"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua 24:15

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This and That Thursday

Once Thursday rolls around, it seems I always have odds and ends I want to share, so why not just have "This and That Thursday?!" Works for me!

*****

No, I did not watch the State of the Union last night. I usually don't. I always get bored or mad. So I have no opinions to share on it. You're welcome :)

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Two of my blog posts were featured as part of the Hidden Valley Lessons Blog Carnival this week over at Hidden Valley Simplicity! The articles are meant to encourage moms - head on over to check out the other posts as well!

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If you've been here for any length of time, you know how much I love Seeds Family Worship! And they are spreading the love over here this Valentine's Day!

Until February 25th, you can receive 30% off any purchase at the Seeds store by using the code ERIN2010! How awesome is that?!

Seeds CDs would make a great Valentine's Day present for the kiddos, and every CD comes packaged with an identical CD to pass along to a friend! I love that!

*****

Let this be an encouragement and reminder for the rest of your week...

"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:1-6

God bless!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Girls Night Out: Craft Time!

In what is quickly becoming a monthly event for some girlfriends from church, we gathered last night for a girls craft night and it was fabulous!

We had a few snacks and then got to work, chatting all the while, of course!

Some define themselves as crafty, others not so much, but the chance to hang out with other women will make us do anything, right?! In the words of one mom there - "I just need some adult interaction!"

And everyone had a blast!

Sewing...



using Mod Podge...


and stenciling...



to come up with some CUTE stuff...


Our projects for the night included these fabric magnets from Make It and Love It...

experimenting with fabric flowers like these...


and my favorite from the night, these adorable monogrammed canvas bags from Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore...


Regardless of level of "craftiness," fun was had by all and another night is already in the works for February!

Any projects we just have to do? Please share!

A BIG thank you to the hubbies for making this possible by watching and feeding children, etc. We love you guys!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me! Monday



About time for some laughter around here! Thanks to MckMama for hosting this carnival - it is too much fun!

It was not me who decided to not count calories yesterday because I didn't feel like it. And it was not me who decided to eat whatever I wanted all day. Nope - I am more disciplined than that.

And it was not me who got a little giddy when I realized we had reached 75 followers here on the blog! I wouldn't care about something like that. Or that one of my favorite bloggers is following me now and we chat like good friends vie e-mail and Twitter. Nope, not me. That would be lame.

Lastly, it was not me who started wishing for a little girl after making this hat for a friend's daughter...



But it WAS me who quickly reminded myself how full my hands are right now and how I am totally good with waiting until medical school is over for more children!

Did you hear that God?!

I am perfectly happy making these for other people!

What didn't you do this week? Feel free to confess here - we can all laugh about our imperfections together! Doesn't that sound nice?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Titus 3:14

"Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others..." Titus 3:14 NLT

What urgent needs could you meet for someone else today? Remember a time someone did this for you?

Please share your ideas so we can spur each other on as the hands and feet of Christ!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs



I have heard wonderful things about Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson to review several months ago and started reading right away, hungry to know more about God’s design for the marriage relationship.

The book is based around Ephesians 5:33 – a wonderful verse about the roles of husbands and wives – giving love and respect, respectively, if you will!

Unfortunately, something tripped me up. My reading stalled quickly. That "thing" was an emphasis on critical wives. I do not disagree this is a major problem in our society. However, from my perspective – and my husband would agree – my disrespect towards him is NEVER verbal. And this is where I had a hard time relating with the book. I put it down for a while.

Recently, I picked it up again, asking God to reveal truths beyond the nagging wife scenario. Although still slow going, I was able to read the book, replacing the verbal disrespect with my own acts of disrespect and their effects on our marriage. God spoke to me in this way through the book.

Dr. Eggerichs hits the nail on the head with his “Crazy Cycle” described in the book and I think the concept could relate to so many hurting marriages – whether the disrespect and lack of love is in word or deed.

Love and Respect is fairly repetitive and tends to talk more about the husband's need for respect than the wife's need for love, but that may be what some need to really get the message of how important BOTH are to a marriage.

This and That

Big J, his friend Z and I played a little Chutes and Ladders yesterday. Not super fun to be honest. More like super frustrating. But it was a learning experience for all.

For them: the number you spin is NOT the number you land on - it is the number you count to your next spot.

For me: relax and have fun, even if they don't get it.

I got this bottle for $2 at Hobby Lobby on clearance last fall. Not usually a yellow person, but I kind of like it. What do you think? Any great ideas of what to do with it?


After living in our house for 3+ years, we finally put something up on this wall in our living room. I'm quite fond of the pics and arrangement. Nothing special, but the kiddos are always smiling at us from the wall!


