Mark at 18 Months: Mr. Personality

Mr. Mark at 18 Months has quite the sense of humor and personality now...he's reminding me of his Daddy!

After our lovely Thanksgiving Dinner with family and friends, Mark decided to climb on top of the coffee table and get everyone's attention with his antics.

He did quite a good job.

He got everyone's attention, everyone laughing and had to clap for himself at a job well done.

Then he did a great job going to other people and spending one on one time with them.

He just loves technology, so playing with phones is super cool.

Sometimes we have to work on our temper when we don't get our way, but this is normal and a part of a toddlers little growing up process.

But we love being with Daddy and Julia and Mommy the best, because they are so silly and always make us laugh.

Mark loves to explore his surrounding by sampling everything!!!  And what better way than to taste things!

He is a very good listener and likes to mimic everything Miss Julia does.

Hey, did you know this is my Daddy?  He's really great!

Mark's repetive words are:

* Mama
* Dada
* Cook (cookie)
* Ball
* Football
* Touch down
* Mine (thank you, Julia...no, not happy about this word)
* No (said only when we ask if we can bite his hiney, LOL)
* Bye Bye
* One More (for more)
* Make, Make, Make (one of our Bible songs...Make, Make, Make a joyful noise!)
* Jeez (Jesus loves me song, he prompts this one in the car or right before bed)


He signs for "please" and "milk" and "thank you" 

Mark, you are mommy's FAVORITE son!  I love you!  And I'm so proud to be your mommy!

Mommy Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

 Hi Friends! Be sure to visit Suzette's blog and read her review on Babe.

One of the many reasons why I love this movie is because of the clear message that beauty is truly found within.  We all have ugly, wicked, hearts, but only by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ can we be truly beautiful and clean on the inside.  When we give our life to Jesus he makes what was ugly and dirty and cleans and beautifies it with his love and his light.  How often have you met someone who was attractive on the outside but after spending only a few minutes with them you realized they were really "ugly"?  Our outer appearance is temporary, and is only one part of us.  Our inner lives are eternal and what we should really be focusing on.  I know plenty of people who work far too hard on perfecting their outer appearance and pay little or no attention to their inner person.

Kristi's Positives:

* Belle is finally a Princess who is not only beautiful on the outside, but beautiful on the inside as well.  She doesn't judge people by the way the look but rather by the way they treat people and care for others.  As a believer in Christ I constantly need to ask God to give me eyes to see people the way He does.  Eyes that are blind to the outside looks but eyes that are open to the core of  a person's soul and needs.

* The Beast was once a handsome Prince who treated a stranger very cruelly and would not allow the old haggard looking woman in for help, she warned him not to be deceived, because true beauty is found within, but it was too late, because of the way The Prince treated her he was put under a curse, he and his whole household.  It reminded me that our sins affect the people around us and especially affect the people we care about the most.  It also reminded me that we should be kind and loving and hospitable to all people because we never know who may be "entertaining".  Jesus says when we are kind to the least of these we are really showing our kindness and love to Him.  When we go out of our way to minister to the people who need the most help and who cannot repay us, that is when God is truly glorified.  It's easy to be kind to the kindhearted and loving to the lovely, but it's a lot harder to be kind to difficult people and it's very sacrificial to be loving to poor people who will not necessarily be able to repay us or give us a pat on the back.

* I love how Gaston, the man who wants to marry Belle, is so over the top in love with himself, he is so prideful and conceited and it is easy to show our children how we SHOULD NOT behave or treat people.  There are so many lessons we can teach them about being humble, and gracious.  Yes he was handsome and strong, and powerful but he used all of his "gifts" for his own glory and not to bless anyone else.  God calls us to use our gifts and talents for His glory, not just to pridefully strut our stuff!

* I like how the characters in the castle like Mrs. Potts and Lumiere and the Clock all try to help the Beast be kind and welcoming and gentle to Belle.  They want to see the Prince fall in love with Belle so she can help break the curse.  The Beast learns to stop being selfish and learns to love someone else and put their needs before his own.

* Belle learns to love this Prince who may not be your typical "handsome" bloke, but he's gentle, and fun, and he loves books, and he loves making Belle happy.

* I love that Belle is not a typical beautiful princess with no brain.  She loves to read, and imagine, and loves adventures, she doesn't want to settle for what everyone else says she should do.  She is confident and defends and sticks up for her father and his inventions.  She loves her father very much and that is why she offers to take his place in the castle so he can be free.

* I think it is beautiful how The Prince sacrifices his life for Belle, and she realizes how much she cares for him.  And it's wonderful how just at that very moment the last rose petal falls and the curse is broken.  And they could live happily ever after.  Very good timing!

Kristi's Negatives:

* I wish this movie could be entitled Beauty and the Ugly Prince (The Beast has very negative connotations when you look in the book of Revelations Satan is referred to as the beast)

* The candlestick character Lumiere is always flirting with the broom girl in the castle and their behavior is a little off color.  I would have liked those parts deleted out.  They were not necessary for little eyes.

My Rating: 9

Thanksgiving Out-takes!!!

