Friday, May 27, 2011

Just for play…


Sometimes Daniel & I spend some time “freezing” moments in time. Sometimes I get carried away and save 171 moments in time and have to choose just a few to share. So, enjoy the few that made the cut.















I do love this little face more than words can describe! :) Happy Friday, All.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hylton Family Sneak Peek



I am in the process of editing photos of the Hylton Family! More will be available for viewing later!

Raised Bed Garden- Step 1

Buy your materials:
  • 5- 4x8x12 boards ($45.00)
  • 1 scoop of top soil. (we bought ours from Pine Ridge in Salem in front of Lowe’s) ($45.00)
  • 4 bags of  Black Kow composted cow manure. (4 bags @ $5.99ea=$23.96)
For tips on how to make your boxes, please see the "Gardening Tips" tab above and click on the "Making a Raised Bed Garden" link. Dennis followed his own design, but I found this link very helpful. 
    We are making two raised beds.
    It is often recommended to support the corners of the box. Next step, prepare ground, add dirt and then the actual vegetables. 

    Goodbye Rothrocks!

    We were invited to the Carroll’s to say goodbye to the Rothrock’s. We couldn’t make it to the party for the entirety, but we did stop by for the tail end to say goodbye!

    The highlight of our big 20 minutes there, Dennis jumped in the kiddy pool with all the little kids!! They seemed to love it! :)







    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Belcher

    Today we joined Shawn & Kaitlyn as they celebrated their union together. It was such a joy. I love weddings!! They ALWAYS cause me to recall my wedding vows to Dennis and to measure God’s grace against all of the odds we were up against. God is so gracious!!



    The reception:







    Then we took some pictures since we were all dressed up.

    Erin & Nathan (just so adorable together)



    and us! (minus our little guy)


    It was a great day!!

    Friday, May 20, 2011









    rice cereal


    for the


    first time??

    (Wonderin’ why I am taking pictures of the bowl and spoon in my dishwasher?!? Well, it is because it is the first time that baby utensils have been put in there, and I couldn’t not document the event!.. and Oh, how long I have waited to see such a fun lookin’ spoon in there!)


    and guess who found his hands?!?!?!




    and just a random thing I found today: I think the old man that owns this garden sits by his growing plants and talks to them. . Dennis however thinks it’s a couch meant to be dumped. . . and given that there is a pile of brush beside it, he just might be right.


    and I found pretty train tracks. . I have plans for these very soon, I hope.

    IMG_2334 (800x544)

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    A freeing article on parenting by Kevin DeYoung

    This is a bit lengthy but quite good in my opinion. Enjoy!!

    Does it seem like parenting has gotten more complicated? I mean, as 
    far as I can tell, back in the day parents basically tried to feed 
    their kids, clothe them, and keep them away from explosives. Now our 
    kids have to sleep on their backs (no wait, their tummies; no never 
    mind, their backs), while listening to Baby Mozart surrounded by 
    scenes of Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons 
    before they are five and can’t leave the car seat until they’re about 
    five foot six.
    It’s all so involved. There are so many rules and expectations. Kids 
    can’t even eat sugar anymore. My parents were solid as a rock but we 
    still had a cupboard populated with cereal royalty like Captain 
    Crunch and Count Chocula. In our house the pebbles were fruity and 
    the charms were lucky. The breakfast bowl was a place for 
    marshmallows, not dried camping fruit. Our milk was 2%. And 
    sometimes, if we needed to take the edge off a rough morning, we’d 
    tempt fate and chug a little Vitamin D.
    Trial by Error
    I don’t consider myself a particularly good parent. I was asked to 
    speak a few years ago at some church’s conference. They wanted me to 
    talk about parenting. I said I didn’t have much to say so they should 
    ask someone else (which they did). My kids are probably not as crazy 
    as they seem to me (at least that’s what I keep telling myself 
    anyway), but if I ever write a book on parenting I’m going to call it 
    The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

    There are already scores of books on parenting, many of them quite 
    good. I’ve read several of them and have learned much. I really do 
    believe in gospel-powered parenting and shepherding my child’s heart. 
    I want conversations like this:
    Me: What’s the matter son?
    Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
    Me: Why do you want the toy?
    Child: Because it will be fun to play with.
    Me: Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
    Child: Yes.
    Me: Would it make him sad to take the toy away?
    Child: I guess so.
    Me: And do you like to make your brother sad?
    Child: No.
    Me: You know, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That 
    means loving your brother the way he would want to be loved. Since 
    Jesus loves us so much, we have every reason to love others–even your 
    brother. Would you like to love him by letting him play with the toy 
    for awhile?
    Child: Yes I would daddy.