The boys (my two plus Z) snuggled up to watch Buzz Lightyear and they were just too cute to NOT take a picture. They look like they cold all be related!



My wonderful hubby and Big J brought home flowers the other day just because - with my fave, gerbera daisies...

These make me smile too :)

My friend Renee and I got crafty yesterday and each put one of these together...


I'm ready to make several in many colors - too fun!

And last, but not least, this verse really inspired me today and I hope it does some of you as well...

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders... 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NIV)

God bless and have a great weekend!



Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm a Knifty Knitter!

This product was sent to me by Provo Craft to review for this blog. I was not compensated in anyway for the review and all opinions are my own.

Ok, I'm not really a knitter. I can do very basic crochet and that's about it.

But I LOVE the way knitted and crocheted stuff looks. It is gorgeous.

So when Provo Craft asked if I would be interested in trying their Knifty Knitter looms, I immediately said YES!

And this is what they sent me...




Oh man, was I excited. The box arrived on a Friday night right before we left for a party.

We got home around 9:30 and I was ready to knit.

After only a few hours, I finished my first project, a newborn hat for a friend...



I couldn't believe I had just made that! And it was incredibly easy!

Now, I will not go into exactly how it works because there are a million and one tutorials online that do a much better job explaining than I would.

But I will tell you this - it does not take much time, it is very simple to figure out and the results as fabulous.

I am addicted.

In less than two weeks I have made two newborn hats (blue loom), a hat for my oldest son (red loom)...



A hat for my sister (green loom) to match the scarf I gave her for Christmas...



Two "baby sacks" like this one for my photographer friend...



(Here one is in the process)



And this yarn is for some of the projects to come!



I really can't tell you how much I am enjoying my looms. Sure, it takes time, but I like to keep my hands busy and this is perfect for me!

There are lots and lots of patterns online and I am excited to try some new stitches in the coming days and weeks.

In addition to the round looms, Provo Craft also has long looms - ideal for scarves, blankets, etc. - and a flower loom - adorable creations from that. I am looking forward to trying the whole variety of looms in the near future!

So where can you get them?

There are different places - Amazon, eBay, and so on. But I found this link to a "variety pack" of sorts that looks perfect! It does not include the newborn hat size loom or largest round loom, but it has everything for kid and adult hats, scarves and flowers. This would be a great place to start and you can always add additional pieces as you wish!

If you've ever been interested in knitting at all, but the needles have scared you off (like me!), the Knifty Knitter is perfect for you!

A HUGE thank you to Provo Craft for sending me this product to review!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Busy Couple's Guide to Sharing the Work and the Joy

This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Tyndale House for this review. I will only write my honest opinion in all reviews on this blog.


The Busy Couple's Guide to Sharing the Work and the Joy
by Kathy Peel
Price: $16.99
Publisher: Tyndale House

Kathy Peel is founder and CEO of Family Manager, a company that trains women in the art of family management. She has written 21 books, selling more than 2 million copies. Her latest works are The Busy Couples Guide to Sharing the Work and the Joy, The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home (winner of the 2009 Gold Mom's Choice Award) and Desperate Households. She is AOL's Kids & Family Coach, and she contributes to many publications, including FamilyFun, Parents, Woman's World, Family Circle, and HomeLife. A popular speaker and media personality, Kathy's Family Manager makeover stories have appeared on programs such as Oprah, The Early Show, The Today Show, and HGTV.

I must admit - the title of this book both excited me AND turned me off a little when I first saw it. So I was intrigued. Throw in the question on the back of the book - "Are you married to your housekeeping opposite?," and I was ready to read.

Yes, I am married to my housekeeping opposite. I am the messy one. My hubby is the neat and organized one. We're still working through that one.

And I was intrigued because #1 - "sharing the work" is not really what we're going for here and #2 - "sharing the joy" sounds fabulous!

I am the one staying home and my husband is in the middle of medical school. Of course, I am going to be doing more of the work at home and THAT IS HOW I WANT IT. Not that he doesn't do anything around here, but I do not expect him to do laundry, clean the house, cook, etc. He takes wonderful care of our finances, cars, house, etc. (CLARIFICATION: My husband is better than me in all areas of cleaning and organizing and he is very helpful - doing dishes when he can, cleaning the bathtub which I hate, etc. Just wanted to make sure I give credit where credit is due. He rocks.)

And after reading, that is the point of this book. Communication. Playing to strengths and weaknesses. Having a plan, but being flexible.

"Sharing the work" looks different for every couple, so this book has lots of workbook type features for couples to sit down and figure out their situation together - questionnaires, schedules, lists and so on.

