living around you, trust and security cannot take place.  Our country needs more small, bonded communities like mine and the world would be a much better place! 

"My Grown Up Christmas List"

As I was pondering my personal Christmas list, which I posted earlier, I kept going back to the song by Kelly Clarkson and redone by Amy Grant, "My Grown Up Christmas List."  This always touches my heart during the Holidays and I want to share the lyrics with you: 

"My Grown Up Christmas List"

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
and wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(there'd be)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up christmas list
This is my only life long wish
This is my grown up christmas list

My 2011 Christmas Wish List

So what girl doesn't have a list of items that they wish for?  Here are a few items that I have been fantasizing over lately!  Travis.. take notes!  ;) 

1. Black and Brown Flats
2. Lasix Eye Surgery or Contacts, instead of my glasses.. Lucas is starting to get grabby!
3. Black Winter Boots
4. A Few Pairs of Jeans- I only fit into 3 pairs right now!
5. Plaid Blanket.. Go Scots!
6. Kitchen Pantry Shelving
7. Flip Camcorder
8. Subscription to 'Parenting Early Years,' 'Family Fun,' and 'All You.'  I'm such a mom!  :)
9. Ticket to Ride Board Game
10. New headboard for our bed
11. Black Watch
12. New front door and screen door.. lame.
13. Black Pencil Skirt
14. Totes to organize upstairs junk
15. New underwear, bras, and socks!  Doesn't everyone need these for Christmas?! 

November 9, 2011

To Err on the Side of Grace

Galatians 6:10 says "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

So often in my work, I am asked the question, "what if people take advantage of you and don't really need the services."  My simple reply is always this- I will choose to err on the side of grace.  In our benevolence as an organization and even in my personal life, it is my mission to help all those that come asking for help.  Yes, there have been times where I have discovered mistruths and have been taken advantage of.  I cannot become bitter or angered over this, though.  I will choose to continue to keep giving because I want to be known as a woman who always helped, gave, loved, and prayed.

When I am standing in front of my Lord and Savior giving a testament for my life, I want him to say, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me" (Matthew 25:34-36).  

Those who have taken advantage of me, been untruthful, and deceived others will also have to stand before our Lord and explain themselves.  Therefore, I will continue to gracefully help all those that come to me.   

3 Reason I Love Wednesdays

 3. I love assisting with our K-5 youth group at church!  Kids are fantastic and I am able to be a positive example for community kids and teach them about Jesus' love for them.
2. Travis and I normally get to spend Wednesday evenings together after I get home from youth group.  Tonight I have a board meeting, though.  :( 
1. The week is halfway over, meaning that the weekend is in sight! 

November 8, 2011

10 Reasons I'm Thankful

10.  Although they can be a pain at times, having a pet is a great pleasure.  I know that Daisy will never tell my secrets, will cuddle with me when I'm upset, and will love me even when I am not deserving.  I am thankful for all of the wonderful co-explorers, best buds, dreamers, and cuddle buddies that I have had over the years, especially our Daisy Girl. 
9. I am thankful for free speech.  I am able to read, write, and talk about issues that people in some other countries are not able to.  I thank God for making our great nation one that allows freedom of speech and individualism.
8. I have the opportunity to learn in a school setting. Years ago, women may not have had this chance and I am grateful for my education.
7. My hearing may not be the best, but I am able to hear my loved ones voices and the encouraging music that uplifts my soul. 
6. Although I had a rough childhood, it shaped me into the woman I am today.  I would not take back having an alcoholic father, seeing drug abuse first-hand, or witnessing violence in my home.  I am now able to relate to and be an example for young people who are also facing these issues.  I am thankful that God granted me these experiences in order to accomplish His work now. 
5. I have my health- a properly beating heart, hands that work well, a brain that is analytical, and legs that move efficiently.
4. Despite being strapped for cash at times, we have a roof over our heads, food on our table, a warm bed to fall into at night, vehicles to drive, jobs to go to, running water in our home, and many other items that some would consider 'luxuries."  I am thankful that we are blessed in such ways. 
3. My family may be overwhelming and critical at times, but I am so grateful for their encouragement, love, and support.  My family attended just about every game, concert, and event that I ever participated in, cheering me on despite all odds.  And they continue to be by my side every step of the way and make me proud to be a part of my family.  I am also thankful that I have a healthy baby boy to guide and protect. 
2. God gave me a loving man to protect, direct, encourage, and love me.  He loves me, his son, his family, and his community.  I am thankful that I was given Travis to be my life partner! 
1. I am saved.  Ephesians 2:8 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."  I am so thankful that I will spend eternity with my Maker, Savior, Best Friend, Counselor, Father, and Lord. 

