Saturday, November 30, 2013

Twenty1

Accomplishing goals and completing what one sets out to do is always exciting. 

{reading the Bible in 90 days}
{exercising and getting back to pre-baby weight}
{10 day sugar fasts}

Have you completed a goal recently? Or are you in the midst of trying to accomplish something? 

{pinterest inspired Christmas-crafting with sisters}

Now we're saying farewell, November! And with its passing marks the completion of our Twenty1 blog challenge. I've definitely had to push myself at times (but that's what goals are for, right?) and I've really enjoyed hearing from you, too -- so thanks for taking the time to chime in!

Looking ahead, December will find its days full of baking, celebrating four years of marriage, traveling, and getting to spend time with family -- so it will be quieter around here in the coming days. Yet I'm excited about continuing to blog in the coming year. Adventure awaits! [smile]



Be happy for this moment.
This moment is your life.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

{heart attitude}


"I will give thanks to you, O Lord, 
among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.


For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalms 57:9-10




 We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks, for Your name is near.


We recount Your wondrous deeds.

Psalms 75:1

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

something yellow


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

my purse

My purse currently has fun playing with the balance of being a purse and also a diaper bag. [grin] 


Currently tucked inside you'll find:
-wallet
-key chain
-diapers
-wipes
-snack of nuts and dried fruit
-my journal
-three pens
-chap stick
-random bobby pins
-starbucks gift card
-old receipts
-a few stray coupons

{And a bunch more items are about to be added as we prepare to head to my grandparents house to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. Oh, happy weekend ahead! Do y'all have plans or get to spend extra time with family?}

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Small beginnings

Along with seeing piles of blue and orange clothes in wee lil' sizes pile up and hoping to freeze a bunch of  meals after Christmas travels, I've enjoyed working with Arianna as she grows and wants to be included. It's fun to watch her smile of delight as she learns something new and feels like such a big helper. She knows where the forks and spoons go and loves singing together as we unload the dishwasher. I've also taught her where the wastebasket and laundry hamper are on each floor (and is usually prompt when asked to put something on one of those places!)

I've found it helpful to store her toys in her room both in open baskets and closed containers; the open baskets are nice for when she's playing by herself and makes for easy clean up. The closed containers are nice as she needs my help to get them open and shut -- which makes for perfect opportunities to work with her on making sure other toys are picked up before getting something new out! (Here's hoping that little routines become habits as she gets older!) {smile} 

I'm eagerly awaiting the time when I can watch her with a baby brother. I've already seen her play and doing such sweet things with her lil' dolly that I've done with her!
{melt-this-mommy's-heart}

To other mom's out there: how do you include toddlers in chores around the house? And is there anything you've found helpful in preparing older siblings for a new baby? I'd love to hear your two cents worth!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Favorite smiles


I just love this little grin.

I tend to get nostalgic when I watch Arianna and realize she's not a baby anymore... yet its been a delightful adventure watching her personality develop, too.



Her increasing vocabulary makes me laugh and realize how quickly she is growing: earlier this week while she watching out the window for Daddy, I asked her if she could see him.

"Nope. Not yet," was her matter of fact reply. As if she's been talking like a grown up for years instead of random moments scattered throughout the day.  [smile]


Happy weekend, folks! 
Hope it's simply lovely!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday

A few weeks ago we were having some computer issues and in the midst of trying to get everything up and working again, it appears I've lost all the photos stored on my external hard drive ('only' candid photos from the past seven years).  Though the outcome of recovering the photos is still up in the air,  you can imagine my excitement at discovering an important portion of those photos on a forgotten hard drive! Yay!

{coloring pictures with my sister, Elizabeth}

I'm so thankful for old photos and the crazy good memories they bring back...how 'bout you?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

a bit of string

Our new house has been such a blessing and I'm so thankful for the additional space we have. I'm still in the midst of figuring out some decorating details, but I look forward to eventually posting more pictures of our new place!

For now...here's a little glimpse of the latest project I completed for our dining room wall, inspired by ideas I saw on Pinterest



A few cardboard letters...
twine...
a glue gun and lots of glue sticks...
a bit of patience...
uninterrupted time while my lil' girlie napped...