And lots of advice from both the author, Kathy Peel, and her husband Bill. Little tips are here and there throughout the book. Lots of personal experience is shared. And faith is at the center of it all.

The book is all about "creating a smoothly running, low-stress home" and who doesn't want that? I WANT THAT!

Now, I will admit that some couples have this all figured out - so if you consider yourself an organized family, you probably don't need this book.

But for those of us figuring out life with young children, who want to eliminate time-wasters at home, who want reduce stress in everyday family life - this book is valuable and worth the low price - only $12.23 on Amazon!

Next month, our MOPS group is focusing on marriage relationships and I am jotting down several things from this book that I can't wait to share with the moms!

And now I'm off to eliminate some of the stress in our home!

Thank you to Tyndale House for allowing us to review this book!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yes, I Tweet

So, some people think I'm a little crazy for being on Twitter.

I'm here to explain myself and my love for tweeting.

I first signed up for Twitter to enter a contest. Didn't win that one, but contests are a great reason to be on Twitter. Let's see, a few things I have acquired through Twitter contests include...

*A Land's End sweater
*Matthew West's book Give This Christmas Away
*Read and Share Christmas Story Book and DVD
*What's in the Bible preview DVD
*The Voice New Testament
*and a $100 Land's End gift card!

Sweet, huh?!

But contests are not the only reason I love Twitter.

For those who know me well, I like to be "in the know." I like to know the latest news - be it sports, news, great deals, new gadgets, mom advice - whatever. I enjoy being the person who people go to for advice and ideas. Twitter is the place to be to be "in the know."

I have connected with some amazing mom, writer, crafter, blogger tweeters and so on. And there is some great inspiration to be had on Twitter as well - strong men and women of faith sharing insights, wisdom and Scripture with the whole Twitter world.

Which brings me to prayer. I have seen AMAZING prayer chains on Twitter. Imagine praying for someone across the country and being able to get updates anytime on how to be praying for them. The power of prayer is truly incredible, even if you have never met the person you are praying for in "real life." The body of Christ is reaching out on Twitter and I love being a part of that.

I could go on and on about why I love Twitter, but I decided to ask a few of my tweet buddies why I love it and here is what they said (in 140 characters or less of course)...

I've "met" amazing people I otherwise wouldn't. Also, awesome news stories, advice, deals, giveaways, etc.

I think Twitter is great 4 the quick connection; maybe someone needing a homeschool resource, on spot discussions

Using twitter helps provide that sometimes on the spot connection some need; I've discovered a lot of great& useful blogs

A lot of it is in the moment right now which for most busy moms helps

If you tweet already, you can click on the button in the right column to start following my tweets. Please @ me so I know you came from the blog!

If you're not on Twitter, I will say it is probably not for everybody. There are definitely people in my life who would not enjoy it or use it very often. But then again, everybody needs a good laugh and there are plenty of those in Tweet Land!

So tweet away and join the fun!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming Soon: What's in the Bible?

So I heard via Twitter that Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales) and Tyndale House were teaming up to create a DVD series for kids called "What's in the Bible?"

Sounded fun.

And then I won a preview DVD, so we popped it in the other day.

The kids were glued to it. And wanted to watch the less-than-10-minute DVD over and over again!

Phil Vischer's goal is to get the Bible into kids' lives OUTSIDE of church activities. And based on my kids' reaction, they would want to watch this every day!

Fun puppets, cute cartoons, catchy songs, and of course the trademark Veggie Tales-type humor - kids laugh, but adults think its hilarious - all combine to make this something to look forward to! I especially love the guys in seventies-style tuxedos singing about the book of Samuel. Awesome!

video


The "What's in the Bible?" DVDs launch from Tyndale House in March 2010 and we cannot wait!

Thanks to Tyndale House for sending me this DVD! We are excited!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blog Hop: 2010 Best Wishes

As we begin 2010, I pray that each of you would…

find your home to be a sanctuary...

"There's no place like home..."

realize how much you are loved by your Creator...

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." 1 John 4:9

find joy in the midst of the everyday...

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you." Psalm 5:11

and experience the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:22-24

Blessings and prayers for an amazing 2010!


MckLinky Blog Hop

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Getting Crafty Again!


I am in love with this wreath.

I first read about the idea on Lindsay's fabulous blog.

I headed to the Dollar Store, picked up a $1 Bible - yes, a Bible was destroyed in the process, but it makes the wreath more meaningful to me! - and a $1 wreath form and went to work!

In all reality, this wreath doesn't take that long to make (a little tedious), but Christmas got in the way for me this year!

All I can say is - IT IS FINALLY DONE!