November 4, 2011

The Love of a Granparent...




All Giggles

I'm trying to catch up on posting pictures!  Here are some cute ones that I got of our little man!



A Beautiful Autumn Day

Our photographer friend recently took our family pictures and I wanted to share some with you.  We had fun taking them and really enjoyed the beautiful autumn day!






MoRe TrEaTs ThAn TrIcKs

Daddy, Mommy, and Lucas went Trick-or-Treating on Monday with Danielle and Joshua, our scary dragon.  Montana and Ryan tagged along, too, but mainly to mooch Lucas' candy.  It was a blast and I loved how adorable my little cow was!  Here are some pictures from the evening. 




October 17, 2011

Lucas and Work

This week, Lucas will be 11 weeks old- that's almost 3 months!  Where has the time gone?  He's turning into such a big boy- starting to be able to sit up for a tiny bit on his own, being curious about new sounds and places, and enjoying spending time with his mama!  :)  It has also been a great thing being able to have him at work with me.  Luckily, our board of directors decided that it would be beneficial for my family and our center to have him come to work with me.  I try finding babysitters for important work meetings and things, but otherwise, Lucas is with me all day!  This is such a blessing!  I get to see all of his milestones, see his personality, and have the comfort of him being with me instead of in a daycare.  However, it can also be stressful at times.  On days like today, when he's fussy and extra demanding, getting work done can be difficult. 

October 10, 2011

October 9, 2011

Why Should We Be Organized?!

To quote from Imperfect Homemaking, we organize with purpose.  Why? 

"I organize my home because I believe that when we clear out the things that don't matter, we make room for the things that do.  Because our hearts and minds can only take so much chaos. And life has enough chaos of it's own.  Because we need a daily refuge from the clutter and the noise and the blaring messages that wait on our doorstep.  Because an uncluttered space creates an environment where we can learn and explore.  And because when we clear out stuff, we make room for people." 


I loved how elegantly she put this!  This really inspires me to get our own home organized so that our lives are less stressful and we are able to focus our energy on God, each other, and our friends and family.  Please pray for my strength to keep the motivation to organize our lives. 

Trying To Get Organized

Pinterest.com has motivated me to get my life, house, and family organized.  First, I started with family goals.  Travis and I set monthly and long-term goals last night.  I feel really good about them!  Next, I will be making a family binder with contact info, family finances, and all other things that will help our family stay organized in the future.  I will also be making an Inspiration binder, to keep my prayers, Bible studies, and other inspiring items in one place.  Hopefully, this will help me build up my faith and will allow me to see the outcomes of my prayers in order to see God at work.  :)  Yesterday, Travis and I organized the house all day.  We sorted out our closets, rearranged the furniture in the makeshift living room, got rid of tons of clothes that are either too small or we don't wear, and threw away lots of random papers and things that were just taking up space.  I feel like we are making progress!  I will be posting pictures of our binders when they are done! 

October 8, 2011

30 Bags in 30 Days- May 2012


We set our family goals for the next year and in May, we have decided to do the "30 bags in 30 days challenge."  Our goal is to fill up a bag each day to de-clutter, clean, or organize our home.  We have made the list customized to our family.  Here it is:
 
  1. Pantry
  2. Utensil drawer in kitchen
  3. Toys
  4. Lucas’ dresser
  5. Lucas’ closet
  6. My closet 
  7. Travis’ closet
  8. Daisy’s fence
  9. Fridge
  10. Upstairs
  11. Under kitchen sink
  12. Bathroom closet
  13. My car
  14. Travis’ truck
  15. Family Binder
  16. Nightstands
  17. Top of dressers
  18. Desk
  19. Garage
  20. Upstairs
  21. Pantry
  22. Mail Pile
  23. Yard
  24. Bookshelf
  25. CD’s/DVD’s/Video Games
  26. Laundry Room
  27. My dresser
  28. Purse
  29. Travis’ dresser
  30. Clothes Hampers

October 7, 2011

In need of a date night...

