I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Electricity ... the rest of the story

I got an email (I guess blogger has restrictions on who can / can't post a comment?) from someone commenting on some other electric-saving changes that we should consider. They had an excellent point, so I've decided to share with you other "changes" that we had already been living with before our recent crack-down on wasteful spending.


- I do all of my laundry in cold water. The only exception to this is when someone's sick - I use hot (and Clorox 2) to help kill any germs. There's no reason to waste electricity heating water just for laundry. Since I started doing this, probably 7 or 8 years ago, I've found that my stains even come out easier - I guess the warmer water helps to set them. This is actually something my Grandma taught me years ago.

- Something else that helps is to only do full loads of laundry. I read somewhere recently that a full load uses an average of 21 gallons of water to wash/rinse, and a small load uses 14 gallons. This also will save on your water bill (obviously).

- Drying some clothes on a drying rack. I mostly do this with just sweaters - they take so long to dry in the dryer, and sometimes they shrink in there too. If I had a lot of gumption, I'd dry everything on a rack or a clothesline. But we're not allowed to have a clothes line in our development, and inside is just too much work for me, especially these days. Also, I don't like the feel of crunchy clothes, though I have learned with my sweaters that if after they're dry I pop them in the dryer with a dryer sheet for 5 minutes they're soft and static-free!

- The curly-q light bulbs.

- Make sure our air filters are changed four times a year! This makes the furnace/air conditioner not have to work so hard, and it also cuts down on allergens in the house. I never thought this was such a huge issue until we lived in a particular apartment a few years ago. After living there for the better part of a year, a maintenance guy came in and changed it, and when I saw him take the old filter out, I was so grossed out! The stuff stuck to it was AN INCH THICK! Suddenly after that we were getting less sick, and our electric bill actually saw a bit of an improvement too!

- We live in a new townhouse, so it's insulated pretty well, but in previous apartments I'd roll up a hand towel and keep it against the window on each windowsill all winter. This really, really cut down on drafts, and obviously the heating bill too.

- All of our appliances came with the house, and they happen to be Energy Star ones, or at least all the ones I bothered to check are. But when we decided to buy a chest freezer this past year, that was something we paid close attention to - that yellow tag hanging on it saying how much electricity it should cost to run.

- Turn down the heat when we go out-of-town - no point keeping an empty house a beautiful 71 degrees! In one previous apartment, we had oil heat, and were told that it was cheaper to keep it at a constant temperature, though, because it burned more oil to rewarm itself back up than it saved by turning down the heat. But then, that was our oil bill, not our electric bill.


- I've read that we can turn down the temperature on our water heater to 120. Apparently this still gives hot water, but it's not scalding hot. It takes less energy to heat your water if it's not getting quite as hot, duh. This is something we're going to experiment with this coming week.

- I also want to find out if our electric company charges more of electricity during "peak" times of the day. If so, then by all means, I'll make a point to do things like run the dishwasher during "off peak" hours!

- I have looked in the circuit breaker box (which in our house is incredibly accessible) to see what is on what switch. But I still need to check with a girlfriend's husband who's an electrician before I flip the switch to turn off things like our stove and dishwasher. I want to make sure that doing that on a regular basis won't wear out a fuse, or something weird like that.

- My laptop pulls a lot of electricity, and currently it's turned on in the morning before I even have my coffee, and stays on all day till we go to bed. I'm debating changing this and only turning it on two or three times a day (and even unplugging it in between) instead. We'll see, though.... "Hello, my name is Julia, and I'm addicted to the internet!" Aaron keeps telling me that I need a blackberry because of how much I'm online, but I don't want to pay that bill either. Sigh.

- We'd love to switch to solar power, but at this point it's not realistic (or allowed in our development). But this is something that we both want to look into for our next place. I have no idea how much it costs, all I know is that it doesn't take that long (relatively speaking) to recap your costs.

Any other suggestions of what you've done, that you'd like to share with the rest of us who have decided to cut back, save money, and help the environment too?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Electric Bill Savings

As I mentioned several times by now we've made some huge cuts in our spending, and huge increases in our savings recently. I've been anxious to see what difference, if any, some of these changes have actually made. In today's mail was our electric bill - this is one area that we have made a LOT of changes. So, as soon as the boys were in bed tonight, I pulled it out (along with my calculator) and did some number crunching.

