March Menu

I'm excited for this months menu because it is super healthy, no red meat, lots of veggies, chicken, fish and salads and not so many pasta dishes...we are slimming down for the spring/summer months and prepping for the big wedding day which is less than 70 days away!

March Menu:

Week 1 (March 1-3)
Thursday: Pita and black bean salad night (simple dinner since we have awana)

Friday: Lemony baked Salmon with asparagus
Saturday: (we are having 3 guests!) Chicken Cacciatore Stoup (Rachel Ray Recipe) and salad

week 2 (March 4-10)
Sunday: out for dinner
Monday: Bow-tie pasta with cherry tomatoes and green beans and chicken breast
Tuesday: Chicken pot pie
Wednesday: Left over night
Thursday: Turkey burgers and baked potatoes with broccoli
Friday: Tomato and Cucumber & Feta Balsamic salad with whole wheat pita
Saturday: out for dinner

week 3 (March 11-17)
Sunday: Eating out in Princeton
Monday: Chicken soup in crock pot and salad
Tuesday: Taco night with turkey ground meat, black beans, and corn
Wednesday: Leftover night
Thursday: Shrimp and Spinach Pasta (20 minute meal from Real Simple April 2011)
Friday: Tuna Melts and salad
Saturday: (7 dinner guests) Chicken Cacciatore in crock pot, Salad, Spaghetti noodles

week 4 (March 18-24)
Sunday: open
Monday: Thai curry vegetable and tofu soup (30 min meal Real Simple April 2011)
Tuesday:  Asian tuna salad
Wednesday: Chicken pita with tzatziki (25 min meal Real Simple April 2011)
Thursday: Leftover night
Friday: baked salmon with broccoli and cauliflower
Saturday: open (John likes to cook on the weekends so I keep it open just in case)

week 5 (March 25-31)
Sunday: Baptism dinner out
Monday: Mexican Meatball soup (turkey ground meat)
Tuesday: Balsamic chicken breasts and apple, craisin and walnut salad
Wednesday: chicken pitas with black beans
Thursday: Leftover night
Friday: Chicken Chili with brown rice
Satruday: open (for John)
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A child like theology

"Mom, God knows everything because He's the TALLEST!"--Julia Star (age 4)

I am keeping a quote book of the things my children say and the age/date when they say them...it's amazing how such a young little person can have such a strong theology already!  God is so good.

This week we are reading a book about Easter called: The Best Thing About Easter. (click on the title to view)

It talks about how springtime is great, dying Easter eggs is fun, hiding Easter eggs is great...BUT the best thing about Easter is what Jesus did on the cross for us.  Mark and Julia sat so still as I read this book to them.  And Julia was looking so thoughtful afterwards, especially after hearing about the cross part again and how Jesus had to die for us.  She looked at me and said, "Mom, I just want to hug God."  And as her mommy I know just what she meant.  God has done so much for us.  He loved us so much.  That He sent His own son to die in our place so Christ can live in us.  Whoa!  It's a lot to take in.  And for a child to just hear it and be so thankful and just want to hug God, brought tears to my eyes.  I said, "Julia you can't hug God right now, in heaven you can, but right now you can hug all of us because we love you too!"

We went potty and got ready for nap time and Julia ran back into Mark's room after he was already tucked in bed.  I started to scold her, but she said, "Mom, I just want to give him one more hug and kiss."  (Okay, how could I say no to that?! Especially after watching the movie Courageous!)  She took a long time in his room so finally I peeked in on them and she was leaning over his toddler bed whispering in his ear, and he had a big smile on his face, she gave him a quick hug and kiss and gently closed the door.  I tell her all the time how she is such a nice big sister, because she truly is.  She loves Mark so much and she is so kind and tender to him.

She was whispering what they would play when he woke up, and boy oh boy was he happy.

I tucked her in her bed and she hugs me so tight these days saying, "Mom I love you So So much."

Isn't it so true that when we realize how much God loves us, and how much He does for us, it just becomes so much easier to share that love with others.

Our Awana homework this week was to make up a Praise song with our child to a familiar tune.  We used three blind mice and I made up this quick little song for us to sing, we sang it all morning/afternoon long, "I love God, I love God, He's so Good, He's so Good, He loves me so, He loves me so, I really want the world to know, I love God, I love God...(keep repeating)"  


God thank you for your sweet, precious love, and child like faith.
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Interviewing the Kids :)

Saturday night I came up with a list of questions I wanted to ask Marky...but Sunday morning when I started my "interview" at the breakfast table, Mr. Boy was very shy...so I asked Julia the questions...and then Mr. Boy was very happy to answer them!  Julia's answers will be in pink and Mark's in blue.

