"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Loving my Precious Rainbow

Do you ever just look at your baby and think there is no way you could love her more?  I have done that quite a few times today. I feel so blessed to be her mommy.  Even though she has been up since 6:30 and she she has refused to take much of a nap today, she is still my sweet girl.  We had some snuggle moments today that just melt my heart.  Sometimes she Smiles at me like I'm her whole world and she has no idea that she is mine too.  I remember those years of uncertainty wondering if we would ever be blessed with a take-home baby.

Right now, she is sharing my cup of water, going to get more water and bringing it back.  I guess she thinks I need to drink more water.  On the way to the fridge, she found her box graham crackers and brought me the whole box. I guess it's snack time again.

It's hard to imagine within the next few weeks, she will be a big sister.  The house has been a bustle of activity getting ready.  I've cleaning and trying to keep up on the laundry.  Freezer meals and freezer corn have been done, bassinet has been assembled, the play room, aka living room, has been cleaned and rearranged.  We are ready, if you ever can be truly ready.

I have no doubt she is going to be a great big sister.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Getting Ready and an Update

Ok, I haven't been a very good blogger lately.  I find sometimes it's easier just to post a status to Facebook then write out a whole blog post.  I apologize for my laziness.

Anne is 22 months old now and learning more everyday.  Her vocabulary has exploded lately and she will repeat almost anything you say.  We are starting to introduce Potty Training.  She did go one time on the potty and we cheered for her.  She will tell us if she is "dirty" but not until afterwards.  I guess she has to start somewhere.  Her favorite songs right now are No More Monkey Jumping on the Bed, 10 Little Buses, and the ABC's.  She loves her coloring activity kit and anything that is outside.  I don't what we are going to do this winter when we can't go outside much.  Her favorite toys continue to be her black bear and rainbow bear.  One or both of those bears come with us everywhere.

She is preparing to be a big sister.  I'm not sure that she fully understands yet what that means.  She has been very clingy to be this week so I think she has an idea that something is going to be changing.  I'm trying to give her extra love and attention because I know it will be a big transition for her having to share mommy.

Weight: 22lbs, 4 ozs (10%)
Height: 32 inches (25%)
Head: 18 inches (25%)

It's been a pretty productive weekend for Steve and I.  He had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off.  That is almost unheard of in the retail world.  It was great to have him home.  Friday, we babysat for a cute little 4 month old boy.  It was good big sister practice for Anne.  She did ok.  I made a check list of things that we still need to do before the baby comes.  I can't believe I'm Full Term, as of Saturday.  This pregnancy has gone by so fast, it seems.  I feel incredibly blessed to have this baby growing inside of me.
Clean, dust, and vacuum Anne's Room - Check
Clean, dust, and vacuum Living Room and Master Bedroom - Check
Clean dining room and mop floors - Check
Clean the kitchen, including dishes - Check (for the most part.  There are still some dished to do)

Wash and Fold a load of laundry - Check
Wash and Fold Anne's Diapers - Check (even though I had to dry them twice thanks to a rain storm)

Have tacos and celebrate rainbows with great friends - Check
Tag and drop off 5 totes of baby stuff for the Granger Children's Resale - Check
Install infant car seat - Check
Vacuum out Lexus - Check
Wow, I wonder if there was anything else that we got done between Friday and today.  Yikes.  We still have to put together the hospital bags and Anne's overnight bag for when she goes to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  The bassinet is still at my parent's house too.  The swing is here already and I got our bouncer today.Baby needs to stay inside for a little bit longer.

Baby had it's 37 week appointment today.  Today, the baby measured at 38 weeks and had a nice strong heart beat.  This eases quite a bit of my anxiety since at the last two appointments, the baby was measuring 2 weeks behind.  Apparently, baby was just gearing up for a big growth spurt.  The OB said the baby is already "head down" but it facing up so she wants me to try to get him or her to turn over.  We are just waiting now.  It could be any day.  Anne was 6 days early and almost my entire labor was done at the hospital, so it will interesting to see what this baby does.

I realize that I haven't really done any maternity pictures yet for this baby.  I should probably get on that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Toddler Activity Kit

Anne has a new activity kit.  I hope she enjoys playing with it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  Right now, she is sitting next to me coloring in the notepad and on her herself.  I guess she is getting a bath tonight.  It will be a great on-the-go activity kit.  