This bill cycle started 11 days BEFORE we made any changes, so I've taken that into consideration when doing the math - this is actual math, not guesstimates, though. I broke down the amount LESS the bill is from last month, and divided it by the number of days we were concentrating on using less electricity. This showed the amount we saved each day that we were cutting back (this assumes that the days we weren't cutting back we were using the same amount of electricity we used last month). I then multiplied the amount we saved each day by the number of days in the billing cycle - this showed what the savings would have been if we had adopted this new lifestyle for the entire billing period.

BY 30.38%!!!

So, if last month's bill was an "average" bill
before we made some changes, this would end up being a savings of $528.66 a year!

Of course there are some variables, like how much we run the furnace/air conditioner because of the temperatures outside, etc. But to counter some of those there are a few more areas we have decided we can cut back even further in regards to our energy consumption. One huge drain to our electric bill that unfortunately we can't get rid of is my oxygen concentrator (but at least we unplug it when it's not in use). But that's one huge electric black hole that we have that most people reading this won't.

So, now that you've seen the result, maybe you'd like to know what changes we did. I guess I should first mention that we have always been careful about turning off lights when we leave the room, and we already have the curly-q light bulbs in almost every light socket. Side note - those low emission light bulbs are REALLY bad for the environment, because they have mercury in them. If you ever break one, you MUST have a specialist come clean it up, and that costs hundreds. And coming into contact with mercury can be VERY dangerous, it's even thought to be a possible cause of autism! So be VERY careful!

But back to the real topic at hand: here are our NEW changes:

- We have unplugged EVERYTHING except the refrigerator, chest freezer, one clock, the dryer, stove, dishwasher, and microwave. If we could reach the plugs for the last four things listed then we would have unplugged them too! (I guess we could throw the circuit breaker for them - I'll look into that tomorrow.)

- The washing machine is even on a power strip (we could reach that plug!), and when it's not actually being used, it's turned off.

- Big, complicated things (like the big-screen tv, dvd/vcr, playstation) or (like the printer, two laptops Aaron uses for work, and monitor), these have been put on a power strip. They are turned OFF unless they're specifically being used.

- Aaron has a LOT of cell phones and PDAs for work, this means that there's a LOT of chargers also. So, they've been put on their own power strip, but (because of the logistics of where it's located), they're plugged into an outlet that's controlled by a light switch. So, the light switch is only turned "on" when something's actually being charged.

- Items like the toaster oven, coffeemaker, my phone charger, and laptop are plugged in when they're being used, and unplugged when they're not. This includes before bed each night.

- Since the weather's getting nicer, I turn the heat off first thing in the morning, and we currently turn it back on just before bed. I know this sounds backwards (my mother turns hers on during the day and off at night). But Harrison's still too young to stay covered up at night, and we don't want him to be cold. So during the day we put on a sweater (or two) and slippers, and make do without the heat. I've learned what times of day the sun's rays enter which windows, so their curtains are opened to allow its warmth to warm up the house. We have a storm door on our front door, so opening the inside door also warms up the house.

- During the day (currently from around 8:30 am until around 5:00 pm) we don't use any lights in the house. It's bright enough to see without them. The only exception for this is in the bathrooms since there are no windows! :)

So, maybe you're sitting there thinking first of all that this post is way too long! But secondly, that these changes are way too drastic. Fair enough - don't do them. But as for our household, I am already coming up with fun ways to spend the money we're saving. Well, spend it eventually - since right now we're just saving. And boy, oh boy, are we ever! Aaron and I are actually having a BLAST saving money - I NEVER thought that would be true! When we got the bill today and I did the number crunching, after our happy exclamatory comments, the next words out of BOTH of our mouths were ideas of MORE ways to cut back! I can't wait to see the results of some other changes we've made.

Personal Junkyard

Last Semester (Jan-March) I was part of a Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible Study entitled Walls of Our Heart by Connie Weisel. It was a very enlightening time discussing how when we're hurt by others, if we don't effectively deal with it, we end up building walls around our hearts. The two main types of walls are walls of rejection and walls of rebellion. Without God's intervention, no amount of counseling, self-help book reading, or "positive thinking" will completely remove the wall and the underlying pain. It was an excellent study - incredibly practical while still being incredibly biblically-based. (You can download the actual study for free under the women's ministry link of this website: www.silverdome.org)

This past Tuesday we started a new study (March-May) - You Want Me to Forgive Who? .... Notice a theme here? I don't think that forgiveness is an area that I'm currently struggling with. But these are good topics to begin to learn about BEFORE they're needed! So, I'm taking lots of notes and holding on to them until the time when I will inevitably need them.

