Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pictures from Christmas

Yes I am one of "those" moms who buys matching clothing for her kids. This however will probably be the last year that I can shop at Children's Place for Isaac because he has grown up so much the past few months! But I loved this first picture of the 3 boys together.
Isaac was excited to get the next 2 books in a series that he has been reading. He didn't even know Book #6 was available so that was actually a surprise to him! It is so hard to shop for a 13 year old!

Gabriel was proudly showing his new blue fuzzy jacket and Toy Story game! I love how he closes his eyes when he smiles!

Elijah had more fun with the paper and cardboard this year than he did opening any gifts himself. But you can tell by the smile on his face that he enjoyed his first Christmas!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Please Pray

My mom got an e-mail late last night from my dad and they are in Haiti - everyone is safe and having a good time so far! Thank you for lifting them up!

Original Post:

Tonight - late tonight - my dad, Isaac and a group of 5 other people are travelling up to MN to prepare to board a plane to head to Haiti tomorrow. Please be in prayer for them as they travel over the next 2 days.

Also please pray for Isaac as this is his first experience on a mission trip, leaving the country, etc. Pray for his heart for the Haitian people and that he may be a light to those he meets. I am both excited and nervous for him. I feel much better that my dad is going, and has been there before...but still the realization that my "baby" is leaving the country for 9 days is setting in.

My prayer is that this experience will really impact Isaac in a big way so please pray for that too. As I have/hear updates I will pass them along! Thank you for lifting them up in prayer!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Feet or Applesauce?

Elijah loves to eat and especially loves his fruits. But last night he had trouble deciding what he really wanted for dinner. Applesauce or .....feet!
We were able to get a spoonful of applesauce in and then he would go for his foot.
At one point he seemed to want both at the same time!
He was cracking us up last night! But what a precious face...wouldn't you agree?! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christ is Come

I wanted to share again some lyrics from a song that I enjoy listening to this time of year. In fact I think it should be played all year round but that is just my opinion! My prayer for you this next week is that your hearts and minds would be focused on the celebration of God’s gift to us through His Son. Praise God for who He is!

The word of the prophets, centuries old
The birth of Messiah, has been long foretold
That unto you (unto you) now unto you
Christ is come, let all creation sing
God's own Son, oh hail the newborn King
The word made flesh, now dwells among us (dwells among us)
Christ is come
Those born in darkness have seen a great light
The Redeemer of our hearts has been born this night
Now unto you (unto you) unto you
Christ is come, let all creation sing
God's own Son, oh hail the newborn King
The word made flesh, now dwells among us (dwells among us)
Christ is come
Prince of Peace, Yeshua, Messiah, the Son of Man
Holy One, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Great I Am
Comforter, Counselor, Author and Finisher
Divine Truth Revealer, Deliverer, Healer
You are God, Jesus You are God
Christ is come, let all creation sing
God's own Son, oh hail the newborn King
The word made flesh, now dwells among us (dwells among us)
Christ is come
Christ is come

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let it Shine

We were driving around our little town and saw a house with a cross wrapped in lights. My handy and inventive husband thought we (meaning he) might be able to come up with something similar...but better..of course right?! :)
So he built the above 7ft cross, drilled out 348 little holes and after a little white paint, he pryed lights into each of the holes and what we have left is a brilliant, shining reminder of what Christmas is all about in our front yard!
Because really Christmas isn't just about the manger, the baby, a star and some wisemen. Truth is none of that would had been necessary if this wasn't a fallen world. God knew that by sending His Son to earth as a baby, to live as a man, that His ultimate fate was the cross. He knew that His Son would pay the sacrifice for our sins and He chose to send His Son anyway.
So this Christmas don't just focus on the birth, but also the death of Christ on the cross. The cross is a reminder to me and to all of us that the atonement for our sins was already paid. That is the true gift of Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Favorite Cookie Exchange - Grandma Gerties Carmel Creme Sandwich Cookies

In the spirit of sharing and receiving some wonderful cookie recipes I am sharing my all time favorite Christmas cookie recipe. This one is so good that I don't know why I don't make it all year round. It is my dad's favorite cookie and a recipe from his mom whom I never had the chance to meet. But I think that I would have loved sitting down with her and a batch of these wonderful cookies.

For the dough:
1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cup flour

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add egg yolk. Slowly add the flour until mixed. Then put the dough into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Once chilled roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Press flat on a cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie press with a little design on it) Bake for 8-10 minutes @ 325 degrees. Remove from sheet and cool completely before frosting.

2 Tbls butter - brown in a sauce pan on the stove
Add 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Add 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together and then add a Tbls of milk, one at a time until thick. (Usually just 1-2 necessary)

The frosting will be almost like a carmel-like consistency. Find 2 cookies of a similar size and frost the bottom of 1 cookie and press it together with the bottom of another cookie.

And what you are left with are sugary, wonderful bites of goodness! I am telling you these are RICH but wonderful and will sure to be a hit at your Christmas parties!

I hope you try these cookies and if you have any questions in the process please contact me!
Merry Christmas friends!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

With a couple of "snow" days came the opportunity to finally get out our Christmas decorations! The Christmas cards have been mailed and I am well on my way to finishing all of my baking! I always enjoy this time of year. Not just for all of the goodies and decorations and of course beautiful lights. But also because it is a time where we all really seem to focus on Christ and the gift that He was to us so many years ago. I feel so blessed this year in so many ways and am so grateful that God continues to walk with me in my daily life. The best gift this Christmas will be the remembrance of the gift of Life through God's son Jesus! Merry CHRISTmas friends!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is Your Heart Ready?