    I try that. Really I do. But here’s what actually happens:

    Me: What’s the matter son?
    Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
    Me: Why do you want the toy?
    Child: I don’t know.
    Me: What’s going on in your heart when you desire that toy?
    Child: I don’t know.
    Me: Think about it son. Use your brain. Don’t you know something?
    Child: I guess I just want the toy.
    Me: Obviously. But why?
    Child: I don’t know.
    Me: Fine. [Mental note: abandon "why" questions and skip straight to 
    leading questions.] Do you think he is having fun playing with the 
    toy right now?
    Child: No.
    Me: Really?! He’s not having fun? Then why does he want that toy in 
    the first place?
    Child: Because he’s mean.
    Me: Have you ever considered that maybe you are being mean by trying 
    to rip the toy from his quivering little hands?
    Child: I don’t know.
    Me: What do you know?
    Child: I don’t know!
    Me: Nevermind. [I wonder how my brilliant child can know absolutely 
    nothing at this moment.] Well, I think taking the toy from him will 
    make your brother sad. Do you like to make him sad?
    Child: I don’t know.
    Me: [Audible sigh.]
    Child: He makes me sad all the time!
    Me: Well, I’m getting sad right now with your attitude! [Pause, 
    think, what would Paul Tripp do?  
    Thinking . . . .thinking . . . .man, I can't stop thinking of that 
    mustache. This isn't working. Let's just go right to the Jesus part.] 
    You know, Jesus wants us to love each other.
    Child: I don’t know.
    Me: I didn’t ask you a question!
    Child: [Pause.] Can I have some fruit snacks?
    Me: No, you can’t have fruit snacks. We are talking about the gospel. 
    Jesus loves us and died for us. He wants you to love your brother too.
    Child: So?
    Me: So give him the toy back!
    Then I lunge for the toy and the child runs away. I tell him to come 
    back here this instant and threaten to throw the toy in the trash. I 
    recommit myself to turning down speaking engagements on parenting.

    I want to grow as a parent–in patience and wisdom and consistency. 
    But I also know that I can’t change my kids’ hearts. I am responsible 
    for my heart and must be responsible to teach them the way of the 
    Lord. But nothin’ guarantees nothin’. I’m just trying to be faithful, 
    and then repent for all the times I’m not.

    I have four kids and besides the Lord’s grace, I’m banking on the 
    fact that there really are just a few non-negotiables in parenting. 
    There are plenty of ways to screw up our kids, but whether they color 
    during church, for example, is not one of them. There is not a 
    straight line from doodling in the service as a toddler to doing meth 
    as a teenager. Could it be that beyond the basics of godly parenting, 
    that most of the other techniques and convictions are nibbling around 
    the edges? Certainly, there are lots of ways that good parents make 
    parenting a saner, more enjoyable experience, but even the kid 
    addicted to Angry Birds who just downed a pack of Fun Dip and is now 
    watching his third Pixar movie of the week (day?) still has a decent 
    shot at not being a sociopath.

    I remember years ago hearing a line from Alistair Begg, quoting 
    another man, that went like this: “When I was young I had six 
    theories and no kids. Now I have six kids and no theories.” I must be 
    smart. It only took me four kids to run out of theories.
    Getting a Few Things Right

    I look back at my childhood and think, “What did my parents do 
    right?” I watched too many Growing Pains reruns and played a lot of 
    Super Techmo Bowl (LT could block every extra point and Christian 
    Okoye was a stud). I never learned to like granola or my vegetables 
    (kids, stop reading this post immediately!). But yet, I always knew 
    they loved me. They made me go to church every Wednesday and twice on 
    every Sunday. They made us do our homework. They laid down obvious 
    rules–the kinds that keep kids from killing each other. They wouldn’t 
    accept any bad language, and I didn’t hear any from them. Mom took 
    care of us when we were sick. Dad told us he loved us. I never found 
    porn around the house or booze or dirty secrets. We read the Bible. 
    We got in trouble when we broke the rules. I don’t remember a lot of 
    powerful heart-to-heart conversations. But we knew who we were, where 
    we stood, and what to expect. I’d be thrilled to give my kids the same.
    I worry that many young parents are a) too adamant about the 
    particulars of their parenting or b) too sure that every decision 
    will set their kids on an unalterable trajectory to heaven or hell. 
    It’s like my secretary at the church once told me: “Most moms and 
    dads think they are either the best or the worst parents in the 
    world, and both are wrong.” Could it be we’ve made parenting too 
    complicated? Isn’t the most important thing not what we do but who we 
    are as parents? They will see our character before they remember our 
    exact rules regarding television and twinkies.
    I could be wrong. My kids are still young. Maybe this no-theory is a 
    theory of its own. I just know that the longer I parent the more I 
    want to focus on doing a few things really well, and not get too 
    passionate about all the rest. I want to spend time with my kids, 
    teach them the Bible, take them to church, laugh with them, cry with 
    them, discipline them when they disobey, say sorry when I mess up, 
    and pray like crazy. I want them to look back and think, “I’m not 
    sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they’re 
    were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they 
    loved Jesus.” Maybe it’s not that complicated after all.