Here are some fun family photos we took yesterday...which one would you choose for our Christmas card??? We had so much fun posing and making the kids laugh!  And the best part was we were in the comfort of a home and had lots of adults to call out the kids names to get them to look forward!  I just love it!



Actually, I'm thinking of doing a Christmas Photo Collage and using a bunch of them!  They are too hilarious! And really show us the way life is, busy, but fun!

Enjoy your weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

I'm thankful for God in my life, my family by my side and my friends a phone call or text away!  God bless all of you!  Enjoy your special day!

The Power of a Praying Wife Chapter 26: His Deliverance

Deliverance

We've all heard the Scriptures say...

"Deliver us from the evil one..." Matthew 6:13

"Deliver us from temptation..." 2 Peter 2: 9

"Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you..." Psalm 50:15

This deliverance is freedom from the bondage of sin, and we all have tendencies towards certain sins.  We might not want to admit that or acknowledge that.  But why would God send His only Son to die on the cross for our sin if we were not enslaved to it.  Sin is yucky, and it traps us and one sin leads to another.   I'm so thankful for such a big God that can help us and deliver us from the bonds of sin.  He is so faithful to help us in our daily struggles and our times of troubles.  Whatever those sins may be, it could be materialism, lust, gossip, jealousy, laziness, etc.  No matter what sin you struggle with God has the power to help release you from it's grip if you are willing to let go.

I don't know all of you well enough to know your personal struggles (and that's between you and the Lord) and I don't know your spouses either, but you do...and all of us struggle with certain issues.  I have found that praying specifically really helps because once you can admit the sin out loud it's almost like the first step to recognizing it and starting your journey with Jesus towards change.

Let's pray that:

* We will be free from any particular sin that binds us. (name it out loud or write it in a journal)
* Ask God to deliver you from that sin and to be your rock and refuge and your fortress of defense to save you
* Tell God you know He has begun a good work in you, or your spouse and you know He will complete it
* Ask for continued strength and that God will enable you to be strong during any temptation that comes your way

Love Dare:
Tell your spouse one thing that you are truly Thankful for this year about him


Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Julia's New Normal

We start our day with Julia saying, "Mom, I'm awake! Can I get up?"  Then when I say, "Sure, come on downstairs!" She says, "One minute Mommy, I gotta make my bed!" (Is that normal for a 2 year old to want to make her bed/bedroom neat and clean before she leaves it?)

Then we enjoy breakfast with the three of us because Daddy leaves by 6:30 or 7 am.  After breakfast clean up we hurry upstairs to get dressed so we don't miss Elmo's World on Sesame Street!

We play in the basement and watch the end of Sesame Street and Julia usually tells me, "Mom, Marky did his poop!" To which I go in and quickly change him.  (Is it normal for a 2 year old to remind their mother about their brother's needs?)

Then Julia gets to choose her own video to watch while mommy showers and Marky plays or naps in his crib upstairs.  When I come downstairs to make my second cup of coffee Julia says, "Mommy is it time for school? I want to paint and do my homework!" (Is it normal for a 2 year to want to do school and have homework, and to remind their mom to do school?)

We practice our letters for the week, we color pictures or paint pictures that represent that letter.  We do puzzles, listen to songs, read books, hear Bible stories, practice memory verses, practice our numbers and counting, practice our sight words for the week, etc.  We have a great hour of learning time! (Julia likes to tell me her verses she learns in Sunday School, this week's verse was, "Do not fear, God is with you, Amen!" And if they say their verse they got a lollipop, Julia always asks her teacher Miss Jen, "Can Marky have a lollipop?? Is that normal?)


We have lots of time for adventures through out the week with Library Craft Class on Monday, Story time on Wednesday, and Gymnastics on Friday.  I also like to take them to the Party gym once or twice a month because they meet tons of new kids and get to run and play indoors since park time is not available due to the cooler temps.  Julia walks up to strangers and says, "What's your name? I'm Julia Star McInerney!"

We have times when it's just mommy and me, and Julia will say, "Mom I miss you so much!"  "Mom, I love you!"  It's great to hear those words and get in some extra hugs and kisses.


Julia is always trying to figure things out and do things on her own.  She loves to show Mark how to use a new toy, or try a new trick.  At the party gym she taught him how to climb up the cushiony stairs to get to the big indoor slide.  She's always, always busy.  And always thinking of her brother.

Julia's new normal is pretty amazing.  She's growing up into a 3 year old right before our eyes!  I'm so proud of you sweet cakes!  You are my shining star!

Mommy Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

Today I will be reviewing Alice in Wonderland and Suzie will be reviewing Joseph: King of Dreams.

When I first watched this movie I immediately though of a cute, curious, blond third grader I had.  Alice and Cecilia could have been twins!  Both had these amazing imaginations, but sometimes their curiosity got them in a bit of trouble when they were supposed to be minding their studies.  I had the privilege of teaching Cecilia in third grade and fourth grade since that was the year I looped with my students.  I got to see how Cecilia's amazing mind worked even better and how she began to grow and mature into a young woman.

Kristi's Positives: 

* The characters in the story are a part of Alice's imagination so they are made up creatures with sill personalities.  In Alice's world all things that couldn't happen, do, and all things that wouldn't happen, would in her wonderland.  So doors talk, flowers sing, and a special drink can help you to shrink or grow!