Part of me wishes you could have seen my kids during this interview because Julia was standing in front of me dancing, jumping, and being her happy go lucky self.  And Mark was calmly perched on Daddy's lap sucking his thumb.  Some questions he just didn't answer but I know he knew the answer!

Mommy's Interview Questions:

1. What is your full name? Julia Star McInerney (said in a sing song voice) Mark...(Ciro McInerney! She likes to finish his sentences)
2. What is your favorite toy? My room
3. Who is your best friend? Marky    Emma (Coyle)
4. Who is your favorite person? Daddy...and Mommy 
5. How old are you? 4      (Two fingers were held up)
6. Where do you live? In HERE!
7. What are you going to do on your birthday? Get my ears pierced!   Go to zoo
8. What do you do at Grandma's house? Play     Play
9. What do you like to play with Mark/Julia? Toys   Puzzles (Mark is getting REALLY good at puzzles)
10. What is your favorite food? Chicken, with noodles, and carrots...chicken soup!   Noodles and sauce
11. What is your favorite show or movie? Fresh Beat Band, Diego, Dora       Tangled
12. What flavor birthday cake do you want? I want a pink cake with pink FLOWERS  Chocolate with chocolate heart
13. Are you handsome/beautiful? Yes!!!     (Mark did a head nod)
14. How did you get so handsome/beautiful? Cause God made me!     (shy look)
15. Who made you so wonderful? God!!!!    (another shy look)
16. Who Loves You? God!!!!   (smile, and shy look)

Interviewing my children gives me pure joy because I get to hear/see how they think and it gives me the opportunity to REALLY listen carefully to what they are saying and not saying.  It helps me to "get" them.  Mark had answers for all of these questions.  He talks up a storm.  But I interviewed them at breakfast...next time I will do it during school time when they have PLENTY to say...I wanted John to hear their answers.  We laughed and hugged the kids and smiled.  Loving and learning your kids is such a joy.

I still can't get over the fact that in 3 short months I will have a 3 year old and a 4 1/2 year old...time is flying by!  "The days are long but the years are short!"


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So Long Insecurity

Currently I am leading a Women's Bible study using Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity book.  We are reading the hardback and doing the workbook group work.  We have about 30 women coming each Tuesday and we have a great time!

I'm learning so much about myself that I've never considered before.  And it's really true that when you enter your late twenties and early thirties and start having kids of your own you start to think back on your own childhood, how you grew up, how you were raised, your family traditions and you try to figure out why you think the way you do and what you truly believe.

This past week I learned that we all have insecurities for different reasons.  Here are the 8 things Beth Moore lists as the roots of insecurity.

1. Instability in the home (abuse, divorce, mental illness)
2. Significant loss (person, home, relationship)
3. Rejection (parent, friend, spouse, child, boyfriend)
4. Dramatic change (accident, financial crisis, move, new baby)
5. Personal limitations (learning disability, physical handicap, scar, etc.)
6. Personal disposition and temperament (hypersensitive)
7. Our culture and the pressure it puts on women to be young and beautiful
8. Pride

The major reason why I have some insecurities is basically because I'm like Beth Moore, we are very sensitive, tenderhearted people.  Dude, I cry at commercials, okay?  Does that explain it at all.  I can be mad one second and totally happy the next.  Someone could look at me the wrong way at church and I instantly think they hate me.  And it can upset me for hours.  Silly, right?  It's part of one of my people pleasing insecurities.  I want people to like me.  I really like people!  I thrive on social interaction and so if I feel left out or snubbed I start to feel very insecure.

Another reason why in the past 4 years I've noticed my insecurity even more (I used to be a confident person! LOL) was right after having Julia.  It was a dramatic change for me to stay at home instead of work and have a baby to care for.  No longer did I get accolades or awards for being a good teacher, I just got diapers, late night feedings, and lots of time at home.  The dramatic change of becoming a mother was a lot more daunting than I could ever have imagined.  I wanted this baby.  We tried for months to get pregnant.  We bought a big house with extra bedrooms, and a big backyard with swing set, and we even had the prior owner leave us her rocking chair I was so looking forward to being a mommy.  But when mommy-hood came it hit me like a ton of bricks and I realized that I didn't like change and that I was very very selfish!  Becoming a mother is all about denying self and serving this little one, and God had a lot to teach me. (And I'm so glad he did.)