I was thinking this morning..... All too often we (you and I) don't deal with our broken-down, rusted-out junk. It just sits there, with weeds growing up around it while we ignore it, pretending it's not there. It can sit there for years until something finally happens to force us to face it and do something about it.
So often we think that the weeds we've allowed to grow so tall hide the junk so it's not noticeable to others. How silly of us! Even if people don't see what's hiding underneath, they can still see the ugly weeds of hardness, coldness, unforgiveness, meanness, anger, rebellion, bitterness, fear, depression, jealousy, loneliness, irritability, low self-esteem, hostility, conceit, wild mood swings, an attitude of superiority, stubbornness, being controlling/ domineering, resentful, unteachable, critical, or manipulative. The weeds are ugly enough themselves!

The process of looking inward at some of the ugliness in our hearts or our past can be painful - sometimes almost unbearable. But it is necessary! The longer we wait to do this form of "spring cleaning" the harder it will be, and the longer it will take. But if we're going to function and be a healthy person inside and out, it's necessary! I've been spending a lot of time in thought and prayer recently trying to find any such "ugliness" inside of me, and asking God to help heal any that's hiding in there.

We need to take the time to let God help remove the painful and ugly junk that's hiding behind the uncontrollable weeds, and then put on some thick gardening gloves while He helps us pull up the weeds by the root also! Just mowing them down isn't enough - they keep growing back! I really, really hate spiders (and bugs of any kind) - the cleaner my house the fewer there are hiding in any corners. It's time to spring clean the cobwebs of my heart/mind/soul. Don't let yours turn into a junkyard either - join me!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Easter Eggs

This evening Alex dyed Easter eggs for the first time ever. I know it's still a bit early, but he found the box of Paas dye I had stashed away somewhere, and had been begging me for more than two weeks to do it! I finally caved in, and he had a blast! I'm thrilled that nothing besides the eggs (and the gloves we ended up putting on) got stained. But we have had some casualties already - we did a dozen eggs, and already three have been dropped (from playing with them too much) and will never recover from the fatal cracks! After Aaron put the camera away, Alex used all the stickers he could find to decorate them. Since I prefer them plain-Jane, I choose not to get the camera back out.

Chocolate World

We had planned to spend today at Aaron's parents' farm, which is 1.5 hours north of us. But, this morning we got a phone call from his dad asking us not to come because he has a horrible bug and was going to spend all day in bed. We were quite disappointed, but grateful that I wasn't exposed to the germs. So, we thought long and hard about something else to do today to have fun. Our brainstorming resulted in the decision to visit ...
... that's right - Hershey's Chocolate World! It's only about 20-25 minute drive from us, and FREE (even the parking!). Alex went once before, probably around the time he learned to walk, so it was definitely time to go again, especially since he's now old enough to remember it. So, Aaron's mom drove down to join us and off we went in search of CHOCOLATE!
Alex was sooo excited that we were going to have a surprise! Once we got there he was simply awestruck by everything he saw and heard. It was really cool to watch him take it all in as I remembered my own childhood experiences at Chocolate World! Since we've instituted a spending freeze recently, we only did the tour/ride, but that was more than enough to excite our four year old! We actually did it THREE times (the third time Virginia and I sat out to save me from the extra walking) before Alex decided he had enough and was ready to go home. Everyone was even given a FREE chocolate Cluster each time we went through!
After the second time doing the ride, we meandered through the shops, and I came across the following display. Since seeing it, I've had the song "I'm a Barbie Girl" stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG! Yeesh!
But it was a good excursion, filled with great memories. And it was FREE to boot!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Finding $$$

One of the components to increasing our savings account balance was "finding money." I am a stay-at-home mom, and for LOTS of reasons, me going out and getting even a part-time job is just NOT an option. So, I decided to find money instead. Here are some ways I have successfully done just that.

1 - CONSIGNMENT - I don't like to throw out things that are perfectly good, so we are big into donating to the Salvation Army. (I always get a receipt, and this ends up equating to HUGE amounts of money back on our federal and state tax returns each year.) But I decided that some things will be sold on consignment instead. I have a box (of clothes that are REALLY nice, but way too small for me) and two bags (of clothes that Harrison's outgrown) collected. I will be taking them to the various local consignment shops. This will not be immediate money, but we have some time. This needs to be done soon.

2 - EBAY - Through the years I have ebayed several really nice things and gotten decent money for them. We have several "big ticket" items that have just sold or will be listed in the near future - things like my breast pump and an old (but still in good condition) Minolta camera with all the fixin's.