* The lesson that I got from this story is that although living in a land where anything is possible sounds fun, actually staying there is NOT fun.  And after awhile home is where the heart is.  Alice discovers that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and once you actually get there, you start to see the weeds!  A great lesson of being happy and content where God has you is a wonderful lesson to learn at every age.

* Alice isn't naughty or rude or mean.  She's a sweet little girl with an awesome imagination and she is rather curious.  But you never see her being fresh or naughty to authority, which is hard to find in a lot of children's movies these days.

Kristi's Negatives:

* After awhile I wanted to leave Wonderland...just my opinion but the movie bored me and my kids after a bit...the story line isn't that enthralling, there aren't real bad guys and good guys just a girl lost in Wonderland, so there is no major urgency or sense of "I can't wait to see the next part!"

* The Queen of Hearts and her constant: "Off with their heads!" really didn't need to be so awful.  I wish she didn't have to say it.  The last thing I need is for Julia to pick up on that phrase!

My rating: 8

Saturday Recipe Swap--Ditallini Pasta and White Bean Zuchini Dish




This recipe was from a magazine and there were only pictures, no measurements!  But I liked that I could play with the recipe and figure out what worked best for my family.  Below is how I made it two nights ago, and my family LOVES this dish.  It's a great way to sneak in veggies and protein under some Parmesan cheese and anything with pasta is acceptable to my Toddlers.


Ingredients:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 zuchini cut in long thin slivers or diced
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of Tubetti pasta or ditallini pasta
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Bacon chopped up (optional)

Kristi's Directions:

1. In a cooking pan add olive oil under med heat and add chopped onion.  After sauteing for about 2 minutes add about 1 1/2 cups of water.

2. As water bubbles to a boil add your pasta.  Let pasta cook for a good 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  If you feel you need to add more water, do it!

3. When pasta starts to soften add beans and stir for 2-3 minutes, cover.

4. Add zuchini pieces and let soften, cover for 2-3 minutes.

****Make sure you stir throughout this dish cooking because the pasta has a tendency to stick to the bottom since they are so little.

5. When you are ready to serve top with Parmesan cheese and bacon!

Proverbs Walk Thru Chapter 18

November 18--Proverbs 18

vs 1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he rages against all wise judgment.

*importance of reaching out and seeking godly counsel 

vs 2 A fool has no delight in understanding but in expressing his own heart.

*importance of being slow to speak and quick to listen

vs 4 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the well spring of wisdom is a flowing brook.

*our words can bring life if we have godly wisdom

vs 7 A fools mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

* our words can get us into deep trouble if we are not careful with them

vs 8 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles (wounds) and they go down into the inmost body.

* gossip only destroys

vs 9 He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

* whatever "work" we do whether it be ministry, our career outside the home, our career inside the home, it should be our very best and be unto the Lord

vs 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. 

* I love this verse because it reminds me of how BIG God is and how even saying His name can make me feel better and safer.  It also shows us that the righteous run to Him.  We learned in our Proverbs walk last week that a "righteous" person is the opposite of a "wicked" person, a righteous person is one who seeks God and chooses to "live" for God as opposed to a wicked person who is "dead" in their sins.  A righteous person realizes that to run to God is a wise thing!  When we run toward God we will be safe, safe from our fears, saved from our sinful past, and running toward a bright future!

vs 13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.


* Listen before we speak or move into action.  A lot of us react instead of being still and knowing He is God and He is in control.  We let our flesh lead us instead of the Holy Spirit.

vs 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue.  And those who love it will eat its fruit.

* What seeds am I sowing in my heart and life?  I will be able to tell by the kind of words I speak.  Do I speak the truth in love? Or am I sarcastic and crass?  Do I build people up and encourage them? Or do I gossip about people and slander them?  Am I sowing seeds of love and sweetness or am I sowing seeds of anger and bitterness? My words will be my fruit.  Whatever is hidden in my heart will come out in my speech.  Isn't that a scary thought?  And I want to be producing good, wholesome, nourishing and edible pieces of fruit, not rotten, wormy, and decaying fruit.

vs 22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.

*I hope I can be the kind of wife this verse speaks about! I want to bring favor and blessing to my husband.  I do not want to be a curse to him!

vs 24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

*Today I took my kids to the party gym.  It is a great place to make new friends and play and jump with new toys.  There is a huge indoor slide, lots of climbing equipment and a huge ball area where the kids can jump into and play.  I noticed that Mark is still in his stage of playing along side children and maybe waving as they pass by (18 months) but my Julia runs up to every child and says, "What's your name?"  If they don't answer she runs up to the parent and asks, "What's her name?"  She hugs every baby she sees and helps everyone up the steps.  She is FRIENDLY!  And when we leave she has already made 5-6 friends and talks about them the entire ride home, today she met a Sophia, a Gia, a Morgan, a Nicholas, etc!  She had a ball!  And that's how we should all be, we shouldn't put our walls up or be afraid or intimidated by people.  People are people.  And we all want to be loved and made to feel special.

Have a great week guys!  Thanks for walking with me!  Isn't God's Word great???