The kit was created with stuff we had around the house, stuff Grandma had around her house and some from Office Max.  Everybody at Office Max was extremely friendly and helpful.
 I purchased a new Trapper Keeper ($16.99) to hold everything together.  It has a handle so she can carry it herself and zippers so she items won't fall out.
 Contents: A ruler (1 cent), Crayons (Free from Grandma) in Tupperware (Free from Tupperware party), chalk ($1.49), some fun coloring and sticker books ($1.50 each)
 Contents: Books (Free), markers ($.25), and colored pencils (Free from Grandma), with colored paper (free from Grandma) and notebook ($.50)
 Contents: A dry erase board ($3.71) and dry erase marker (included)
 Contents: Fun colored pens ($1), Uno game (Free), and pencil sharpener (1 cent).  All put together in a bag (Free from Grandma).  Three pencil bags (1 cent each) and folders for organizing (.30 each).

Total Cost: $25.99

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hello Third Trimester

 Anne at 28 weeks and Rainbow #2 at 28 weeks.
How far along?: 28 weeks
How big is baby?:
Your baby's the size of a cauliflower!
He or she is about 16 inches and now about 2.5 pounds.

It seems so strange that we have 12 weeks or less left.  This pregnancy seems like it's gone by so fast.  I love when Anne pokes my belly and says, "baby."  I'm not sure she truly understands what's going to happen in a few months but she is, no doubt, going to be a great big sister.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Favorite Freezer Meals

None of these recipes are my own creation.  I don't remember what websites I copied them from.

Psalm 22:26
The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him-- may your hearts live forever!


Crock Pot Brunch Casserole
1 lb sausage (or ground chicken)
1 can condensed cream of potato
1 can of cheese soup
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
green pepper
Small bag of frozen hash browns
1 bag of mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
frozen spinach

Slow cook on low for 6-8 hours.

~~Even my best friend's picky eaters liked this.

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup
1 cup carrots
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can white beans
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup parm cheese
2 cups spinach
2 cups pasta shells (add in last 30 minutes of cooking)

Slow cook on low for 6-8 hours

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
3 lbs ground beef, browned
onion (usually I use French Fried onions)
green pepper
15 ounce can of tomato sauce (or homemade)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili power

Slow cook on low for 6-8 hours

Crock Pot Chicken Supreme
3 slices of bacon, cooked
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 oz can chicken soup or 10 oz jar of Alfredo sauce
4 oz jar of mushrooms (or fresh), sauteed
1/2 cup swiss cheese

Slow cook on low for 4-5 hours (longer is chicken is frozen)

Baked Ziti
1 lb pasta
1 onion, sauteed
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (or homemade)
6 oz provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cottage cheese
parm cheese

1. Layer as lasagna in 9x13 baking pan, Top with Parmesan cheese.
2. Bake for 30 minutes, cover for first 20 minutes

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (my mom's recipe)
1 lb hamburger
3 12oz tomato paste with 3 cans of water
oregano, Italian seasoning, basil
1 can diced tomatoes

1. Brown hamburger in large pan
2. Simmer all ingredients for 2 hours on low

For Chili use sauce recipe but add:
 1. Chili powder, stewed tomatoes, onions, and kidney beans

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 2015 Fun

May has been a great month.

Our Anniversary
Steve and I celebrated 8 years of marriage on May 5th.  I feel so blessed to have spent the last 8 years married to this wonderful guy.  He is such a hard worker and an even better daddy.  We celebrated our anniversary with a night out by ourselves.  Anne had a wonderful time at a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's.  It was very nice to have a relaxing evening alone.  We went to a bed and breakfast in Syracuse, Indiana.  There wasn't much to do in Syracuse, so before picking up Anne we stopped and saw a movie, The Avengers.  The movie had its entertaining parts.  Personally, I thought it started out a little slow but by the end it was entertaining.

There was a jacuzzi tub right in the room.
Mother's Day
May 10th was Mother's Day.  Mother's Day can be a difficult day for some.  Whether, it's because of loss or infertility for some wonderful ladies the day is not filled with happiness and joy.  I understand this all too well.  I remember dreading the day, avoiding TV and news because everything was about Mother's Day.  Everything was a reminder of the lives we lost.  I know what's it's like to hate going to grocery store or the mall because there were babies and pregnant ladies everywhere.  I'm keenly aware that when I go out with Anne or even without Anne now I'm pregnant again that I may be bringing pain to someone without even meaning to.  That makes Mother's Day all the more special to me.  God has blessed us with two beautiful angels that we will forever be connected to, one little girl that we hold in our arms, and another I hold inside.

Mother’s Day is a celebration of ALL mothers, whether you hold your children in your arms, you hold your children in your hearts because God holds them in Heaven, or you hold them inside expecting them this year.
Our family made a reservation for lunch at Legends at Notre Dame.  It's becoming somewhat of a tradition, I think.  We came here last year too.  The food and atmosphere are very good.  Afterwards, the family enjoys walking around the Notre Dame campus but it was rainy.  I love being a mom to my sweet Anne.  On Mother's Day, I was 23 weeks with our second miracle.  We very much look forward to the arrival of our second rainbow in September.