But the insecurities (and wacky hormones) of being a new stay at home mom of two back to back babies was a lot to deal with.  God brought me to my knees several times as I just was at a loss for how I could do all of this.  Because every mom knows being a mom is a full time, self sacrificial, no-pay, long hours, and no sleep  type of job.  And once I got the hang out of it and started loving it I started to look at other moms, and compare, and see other kids, and compare, and then MORE insecurities came!  Questions like: Am I doing this right?  Am I good enough?  And even, the doctors are letting us bring this little baby home? plagued my mind.  And yes, my doctor's office knows us by name, and greets us with smiles at the door, and answers my questions over the phone, because my insecurities are always, Are my kids gonna make it?  Will they survive this rash, bump, boo boo, fever, etc.?

Listen, I don't have it all together, and I never pretend to.  I make mistakes all the time.  But I serve and love and awesome and mighty God.  He is my help.  He is my strength.  He is my guide.  By his grace I am the Best mommy for Mark and Julia.  By his grace I am the best wife for John.  I know my purpose.  I know my job, and with his strength (and never ever my own) I can do all things because he helps me.  Nothing that happens today is a shock to Him or hasn't passed His review.  So each day I choose to trust, serve, and love, Him.

I also have an amazing core group of girlfriends (you know who you are) who encourage me, uplift me in prayer, edify me, and bless me.  Women who I can call crying, or with a concern and who stop everything to listen.  I thank God for you because you are Jesus hands and feet to me.  You are the listening ear I need, the laugh I needed to share, or the compliment I needed to hear.  Thank you, I can only hope to bless you the same way when my turn comes to reciprocate.

Some verses that have helped and that are helping me become a more secure person, woman, and mom are:

Colossians 2: 6, 7
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.


I love this verse because as I continue to live my life in Christ, as I continue to grow and build my roots down deep in Him, He gives me strength, my faith grows, and then I begin to overflow with thankfulness for all He has done and will do in my life!

James 1: 17
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.


God doesn't change.  My circumstances may change.  But God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He can be trusted.  He is not moody.  He will always love me.  He will never leave me.  I am His child.  He is the best parent anyone can have.  His love is not conditional it is unconditional.  One of my favorite things about God is that He is a PATIENT God.  He will wait for me to learn and grow.  He is not in a rush.  He is kind.  He is good.  He is powerful.  I grew up in a home that was unpredictable and moody.  And so I love having a stable God.  He is not moody.  He does not change like shifting shadows.


Revelation 21: 3-5
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

God makes all things new.  He is sensitive.  He cares about my hurts enough to wipe away my tears.  One day there will be no more death or mourning or sorrow.  I don't have anything to fear because He is in control when things seem out of control or scary.  One thing I am in constant fear of is my children (especially my accident prone Marky) getting hurt.  I know that God loves my children even more than I do.  He made all things and one day we won't have any scars, or cuts, or boo boos.  He will make us whole and without any pain.  That is a comfort for a mommy who has made more trips to the hospital than she would like this past year.  

I am so thankful for my life. For my children.  For my spouse.  Our home.  Our faith.  God holds us in the palm of His hand and He is making a way for us.  He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us.  He can make any situation good even when it seems rotten.

I am thankful that I have a choice to be insecure or secure.  I can choose my attitude.  I can choose how I am going to view my life and my situation.  I can be depressed or dread certain days, or I can look around and count all my blessings.  I am secure in the Lord.  I want my roots to grow deep.  And I want to overflow with thankfulness. 


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Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!



Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things,

Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is Measure Once, Cut Twice


There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.






Honey-Do List

Honey-Do List

Dear John,

Please help me complete the following tasks:

1. Re-screw the hinges on the gate outside
2. Fix the molding in the kitchen
3. Establish some type of shelving system in the Laundry Room
4. Help organize the basement office (which we both use)

Love,
Kristi

One of my Love Languages is Acts of Service (the main one is Quality Time).  (click each love language to see prior posts)

I love when John is able to do things around the home because

A. It shows me that he cares.
B. It shows me he takes pride in our home.
C. He has a handy-man gift.

I have had these things on the Honey-Do List for a few months but with John working two jobs and then using every free moment for family time or prepping for his sermon there was just no way for these jobs to get done...BUT now that John is done with his sermon he has been doing so many awesome things around the house.