3 - CRAIG'S LIST - There are some things that aren't Ebay worthy, or shipping would be a nightmare, so they're getting sold on Craig's List instead.

I think it's important to note that we're not just selling off all of our stuff! We're not doing this to "survive" we're just pulling available resources. The only things that are being sold are things that we really, really don't want or use, but are of some value. I don't want to give the impression that you're gonna drive by and see all of our furniture headed out the door. That's just not the case!

4 - WWW.CASH4BOOKS.NET - They mostly specialize in recent non-fiction (cookbooks, text books, etc.). You go to the website, and just type in the ISBN number (found on the back of your book), and they tell you if they are or aren't currently buying it, and for how much. Once you are finished, you print out a packing slip, and a mailing label (they pay the postage), you stick it in a box, and drop it in the mail. They will send you a check or if you let them deposit it in your paypal account, you get slightly more money for the books.

5 - CANCELLING MAGAZINES - When Aaron and I were first married we didn't get any magazines, we didn't have the money for it. But over the years, spending $10 or $12 on a subscription "hurt less." We now have quite the assortment - Aaron specializes in car magazines and tech ones, and I get decorating and parenting ones. A lot of the magazines we ordered because the name sounded good, but then we ended up being disappointed once they arrived. Last week we went through the stack of what we get, and decided which ones we really, really like, and which ones we don't. I phoned and canceled the ones that didn't make the cut. They are each sending me a check in the mail for "unused" funds - in our case this has really added up! One magazine alone is sending a refund check of $26.00!

6 - GIFT CARDS - Okay, so maybe this isn't finding NEW money, but it's definitely finding money that's not being fully utilized. When we first instituted this saving frenzy, I took inventory of all the gift cards, gift certificates, and reward checks we had floating around this house. We get them for different occasions - birthdays, Christmas, or even the reward certificates I'm mailed from Staples or Hallmark (I'll email more about them later). I added them up, and we had more than $150 worth! Now that I'm more aware of them, my shopping is more centered around them in a different way. For example, I need some more blank note cards, so I should get them from Borders and use up the final $2.59 that I have on a gift card there - if I look I bet I can find a set on sale for that price. That way they'll be FREE for me!

7 - LOOSE CHANGE - Have you ever gathered up all the loose change around your house and counted it? The amount can be simply staggering! When I was in college and on a very tight budget, I made a point NOT to spend my change. That way when my money ran out, and it was still two days till payday, I could put all the change together and still have enough to get a few more gallons of gas, or an ice cream, or catch a movie with the girls. Saving our change has been a habit for more than 10 years now. We currently have less in the house than in months past because a month or two ago we donated all of it to a fundraiser for a local charity (where you fill baby bottles with loose change) - we filled 2.5 bottles! But even since then, we have quite a bit already accumulated. If you decide to do this, DO NOT use one of those coin counting machines at the grocery store - they charge you a percentage. What a waste!

Well, those are my ideas so far for FINDING money. I'll post later ways we have saved money, and even ways to get things totally free! Do you have any ideas you wanna share with me/everyone else who reads this blog for how and where to find money?

Where there's a will, there's a spreadsheet

A couple weeks ago, after the boys were in bed Aaron and I sat down and talked about our goals for the next 3-6 months. These discussions used to be quite regular between us, but with my illness hitting crisis mode in February of 2008, they took a sabbatical. They were first replaced with trying to survive each second, then each minute, hour, and so on. Finally time/goals were thought of in terms of each specific day, then each week, then FINALLY each month. The recent evening was the first time in probably a year or two that we discussed our 3 and 6 month plans and goals. It was so refreshing not to be so weighted down with the present that we were able to look that far ahead. We know where we want to be 5 and 10 years from now, and the events of this past year or so haven't really changed that. We've just been detoured, so we're figuring out new paths to take to still get where we want to be.

Anyway. We have been praying for some time about some possible changes that might take place before the end of 2009. (Please join us in praying about them, whether or not you're one of the few who know specifically what they might be.) If these changes take place, then it would be helpful if there was more in our savings account than there is currently.

So, where there's a will, there's a spreadsheet! We took a serious look at our spending/saving habits, and have made drastic changes. Currently we've agreed to our "new budget" during March and April. At the end of April we'll see what kind of progress we've made to the balance of our savings account. We're both hoping to stretch this spending freeze and saving frenzy into the late Spring and early Summer months also. But we started with just an eight week commitment. We thought that if we saw an end date, then some of the drastic changes we instituted would be easier. But, we hope that once we get used to a new way of living/spending it'll be easier to keep it up.