This morning we got a call from my MIL Becky. Last night Dominic’s brother Aaron and his fiancĂ© Kim and her son Cole were in driving to Sioux Falls and due to snow and ice on the roads and some drivers in front of them, were in an accident where they lost control of Aaron’s truck, went into the ditch, rolled and hit a tree.

Thankfully, and praise God for it, no one was seriously hurt.

But the call really made me stop and think this morning. We never know when our “time” will be. Many of us can think of a time that something happened that was a close call – where we “faced” death. 8 years ago I had a cyst burst inside of me and I bled internally for many hours before I went to the doctor. When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was dangerously low and I had to have emergency surgery where my doctor was able to save me. Had I gotten in the car and driven home that night…well I may not be here today. God had other plans for me.

But at the time, that situation didn’t really make me stop and take inventory about how I was living and where my heart was. This morning was different though. When I heard about the accident I could only think that I was grateful for the safety of my family, but also grateful that I know they have Christ as their Savior.

And I wonder how many of us are walking around trusting that we will have another day to make that decision. Another day to change our sinful behavior, another day to do it right…tomorrow. What if tomorrow doesn’t come?

I have shared before that I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was really young. But I didn’t really “get” it. I basically thought it was just asking Christ into my heart and everything would be roses. It wasn’t. I didn’t understand what I had done wrong and I kept asking Him back in over and over.

I spent many years, as a teenager and young adult seeking after my own selfish motives. I focused on the world and what it had to offer and less on what God would have me do. When Dominic and I got married I carried this behavior into our relationship and it was a recipe for disaster.

For 10 years we lived as husband and wife but not with God as the forefront of our marriage. The husband and wife titles were just that…titles. For many years we were more like roommates. Roommates that didn’t like each other. It was difficult, really difficult. And when things got bad I blamed God. Where was He? Why didn’t He change my husband? Why did we have to live like this?

Did I ever take a real serious look at myself? NO! Did I ever take responsibility for the things I was doing that contributed to our disharmony? NO! I was more comfortable with pointing my 1 finger at someone else and wouldn’t see the 3 pointing back at myself.

At one point we joined a church, even went as far as being baptized as adults. Professing our faith in God and asking for His forgiveness. I honestly believe that we wanted that for our lives, living a life with God at the center. But we didn’t know how to do it in all practical reality.

You see I had missed a key component in the “salvation” story. The part about repentance and what that really meant. A turning away from ones sin. Our pastor talks about running in the opposite direction of that sinful nature. I didn’t do that. I wanted to just accept Christ and have my life be better. I didn’t want to have to change myself in the process.

God was patient with me, He knew where I would end up and He let me make my choices so that I would learn from them. And eventually I did. I still am…

And so again I wonder, who out there is like me? Believing that they are “saved” but choosing to live in sin, refusing to repent…to run away from that sinful behavior? Blaming God because their lives aren’t changing.

The good news is that it isn’t too late. But you just can’t keep putting it off any longer!! We don’t know what tomorrow will hold and your soul is too important to put off making a choice for Christ!

If you are living a life that isn’t honoring to God, turn from that sin and run towards the only One who can save you. Is it easy to change patterns of behavior that seem so ingrained? No – I would be lying if I said it was.

I still see those old behaviors in my life today. But I see them less and less and I recognize them much sooner and make amends much faster than I had in the past. All of that is only possible because I have come to develop a personal relationship with God.

He isn’t this “supernatural” being up in the sky. He is a God that rides with me to work every day. That blesses me with peace and a confidence in Him. It just isn’t about what I have done or who I am….not at all!! My life is good today because of Him – in spite of me.

Is my life all roses? Nope. Honestly I wish it were easier sometimes. I feel frustrated when I can’t see His purpose in things. I feel disappointed when opportunities don’t open up for our family like I think they should and I often question what His will is in our lives.

The truth is I am not God! I know…big revelation. And I shouldn’t expect to know all that He knows. I want things in MY time and not His. I am human but it is my goal to be less and less of this world and more and more of Him. But I have to stay connected with Him.

About an hour ago I got a call with some disappointing news. Without getting into the specific details of that call, I will just share that it was something that we wanted for our family, something we prayed about asking for God’s will in the situation. Today we got our answer.

He closed the door. And in all honesty I am struggling with that. I don’t understand why the door had to be closed. I can’t see what He might have in store that is different and so I sit feeling frustrated. It is in my “old” nature to act on those feelings…lash out at God and be angry or depressed.

I knew coming in today that I wanted to write a post about what I was thinking about in the car. And when I got that call I wasn’t feeling like I really wanted to share the “Good News” of Christ because I wasn’t feeling it.

But you see that is the point. Even though I am not “feeling it” doesn’t mean that God isn’t still there in the middle working everything out for good. I just can’t quite see it yet. My vision is clouded – not His. And if I am going to honestly pray for His will in my life then I have to be open to the possibility of closed doors just as I would be to open ones.

I know this is long and hopefully it is making some bit of sense. Getting down to brass tacks people. If you don’t have Christ as your Savior – what is stopping you? Don’t wait any longer! If you are stuck in sinful behavior and can’t seem to get out - turn to Him, reach out for help and see your life dramatically change. If it is possible for me, it is possible for you too!

I have seen the benefits in my own life from trusting in God and I am more than willing to get into more detail if you have any questions. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime at

Blessings dear friends

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