Of course, I would be wrong to not honor my own mom.  I have learned so much from my mom about being a mom.  I hope that someday I am as good of a mom as she is.  I am extremely blessed that she is able to watch Anne while I work.  It feels good to know that I don't have to worry about her care when I'm away from her.

Memorial Day Weekend
This weekend, Steve's mom visited town on Sunday and since South Bend was celebrated its 150th Anniversary we joined in the festivities.  After lunch, we headed to downtown.  I thought is was actually quite well done.  The entire kid's area was free.  I love free fun.  

On Monday, my parents had their annual Memorial Day picnic. So after the parade, Anne and I worked on making some deviled eggs, which my dad helped me finish at their house.  It rained for about 20 minutes during the parade but turned out to be a beautiful day.

 Anne coloring her "Panda Mask" at the festival.
 She tried her hand at a bouncy slide with her Sister-in-Law, Julieanne and her cousin, Jacob.
 Papa shared his chocolate ice cream cone with me. ~ Anne
 Watching the parade with Grandma.  "Look, there's a doggy." ~Anne
 Anne using Grandma's hat to stay dry in the rain.

Monday, May 4, 2015

18 Month Update

Anne had her 18 month well-baby check up today. She will actually be 19 months next week, but this is the time when we get an appointment scheduled.  She has grown so much since the last update.  It seems like she gets bigger and smarter every day.  We just love her so much.

She has had a lingering cough and cold this week.  The poor girl was so miserable.  The doctor checked her out and said everything looks and sounds good, but one of her ears was a little red so he prescribed some medicine for her.
She loves to 'read' books. This is her 'reading' with her friend, Lily. 
After the took all the cushions off the couch, of course.

Weight: 21.6 lbs (10%)
Height: 31 inches (25%)
Head: 18 inches (25%)

TEETH: 12 but another upper canine is on the way in.

WALKING: She is learning how to run.  She loves to climb everywhere.

WORDS: She is learning more new words all the time.  Her favorite word right now appears to be "Shoe."
Sometimes she will just babble away and we have no idea what she is saying and other times she is perfectly clear.

Words she can say:  Mommy, Papa, Grandma, Grandpa, Austin, Shoe, Strawberries (sounds like 'Aubreys'), More (sounds like 'My'), "Oh Wow", "Uh, Oh", Up, Down, No, "All done", Birdies, ball, bear, Monkey

SIGN LANGUAGE:  Thank you, More, Please, Birds, Elephant, Mommy, All done, banana

BEDTIME: Bedtime is generally around 9pm. We are still working on teaching her to sleep through the night.  She will usually sleep until midnight or 1am in her crib before waking up and spending the rest of the night in our bed.  Hopefully, when she is over this cold and congestion we can work on sleeping longer again.

FAVORITE FOODS:  She could eat her weight in strawberries.  She loves anything with pasta especially with Grandma's homemade sauce.  Vegetables and fruits are still a favorite food. She tried a pickle today. She was not a fan. I wish I would have taken a picture of the face she made.  It was priceless.
 Anne is so happy that she cold and snow are gone.  She loves to be outside. She would spend every waking moment playing outside if we let her.  She imitates everything we do, which is really fun.  She 'feeds' her toys and rocks them to sleep, just like her mama and papa do for her.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

God's Unexpected Blessings

I had a very humbling thing happen today. I was out grocery shopping with Anne. She was acting pretty good considering she wasn't feeling good.  After getting all our food, we were standing in the checkout.  The lady standing behind us only had a few things, so I asked her if she wanted to go ahead of us. At first, she said, "no" because I had a little one but I insisted. I had a WIC voucher and I know those can sometimes take extra time.
I didn't expect what would happen next. When I got to the cashier,she said the lady in front of me insisted that she give me her change.  The cashier actually said, "I guess there are good people in the world."  Wow. I was shocked. I told the cashier to save it for someone more in need but the cashier said the lady made her promise to give it to me.
I wish Anne was old enough to understand the kindness that was showed to us.  I didn't count it until I had met Steve for dinner at Sears. I figured it was just a few dollars.  It was $83 and change.
I definitely plan to pay it forward.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Goodbye Nelnet

Past Due:$0.00
Current Amount Due:$0.00
Pay This Amount:$0.00
Outstanding Balance:$0.00   View Payoff Details
Steve and I made the final payment on his Nelnet student loan today.  One down, one more to go and we are DEBT FREE, except for the house. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

It's 'Snow' Fun

South Bend got a little bit of snow over the weekend. 

Anne and I went over to Grandma's house to play. 
We got all bundled up in our snow pants, hats, and gloves.
 Then we rode the sled up and down Grandma's driveway.

 The snow was almost as deep as she is tall in some places.  She attempted to climb in the snow mounds.