"Keep your courtship alive.  Make time to do things together -- just the two of you.  As important as it is to be with the children as a family, you need regular weekly time together.  Scheduling it will let your children know that you feel that your marriage is so important that you need to nurture it.  That takes commitment, planning, and scheduling."    
-Joe J. Christensen

 Travis, if you're reading my blog, which I highly doubt, I just want you to know that I am in desperate need of some 'just you and me' time!  Love you!

October 6, 2011

Child's Independence

Lord help me not to do for my children what they can do for themselves
Help me not to give them what they can earn for themselves
Help me not to tell them what they can look up for themselves.
Help me to help my children stand on their own two feet and to grow into responsible, disciplined adults.

by Marion Wright Edelman
 
In my parenting, I will try to: 
- Let Lucas fail sometimes, asking him if he needs help up afterwards
- Give him chores and responsibilities appropriate to his age
- Take extra time when teaching, to ask questions instead of giving answers
- Having high expectations for his behavior
- Believing that he will accomplish everything he sets out to do. 

A Letter to My Children About Marriage

Taken from: http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2010/03/a-letter-to-my-children-about-marriage.html

Dear Children, Should the Lord give you the good gift of a husband or wife, and I hope He does, there are a few things I want you to know.  Things that you may not hear from anyone else, and certainly not on TV or other media.  Sadly, your church may not even tell you. 

Marriage, sweet little people, is not for the purpose of your happiness.  Happy as I want you to be and hope you will be, you must yet understand that marriage is God’s design and His purposes must be pursued in order for you to be truly happy.  His end is holiness and He will use all things in a life devoted to Him to fulfill that end.

To my girls: 
Marry a man whose first pursuit is Christ.  After that, he is not hard to please.  Admire him, cheer him on and show gratitude, and he will fall over himself trying to please you.  Smile often, speak well of him always, and do whatever necessary to try and maintain a pleasant mood about you so that it transfers to your home, making it a place where he and your children love to be.

You’ll have bad days of course, crying days even, and that’s when you go to your bedroom, kneel on the floor and beg the Lord to carry you.  Then get up, get a fresh perspective (crayons will come off the wall), and try again.  Above all else, make a home.

To my boys:
Marry a woman whose first pursuit is Christ.  After that, she may be hard to please only if you don’t know “the secret”.  What is that?  I’m glad you asked.  The secret to pleasing your wife is to make her feel safe and treasured.  You may have to move out of your comfort zone to do this at times.  She won’t always readily translate the oil change to love, though it means that.  But let me give you a “secret question”–a question you need to ask her often.  It’s not just in the asking, though.  Be sure to focus your eyes on hers, maybe even touch her shoulder or face, and then ask:  “What’s on your mind these days? “  And then be ready to listen.  She will perceive this as your protection over the matters of her heart.  Tenderness, listening, protection.  That’s what she wants.

To you all:
If your wife or husband does something really stupid, forgive.  If they do it again, forgive again.  Forgiveness must be the propelling force in your lives each day. Dwell on the strengths, push out thoughts of their weaknesses.  Take every thought captive–choose to love.

Here’s that part you are not going to hear often:
If you find yourself “not happy”, having lost attraction, disinterested, etc., you are not permitted to even think about a divorce.  If you find yourselves arguing more and more, don’t think for a minute that “the children will be better off out of this”, because they won’t.

The vows you took on your wedding day were not suggestions.  They were covenant vows, before a Holy God, family and friends, to stay with this person the rest of your life, even if you don’t feel like it.  You swore a solemn oath and if you can’t live up to it, don’t get married.  Decide up front that your marriage is irrevocable.  There is far more motivation for getting along if your “marriage house” has no door. Do not share intimate thoughts or feelings with anyone of the opposite sex.  Do not find yourself alone for any length of time with such either. Divorce is not a “private option”.  It will affect multiple families for many generations.  When you “separate what God has joined” you permanently injure far more than just yourself. Guard your marriage as fiercely as you would guard your own life.  Treat your spouse as an extension of your flesh, just as God sees you.  Treat your spouse like other family members.  You know, “you gotta love ‘em, they’re the only family you’ve got”.