And I love it!

Don't you?!

Thank you Lindsay!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fantastic Followers Friday and an Award!

I want to take this opportunity to say that I have the some of the best followers in the blogosphere!

Seriously, a comment from one of you totally brightens my day! And for that I want to say...

THANK YOU!

Some of you comment more regularly than others, so I feel like I know you better, but all of you rock! And I would love to get to know ALL of you better! So why not leave a comment today and tell me more about yourself? Wouldn't that be fun? I thought so.

And I would also like to say that I can't believe I am almost at 70 followers! Honestly - never thought I would get past five or ten - including family. Amazing.

One of my followers, Nicole from A Munchkin's World, is a friend from college. She was lovely enough to pass along an award to us here at Home with the Boys! The Lemonade Stand Award is an award for a blogger who shows great attitude and gratitude. Thank you so much Nicole! And welcome to the blogging world!

And now I get the honor of passing this award along to some of my faves! Since I put more restrictions on my computer time, I don't get as many chances to read other blogs, but there are several that really inspire me on a regular basis.

Some of these blogs are too big to even care about this award probably, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve it all the same!

So my nominees would be...

No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane

Like a Warm Cup of Coffee

Our Front Door

Living with Lindsay

Called Out One

It's Almost Naptime

Studio JRU

Mad in Crafts

Chatting at the Sky

A Soft Place to Land

These are all beautiful women with inspiring posts - some crafty, some faith-building, some funny, some all of the above, all magnificent. Please check them out when you get a chance!


The Lemonade Stand Award


The rules for accepting this award:

- Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
- Pass the award onto 10 bloggers.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What About Mii? I Mean, Me?

Maybe I've been playing a little too much Wii lately.

Or maybe not.

I posted earlier this week about my priorities for 2010. But I forgot one.

And that is me.

Because if I don't take care of myself, my other priorities will seem like work. Like burdens. Not the true blessings they are.

In the past, I have fluctuated between no time for myself and being very selfish with my time. Neither was a good situation for anybody, of course.

So what does making myself a priority in 2010 look like?

-Working out more. Right now that means time on the Wii - boxing, playing tennis, etc. And let me tell you, I am sore! Good feeling. I do have to look good in a bridesmaid dress by August!

-Eating better. I did not say the word diet. I hate diets. I just want to eat healthier food and everything else in moderation - even cookies. Cookies are allowed - just not too many.

-Reading for fun. I like to end every evening reading some good fiction. My current book is The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren. Met her at MOPS Convention and she is lovely. And we're Twitter buddies. I couldn't put the book down last night. Thank goodness the kids slept until 9!

-Taking time for things I enjoy - being crafty, baking, blogging - but not obsessing over them. Christmas is over - no present deadlines. My family will not starve if I don't try that newest recipe TODAY. I hope my blog readers will still be here if I am gone for a day or two. Right?! But all of these things are fun and give me great joy, so I'm making time for them.

So along with my other priorities this year, I am taking care of me. And it's feeling pretty good.

Will you join Mii?

Oops, I did it again...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Crafty Side

Here they are - pictures of some of the gifts I made for Christmas this year!




















Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Word for 2010

I've read some wonderful posts lately declaring a word of the year to live by.

I absolutely ADORE this post about HOME.

As well as this one about SELF-DISCIPLINE.

But I can't just steal their ideas for my 2010 word, even though I would like to...

So my word for 2010 is...

PRIORITIES.

Not just making a list, but living them out. Every day. For all to see.

It's not for show, but I want people to know by my actions where my priorities are.

I want my schedule during the day to reflect these priorities and for my family to reap the benefits from this.

And while I have several things that make my priority list, my main focus will be on these four...

1. God
2. My husband
3. My children
4. My home

In that order.

And that has meant a few changes for me.

I am spending more time in the Word - by myself and with the kiddos.

I am not opening my computer before noon.

I am saying no to more things outside my home.

I am playing more with my children.

I am enjoying my time at home much more.

I am getting a whole lot more done.

All good things. Great things.

I'll need that whole self-discipline post to help me out as I tend to start things strong and finish weak (or not at all), but I know God will honor my daily decision to put Him first and my family next. I can do all things through Him, right?!

So here's to PRIORITIES in 2010!

How about you? Word for the year? Resolutions? Please share!

Blog Hop: Christmas Pictures

Finally - some Christmas pictures!

I could do several separate posts based around all of the snow pictures from our Christmas break, so I'm just sticking to Christmas festivities - making a birthday cake for Jesus, opening presents, and the like.

Welcome to Christmas with "Home with the Boys" and family!




















MckLinky Blog Hop