This past weekend he fixed the gate, reupholstered our dining room chairs with leather fabric, fixed the molding in the kitchen, bought shelves for the laundry room, got rid of 3 huge bags/boxes from the office down stairs for Goodwill...and he did extra things too like the dining room chairs, he cleaned all the hardwood floors for me, and he put together our new stroller for Mark.

All these things may not seem like a big deal...but John loves crossing things off his list just as much as I do, and they are a very BIG DEAL to me.  He is such a great help.  Thanks, babe!

Ladies, don't be afraid to make your hubby a honey-do list, he may not do it over night, but you know what it will be on his heart and mind and the list will be a reminder that it needs to get done.  I am not a nagger.  I really try not to be.  Once I made the list my job was done.  (I kept it short on purpose...and notice how John found even more ways to bless me!)

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Julia's Big Day: Home School Monday

Home School Monday


Julia gives her presentation tonight at the Social Studies Fair at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge Home School Group.  There will be 50 presenters from ages K-5th grade.  (They allow Pre-K kids also!)

Julia and I (and Mark) have been studying Thomas Jefferson since the Fall.  Our 5 core main points are:

1. He wrote the Declaration of Independence.
2. He was a Founding Father of America.
3. He was our third President (1801-1809).
4. He lived in a home called Monticello (in the state of Virginia).
5. You can find his face on the U.S. nickel!

Julia was able to re-trace 5 sentences on her project.  She helped me add photos and star stickers to make her tri fold board really cool!

We've been interviewing her on her facts and what she loved learning about Thomas Jefferson, all week long. I think she's ready!  We are so excited John has off tomorrow so he can come to the Fair and hear all the presentations and see all the other kids projects.

Each child gets an award for completing their project and giving their 2 minute presentation!

I'm really excited to see all the other projects!  I know everyone has done a lot of work these past few months studying, learning, and creating their project.  School is fun!

Happy President's Day!

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It's The Little Things...

*The way Julia and Mark do their school work, head to head, and side by side.  Best friends for life.

*The way John waits up for me when I have a sister movie night out.  He just wants to hear about my day with the kids and be near me.

*The way John tied Julia's new Orange Belt in Taekwondo this morning after she tested for her next level.  He was so proud he was practically beaming.

*The way our boxer Paris finds the warmest spot in the house to lay, near the French Doors by the breakfast nook, catching a few sun rays as she naps.

*The way the kitchen looks and smells after everything has been put in its place.  All shiny, and crisp, and clean.

*The way the laundry whirls in the dryer.  Around and around lulling us all to sleep during nap time.

*The way pizza tastes on Friday nights, crispy, cheesy, and tomatoey, and warm.

*The way the sun hits our faces as we head to the store to go shopping.  And then we catch a good deal and can buy an extra shirt per kid because it's Buy One Get One Free at Carters.

*The way Saturdays feel when everyone is safe, happy, and close to me.

It's the little things that make me so happy to be a wife, a mom, and a child of God.

Enjoy your weekend!



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Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!



Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things,

Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host is Smarty Pants Fun


Free Printable Crafts For Kids!

 There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.






Planning our Summer Calendar

I have found that if I don't plan ahead other people's agendas and plans take over the summer months.  

It's really important to me to prioritize what I want my kids to see and do before the summer months are even here.

I have some really cool trips planned for May-July.

May is Mark's birthday so we always take a day to go to the Turtle Back Zoo.

June is my birthday month so we are going to be visiting the Kateri Environmental Center and go on a Nature Hike and look for animal habitats with my MOPS group and some home school families.

I also want to take my kids to the beach at least twice a month since they LOVE the beach...7 Presidents is my favorite because of the huge new playground area and beautiful covered eating area they have along with outdoor showers to get the sand off before getting in mommy's car!

I've never taken the kids to the aquarium so this year we are planning a trip to the Jenkinson's Aquarium in June and July.

We visit Holmdel Park/Longstreet Farm at least once a week...we get to milk the cows at 3pm, and see the horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, and peacocks, not to mention all the fruits and veggies they grow.

Another favorite place of ours that we are visiting in June (probably 2-3 times) is Dorbrook Sprayground.  My kids love the water park and we always have a nice picnic under the huge shady trees.

And in July, we will also be visiting Allaire State Park to ride the train at noon (A REAL train) and play at the playground and have a park picnic with Mops friends.

