Apr 27, 2012

I'll Say It Again...I'm In Love

I know I've ranted about this before...but man oh man do I LOVE my Marketbasket grocery store.  T in greenville who pays $100 for an organic apple will probably shed a tear and my sister will want to ring my neck but I just HAVE to share!  This is not an opportunity for you to judge my grocery purchasing habits, but it's intended to make a true believer out of anyone doubting the Marketbasket Way!

Here's what I bought today (We're having people over to help clear land and feeding them a hearty, perhaps not so healthy, BBQ so I bought quite a few extra/processed/namebrand things that would not normally be on my list! I was a little worried I was going to blow the budget, but was pleasantly suprised!):

1pk english muffins
2 loaves bread (whole wheat, whole grain, no HFCS)
12 Hamburger buns
20 hot dog buns
12 deli bulky rolls

long grain wild rice
rice pilaf

3lb sweet potato
1 cucumber
1 bag carrots
1 onion
Sugar snap peas

4lbs apples
1 watermelon
1 cantaloup
1 1/2lbs red seedless grapes
2lbs bananas

Chicken (drumsticks)
1lb Organic ground beef
16 hotdogs
1lb honey roasted turkey breast (2.99/lb!!!)
1/2lb swiss cheese
1/2lb american cheese

5lb sugar
powdered sugar
chocolate chips

unsalted butter
2 4pks of pillsbury biscuits (we make cinnamon rolls out of these every saturday :)
two frozen pizza doughs
4c shredded mozzarella cheese
24pk cheese sticks
extra sharp block cheese
24oz cottage cheese
8 yogurts
1 gallon milk

2 big bags potato chips
Kettle corn microwave popcorn
2 boxes of graham crackers
3 boxes of cereal

Sunsweet prune juice
Dole Orange Pineapple Banana Juice
2 12pks namebrand soda
1 12pk geary's

Two half gallons of ice cream
1pkg 12ct. Edy's fruit popcicles
1pkg 12ct.  ice cream bars

Are you ready for the GRAND total!?

Tell me that is not AMAZING!  I mean, I shop once a week and generally spend well under $100 each week if I'm doing our normal list.  I really don't know what I'd do if they ever went out of business!?  Or if I ever moved to a location where groceries weren't so cheap.  Our whole budget would be shot!  I'm couting my blessings for sure!

Apr 15, 2012

Oh What a Glorious Weekend!

Here is our weekend review in pictures.
I am a blessed woman!

First of all, I'm 28 weeks!  And whilst I may be feeling quite large and in charge already (and I whilst I may have recently had a moderate to severe emotional meltdown in the middle of a Maternity store over prices and fit and color choices) I really am very blessed.  My pregnancy is uneventful.  I am healthy, fit and feeling great!

On Friday my hubby took the day off to do this with a good friend.  It is good for his soul.  The fishing, and the fellowship.  It makes me happy to see him so happy!  And then he took me on a lovely date with delicious food at a sweet little Inn with a lovely walk along the ocean to boot!

On Saturday we hiked this lovely little mountain.  It was GLORIOUS!  Our little hiker packed her pockets full of treasure, found sticks to tap together as she marched and sang along the trail, gathered firewood at the top, and ran and ran until she was plum tuckered out! 

When we got to the bottom we discovered that, even though Jason had diligently remembered to put the keys in his pocket before he locked the van, the keys he put in his pocket were the ones to the car.  Joy.  We had a fun little time coming up with creative ways to pass the 1/2 hour at the trail head whilst we waited for Grandma to come rescue us with my set of keys.  A HUGE thank-you to her!

BUT, on our way home from the hike we picked up this gem off the side of the road for free!  SCORE!  It will be great for indoors during winter, especially for little Josiah!

And later Ella helped daddy measure, cut, nail and build.  I think this is THE sweetest thing.  She LOVES it!

And it's not just humoring her, she really is quite a handy little lady.  While daddy was busy, she started pounding nails into this boar all on her own accord and actually did a few by herself!  (Don't worry, I was supervising from afar but letting her feel independent and all grown up.)

 Then a quick but wonderful visit from Auntie Jen and Uncle Greg.  She got to stay up late to show them her trike riding skills and get an extra story from Auntie. 

Then we watched Jen and Greg run their first triathlon of the year. (My sister's in the green and blue, about to pass the guy in the front.)  Ella actually was into watching for them and clapping for them this time...as well as kicking her soccer ball, drawing with sidewalk chalk, riding her trike and collecting sticks.

AND on the way home from the tri we picked this up off the side of the road for free!  Double SCORE!  She's cruising on this already!