Of course I'm not going to tell you the nitty-gritty specifics of our budget, but if we can do this, then we'll be able to live (as a family of 4) on ONE of Aaron's paychecks, and completely SAVE the other one each month. We're now several weeks into this lifestyle change, and so far we're doing GREAT - our bank account is growing faster than we thought it would! God's even been providing in new ways that more than compensate for some of our "sacrifices." I'm planning over the next couple weeks to let you know some of the changes we've made, and tricks we've learned/figured out.


Another fortune cookie from Sunday:

Be patient: in time,
even an egg will walk.

(not my photo either.)

Chinese Buffet

From a fortune cookie this past Sunday...

If you want the rainbow,
you have to tolerate the rain.

True, so very true!

(by the way - i didn't take this photo. wish i had, though.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Finally .... evidence of SPRING !!!
(even though it's noon and only 36 outside)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just what I needed to hear

I've been tired lately - just plain tired. My house is a wreck, my floors are filthy, my kids just ran out of clean clothes .... and I'm too tired to do anything about it. I phoned the doctor's office earlier this week (about something else), and was asked how I'm doing. I had to answer honestly - I'm just plain exhausted AGAIN!

This time I think it's because I lost (and kept off) 6 pounds from when I was walking on the treadmill in January. I don't have the energy to even LOOK at the treadmill at the moment, let alone get on it! So, I lost the weight, and now my medicine's slightly more potent (there's an extremely fine line with these drugs between helpful dosages and harmful ones).

But at my last appointment, the doctor told me that if this "doesn't work" then I'm going to have to be readmitted to the ICU in Pittsburgh and switched to a different iv medicine. I really don't want to do that - I don't want to EVER have to face another ICU unit! But, if he tells me to, then I will. I think that my medicine just needs to be bumped down a little bit. But so far he's refused to do that. Anyway - the doctor's out of the office this week, so I'm going to have to wait till next week to see what his response is. So as I wait I'm a bit nervous. I've been praying about it A LOT, and am trusting God to give him wisdom as what to do or what not to do. But, the waiting game isn't always easy.

In today's mail was a card, on which was printed exactly what I needed to hear today. Here are the words:

Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. I pray that you will fill it with blessings for this one who is special to you and to me. Bring peace, joy, hope - all the good things you have to give. May your presence be felt in each moment because you are always near and you love us so much! (And inside is written.....) The Lord's love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22,23 (NCV)

I think it's not a coincidence that such encouraging words of God's love and mercies are written in the book who's whole theme is "lamentations" - the act of expressing grief. Even in the midst of sadness, wailing and mourning, we're supposed to "stop and smell the flowers" and remember anew that each and every day we can see the hand of our almighty and MERCIFUL God as He pours out His limitless LOVE for us. Even though I'm tired, and sad that I don't have the energy I had six weeks ago, I'm still supposed to look for the GOOD God's pouring out in my life.

This card has given me enough encouragement to keep going - at least for today. Tomorrow I'll keep my eyes open for how God will show His love/mercy to me. Thank you, dear one, for following God's prompting and sending it to me, and posting it when you did. God's timing is always perfect!

Mommy's Little Helper

So, the boys and I just got back from the grocery store. Alex begged and begged to help carry in the groceries. As visions of broken eggs danced in my head, I reluctantly agreed. So, I carried Harrison (in the car seat) inside, and quickly went back outside to supervise. This is the image with which I was greeted. Perhaps our TIMID Alex is finally starting to grow out of that phase?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Love Affair Rekindled

We've now been living in our townhouse for 22 months, and TODAY I finally steamed the last of our curtains. Pathetic - I know! But at least it's finally done. Ever since childhood I've been a procrastinator - this is a trait that I've worked hard to change. In some areas I've succeeded. Apparently my wrinkled curtains is not one such area.

The final curtains to be tackled were the ones in our bedroom - they're 100% silk (except for the white inner-lining), which would make them a pain in the derriere to iron. When we moved in, and friends helped us hang the curtain rods, (I wasn't thinking and) we based the height of the rods in that room on where the windows were, rather than hanging the curtains on the rods to make sure the length was okay. Sure enough - the curtains were ONE INCH too long! Rather than drill new holes in the walls (and have to patch/paint the wrong holes), I decided we'd just shorten the curtains by an inch. With the craziness of life they never got shortened - until last month when my mother kindly obliged me and ended the seemingly endless procrastination. In my own defence (in regards to the wrinkles, not the length problem), I didn't want to steam them while they were still dragging on the floor - they'd just wrinkle again.