I want you to be happy, I surely do.  But I will pray for you to be holy.

Make Your Mark

Little ways you can make a BIG difference.  Taken from: http://mommysecrets.blogspot.com/search/label/building%20community
 

Live simply.
Use your professional skills to help your neighbors, church members, or community.
Shop and eat locally.
Give money to causes that are important to you.
Take time to help others (move, bake, carpool).
Plant a tree.
Recycle and buy recycled products.
Prioritize and be willing to say no.
Find a mentor and be a mentor.
Live life to the fullest.
Use your personality to bless other people and organizations.
Don’t gossip.
Do your best.
Seek forgiveness and forgive.
Use less energy.
Use water wisely.
Give thanks.
Use your hobbies to make a positive difference.
Cleanse your mind, body and spirit.
Stay physically active – and push yourself to be strong.
Drink water. Drink milk. And have an occasional glass of wine.
Write a personal and family mission statement.
Care for your nuclear and extended family.
Don’t keep up with the Jones’.
Rest.
Be financially savvy.
Vote. And challenge others to be active citizens.
Speak up when you have a passionate opinion.
Know the news
Laugh – a lot!
Use your faith as an inspiration to LOVE others, not judge or ostracize them.
Love boldly.  

Make your mark where you believe a mark needs to be made.


What are YOUR favorite ways to make a difference?
Who do you know that IS making a difference?

Things I Want to Do With Lucas Before He Grows Up

  1. Camp in the backyard
  2. Go to the zoo
  3. Have a "make a difference day," doing random acts of kindness for others
  4. Go puddle jumping
  5. Make a time capsule
  6. Build an obstacle course in the backyard
  7. Make mud pies
  8. Go to Disney
  9. Do a scavenger hunt
  10. Host a costume party for his friends
  11. Take a train trip
  12. Visit the library often
  13. Go Christmas caroling
  14. Plant a tree
  15. Go to a teddy bear picnic
  16. Fingerpaint
  17. Go to a magic show
  18. Explore nature with him
  19. Praise him everyday
  20. Go on school field trips
  21. Go to a circus
  22. Show him love, compassion, patience, and respect.

Where Has the Time Gone?!

My little man is 9 weeks old today!  He had his 2 month doctor appointment yesterday and weighs 11 lbs, 8 oz and is 22 1/2 in long. I can't believe how big he is getting!  He also got his first set of shots.  I'm glad Daddy was there because I would have been a mess without him there to hold Lucas' hands and calm him down.  The little band-aids on each fat thigh is so sad!  But I know he needs the shots to protect him in the future.  :)


Here is a picture of our little stud at 2 months!  Holding up his head like a big boy!  :)
 
Lucas also had his first church harvest party.  Here is Motter holding him and also our family picture at the bonfire.  It was such a beautiful night and didn't really get too chilly.  Travis and I were reminiscing about how many harvest parties we have been to together.  We were dating for the first one- back in 2005 we believe.  

August 12, 2011

Lucas has arrived!

Lucas Aaron Pence arrived on Thursday, August 4th at 12:01 pm.  After just 1 hour and 10 minutes of pushing and being in labor since Wednesday morning, I am the proud mommy of a 6 pound 8 ounce 19 1/4 inch baby boy!!  Being a mommy is the best feeling in the world and I am proud to say that he is ours.  Travis has been absolutely wonderful- waking up to help me at night and loving on Lucas when he gets home at night.  It's simply amazing how much happiness this little man has brought us!  Will follow up with pictures soon. 

July 28, 2011

Sleep Deprivation

For the past week or so, sleep deprivation has become part of my life.  I am able to sleep for a couple hours after first laying down my head, and then get up every couple of hours to use the restroom and get a drink.  I stay up for about a hour or so, thinking about things while I try to fall back asleep.  I have come to the realization that this is simply God's way of preparing me for the lack of sleep that I will face once Lucas comes.  It has actually been quite enjoyable to sit up late at night- watching Travis sleep, feeling Lucas moving around, and listening to Daisy snore.  The quiet is something that I'm not used to.  Therefore, I think I'm going to try using this time beneficially- praying and listening to the Lord speak to me.