The Power of a Praying Wife Chapter 25: His Repentance

Repentance

1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins , He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Repentance is a fancy way of doing this (changing our bad behavior):

1. admit what we did (confess)
2. being sorry about what we did (repentance)
3. asking for forgiveness (being cleansed and released from)

It's pretty sad when a lot of us can admit what we do wrong, but we aren't really sorry about it and we don't really care to be cleansed/freed from it.  Meaning we don't want to change.

All I can say is this, if you all knew my husband back during his teen years and you met him today, you would say, "OH MY!"  Because he is a NEW CREATURE!  He isn't even recognizable anymore.  And I should know because I knew him at 16 and I know him now and just about everything about him is different.  Not because of anything I did, but because he found out who Jesus really was and he decided to make a change in his life and follow Christ.  He was truly sorry for his past and truly excited for a new life with Christ.  And he gave up A LOT for the Lord.  Not to get a pat on the back, not to hear how great he is, not to look better, but because he loves the Lord with all of his heart, he puts him first and that is that.

Have you ever heard someone apologize for something you knew they weren't really sorry about?  And then not to soon later heard or watched them do that same thing again?  That's because they weren't really sorry.  True repentance means you have so much remorse over what you have done, you never want to do it again, and you choose not to.

This week let's pray that our husbands...


*are convicted of their sin
*humbly confess their sins before God
* turn away from their errors and cease to do it

2 Peter 3:9 God is "not willing that nay should perish but that all should come to repentance."

Love Dare:


Remind your spouse how wonderful they are this week, at least 7 times!!!

So Thankful

At Ladies Bible Study today I was so blessed to hear from and listen to each woman's life issues, story, and things they stress and fear.  God is teaching all of us to be bolder, have more faith, trust Him more, and let go of our fears so we can live the life of our dreams and not a life of our fears.

Today I am thankful for:

Gina
Amy
Debi
Karima
Lisa
Joan
Shari
Lindy
Rosemarie
Kathe
Yolanda
Kellie
Jan
Patti
Irene
Elizabeth
Katie
Sarah
Ilse
Nancy


These women are awesome and God has gifted and blessed each one uniquely and differently.  This isn't our whole group.  I'm so thankful for how God is using our time on Tuesday mornings to grow and shape us and change us so that we can be confident women for Him.  We are not perfect, but we are striving to do our best and light up the world and the people who are around us for Christ.

Mommy Movie Review: An American Tail

An American Tail came out in 1986.  This Steven Spielberg movie stole our hearts in the movie theater.  My mom was super pregnant with my sister and I was 8 years old.  We laughed and we cried together as we watched Fievel the adorable mouse from Russia take a trip to America with his family and during a terrible storm and some curiousity gone wrong he gets separated from his family.

Alone in America he must learn to take care of himself and survive on his own, all while searching for his family.  My favorite songs were, "There are no cats in America," and "Somewhere out There." 

Kristi's Positives-

* This movie stresses the importance of family. Fievel's father tells him and his older sister that, "As long as we are together, we'll be alright."

* There is a true sense of wonderment and hope of what America will be like.  Of course the mice all think that America is so wonderful there are no cats there and the streets are paved with cheese.  Fievel and his family soon find out that America is not so different from home.

* Fieval is very curious and his curiosity sometimes gets him in big trouble.  He wanted to see the fish so bad during the terrible storm that he throws his hat up the stairs and tells his dad he's "looking for his hat" when really he wanted an excuse to go up the stairs and go to the top of the boat.  Since he did that, he got out of his father's reach and got swept away in the storm.  Great teachable moment to tell our children that parents are here to keep them safe, and when they lie or disobey and move out of our circle of safety they are open to danger just the way Fievel was and the reason why Fievel gets separated from his family.

* Fievel is one determined little mouse.  Even though he gets separated from his family, his sister still has hope that he is alive and Fievel is confident he will find them if he searches hard enough.

* I love how this movie mirrors what immigrants from Europe and all around the world went through as they traveled to America in the late 1800's and early 1900's in search of a better life, new opportunities, freedom, and a new start.  It will be neat to show the kids where Russia is on the map, and Ellis Island in NY Harbor.

* I also enjoyed hearing all the accents from other cultures and bits and pieces of different languages.  I think that is so important to teach our children that not everyone looks like you, talks like you or lives like you, but that God has made us all unique and put us in all different parts of the world, and that when we come together we can share the wonders of each others different experiences and cultures.

Kristi's Negatives-

* I really couldn't find any... but I'm open to anyone else's opinions...

Kristi's Rating- 10


Be sure to stop by Suzette's blog to see the movie she is reviewing today!!!

Saturday Recipe Swap--Chicken Cacciatore and NYC Crumb Cake

This week we had an amazing menu!

Monday-I made Corned Beef with Rice
Tuesday-I made Baked Ziti
Wednesday-Yummy Leftover Night
Thursday-Chicken Cacciatore Stoup by Rachel Ray
Friday-Leftover Stoup and Pizza and NYC Crumb Cake

Click on any of these dishes to get the recipe...and thank Suzette from The Joy of Homemaking, Rachel Ray, and my buddy Liz for the crumb cake...in my opinion, food is more yummy when you share ideas and recipes with those that you love!!!

