Monday, December 31, 2012

it's almost 2013

Bet you didn't know that! As one year ends and another one begins there is always reflecting over the previous year, successes, failures, trials, and triumphs. With this usually comes the question of what will I do different this year, or how will I strive to keep some things the same.

2012 was a big year for me, I became a new mommy for the fourth time (am I still considered "new mommy"?)! Also came many opportunities for growth, some of those opportunities were seized, and some not so much!

My goal last year was to live intentional. I want to be an intentional wife, mother, daughter, friend, and servant of the Lord. I still have a long way to go to reach  my goal, but the Lord has been so faithful in leading my steps and stopping me in situations to seek Him on how to react in situations. I plan to continue to work at that goal, and this year to add living for the Lord in a way that is even more obvious to people.

I think that sometimes people assume I follow Jesus because I dress modestly, don't swear, try to stay away from movies/music/entertainment/etc that doesn't honor the Lord, but I deeply desire to show people Jesus! I do believe that when your make Jesus the Lord of your life there are lifestyle decisions that can be different from others choices, but I want to unashamedly live like Jesus! Far too often I let fear stop me from doing what I feel God prompting me to do. It is so silly and doesn't make sense, these things are good things, and not far out there, but goodness I am good at twisting the situation and making up excuses on why I shouldn't speak up and help.That.Must.Stop.Now.

Psalm 25
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.

I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause. 

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are God my  Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember,  Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord; 
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Who then are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, 
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!

Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame, 
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord, is in you.

Deliver Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

My goal this year is to act on my fear of the Lord and not the fear of man! I will continue to be in the word daily and submit everything in prayer. The sermon I heard at church yesterday went though this Psalm, and the thing said that struck me most was when the Pastor said and reminded me of the fact

"Prayer can change anything and everything!"

I am so thankful for that! I made a little chalkboard frame that is now on my mantle that I plan to put little messages or verses on throughout the year. Here is a look at what it says now.


I am excited to see what the Lord puts on my heart to write on this board! But in the meantime...

Happy New Year!


-Erin


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wow! You are busy!

Oh the many, many times I have heard that being said in response to me telling them I have four boys, ha! I think it is code for, "Wow! You are crazy!" I never quite know how to respond, so I just smile and nod.

Truth is things are busy having four boys, but things are also so good! I am daily blessed by these little men!

This morning I came downstairs to a family room covered in cereal and toys everywhere. I did not take a picture, but this is not the first time this has happened, the first time it looked a little something like this.

just imagine the cereal spread all over the floor too!

The one thing that is the same from this picture and every other time this has happened, is that look of pride on the little boy that got his breakfast all by himself!

My "plan" before I saw the mess was to come downstairs and get some bible reading in while my boys played  nicely around me. Since there was no clean area on the carpet and I had the baby that needed to play, we can just say my plans changed. But so much blessing can be missed if I choose focus on the busyness that comes with four kids. So many smiles and opportunities to build up my kids would be lost.

I still was able to read my bible, not as much as I had originally thought and with many more disruptions than I had expected, but there was also love given by my sweet boys. The little one that made the mess kept saying, "Mama, I love you two... then three... then four... then six... then eight..." and so on! I am still giggling as I think on this.

A verse that through the many blessings I have been given (even put it on our Christmas card) is


Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them
psalm 127:3,5

So yes, I am busy!!! But I am so much more blessed!!! May you be blessed today!

-Erin



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

christmas decorating

This is our second Christmas in this house. When we were looking for a home to buy, secretly during each tour I would look around to see where a Christmas tree would look best. We have a front room with a bay window that looks onto the street, which of course would be a perfect place for a tree, but our fireplace is in our family room, which of course is a perfect place for a tree...

Last year my husband blessed his pregnant wife and we got 2 trees! This year I was torn between what to do, I had since rearranged the family room and there was no spot for a real tree. The week of Thanksgiving we received an ad for the hardware store and I found the perfect compromise, a little pre-lit, artificial tree. 


the boys decorated it all by themselves...


I had a  lot of fun things planned for the mantle, but just didn't have the time to get it done. I am good at copying other's ideas, so when i saw this blog post I knew I had all the supplies and now the pattern, so I recreated it, and made a chalkboard frame to go with it.




our little manger



my boys also decorated this pre-made (which made things way easier) gingerbread house.


our formal dining room



my husband made me this table!

And here is our big tree, not in the front of the window...





