heavenly sunrise

Just wanted to share this picture I snapped of my husband son yesterday around 6:30 am. Ezra had woken around 4:15 with a leaky diaper and I got him back to sleep for a bit. At 6 am, he was ready to go for a walk, so we all went for a Sunday morning stroll. My husband saw his dad driving the truck through the field and waved him down to pick us up. It was a great start to a Sunday! We got the boy back to bed for a nap before church, and I even got a short nap, too.

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recent photos & a bad case of poison oak

I caught some neat shots lately of random things that I thought I would share. And I’m eaten up with poison oak – the worst case I’ve had in about 3 years. I honestly think my son gave it to me, but he doesn’t have a spot on him, thankfully. Anyhoo, I’ve tried everything…Benadryl gel, calamine lotion, Appalachian Secret, Dawn dish liquid (including taking the rough side of a sponge and scrubbing – painful and didn’t work), and finally jewel weed soap. I had my regular OB appointment today (37 weeks come Thursday) and she wrote me a prescription for steroid pills and cream. That should do the trick, I think. I have it on my arms, fingers, chest, stomach, legs, and even eye lids!

OB says all is well with me and baby so I go back in a week. Won’t be long before baby arrives! The heart beat was around 140, so what do you think about the gender?

poppies and more

There’s a gazillion things I’d love to blog about, but you (my readers) seem to be more like me and prefer pictures. So, I’ll let you create your own story about what I’ve been up to lately…

easter and earth day in photos

Thought you might enjoy some Easter and Earth Day photos I captured…they kind of went hand in hand this year.

meal planning, cooking, and rest

I did well planning out three meals last Sunday that I could prepare this past week and I actually ended up fixing all of them! I made the veggie pasta Monday, the ratatouille Wednesday, and the black bean burritos Thursday. All of them were good, but I think the burritos were best. I ended up with left over asparagus, mushrooms, and something else that I plan to make stir fry with this evening before they go bad. I picked up some frozen shrimp (from the NC coast, to be as local as possible) and will fix those up with the veggies then serve with rice. Easy Sunday evening dinner.

This week, I found these sweet potato burritos I plan to make one night. Then, I think I’ll make plain old spaghetti one evening, too. Not sure what I will do the other nights this week, but I have no doubt I will figure it out before then. I didn’t plan too much this week because we’re not going to be home a couple nights for dinner, so we’ll eat out.

I had a blast cooking this week! My younger sister had bought us this big chopping block for Christmas, but I didn’t break it out until we moved into our new house. She brought me these pretty new knives when she visited a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve enjoyed chopping up the fresh ingredients to go in our meals. I missed cooking with a real stove and lots of room.

Speaking of more room, we DID move into our new home almost three weeks ago! I was hesitant to blog about it for a while, because of some legalities, but it’s pretty well-known now so what the heck. We are loving our new place! My son has adapted well to his new room and things have gone fairly well. I enjoy our new living room and dining room furniture and it’s been fun decorating. I still don’t have any art or photos on the wall – I’m being very strategic. I want BIG things or groups of small things to look big. We still have about 3.5 months before this second baby arrives, so I have time to rest a little here and there…but how much rest do you get when you have a two year old?!

On the topic of rest – that was our Sunday school lesson from today and it was a very good one. I have enjoyed the past 6 weeks lessons about work, money, generosity and now rest (my personal favorite). It talked about how God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th and how he set an example for the rest of us to follow. A lot of times, we get so wrapped up in life and all the things we have to do that we don’t rest nearly enough, but it’s important to do so at least one day a week. Rest and reflect. So, make it a point to build that into your weekly routine, even if it’s not Sunday.

Here are some recent photos – some of the new house and some from my cooking experiences this week. Enjoy!

budgeting and generous giving

I told my husband the other day that I want to create a real budget since we now have a house payment (something we’ve not had in our 11 years of marriage). Sure, we’ve had other payments, but none as big as this mortgage and none that will last for such a long period of time. The past several Sunday School lessons at our church have been about work and money management, so this comes at the perfect time.

After teaching my spin class yesterday, I got into a conversation about budgeting with one of my students, who has been on a budget for quite sometime. She follows the Dave Ramsey principles which I’m somewhat familiar with (thanks to my cousin who gave me that book many years ago!). I need to pull that book back out because I only made it to the second or third step in the plan. Either way, this gal was so helpful and emailed me the neatest spreadsheet on budgeting that she uses. I plan to get into the meat of it this weekend and figure out our budget for next month and see how it goes. I don’t think our house payment will start until May which is nice so we’ll have a month to practice.

This week’s Sunday School lesson is about “Our generous giving should glorify God and reflect Christ’s giving.” My mom raised me to understand the importance of tithing (giving the first 10% back to God) and over the past several years, I’ve really practiced this. I’m a good tither, but I’m not good at “offerings”, so I plan to work that into the budget. I was proud to hear my sister say she gave a good chunk of her earnings to the church last year. I guess mom’s words DID sink in after all!

Some points from the Sunday School lesson this week (2 Corinthians 9:10-13):

  • The Lord is the One who provides our necessities of life and more
  • The reason for multiplying our material resources is to increase the harvest of our righteousness
  • God prospers us not so we can move on up and enjoy a bigger piece of the pie but to enable us to do more to bless others
  • Our generosity will result in people offering thanksgiving to God, thus bringing glory to Him
  • Generosity supplies the needs of the saints
  • Generosity expresses thanks to God
  • Generosity confesses the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone

So, I’m praying over our new budget and asking God to guide me in creating it and following it. I know it won’t be easy to change some of our habits (like eating out WAY too much), but I know we can do it. One reason we got a house is to stay here and enjoy it, so I plan to work on meal planning on the weekends and this gal is going to be grilling out a LOT more this spring and summer!

On another note, I got me some Starbucks Veranda Blend Blonde Roast at the grocery store the other day and it sure is tasty. I had been drinking my favorite Jamaican Me Crazy blend, but I was almost out and was ready to try something new. Plus this was half the price. Yes, I’m pregnant, but I don’t worry about one cuppa joe a day.

Have a blessed day!

A pretty sunset one evening this week

A pretty sunset one evening this week