But since they are now an appropriate length, I finally pulled out my magnificent, proficient, inexpensive steamer - which incidentally is the ONLY thing I've ever bought from QVC. As Harrison took his morning nap, and Alex watched Caillou on the TV in our bedroom, I fell in love once again with my amazing steamer.

FINALLY - 22 months after moving in, the LAST item is crossed off my moving to-do list. And wouldn't you know it, Aaron and I have both been daydreaming about our NEXT house for several months already. Hopefully THOSE curtains won't take as long to be de-wrinkled now that my love affair with my steamer has been rekindled.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Playground Trip this Season

Spring is finally in the air in Central Pennsylvania, and today was supposed to be 58 and sunny. It's sunny alright, but the thermometer seems to have gotten stuck just a tad over 50. Since it's so beautiful outside, I decided to meet up with a girlfriend who was going to a local park/playground. I still don't have the energy/stamina to chase Alex around a playground (and now I have two kids to keep up with!), so the fact that I wouldn't be "alone" was motivation in and of itself! Her kiddos are 4 and 3, and Alex seems to get along with them quite well. So, when I told him we were going to meet Billy and Toni at the playground, he was more than excited!

I often regret that my being sick means that Alex misses out on some of the "normal" things of childhood - like going to the park while Daddy works, or building a snowman with his mom. So, when other people invite me to join them I jump at the chance. I just hope that they don't think I'm a lazy mom who wants them to do my job and "babysit" my kids - I don't. It's just less overwhelming knowing I'm not alone if I suddenly hit the wall of exhaustion.

Anyway - the kids had a fabulous time, and so did we mommies. There were probably 10 moms there with all of our kids in tow - at least all the kids that weren't in school. One wonderful woman (who I met for the first time today) even took Harrison for a very long walk in the stroller to help him fall asleep. What an angel she was! Here are a few snapshots of today's fun. Thank you, Katie for the invite!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Faith of Abraham

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed ... just as it had been said to him ... (w)ithout weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead.... Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:18-21)

My hope is that I can live up to his example.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


These pics were taken yesterday at my brother(in-law) Field's birthday celebration.

Friday, March 13, 2009


One of the virtues of being very young is that you don't let the facts get in the way of your imagination.
(Sam Levenson)

Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.
(Jamie Paolinetti)

Museum 4 Me

Museum 4 Me, located in Lemoyne, PA is a hands-on children's museum focused on learning through play. It was started by a former elementary school teacher who's also a young mom. Today the MOPS ladies met there for a playdate, and though it was my first time going, the boys had a blast - I did too! Check out their website: http://museum4me.com

Here are some photos:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is the dawning of the Age of Independence

... Okay, so he's only 12 months, maybe it's just the beginning of the dawn...

Harrison has suddenly gotten extra curious lately, which translates as more messes for me to clean up. But I'm so excited that he's interested in his environment and just beginning to want to do things for himself. (I really can't wait for him to walk - I'm serious!) We need to be super careful and QUICK when we open the fridge door 'cause he recognizes the sound of the door opening, and before we know it he's climbed inside! Here are three pics we snapped within the past week.

Uh oh. The toy puppy's gonna eat my cheese!I almost didn't add this photo because my pantry is so disorganized at the moment, but I absolutely love his resourcefulness in getting a "step stool" to reach higher!Look, Mom, I'm getting lunch all by myself. Yummy meatballs!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chocolate Heaven

Once a month I crave chocolate. Growing up I always thought women who said that were crazy. That was until I got married and started birth control pills. My hormones have been forever changed. I know I'm not alone in this insatiable craving, because when I mentioned the idea of a Chocolate Fountain Party to the six other ladies at my MOPS table, everyone willingly freed up their calendars and came. No one seemed to mind that it was at 9:30 in the morning, and all the kids were running around our feet in my small (cramped) townhouse - pulling out every toy they could find in between trips of their own to the glorious fountain of abandonment!
Aaron had our digital camera with him on the ski trip in Utah, so some of the ladies helped out and brought theirs. These photos were taken by Kiersten (except for the one she's in ... I'm not sure who took that one, but I know it was with her camera anyway). Thank you, dearie!
Everyone had an amazing time - who wouldn't when there's unlimited chocolate involved! My fountain is available if anyone wants to borrow it. Though I'll forewarn you in advance, it tastes MUCH BETTER if you buy my mother-in-law's chocolate to melt in it (she owns a chocolate company). YUMMY!