(sorry; no mid-process pictures due to sticky fingers and being tangled up in string!)



And here is my latest wall art! {grin}

I was also thrilled to find this wire basket as I really dislike having paper and mail laying around on my table and kitchen counters. Now when I'm not sure if I should pitch paperwork or not, in it goes to my handy-dandy basket until Dan gets a chance to look through it!

In the event you decide to try wrapping letters of your own -- here are a few things I found helpful:

-begin with the simplest letter as you attempt
to get the hang of it

-put the glue on a bit wide, and wrap three strands around at once (this is a huge time saver!)

-the string going around the back does not need to be perfectly straight and is a good place to begin/end extra strings of twine. But do watch the front and make sure it is straight all the way across!


The letters were on sale at my craft store, so all said and done this cost less than $10 and took just over 90 minutes.


Now...what project to tackle next? 
Decisions, decisions. {smile}

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Supper is served

Something about this colder weather calls for a creamy bowl of soup -- and what's better than letting it cook in the crock pot all day allowing delicious smells to waft through the house?! Tonight I made corn chowder for the first time, and served it up with pumpkin bread and salad with my favorite olive oil vinaigrette. Yay for easy and delicious slow cooker recipes!

And as of yesterday, we are now owners of a small deep freeze -- which has me all excited about being able to do more freezer cooking. Thus far I've only had the small freezer above our fridge, so though I occasionally plan to freeze meals, more often than not I buy meat in bulk when its on sale, thus limiting how much space I have for actual prepared meals.

But now I'm on the hunt for fabulous freezer meal ideas! (Excellent timing, don't you think? I'm hoping to have a variety of meals prepped and in the freezer before baby comes). We have a few favorites that freeze well, but if you have experience and suggestions, I'd love to hear from you!

What are some of your favorite freezer meal ideas? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Corrie tenBoom

I can't remember when I first read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie tenBoom, but I do remember being challenged and inspired by her story (and was soon devouring any book I could find by her!)

Disappointment in love as a young lady...surviving concentration camps and all that entails...being separated from and losing many family members... I can't even begin to recount all she endured and suffered in her life (nor do I want to spoil her story for you, if you haven't read it).

What amazes me is that through it all, Corrie used each experience to draw closer to Christ.  Instead of closing herself off and shutting herself up in pain -- time and time again she cried out for mercy and strength, continually making herself vulnerable and never ceasing to love the people God brought into her life.  What a testimony and example.

A few of my favorite "Corrie quotes":



EVERY experience God gives us,
EVERY person He puts in our lives,
is the PERFECT preparation for the future that only He can see.
__________________________

Child, it is not as much what happens, but how we take it that is important. God is watching to see whether we allow the problems to defeat us, or whether we will go through them in His strength, being made stronger for the next problem and ultimately for the final end battle. .. everything that happens to us in life is training for the work we will do next.
__________________________

The deepest fellowship with Him lies not 
in resisting when suffering comes our way, 
but in going through it resolutely with Him.  
-Pamela Roswell
  (Corrie's companion and care-taker during the last several years of her life)

__________________________

Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.
__________________________


Any concern to small to be turned into a prayer
 is too small to be made into a burden.
__________________________


Faith sees the invisible,
believes the unbelievable, 
and receives the impossible.
__________________________


We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answers. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God's work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.
__________________________


In the event you are curious to read more about her life and ministry, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
































Friday, November 15, 2013

happily ever after


The problem with a good marriage is 
that no matter how long you live, 
how many years you're married 
and how much fun you have,
it's still not enough: 
you always wish for longer. 

-CN

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day by day

My morning starts with the alarm going off. After quickly getting ready for the day, its time to make breakfast, pack a lunch for my hard working man, and get Arianna up and ready for the day. After breakfast, I kiss my man as he walks out the door then its time to clean the kitchen before sitting down to read my girlie a few stories and have some focused time with her.

From there, I might tackle a decorating project, cleaning project, or whatever else is on my to-do list! I'm a huge fan of lists, by the way, but I've learned they can be both helpful and yet have disadvantages, too.