NYC Crumb Cake Recipe

Heat oven to 325. grease a 9 by 12 1/2 inch pan or if you are using a different pan, just double the recipe and you will have a nice thick cake.
You need 2 bowls. in first bowl, place 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. set aside.
in 2nd bowl, whisk together 1 large egg, 1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Fold dry ingredients into wet.
It wont look like there is enough batter, but there is...trust me .
Spread batter evenly into pan and set aside. In one more bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
pour 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted melted butter over mixture. Toss until large crumbs form. sprinkle crumbs over batter. Bake for 10 minutes. turn pan and bake for another 10 minutes. When cool, dust with as much powdered sugar as you can stand!!
Enjoy!


Us

1. What are your middle names? Michael & Anne
2. How long have you been together? 16 years (we met at age 16, but during college we were apart) Married for 7!!!
3. How long did you know each other before you started dating? Just a few months.
4. Who asked who out? John asked me of course : )
5. How old are each of you? We are both 32
6. Did you go to the same school? Yes! Our high schools merged during Junior year and that's how we met.  We shared homeroom together since our last names were both M's...McKinney and McInerney
7. Are you from the same home town? pretty much, Old Bridge and Parlin, very close
8. Who is the smartest? Definitely John! He is one of the smartest people I know, he loves to research and analyze things that just make my brain hurt!  Although I have my Masters already :)
9. Who majored in what? John majored in Finance at Pace University and  I majored in Elementary Ed and Theater at Rowan University.  John is working on his Masters of Divinity degree at Nyack (currently on hold) and I got my Masters in Education in 2005 at Baptist Bible College in PA.
10. Who is the most sensitive? I'm very sensitive, but when John preaches about the Lord we call him the weeping prophet!  He always gets choked up when he speaks about how awesome God is.
11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? In 2005 we did a month long missions trip to China!  It was about a 14 hour plane ride.  But we've been all around the world and Europe is definitely one of our favorite places to travel...we loved our time in England, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona.
12. Who has the worst temper? Well, I'm sad to say it's probably me.  I grew up in a home where we could never express our feelings and so now that I'm an adult and I feel free and comfortable to let my feelings out sometimes I need lots of grace from John.
13. How many children do you want? 4 or 5 but right now we have an amazing 2 year old daughter and an awesome 1 year old son!
14. Who does the cooking? During the week I do most of the cooking, but sometimes on the weekend John cooks, and he's really great at whipping up delicious meals.

15. Who is more social? John will laugh at this one, it is definitely me!  I'm a theatre major, remember, need I say more?  I love people!  I can have a 10 minute conversation with the bank teller, postal worker, or cashier clerk!
16. Who is the neat freak? Actually we both are! But now that John works so many hours, it is usually me who cleans and picks up.
17. Who is the most stubborn? Uh oh, I guess that would be me, also.  John is pretty near perfect, it's very convicting. :)
18. Who wakes up earlier? John leaves the house before 6:30 am, and he actually works out around 5 am, I wake up usually right before he leaves.
19. Where was your first date? We went bowling with a group of friends and then ate dinner at the Pancake House on Route 9.
20. Who has the bigger family? Definitely me!  My mom was one of 7 children, and My dad has 2 brothers.  We have tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  John's immediate family is rather small, its just him and his sister and I'm one of 3 girls.

21. Do you get flowers often? Oh my goodness, John used to bring me flowers all the time when we were dating.  He put a rose in my locker once a month on the 28th since we officially started dating on Feb 28th.  He's gotten me so many roses and flowers from the same florist since we were 16 that the florist could NOT believe him when we went to him during our engagement to order flowers for the wedding that I was the same girl he bought flowers for all those years.  He gave us a huge discount because he liked John's faithfulness and character so much!  John must've spent a small fortune over the years in flowers on me.  We have a MUCH tighter budget now...but Mother's Day and Valentine's Day I always get roses.
22. How do you spend the holidays? We do our best to spend time with both families equally.  Thanksgiving we do every other year with opposite families, Christmas Eve is with John's family, and Christmas Day is with my family.  Palm Sunday is John's family, and Easter is my family. 
23. Who is more jealous? We both have nothing to be jealous of so we really don't even think of this one.

24. How long did it take to get serious? John proppsed to me on June 9, 2002 and since I'm a teacher and I was working on my Masters during the summer at that time we waited til the following year August 8, 2003 to get married.  It was 14 long months.  If I could do it all over again, I would NOT have waited that long!  Thank goodness we had a pastor who met with us monthly and kept us accountable.  I would not recommend a long engagement, but that's just my opinion.
25. Who eats more? Oh my, that is so easy...JOHN!  It's totally not fair how much he can eat and how trim he still looks!
26. What do you do for a living? I am currently a stay at home mom!  I taught pre-k and elementary school for over 7 years.
27. Who does the laundry? Me!  I love it!
28. Who's better with the computer? John!!!
29. Who drives when you are together? Usually John
30. What is your song? Oh my, John and I love music and it is so hard to pick just one song, but our wedding song was by Sade...By your side and All about our Love

I feel so grateful and blessed for all that God has blessed us with!!!