    Happy 4- month Birthday Sweet Boy!


    (I brought Grand Canon with me, and when I went to snap his pediatrician appointment photos, my battery was dead!! So, I had to resort to the trusty ol’ cell phone)

    Our baby in a word: Easy

    Daniel’s stats:

    weight: 14 pounds 6 ounces 25th percentile

    height: 24 inches long (50th percentile)

    Size 2 diapers

    Size 3-6 months clothes

    His appointment went well. He is a growing, healthy boy.

    The doctor said to start giving him some solids. Cereal for practice as it adds no real nutritional value, and then start slow with fruits and vegetables. I am VERY excited about doing this, but very sad, too. He is my baby. He only needs me!!! : ) right?!!?!? The truth is, the milk that I provide for him will be the main source of nourishment for quite awhile still, the start of food just gets him practice eating, and tasting new textures while using a spoon. But still. . . I cannot believe it is time for this already!

    We discussed vaccines that I am currently holding off on. Dr. Delaney gave me a video to watch as I am making the decision. He encourages being fully vaccinated, but if nothing else the meningitis, and the pertussis vaccine. I am going to be researching and making the decision soon. Daniel did have his 2 month vaccines done because I was unaware of some of the important information I have since found out. I know this topic can get many of you fired up, but please, hold all of your opinions. :)  (said lovingly, of course)



    I lay him down at 8:15 p.m. and he will sleep until 8 or 9 the next morning!!! We cuddle and he will usually take another 30-45 minute nap around 11am, and then go down for a real afternoon nap around 1p.m. and sleep until 3:30-3:45. He will have another 30-40 minute nap around 5 or 6. It is awesome, but I feel like he is sleeping too much! My favorite part of him sleeping is that when I go get him out of his crib each time, he kicks and jerks his arms all around with a big grin. He is excited that I have come to get him. It’s like he is pleasantly surprised each time. I love it!!


    • lay him in bed.
    • tuck blanket underneath him.
    • sing to him.
    • turn out light.
    • turn on ‘raindrop dreams’ CD
    • turn on dehumidifier.
    • turn on ceiling fan (or will wake up hot & mad) He is just like his mom!! ; )
    • close door.




    He has seemed to drop his late afternoon feeding. He will nurse when he wakes in the morning- one again for his short nap, one more before his real nap, once after, and not again until it’s his bedtime feeding. He is getting quicker and quicker. I am so so glad that I pushed through this part of our relationship. It is so easy and non-complicated.



    • sleeping through the night
    • found his hands and stare
    • arches his back to sit up
    • likes action (TV, dog, mower)
    • “talks” a lot!!! loves to ahhhh, ooooohh, and grunt.
    • LOVES his mobile.
    • smiles A LOT. Has only giggled for us a couple of times. (blowing raspberries on his belly, and putting him high in the air)
    • startled and sometimes scared of loud, sudden noises.

    Fun/Interesting/Weird Things about him:

    • loves to be changed. (I think it is because he gets to be naked)
    • he calms easy when I or Dennis hold him.
    • he keeps his eyes LOCKED on me when I am in the same room with him.
    • LOVES to take a bath now. (He used to despise it)
    • talks in the car.
    • “kisses” with mouth wide open
    • gets excited when I go to pick him up in his crib
    • does NOT like loud, abrupt noises. (air compressor, vacuum cleaner, etc)
    • not interested in toys, but mostly faces
    • has not rolled over yet.
    • does not like to be on his belly.
    • still crooks his foot when he nurses.
    • does great in restaurants & errands.
    • makes funny faces when we put things to taste on his lips. (our personal favorite: lemon) his favorite so far? chocolate. :) (Dennis!!!)
    • loves to be in the same room with us. Will fuss or ‘whine’ when he realizes action is going on in a room he is not in.

    Other than all of these things, that is about all I can remember.


    This is his “kiss.” A mouth wide open! And when you go to give him a kiss, he sticks out his tongue! Smile just lovely.

    Happy 4-month sweet boy!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Gardening. . .