Some days a list is the perfect thing to keep me motivated. (Or jog my memory in the event I can't remember what I'm supposed to tackle next!)

Then there are the days when Ari wakes up with a fever. Or the day fills up with unexpected tasks. Or the mornings when I'm an over-achiever and my list is full of ideal wishes instead of realistic goals. Or a thousand and one other things. Either way, the list gets neglected and looking at it at the end of the day is discouraging cuz' even though it was a full day, the list shows no change! {smile} 

So I've been trying to find this balance between making plans and being diligent, but at the same time remaining unruffled and flexible when plans go awry.


How can you care enough to try, but no so much that you lose it when you fail?

How can you be motivated to work hard on something that will, in all likelihood, fall apart sometime in the near future? [laundry? cleaning? etc...]

How can you aspire to have a productive day, but hold it loosely when it doesn't happen?

How can you both work diligently on a to-do list and cheerfully lay it down when you are interrupted?


I've been so blessed by these questions from Rachel's "Fit to Burst".  Even though I don't have all the answers, they are worth pondering as I learn to embrace each day for its own beauty.




"Day by day, and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trails here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure, 
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

-Carolina Berg

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Psalms 139:14, 16

"I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Wonderful are Your works!
My soul knows it very well.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance...
the days that were formed for me, 
when as yet there was none of them."


I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; 

for to have been THOUGHT about, 

BORN in God's thought, 

and then MADE by God, 

is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.


-George MacDonald

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#29weeks

{I'm lovin' seeing the pile of baby blue and orange items grow!}

We've been doing some Christmas shopping the past several days and it's made me realize that with Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities and travels in the coming weeks, I'll probably blink and find out that it's already January! I'm not due till the end of the month, but I can't wait to meet this lil' fellow!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sometimes

...it takes more effort to see through what happens from day-to-day and find the blessings!


{handwriting fun}


...as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him
...abounding in THANKSGIVING.

Colossians 2:6-7

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Recent Reads

If reading board and flip-flap books to Ari counts, I've read more books in the last few months than the previous few years put together! She has her favorites that are now committed to my memory; I could probably quote them in my sleep, if necessary. {smile}

Currently, I'm about to finish "Fit to Burst" by Rachel Jankovic. After reading each chapter, I feel like I need to re-read the same chapter...both now...and again in a few months...and at least once a year! At the same time, it's SO GOOD (and encouraging and convicting and totally refreshing) that I can't wait to read the next chapter and hate having to put the book down.


Written from a busy mother's heart, this book is full of simple truths, calling us to faithfulness and finding our sufficiency in Christ -- and I can't recommend it highly enough. (Her first book, "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches" is also one of my favorites).



 "Craft a Day" was a fun 'library' find...
and not that I've had opportunity to actually make something from it, but its fun to flip through the pages! Lots of creative hands on ideas that will be fun with Ari before much longer. 



After reading bits here and there for the past several months, I've almost completed "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day." I've thoroughly enjoyed it -- my lack of progress is not due to lack of interest, that's for sure! Something to do with daily responsibilities seems to cut down on the time I have to read...


I've also been skimming baby name books and recently listened to Jane Austen's "Persuasion" on audio book (its always fun to pull out an old classic every once in a while!) 



What are you currently reading?

And for bonus points:
Grab the book nearest you and turn to page 32, paragraph 3. 
Copy the second sentence in the comments and let us all get a smile out of the random blurbs, insight, and humor that gather! 

{grin}

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Esther's Sunshine Rolls


I think the first time I had these was at my wedding rehearsal...and I've been super lucky ever since to see them appear at various Beasley family get togethers. Warm from the oven, there is no way I'm stopping after just one...or two...

Actually, I purposely lose count (or purpose not to count), so who knows how many I really eat?!?

And the first time I heard what was in them, I was amazed. They don't taste pumpkin-y, but something about that pumpkin makes them super delish, moist, fluffy, delectable...okay. Gotta' stop. My mouth is watering!