Proverbs Walk Thru Chapter 11

November 11, 2010-Proverbs 11

In honor of Veterans Day, thank you to all the men and women who have served our country and continue to serve our country to keep us safe.  May God bless you for the sacrifices you make each day to protect us back here at home.  Thank you.

I loved this chapter in Proverbs and decided to do a fun word study because the words righteous(ness) and wicked(ness) kept popping up.  It was really cool to see how God used these two words to teach me the meaning of both righteousness and wickedness.  Here's my little word study below: (I had way too much fun with this!)


Righteous(ness)                                                 versus                                       Wicked(ness)

vs 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death
vs 5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct                                        vs 5 but the wicked will fall by
his way aright                                                                                                     his own wickedness
vs 6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them                                   vs 6 But the unfaithful will be
                                                                                                                          caught by their lust
vs 8 The righteous is delivered from trouble                                                  vs 8And it comes to the wicked
                                                                                                                          instead
vs 9 But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered                           vs 9 the hypocrite with his 
                                                                                                                          mouth destroys his neighbor
vs 10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;                         vs 10 and when the wicked
                                                                                                                           perish, there is jubilation
vs 11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted                                   vs 11 But it is overthrown by the
                                                                                                                           mouth  of the wicked
vs 18 But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward                       vs 18 The wicked man does
                                                                                                                           deceptive work
vs 19 As righteousness leads to life                                                              vs 19 so he who pursues evil
                                                                                                                           pursues it to his own death
vs 21 But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered                               vs 21 Though they join forces
                                                                                                                            the wicked will not go
                                                                                                                            unpunished
vs 23 The desire of the righteous is only good,                                             vs 23 but the expectation of the
                                                                                                                            wicked is wrath
vs 28 But the righteous will flourish like foliage                                             vs 28 He who trusts in his riches
                                                                                                                            will fall
vs 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life
And he who wins souls is wise

vs 31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth                               vs 31 How much more the
                                                                                                                          ungodly and the sinner


Wasn't that an awesome word study!  Not my work, but God's work and His words!  It was so clear to me this time reading it this way (by graphing and charting these two words) what a righteous person is and what a wicked person is.  Of course we all want to say we are righteous before God right?  We all want the benefits and the blessings and the promises of the righteous!  But the Bible says that (Romans 3:10-12) There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.  They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. 

There is only one Man who lived on earth who was righteous.  And that Man was Jesus.  He lived a perfect life.  He came so that we could be righteous before God.  We don't deserve it.  We can't earn it.  We can't even live it, without His help.  He came so that we could be righteous before God and have a relationship with God.  None of us would have been able to "get to heaven" or "get to God" without Jesus.  It's nothing we did, or can do.  Christ did it all.  He paid the price of our wickedness, our sin, on the cross.

Today, I'm just really thankful for what Christ did for me.  I am such a sinner.  I am wicked.  But, I have a righteous Savior who has made me righteous.  All I have to do is believe, have faith, tell Him I'm sorry for the things I've done wrong, and ask for His help.  I'm a wicked sinner, but I have a mighty Savior.  And when God looks at me now, he doesn't see my wickedness, my sin, he sees the blood of Jesus, he sees the righteousness of Christ.  Thank you God for sending Jesus.

I am righteous only by the grace of God.  Are you?  God wants a relationship with you.  He wants you to get to know Him so that you can live a blessed life full of hope, and love, and joy.  Will your life be perfect? No.  Will you have troubles or trials.  Yes.  But He doesn't leave you.  You are never alone.  Take a look at all the promises of the righteous.

Matthew 11: 28-29 Are you tired?  Worn out? Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."  (The Message)

The Power of a Praying Wife Chapter 24: His Talk

This week we are focusing on our words.

I don't want to be remembered as a person who was all talk and no action.

Ecclesiastes 5:3 "A dream comes through much activity, and a fool's voice is known by his many words."

One saying I repeat often is, "Actions speak louder than words!"   We want to be sure that the words we say can be seen in our own life.  I want my kids to be proud of their parents and not be parents that say, "Do as I say, not as I do."  If we want something to get done we need to choose to do it...not just talk about getting it done for years and years.

If you've read my blog for awhile now you know how I feel about people's words.  Words are very powerful and they can build people up or tear people down.  They can bring life or bring death.  You can encourage someone or have them walk away in despair.  This week I want to pray for John and I that our words edify, honor, bless, build up, encourage, and empower all the people around us.

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

I want my words to be seasoned with grace!

Matthew 12:36 "For every idle word men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment."

We all will be held accountable for the words we speak!

Psalm 34: 12, 13 "Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?  Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit."
Watching what we say and controlling our tongue is no easy task, but when we ask for God's help and make a sincere effort to speak what is right God does bless us!

Ecclesiastes 10:12 "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up."  

A wise and righteous person can control their mouth, because they are guided by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 15:18 "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man."  

Our words are in direct relationship to what is in our heart.  If we are not right with God, if we are not led by the Spirit, foolish and wicked words pour forth!

Love Dare this week:


Encourage your husband by your words today!!!