    It might appear that I have been quite deep in thoughts lately. Money thoughts that includes looking at sales ads and comparing them to the coupons I clip every Sunday to save us money while planning a well thought out grocery list to accommodate our weekly menu. And as I plan the menu, I get more and more annoyed at how even though I am planning well to go the store, I am still unhappy with the quality of food that I am bringing home to feed our bodies. Are you serious? To buy organic fruits and vegetables I have to pay nearly DOUBLE the cost?!?!?!? Or to buy organic (hormone/steroid free) chicken I have to pay $5.00 a pound!?!?!? Sigh. What is a middle class, penny pinchin’ woman to do??



    I am not an outdoorsy girl. I like to be INSIDE where it is temperature controlled and comfortable. I don’t like to sweat, I don’t like to do that stuff. But, as this summer is approaching and I have a son that will be eating baby food made my his mom in two short months (at least) I want to give him the very best. Is it the pesticide filled veggies? No! So, I have a solution. Step outside.

    Dennis and I are going to build boxes and place them around our house and fill them with soil and dirt, and then begin to plant some summer time essentials and some food for Daniel when he is ready to eat real food. I went to the library and checked out like 10 or 15 books on gardening to learn that we are too late to plant seedlings- so we are going to a nursery and buy some already started plants. I know close to ZERO about gardening, I don’t even know proper terminology, but I do know that I am willing to try new things for the betterment of our wallet and for the betterment of our bodies. And hopefully it will loosen some money for the higher priced foods that I cannot raise in my back yard.

    Buy a cow? Chicken? Don’t think I have not considered it! ; ) I have thought about it, but let’s not get crazy!

    Pictures to come of our gardening extravaganza!!

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Money. .

    I have been considering the concept of money a lot lately. It is probably rooted out of my conviction that Dennis and I are not as disciplined with it as I know that both of us want to be. So looking through our finances, what we spend our money on, reveals what we think is important.

    We all manage money. Some manage more than others. But we all manage it. Some manage it well, others poorly. Some people find themselves choosing which bill to pay each month but own 2011 model vehicles. Others pay all their bills and drive clunkers or older model vehicles. Some can do both.Some coupon to save, some only shop where the deals are. Some don’t care, and just buy whatever. Some folks can go to the grocery and not use the calculator, some don’t have to budget in how far they can drive that particular week. Some can drive where they want, eat what they want, etc. So, in taking a look at it, I have come to realize that Dennis and I have some non-negotiables  when it comes to spending money.

    1. No credit cards.

    2. tithe check is written first, the full grossed 10%. This is not a brag factor, this is just simply being obedient to what God commands. What we have, He has given.

    3. Pay all bills (in full) first. I say in full because I have heard of people paying half so that they have extra money for other (fun) things.

    4. Budget the rest out between gas and groceries.

    We fall short in one area. We take our extra left over, and we usually eat out. It is BOTH of our weak spots. It’s a treat and we indulge too frequently for our budget. That money should be saved, put away, end of story.

    Is it? No.

    Do I think that we are the worst stewards of money? No, not at all. But, it would make me feel a lot better to put some away. Is it hard to remember that when it is the end of the day, I am tired, and not wanting to face the chore of cooking a meal for two people, to clean and put it all away? eating out usually wins. Granted, we eat at places that are doing deals. Say, Texas Steakhouse does a 2 for $20 meal where you can get two steaks, four sides, rolls and an appetizer! Or… as we did tonight at Famous Anthony’s, they have $1.49 hamburgers. Usually once a week, I bring Dennis lunch at work. I just think that how we spend our money says something about our character. I don’t feel that we should sit on every dime we make, but be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. But having a little money in case of an emergency is smart too. Here’s to having some discipline. Thanks for listening! : )

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Splish Splash….

    Recently, I have started bathing Daniel in the sink. We were having him take his bath with one of us, but the past week for whatever reason did not work out for that, and since I hate bending over the bath tub, I thought I would try the sink. Daniel can’t sit up on his own yet, so I am having to hold him up with one hand and bathe him with the other. Dennis doesn’t understand why I need help. :)



    Daniel’s daddy is a little more relaxed about Daniel relaxing in the sink for a good soak. I was a nervous wreck. I snapped this photo and QUICKLY got him in an upright position.


    After his bath, we get him ready for bed. It always involves him being lotioned up, a baby massage, and his hair combed. We sing and ‘talk’ together while this is happening. This is one of his favorite times, I think



    I really like to spike up his hair because it just looks so ridiculous. And then I comb it down before leaving the room.


    His (almost) 4 month tootsies.


    He REALLY likes to sit up and look around. It’s so fun to watch him grow.


    Total Pageviews