I don't know about you but we are really looking forward to playing outside again (and the kids are getting scooters this summer!!! but shhh it's a surprise at Mark's birthday party).


I bet you noticed that August is not planned.  Well, that's because August 1st we will kick into high gear for SCHOOL!  August is all about starting a new curriculum and getting ready for the next level/grade.  We will be buying new shoes, sprucing up our school room, buying school supplies, and taking out lots of new library books!  We will be sharpening our pencils and ready to learn all the new things that God has for us!  Oh, I just love August.  August is also our anniversary month, and we always take the kids away to Cape May to celebrate...we will be celebrating 9 years of wedded bliss!

Planning ahead always takes the pressure off when the summer months are here and everyone is wondering what shall we do!?  Mommy always has a plan!
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Our Valentine's Date...the best 4 hours of my life

Plan B

You always have to have one.

John's sermon was awesome, as I knew it would be on Sunday, but after preaching twice in one day and barely sleeping the night before and doing 14 hour work days, on Sunday all you want to do is crawl into your covers and sleep til--Wednesday?

Sooooo...originally my mom was going to watch the kids from 2:30 pm til we decided to get home from our romantic get away...but since John was exhausted and since I just wanted to be close to home since my poor boy was injured we decided to nap til 4pm (yup right along with the kids schedule) and then catch a dinner and a movie locally (John had a really special restaurant picked out--I can't tell you what it is because he STILL won't tell me...he's so secretive...I love surprises! So, we will do that date another time when both kids are healthy) and be home in time to read stories and put the kids to bed.

My wonderful mom came over around 3:45 we showed her where dinner was and gave her the plans and instructions for the night, and we headed out on our DATE!!!!

You've got to understand...we needed this date.  This date was a necessity to our marriage.  For the past 8 weeks John has been working 14 hour days and then tirelessly working on this sermon...but now that it was all over we could sigh a huge sigh of relief (even I had a ministry moment on Sunday that I was so nervous for but it went pretty well) and go back to our "normal" life.  John could come home from work and BE with us.  For weeks he was in his office or on his computer piecing together his thoughts on his sermon.

But now I had him back, all to myself and we just talked and talked and enjoyed a great Denzel Washington movie called Safe House.  It was non stop action.  Then we went to a restaurant in Holmdel and received amazing service and yummy food.  I ordered a filet mignon and John had a Ahi Tuna Salad...and we got this really yummy flat bread appetizer and soup and salad...we were SO full.

We also don't sit across from each other on a date.  Oh no.  He sits in my booth so we can hold hands!!!

It was the best 4 hours of my life.  It was just us.  We were close to home.  And John is finally back.

Happy Valentines Day!

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The Scariest 4 hours of my life...

On Saturday, February 11, I took my daughter to Taekwondo, drove home, picked up my Mark who was hanging out with Dad and brought both my kids to Family Story Time at the Library...then we went shopping at a Panera Bread and went home while John put the finishing touches on his sermon for Sunday.

It was a cold day, but a good day.  As the kids napped I cleaned, made chicken soup in the crock pot, watched a show, did some laundry...just relaxed...it was an easy weekend...then 4pm rolled around...John texted me he was on his way home Julia woke up from her nap calling my name and sleep walking (something she's never done before) and came down the steps looking for me...I scolded her (quietly) because she was so loud and Mark was still asleep.  She and I cuddled on the couch and were about to watch a Diego episode when I heard a BANG and crying...my adrenaline started pumping and I booked it up the stairs from the basement to the first floor then again up another flight of stairs to Mark's room...

And then I saw him...

Blood was coming out of his nose and mouth and blood was on his head along with a gash!  Not AGAIN! I thought.

Just as I was running down the stairs with Mark in my arms, John walked in the door and I yelled, "Please get ice."

We sat Mark down on a kitchen chair and we both looked and knew...the boy needed stitches...AGAIN.

That is when I literally started hyperventilating and John told me to please gather myself together in the living room while he took care of Mark.  I felt faint, weak, numb, and couldn't breathe.

All I could think was Why today?  How did he fall?  What did he hit his head on?  Did the floor do that?  His bed is so close to the ground!? What happened?  And why Mark?  He's just the sweetest little mellow guy around.