Julia's new room and big girl bed

So, my Julia has been fully potty trained since August 1st.  However, the poor thing had to wear pull ups or a diaper during nap time or bed time because she couldn't climb out of her crib.

Part of me didn't want to mess with a good thing.  Julia has always been a good sleeper and I was a bit timid of putting her in a real bed for fear she wouldn't sleep through the night, she would get up, or she would go aimlessly walking through out the house at night.

But finally after some searching and thinking, and praying, and asking, we got our hands on some beautiful furniture from Julia's godparents, Bill and Christy.  Their teenage daughter Bridget got a new set of furniture and happily passed on her furniture to us.

The Weavers...Christy and Bridget are to the right.
On October 23rd, Uncle Bill, that's what we call him, especially Julia, brought just the bed to us.  It was so nice of him to drive it down to us and Julia was beyond excited.  I couldn't believe it but she did absolutely fine that night.  She got up once around 8:30 because she heard me in the hallway with the laundry, but after I told her to go back to bed she obeyed and slept through the night.

Even though Julia was sleeping in her bed fine at night, during nap time I put her in her crib.  (We left the crib in her room just in case she wasn't quite ready...but honestly, she was ready, mommy wasn't).  Last week we started doing nap times in the bed, and same thing, no problems.  It wasn't until the weekend when Daddy John picked up the rest of her furniture, and we took out the crib and changing table/dresser that Julia really started to just enjoy her new space and one afternoon it took her an hour to fall asleep.  I think she was just so excited with her new room.

I'm happy to report that last night Julia called me in her room to go to potty.  I brought her in to our bedroom to use the master bathroom so we wouldn't wake up Mark.  And this morning she woke up totally dry!  I'm starting to see that I really need to let her grow up and be the little person she is supposed to be and not "baby" her.  I'm trying to give her new opportunities to grow and shine.  That's why we've started gymnastics.  I want her to make all kinds of friends, and learn from all types of people.  God is giving me the strength to let her grow up gracefully!  And let me tell you she is doing just great.

Today a new trick I did to make nap time go more smoothly is I allowed Mark and Julia to play in her bedroom for about 20 minutes.  They read books, played with dolls, laughed and talked, while I did the upstairs garbages (all 5 of them), vacuuming, and laundry, and when I peeked in Julia's room, Mark was sucking his thumb on her rocking chair, and Julia was cuddled up underneath her sheets.  I said Marky, are you ready for bed?  And he nodded his head and said, "mm hmm."  he picked up his blanky (we call him Linus from charlie brown) and headed into his room and we told Julia good night.  I decided that if I let them play and settle down a bit it would be less likely she would need to keep playing after the door was closed, and wouldn't you know there wasn't a peep in either room for over 2 hours!

Julia's new room is just beautiful.  Her baby furniture was a deep dark cherry wood color and it made the room look small, but now her furniture is all white, and she has a tall bookcase and a dresser, her new bed and a small night table.  (We are keeping her desk and mirror in the garage til she's older).  All the furniture being white makes the room look miles long!  It's always been our favorite room in the house...thank you Weavers for sharing so generously with us!

Mommy Movie Review: Bambi

 Bambi (1942)
This is a sweet movie about a deer who learns how to grow up in the forest.  And learns to love.  "Love is a song that never ends one simple theme repeating like the voice of a heavenly choir love's sweet music flows on."  Bambi loses his mother but the love of his friends and the support of the other forest animals helps him to grow into a brave adult deer.


Kristi's Positives-
* I like how they show Bambi growing up from a baby deer to a full grown deer.  Children get to see the progression of how Bambi could barely walk or "speak" to being fully independent.
* Bambi has a sweet circle of friends around him who love him, and who have parents that correct their children.  I love how Thumper's mom was always correcting him.
* Thumper's quote: "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."
* I love how all the animals are shown falling in love...it's so sweet.
* Children learn the circle of life, when Bambi loses his mother.  As my children grow I will be sharing how God is always faithful to put people in our lives who are wise and who love us when others pass on.  God is so good to provide godly friends and family to support each other.
* The beautiful use of music and peaceful sounds of nature.
* Children learn about hunters and how man does have charge over the animals.

Kristi's Negatives-

*I'm really not fond of the use of guns or weapons in any movie...

My Rating-
I give this movie a 9

Don't forget to stop by Suzette's blog to read her mommy review on Finding Nemo!  Finding Nemo is another great movie about how a Father clown fish doesn't give up the search in looking for his son.  Nemo is an only child just like Bambi, and Nemo has also lost his mother.  Nemo has to face many obstacles to find his father again.  And Marlin the father learns the beauty of "letting go" and trusting that Nemo can handle certain situations without being smothered because of worry.  Dory is our favorite character because she is a faithful friend who is extremely funny!  This was a favorite of ours right from the very start!  Enjoy!

Saturday Recipe Swap--Rice and Beans

Homemade Rice and Beans

After eating Debi's Pernil and Rice and Beans a few times, it was time to finally ask for the recipe and invite Debi over for a cooking lesson.

Debi and I pray every other week on Thursdays and so I invited her over to pray and teach me to cook her famous rice and beans that are delicious.