Esther's Sunshine Rolls

1 cup pumpkin
1.5 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon salt
5-6 1/2 cups flour (I use a mixture of wheat and white)


Add yeast to the warm water then mix in 1 1/2 cups flour. Add butter, pumpkin, honey, and salt and mix till well blended. Slowly add the rest of the flour a cup at a time (or until dough is no longer sticky and pulls away from the edges of the bowl). Knead for five minutes, then cover and let it rise for 30 minutes (or until doubled in size).


Form dough into golf ball sized portions. With a knife, take a slab of butter and 'smash' it it in the top of the roll then fold the edge of the dough over it (this should take an additional 1/4 cup butter, depending on how sparing or generous you are with your butter slices!) Place on baking sheet. Let rise for thirty minutes or until doubled in size. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 14-15 minutes.

{ENJOY THE MELT IN YOUR MOUTH GOODNESS}


*Esther is the queen of doubling and quadrupling this recipe for family and events; I've just posted a smaller batch here as I'm not sure what I would do with six or twelve dozen rolls, other than eat so many that I begin to look like a roll myself! Okay -- so I kind of already am, but that's baby related so it doesn't count!


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Three things

that make me squeal with delight {at least inside!} and feel simple, childlike pleasure:


ice cream sandwiches
...yep. no idea why, but these hit the spot every.single.time.


pleasant surprises
...unanticipated packages or real letters in the mail
...surprise dates/overnight get-a-ways with my man
...unexpected opportunities to catch up with old and new friends


pulling into my grandparents driveway for a visit
...knowing big bear hugs are awaiting me 
...as well as Grandma's amazing chocolate chip cookies
...and oodles of good memories and special times waiting to be made!



Oh. Can I add one more?
There is something quite delightful in watching Arianna experience things for the first time, too. {smile}



What brings a smile to your face,
no matter how your day is going?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Insta-Moment


 mixing up herbs for tea
to celebrate the beginning of trimester three

Monday, November 04, 2013

Daily Bread

"Visit many good books
but live in the Bible."
-CH Spurgeon

There was a time in my life when first thing in the morning I'd grab my Bible, journal and favorite pen and sit down for uninterrupted quiet time to read, pray, and ponder. I had a consistent reading plan. I also had scripture posted by the washer and drier where I spent hours doing laundry for my family and where I purposed to use the time to memorize and review scripture. 


Then I became a mother. {grin}

Now I find myself picking up my Bible during nap time, after supper dishes are cleaned up, or even flipping open to the Proverb for the day while I eat lunch. Some nights I lay in bed, simply meditating on previously memorized passages. Needless to say, it has been an adjustment finding a new 'normal' and not only being creative but also purposeful in continuing to nurture my relationship with my Heavenly Father. And I'm still working on being consistent!

One resource that has been helpful for me is BIBLE.IS (and check out the phone app, too!)
Now I find myself putting my phone in a glass (to help amplify the sound!) so I can listen to scripture while doing dishes...preparing supper...or mopping a floor. 


What works for you? What have you found helpful when trying to remain consistent with important habits but needing to modify how it fits in your schedule amidst current responsibilities?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Twenty1

This summer (and past spring, and winter) I've been lazy at getting pictures off of my camera, as well as laid-back when it comes to writing. I love taking pictures. I tend to have to push myself to write.  I have all these thoughts that roll around in my head as I'm doing dishes, folding laundry, and taking care of Arianna -- and rarely write them down or initiate being creative with my camera on a day to day basis. 

So...in an effort to make some changes and to jump-start what will hopefully be a more consistent blogging routine (which means I will be using my camera and my computer keys more!) I now introduce "Twenty1" --  which is my blog post goal for the month of November. 

Here's to hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew right now... (especially considering that I didn't even get this post up on Friday as I'd planned!) And a big shout-out to Anna, who has agreed to push and drag do this challenge with me. [grin] I hope you'll stay tuned for frequent posts that will include oodles of pictures, a bit of randomness, hopefully some encouragement, and a smattering of projects, style, and favorite recipes. Oh, and questions, too, so come out from the corners where you lurk and drop a comment or two...or twenty1!

And because I'm still catching you up on some fun photos from the past busy weeks of transition, here are a few snapshots from last month...



Arianna had such a blast with Uncle Nathanael.  And what's not to love about a boatload of cardboard boxes to play with? {grin}