I walk back in and say, "Honey he needs S-T-I-T-C-H-E-S (we don't say this word in our house anymore because marky gets really upset)."  "I know it." John said.  "I'm taking him."  "I want to be with you guys, I can let Julia go to Patti Watson's house."  "Honey, you stay home with Julia and I'm taking Mark, we'll be fine, it will be our boy adventure."

And just like that the decision was made and I was left to pack a few snacks and pour Mark's milk cup.  John scooped up the snacks got the car ready while I changed Mark's diaper.  Marky: Mommy, what's happening?  Where are we going?  Me: Buddy you and daddy are going to see the doctor so he can check your boo boo.  Julia: Mom does Mark need---  Me: Julia don't even say it.  She almost said the stitches word.

John left and me and Julia were left to worry.  At this point I realized John had left both his cell phone and Blackberry at home...Great.  No way to reach him and find out how it was all going.

Julia and I did about a million puzzles.  We colored.  I texted friends.  I sent a prayer request through our church's phone chain.  I called Lisa and Christy and was able to cry a little and get out my concerns.  I really felt under attack.  It's as if S*tan was having a field day with us lately.  With Julia's fall out of her bed.  Now Mark's fall.  I mean aren't kids supposed to fall outside on the sidewalk riding their bike, not out of their beds!!!

I just kept praying out loud, "Lord please keep my family safe.  Please keep my children safe."

At dinner Julia said to me, "Mom, I don't want my brother to be hurt."  Dinner was very somber and lonely with just the two of us.

My sister in law and her fiance were at a movie theater close to the hospital so she swung by to see if John and Mark were still there so I could have some peace of mind that everything was okay (yes, isn't she wonderful?) They left the house around 4:30 and right around 8:00 they got home.  It was the scariest 4 hours of my life.  And seeing Mark when he got home was horrible.

The doctor decided it would be less traumatic to use glue than stitches (no need for a straight jacket, etc) and that the cut would heal the same way so John went with the glue...ONLY the Doctor dripped glue in my SON's EYE during the procedure (at which point John really wanted to do bodily harm to this man for further traumatizing our son).

John said, "Honey you should've saw him he was so brave, he laid down, he let the doctor touch his head, etc, etc,."  But after the doctor dripped the glue in his eye and it sealed his eye shut Mark LOST it.  Who could blame the poor kid!  The doctor apologized profusely, but I'm sorry, how could you do that?  To a two year old!  Accidents happen but still!

So Mark came home with some glue still in his eye and very watery eye and nose now because of it.  He was in a lot of discomfort you could tell.  He wouldn't eat or drink anything.  And that is not like Mark at all.

I just held him for about 30 minutes.  I didn't want to let him go.  I waited at the door and when I saw the car pull up I greeted them with the door open.

Poor Mark.

Poor John.

After we put the kids to bed and John finally ate dinner and did some paperwork, he headed back to church around 11 oclock to finish up his sermon.  I don't even think he slept that night...maybe 2 or 3 hours.  We had to be up and ready to be at church by 8:30.


It's now Monday and Mark is much better.  His eye is no longer red...but there are still traces of glue in the corner that I'm not supposed to bother or touch they are supposed to just fall off naturally.  The cut is also healing but still very tender...

And today...

Mark dropped a 5lb flashlight on his foot...

You should see the black and blue...John thought he broke a bone in his little foot.  "No more flashlight Mark." Daddy said...

Does anyone have any bubble wrap for my son for the next 16 years???

Oh Lord, please give me strength!
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Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!



Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things,

Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host and winner of our giveaway from last week is Adventures of D and V




There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.


Bringing Up Boys: "The Ultimate Priority"

This is our final chapter in Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson.

Click here to see the last few chapters.

I decided to end the final chapter with my favorite quotes.  Dr. Dobson always says it best.  He is a husband, a father, and a man of God and I respect him in so many ways.

"Our objective as moms and dads is to transform our sons from immature and flighty youngsters into honest, caring men who will be respectful of women, loyal and faithful in marriage, keepers of commitments, strong and decisive leaders, good workers and men who are secure in their masculinity.  It's a tall order but one that can be achieved with wisdom and guidance from the Father."

"America's love affair with materialism has taken its toll on the things that matter most."

"It is my conviction that those who choose to bring a child into the world must give that boy or girl highest priority for a period of time.  In a very short time, they will be grown up and on their own."
"Yet we have failed them in the most important of all parental responsibilities: We have not taught them who they are as children of God or what they have been placed here to do."