She held Marky for me and gave me all the instructions.  I went food shopping a week before to make sure I would have the rice and all the spices and ingredients!  Let's just say it was wonderful.  John had seconds, and even packed his own lunch that night to be sure he had some at lunch.  And he texted me a picture of him enjoying it!  My parents came over on Friday for dinner and I made a new batch for them, which came out just as yummy!!!  My mom was super impressed!  And my dad's plate was empty!  Thank you Debi!!!

Rice and Beans-About 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp adobo all purpose seasoning with pepper
1 sazon packet
1 can Goya pigeon peas
1/2 of an 8 oz can of Goya Tomato Sauce
1 heaping of Goya Sofrito (tomato cooking base) (we used a real spoon)
1 tbsp (or if you love pitted olives 2 tbsp) Goya Alcaparrado-green pitted olives
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of rice
1 cup of water

Use any white rice (I used Carolina because a bag of it was cheapest).  After your rice dish is complete it will be a great rich orange color with tons of flavor!

1. Drain your pigeon peas and set aside.
2. In a large cooking pot add your olive oil over low heat, and add adobo and sazon packet and mix together.
3. Add tomato sauce and tomato cooking base (sofrito) Let simmer for a minute.
4. Add your pigeon peas and your pitted olives. Let simmer before adding rice and water and add about 1/2 tsp of salt.
5. Stir in all ingredients but DO NOT over stir.  Rice is best without all the stirring.  After 2-3 minutes and mixture is bubbly turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.
6. Check Rice it should be done, but if all the water is not absorbed give another minute or two.

Enjoy!

Thankful Part 2

The two best kids a girl could ask for
For the month of November I will be sharing with you what I am thankful, and grateful for each Friday.  There is so much to be thankful for because God is so good and He goes above and beyond what we could ever ask or hope or even imagine!

* I'm thankful my "little family" is growing up.  (Even if it is sometimes hard not to wish I could freeze this moment in time) Mark is going up and down the stairs with no problems (mommy is finding new gray hairs) Julia is talking in complete paragraphs! Asking questions, introducing herself to people, asking for their name, asking why? where are we going? when can I vote? when can I drive? Am I the mom? Watcha doin? Watcha got? When can we do school? When can I paint? How do I write my name? Please read this book? When will daddy be home? What's her name? What's his name? Is she crying? Is he sad? Mom, can we go to the park, and go down the slides and swing on the swings? I am? I did? And the list goes on and on...
* I'm thankful my parents live so close and can pop over on Friday evenings for dinner.
My sisters Paletza, me and Sara

* I'm thankful that my sisters love to play with their niece and nephew and offer to help out.

My beloved, my best friend, my husband

* I'm thankful my husband works harder than any other man I know with two jobs (He does about 70+ hours a week, easily)
* I'm thankful I can go food shopping whenever we need food.
* I'm thankful my Julia got to begin gymnastics on Fridays!
* I'm thankful for a fully packed Ladies Bible Study that keeps growing each week!
* I"m thankful for being able to vote this week and take my children along.  My favorite part was when Julia announced to the women who had us sign in, "Look at my boots!"  and then after we finished voting, and had our voting lesson, Julia said, "I voted!  I do it again!"
My marky in the tub

* I'm thankful for my son who loves taking a bath and sings, "Bath Night" as we march up the stairs to get ready.  (Actually it sounds like, "Baaa Baaa, Baaa, Baaa"  But I know exactly what he means since its the tune of the song I made up for them)

Julia's big girl bed

* I'm thankful for a daughter who has slept peacefully in her big girl bed since Day 1!  And I love being able to lay with her to read, "one more story" before tucking her in and kissing her goodnight and saying, "I love you."

Christy and Kristi and Elizabeth Grace

* I'm thankful for being able to visit my Christy and her new baby Elizabeth once a week for the past month! (And she's let me hold her and give her her very first bath!)

Ev, Debi, and me

* I'm thankful for Debi teaching me how to make Spanish rice from scratch as we talked about our lives and prayed for each other's family.
* I'm thankful for our librarian Miss Marilyn who we look forward to seeing on Mondays and having story time and craft time!
Julia and Marky holding hands

* I'm thankful for Julia being my little helper and always grabbing Marky's hand to bring him to me when I need him, getting wipes for me, helping me make the beds, do the laundry, and just being my little shadow.  I love when she teases me and says, "I'm the Mom!"  and I say, "No, I'm the MOM!"  and then she says, "I'm Julia Star McInerney!"
* I'm thankful for a car that takes us to fun places, the cleaners, the grocery store, the bank, the library, church,  the post office and Grandma's house.

My Dad and my Mom...the world's greatest Grandparents

* I'm thankful for my close circle of friends who prayed for me during a very scary time, that turned out to be just fine because God heard our prayers.  You know who you are, and I love you beyond mere words.
* I'm thankful for Christ who is my best friend.  He has been since I was very little and He continues to bless me and encourage me and stretch me, and teach me new things.
This picture needs no explanation!

* I'm thankful for my husband and his silly sense of humor that helps me to lighten up.
* I'm thankful for two cups of coffee each morning...really, really, thankful.

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