And on this glorious Sunday we spent LOTS of time outside and got lots done.  I love that we live where Ella can run free...soak herself with water and strip down to her undies and stompin' boots and have not a care in the world!

 I love that we have little wetholes that she likes to explore, slosh in, scoop water, frog hunt and find...

 some sweet frog eggs!  (I like to think that we're raising quite a catch as far as future wives go.  C'mon, she's beautiful, smart, creative, funny, loves the outdoors, hiking, fishing, camping, snakes, frogs, dirt, rocks, sticks, but her future hubby will still have a chance to feel like the manly protector because she does run like a streak of lightning, screaming at the top of her lungs, whenever she see's a spider...that may or may not have been some of my unintentional influence ;)

And even though our yard currently looks like this...

and this...I am breathing deeply and telling myself it's on it's way to beautiful.  Jason has been clearing and cutting and splitting and hauling to make way for a real yard.  And if all goes as planned we may just have someone coming to make that dream come true this summer.  Y'all can pray for that!

And even though the yard is in a shambles...I am thankful for this land.  I am thankful for this garden and the ability to weed and water it!

 I am thankful for this propogation box my hubby built me so that I can propigate me some loverly shrubs.

 I am thankful for these strawberry plants from a friend that I'm growing in a container because we're not planting a garden because we're hoping that our whole yard will be torn apart and made new again this season!

And I am thankful for this super fun big swing that my hubby made and my daughter loves!
Hoping you all have enjoyed the weekend as much as we did!

Apr 12, 2012

What's In A Name?

We have indeed decided on a name.  Humor me whilst I draw the suspense out a tad longer.  It's hard to pick a name, here's why:
-We both have to love it.
-It has to go well with our last name (ps: we figured out that a one syllable first name sounds weird with a one syllable last name.  Really...just try it and say it out loud.  Wierd.)
-It has to go with Ella.  (Think about how many times you'll be telling people what our kids names are, thus saying their names at the same time.  They kind of have to go together.  I'm SO not into the rhyming thing, but you can't name your kids like John and Sheniqua.  Okay, I guess you technically CAN if you want to, but it just doesn't work.)
-It has to go with the middle name (And we've known the middle name with 100% certainty for EVER.) 
-We prefer it not be SUPER popular amongst our immediate friends (because it makes for really confusing playdates if everyone's yelling the same name).
-We really want it to have meaning.

So, without further adu, here is our sweet baby's name:
Josiah Roy York

You don't have to love it.  You don't even have to like it.  In fact, you can hate it for all I care.  We adore it!

Roy was my father's name.  He died in a plane crash when I was a few months shy of 4 years old.  He was, by all accounts (not just remembering the good and glorifying a person because they're gone) a man who first and foremost loved the Lord and had a deep heart for the lost.  He was a wonderful husband, fabulous daddy, providor for his family and no doubt a rockin' son, brother, uncle and friend.  I was over the moon when we learned we were having a boy because I always wanted to be able to keep my father's name alive.

Josiah is a beautiful name that isn't too popular and goes well with Ella dontchathink?  But the real reason we picked it is because of the Biblical person of Josiah.  If you don't know about the life of this man it's worth a read in 2 Kings 21-23 and 2 Chronicles 34-35. 

Josiah was a light amongst the darkness.  His father and grandfather forsook the Lord and built false idols and gave their kingdom over to all kinds of wickedness.  Josiah became king of Judah at 8 years old.  And even though he clearly did not have an upbringing of knowing and loving the Lord, when he heard his Word he knew it to be truth.  He tore his clothes in grief over what the nation had become and went to work restoring it.  He righted all the wrongs done before him.  This boy king turned his whole nation back to God.  He also was fair and kind and giving to even the lay people in his country.  It is written of him:

"Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him."  2 Kings 23:25

A man after God's own heart.  A man who stands up for what's right.  A man who has compassion for poeple.  A man who leaves an unprecidented legacy of loving the Lord.  That is the kind of man we pray OUR Josiah will be as well.  That is what's in a name!   

Apr 6, 2012

Seize the Moment with Tender Hearts

I don't think any heart is too young to start learning spiritual truths.  In fact, the younger the better.  The younger the heart, the more tender, the more curious, the more pure, the more soft. 

It has always been our desire to teach Ella about our Lord and Savior from a very young age.  And a post my friend Amy wrote the other day reminded me that I wanted to share what we've been doing.  We've always said that we want Easter to be as big as Christmas.  Of course Christmas is big...if our Savior was never born then what?  But think for a moment about Easter.  If Jesus never died and ROSE AGAIN...then he was just another man...not our savior at all.  THAT is why Easter is just as big in our book...if not bigger.  Because He DID die for our sins and he DID conquer death and rise again!