Our banister got a little decoration too.


my boys art from school



This year felt more like makeshift decorating, but I don't mind. Not that I am all bah humbug or anything, ha, I am just really appreciating the making of the memories. Every year I will know this house even better and the decorations can get even better, and maybe my kids won't be sick, so I can actually make it to the craft store for supplies, ha!

The real reason for the season is Jesus and celebrating his birth! I am especially grateful for the gift of salvation!!

Do you have any traditions or special decorations around your home?

-Erin

linking here and 

five days five ways | feature friday free for all

Thursday, November 29, 2012

a golden birthday

Earlier this month my son turned 6 on the 6th. I had mentioned in passing to him that it was his "Golden Birthday" he was so excited at the thought of an extra special birthday! Anytime he would see something that was gold he would light up and say. "Mom, this would be perfect for my golden birthday party!" The pressure was on!

Luckily kids have great imaginations and can make something simple into something extraordinary. I shared some of my plans for the party. I knew they were lofty goals. I was so busy trying to get things finished by the time everyone got here I wasn't able to get any pictures of the decorations... so we can pretend it looks just as great as my inspiration!

he wanted a gold 6

The theme was a 'golden ticket' Willy Wonka party. We did our best with our 'costumes...'

I am a grown up Veruca Salt and my sweet boy is Charlie


Mike Teavee


not dressed up but look who's trying to crawl!


these two didn't dress up either, but they are both nice to look at!


I love how all kids huddle over the gifts, always makes me smile!





Happy Birthday sweet sweet boy, you are truly a gift from the Lord! You bring joy and laughter everywhere you go, Daddy and I are so amazed by you and proud of you!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made
psalm 139:14

-Erin




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

waaaay outside of my box

I am not the most daring of people, especially when it comes to how I dress. I see so many cute things and even different type things that look so cute on other people, and instantly think, "oh, I could never pull that off!"

So after a few years (it takes awhile for my courage to build) I got... bootie boots! Yes people, this is BIG news!!!





I am even wearing a snake print necklace, ha!

my boy that loves to get in on pictures, I'll take cuddles where I can get them!

So there you have it, things are getting crazy around here! 

-Erin 




pleated poppy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the time i wore my kids dress up


Yep, that actually happened. I had about five minutes to think of a costume for a party and my lovely boys loaned me their cowboy dress up. That's an official Woody vest and Mickey sheriff badge (that my hair is covering). I get crazy y'all, gotta watch us quiet ones, ha!

-Erin

PS Don't be too frightened, my gun isn't real...



pleated poppy

Monday, October 29, 2012

more breathing room

Much more breathing room! As I was getting dressed this morning I remembered wearing the shirt I put on while pregnant, like almost 9 months pregnant. 

terrible lighting, I know.

This time around I was breathing much easier.

I noticed I squint my nose a lot.


photo bomb

It is so amazing to look back and see what God has made my body to able to do. Pregnancy can be quite uncomfortable, especially towards the end, but to be blessed with being able to carry, and birth, and raise this perfect little baby (and 3 others) is one of the greatest gifts ever!

This week marks the time where I experienced not one, but two miscarriages the same day 5 years apart. As much as I reflect and mourn the loss of those little babies, I am overwhelmed by God's goodness and healing. Last year on the 'anniversary' of the losses was a day of hope and joy, my very amazing doctor pulled in an ultrasound machine during a routine appointment and I got to find out the sweet little baby I was carrying is a boy! 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.    Jeremiah 29:11

I would have never thought that being young and healthy I would have gone through such trouble in trying to stay pregnant, but I also could not have ever dreamed up a life as good as the one I am living. My faith has grown through these trials and I forever grateful for the way God showed up.

One of my favorite songs is Everything by Telecast


Our church was super blessed to have Josh White (the singer/writer of this song) as worship pastor for awhile and he described what he was going through when he wrote this song. So personal and touching and a beautiful way to sing praise to God through hard times and even good times. I just re-listened to this song about 5 times and am so filled.

God is good!

-Erin



pleated poppy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

big plans

In a little over a week we will be throwing a 'Golden Birthday Party' for my sweet little boy who will be turning 6 on November 6! My parents and sister will be flying in for the occasion.

We are thinking of this...


and maybe a little...


and most likely some of this...

Nostalgia Electrics Mini Chocolate Fondue Fountain


My little boy still sees my work as perfect, but it will be funny fun to see how all my ideas turn out in real life. In my mind I am the best at execution, but my mind plays tricks on me, ha! 

