Monday, December 31, 2012


2012 has been one of the very best years of my life! So, as a reminder, I am going to roundup some of my favorite moments over the past 365 days!

My beautiful babies turned 1 and 2 and changed so much this year! Rocklyn finished his first year of pre-k and in August both boys went to Immanuel Baptist for the WEE program! This has been the year of both of them really beginning to speak, pottytraining and breaking off into more independent little men : ( !
HEALTH: I had some big changes in my health this year! I had my tonsils removed (worst experience of my life!!!) and dropped 30 pounds.  I am continuing to strive to lose more in the New Year but am pretty darn proud of my progress so far! Below is a before and after!
JOBS: Cory got hired on with Mid-Cumberland as a Crisis Counselor and has also been substituting for LSSD and teaching bible at the preschool.  I am continuing to work for VIP bring drunk driving awareness to offenders.  I also began teaching at Immanuel in the WEE program with the cutest group of kids and best of all in the same hallway as both of my boys classrooms! I recently started working at Lulu's clothing boutique on the square and am loving it! Between the two of us are six positions but we are soooooo grateful in this crazy economy to have work and six jobs that we love!
FUN: The boys were put in a country music video for Cathy Louvin and it was such an amazing experience!  We also had some other fun times including a trip to Missouri, two weeks spent back home in Illinois, multiple zoo and waterpark trips, football games, hikes, movies and more! I am loving the ages they are at and being able to do so many new things whether it is a simple hike in the woods or them now understanding concepts like trick-or-treating and Santa Clause.
  Some more big things in 2013: Our dog Rex became a part of the family and he is so loved and has made our family even more complete.  I had some trials and some hard decisions to make this year but in the end, I am so much more happy because of them and have continued to walk closer and closer to God through them all.  I have made some big decisions about what exactly I want to be doing as far as future career plans and am excited to see Cory begin doing what he loves, teaching, after he is done with his education.  God has been so good to us and I am so grateful for everything.  Ready to welcome 2013 and see where it takes us!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today, the sermon at church was focused on Matthew 19:13-15 and the topic of children.  I was so excited for this message because the focus of so much of my time, is in fact, children. A brief overview of the main points of today included Jesus' love for and focus on the importance of children and how we need to be aware to not lessen the value of these humble, wide-eyed, pride-less beings.  We are all born sinful and need the love of Jesus and children are no exception.  From catechism to family worship nights to bible studies with our children; these things are of so much more value than television shows and sports games. We have such a small amount of time with our children and it is gone in the blink of an eye. I for one, do not want to be one who regrets the faith I have instilled in them.  That being said, I left feeling very proud of the job Cory and I are doing as parents. Even the resources our pastor mentioned are ones we have in the home and I know at the end of every day that even though I am far from a perfect parent, they are in a home where they are praying often, learning about Jesus and learning what love is all the time.  Cory has done an amazing job being a spiritual leader in our home and we both know there is always more ways to improve and improve in this area. 
But then it hit me... yes, my children hear bible stories on the regular, yes we pray before bedtime and meals and in between, yes we do devotionals every night and worship nights often and yes they live in a home where they see two parents who love eachother and their kids and work daily at making this all happen but they also have a mother who has put so much focus on these things along with their meals, daily activities, art projects and all the chaos of motherhood that she has forgotten to nourish her own soul more often than not.  Most days I am running so hard and fast to keep up with my family that by the time bedtime comes, I am dozed off before the boys are even into a rem cycle yet. Naptimes consist of laundry, dishes, couponing and the like that the Bible or even time for prayer is nowhere near my mind.
In my attempt to become the exemplary mother, I have become the opposite, even a fake if you will.  Yes, I can talk all day long and read bible stories until my voice is gone but what I am doing with my life is going to speak volumes and volumes louder than any of this! How I treat people, how I speak of people behind closed doors, the television shows I watch, the books I chose to read and every other area of my life is what is going to have major impact, especially if it doesn't coincide with what I am teaching them daily.  When my children enter Heaven's gates at the end of their lives, I want to be there waiting for them.  I want my husband and I to be open-armed and full of joy at their arrival and in order for this to happen we need to be putting God at the focus of every area of our lives, even as tough as it is for us moms who want to make everyone else's life great and tend to forget ourselves. 
Today's message was an eye-opener for me in a completely different way than maybe our pastor intended, but exactly in the way that God has intended for it to be.  Let us not forget what we are here on this earth for and what a blessing these children are even in the most difficult of times.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


We recently redecorated our master bedroom and I could not find any art for the wall we face when in bed. Everything seemed to have either quotes I find tacky or was just plain boring and ugly. I decided there is nothing more I would like to look at than family art! Above are the boys small canvases they painted. Cory and I have yet to paint ours but I have great ideas! Rocklyn's painting is the left canvas and Ryder's the right. I was super impressed at both of them but especially at Ryder's ability at 1 year old.
After we finished the canvases we let them finger paint on cardstock paper with paints and karo syrup. It was so messy but they loved it. Ryder ended up picking up his paper and licking the paint syrup mixture up because, well, it's Ryder and if he can eat it he will lol.
Here is Rocklyn painting who is always so precise and not one for messiness. He prefers the paintbrushes over his hands by far!
It was so fun and the canvases are something that brightens me up whenever I look at them!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Paula Please

I was walking around a local bookstore recently and was browsing as the boys continued to pull books off the shelves and send the cashier into a mild panic attack and before I headed to the cash register with some Yo GabbaGabba coloring books I kept being drawn back to Paula Deen's Memoir "It Ain't All About the Cookin'". I was almost embarassed to even check out the back of it because, having never watched the show, I had this opinion of the woman formed in my head.
So, I put it back on the shelf for the fourth time and headed towards the register and as the man scanned my last book I made him wait and ran back to grab this book. I swear it was as if I did not have control over it, I just had to have this book for some reason.
I now must say, this woman is like a soulmate I have never met! You know those very few people who come into your life and you just know they are meant to be a part of you forever? That is how I felt after getting to know Miss Paula in this book. I actually took such a long time reading this book because I never wanted it to end.
I am amazed to learn how she suffered from agoraphobia for more than 20 years and yet became this cooking superstar with more personality than most. She was tired of where she found herself in life and gave it her all and made her dreams come true. Not only her dreams, but beyond anything she could imagine. Miss Paula's book came into my life in a time when I needed this most and her honesty in this book is appaling and much appreciated as she reveals family fights, sex advice and more.
All this being said, I got a big slap in the face to never judge a book by its cover because this woman I once assumed to be an annoying, loudmouth slob is now a woman to admire and I hope Cory will bring me down to visit her restaurant the Lady and Sons this year and maybe get a chance to meet the Lady herself! Highly recommend this woman's story as I now feel she has a place in my heart forever.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


A quick and easy learning tool I have been putting together for my kids

is finally complete!

Cookie sheet learning story boards!

A very simple use is to learn counting and alphabet with magnets without having to be at the fridge with a distracted child!

Rocklyn is up to counting to five now and we are working on letters!

Another great activity for the cookie sheet learning boards is laminated photos with magnets on the back!

We use these to learn animals by their names or by the sounds they make to identify.

We live far from all of our family and so these laminated photos are great to learn and remember the names of people and we use people we know as characters in stories we make up!

I found background photos in magazines, such as a window in a kitchen or a beach. I put the boys or people they know into a story such as Great Grandma visited us and surprised us at the kitchen window with her dog and cat! I also have photos of knights and footballs and more to let my kids use their own imagination and to provide visuals to our make believe stories!

When I was young, I had a great imagination and I want my children to develop (and maintain!!!) this too and I think story boards are an excellent way to do this!