We want Ella to grasp that.  To know that.  And the Lord is answering our prayers in that.  I don't feel like Jason and I do enough, teach enough, set good enough examples.  But the Lord is blessing our intentions and answering our prayers even so.  Because that's what God does.  He knows we're not perfect and delights in us anyway!

This is how my conversation with Ella went yesterday:
ME: Ella, why do we celebrate Easter?
ELLA: Because of Jesus.
ME: But what abot Jesus?  What did Jesus do?
ELLA: He died on a cross.
ME: Why?
ELLA: For you and for me.  For the bad things we do.
ME: Did he stay dead?
ELLA: "NO!" exclaimed with great animation and eyes growing wide, "HE'S ALIVE!!!"
ME: And where is He now?
ELLA: He went up to heaven to sit with God.

Oh how happy that makes my heart.  And while only God knows how much she fully comprehends, the seeds are there.  They are planted.  That is the responsibility we've been given.  I know we will water them, and with God's grace, they will grow. 

Are we one of those families that thinks anything having to do with candy, eggs, and bunnies is evil? Oh no my friends!  I believe life is all about making sure the solid foundation is there and having a healthy balance! We've dyed easter eggs, made egg nest treats, made flowers, made string eggs to hang on our "Easter Tree", colored pictures of bunnies etc. She'll be doing an egg hunt and getting an Easter Basket.  Granted, she knows there is no Easter Bunny, that the basket comes from Mommy & Daddy...but let me tell you...that does NOT take away any excitement!  She's so excited about it she nearly pees her pants every time we talk about it! She asks every day how far away Easter is!

So in case you'd like to know what works for us, here's some of the things we are doing and resources we've found that we love: 
This is a really good book for 15mo-2years.  Ella still likes it at 3yo too.  It presents the REAL Easter message in a great, simple, rhyming way with great pictures. (And Easter Gift for Me, by Crystal Bowman)
An Easter Gift for Me [Book]
Here is a little more in depth devotion/book that I'd say is for mature 3year olds and up.  Ella loves it this year.  Is intrigued and can pretty much put the pictures in order at the end and retell the Easter story all by herself! (Read and Share: The Story of Easter.  By: Gwen Ellis) 
The Story of Easter [Book]
Also, our daughter LOVES Berenstain Bears.  The newer ones are better in my opinion and here's one that her daddy got her when he was away on a work trip that she just adores AND it clearly tells the Easter Message.  (The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story)
The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story [Book]
This is the Bible that we LOVE (Read and Learn Bible from Scholastic).  It is perfect for her right now.  The Bible stories are accurate, broken down into language and length that are just right and hold her attention and have colorful pictures she likes.  We read one Bible story during dessert each night as "Family Devotion Time" and it's a big hit.  She always asks us to keep reading another one and we excitedly tell her she has to wait for tomorrow to build the anticipation.  The gleam in her eye as she looks forward to it is priceless!
Read And Learn Bible [Book]
We are doing resurrection eggs again this year and she loves it.  We simplify the explanation to her level and try to make it interactive.  She loves opening the eggs to see what's inside and she can generally tell you what each one means and it's part in the Easter Story!
Resurrection Eggs
We are also doing resurrection rolls which are so great, so easy and so yummy!  This blog also has one gazillion other Christ Centered Easter crafts too!
Pinned Image

Apr 4, 2012

Kisses from Katie

If you do not know about this woman, you need to DROP what you are doing right now and go READ HER BLOG.  I cannot even put into words how AMAZING she is, how much she inspires me.  It does not matter what faith you are...or even if you say you don't have a particular belief system...you will be captivated, engrossed, challenged, and inspired.  Guaranteed!
The gist that I've gathered since discovering her a few days ago:
~2006 Went to Uganda for 1st time when she was 18 years old.
~2007 Returned the following year to teach kindergarden in Uganda
~2008 started a child sponsorship program sending orphaned children to school
           started a non profit called Amazima Ministries International
           became a mother to three orphaned girls.
~Presently, something like 23 years old, lives in Uganda and is mother to 14 orphaned girls, and is the executive director of Amazima Ministries which sends 400 children to school, feeds 1,600 children, reaches out to community including classes, health training, gardening, vocational training and in doing so brings the love of Christ!

Find out about Amazima Ministries International HERE.  Her blog is honest, graphic, challenging, tear-jerking, and awe inspiring.  In my humble opinion you MUST at least follow it.  I am moved to also read her book and give to her ministries work!