The real hope of the party is that the love of Christ will be felt by all, even if my visions don't come out as planned.

-Erin

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

hello there

It has been awhile. I may have mentioned before I have gone back and forth about even having a blog, but today I feel like having one, ha! So time for an update.

My oh my how time has been flying! My little newborn baby has somehow turned into a six almost seven month old, I do not understand how that is possible. He is the sweetest little guy around. His older brothers still refer to him as "cutie little baby." They are in love, as are my husband and I.


his smiles and giggles are. too. much.

My 2 year old is curious as ever! He loves exploring and figuring out how to do things on his own. He is never afraid to be himself, he dances and sings as loud as he can, even in the quietest of places. Oh the joy and laughter he brings to our home.

always exploring something

I now have an official kindergartner! WHAT??? Seriously, it is not a joke when they say to take it all in, because it goes all too fast. He is loving school, he always runs off the bus ready to tell me all about his day and all he learned. My heart just melts when he talks with me, these special conversations bless this mama's heart!


My oldest is in third grade! My husband and I help out at the youth group at our church, and are in disbelief that he will be in the youth group in just a few short years. This boy has a heart of gold. His awareness of others feelings humbles me daily, the lessons he teaches me. 


My partner in crime, the strong leader of this family, the hard working, generous, loving, most amazing father and husband, oh and did I mention super hot?! I sometimes feel guilty I get the best one around, although I am sure many of you ladies would beg to differ. Really though, sometimes I feel like I am in a movie, the part where the guy is playing with kids and the girl is watching and falling even more in love with him. Am I alone in picturing my life as a movie?!



And a quick little bit about what I have been up to, I think my word of the year is going to be "refining" Always good, sometimes hard. I have been having fun trying to figure out my new style, with being in my 30's now, ha! 



All these pictures are from about a month ago. The weather now is rainy, windy, and perfect for fall, but it's nice to look back at what it was like on a perfect sunny fall day. 

-Erin



pleated poppy

Monday, September 10, 2012

my heart aches

It has been awhile since I have visited this little blog of mine. I still haven't fully committed to what I want it to look like or be about.

I was going to share a silly little post about this most awesome nail polish I just got, and I may share on it later, but life happens and I am just going to write and see where this goes.

Last week was a heart breaking make you feel sick to your stomach kind of week. A little girl that goes to the playgroup I take my kids to passed away. It was a tragic accident and therefore completely unexpected. She was the cutest, most soft spoken little 4 year old girl.

As hard is it was for me to process this, my heart just aches for her family. They are surrounded by much love and being lifted up by many prayers. This sweet little girl is with Jesus, but her family is here and dealing with not being able to love on there little girl in person.

This was another reminder that these boys that I have are not mine but the Lord's. I pray that I parent them accordingly. May God be glorified in them and through them, and may I cherish all the moments I get with them. They are the most amazing gifts I have and ever will receive.

I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.        Ecclesiastes 3:9-11

Thank you God for your promises and your faithfulness!

-Erin


                  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hello 30

Monday was my actual birthday, but the celebration started on Saturday. My friends and family blessed me beyond belief. I am a very lucky girl!


*picture overload*
birthday party dress

singing with my love

I added a belt last minute and used pinterest for the idea of tying it, plus my new favorite necklace



love him!

birthday day date with my husband


3 of my 4 at dinner, the baby was in his carrier

blowing out my third birthday candle

I sort of feel like I have an opportunity for a fresh beginning. Moving on from the struggles and insecurities that I tend to hold on to far too long, and focus more on loving and serving others. 

The Lord has always made me aware and called me to be an encourager, but I want to grow in that even more. 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29


I don't just want to say encouraging words, I want to avoid any talk that could possibly offend or put someone down.

This was brought about by unintentional insensitive words spoken to me about my lack of physical triumphs and age, not things that would normally bother me, but with all the emotional and physical changes from having a baby, the things said brought me down. But the Lord being so gracious, used it to bring to my attention how as a Christ follower my words really do need to be guarded if I want to truly be a light. Even jokes or questions can bring a person down.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lordkeep watch over the door of my lips.   Psalm 141:3

My boys and I repeat this verse over and over everyday. Every time an unkind or unloving thing is said, we remind ourselves of it.

This also means for me not to let fear rule and let my shyness stop me from building others up with words.

I am excited to be more intentional about being joyful and being an encourager and light! Here's to 30 and working hard to show the world who Christ really is and to share his love!


-Erin

pleated poppy