"The first Scripture our children should learn is, "God is love" (1 John 4:8...so thankful for Awana!)  They should be taught to thank Him before eating their food and to ask for His help when they are hurt or scared."

 "The only way you can be with your precious child in the next life is to introduce them to Jesus Christ and His teachings, hopefully when they are young and impressionable.  This is Task Number One in child-rearing."
"Most important, knowing that you led your children to the Lord and will be with them in eternity will outrank every other achievement." 

"Children get their values and beliefs from what they see modeled at home.  It is one reason why moms and dads must live a morally consistent life in front of their kids....they can't afford to be casual or whimsical about the things they believe."
"The data shows that if a person does not accept Jesus Christ as Savior before the age of fourteen, the likelihood of ever doing so is slim." 


"My prayers will be with you as you discharge your God-given responsibility.  Cherish every moment of it.  And hug your kids while you can." 

This book has meant the world to me.  I'm so thankful I took the time to not only read it, but study it.  I learned so much as a parent.  I have so much more to learn, but Lord I am willing.  I want God to teach me and mold me into the Mom that Mark and Julia need most.  And I want to be consistent in front of my kids in my faith and in my walk with the Lord.  I want them to see that they are my Ulitmate Priority.  I cherish these years that I have had home with them.


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Julia's first STRIPE

Julia said her oath tonight in Taekwondo:

I promise to LISTEN to my instructors.
Try my HARDEST.
Make my Family Proud.
And MAKE GOOD FRIENDS!!!!

She got her first black stripe on her white belt with the hopes that one day she will be a black belt just like her Daddy, and Aunt, and Grandma, and Grandpa!

Congrats Julia you make YOUR FAMILY proud every day!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy and Marky

P.S. You are Such a Good Girl in Taekwondo, Mommy watches you and you really do pay attention and try your hardest.  And you also look incredibly cute doing your stretches, kicks, punches, and obstacle courses!


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GIANTS FANS

This is how we do it in New Jersey!!!

We celebrate the Super bowl by eating Giants colored bagels!!!

Wooohooo!

Justin Tuck and Eli Manning...nice work!














Go NY Giants Go!
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One of THOSE weeks...

I'm just not a sit still type of person...

Monday: Dentist appt for both kids (6 mos. cleaning) and Special Lunch with two girlfriends at my house (I think a spinach quiche and super salad will be on my menu!)

Tuesday: Ladies Bible Study begins!

Wednesday: Library fun & Working on our Thomas Jefferson Project for the Social Studies Fair

Thursday: Play-date at my house with two girlfriends and 4 extra kids!  I'm going to have some fun tricks up my sleeve with Marshmallow Math fun, Cheerio counting, Puzzle time, and some Macaroni Arts and Crafts...all the kids are girls ages 1-4, plus my two kids...it's gonna be Pre-School Heaven for me! And Awana in the evening.

Friday: Gymnastics & Working on our Social Studies Project...in the evening MOPS Mom's night out at Valerie's house!

Saturday: Chores

Sunday: John preaches in both services at church & Date Night in the evening, my Mom is taking Julia and Mark for us. (John won't tell me what he has planned, it's a surprise...I LOVE surprises.)

It's going to be a GREAT week!

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Spiritual Awareness

I can honestly say I love the stage of life I am in right now.  Having a 4 year old and almost 3 year old is awesome.  It's awesome because their personalities are coming out so much more, they are expressing themselves better, and lately the conversations we have been having about the Lord really and truly amaze me.

Peter

I never knew that kids could accept Christ so easily at such a young age and be so open to Him.  It is only of the Lord that they are like this.  I mean you should hear the way Julia talks about people in the Bible...it's as if she's met them!  We were watching Chronicles of Narnia tonight and one of the boys is named Peter...she goes, "Mom his name is Peter, did you know Jesus SAVED Peter!!!!"  She was talking about the disciple Simon Peter as if it were her very own brother.  Then she began to tell me about how Jesus saved Peter in the water when Peter tried to walk on the water.  I can't tell you how long my mouth stayed open.  This four year old knows her Bible!

Jonah

And quite honestly I know we have given her a foundation in the Bible and the Lord, but she really listens during Awana and at Sunday School because she re tells us the stories she learns with such passion..."Mom did you know Jonah got swallowed by a FISH...He didn't listen to God, MOM you know you have to LISTEN to God!!!"

In The Car

Okay, now Julia is four, she's the first born, she's a girl, come on we knew she was gonna be a smart cookie...but would you believe my 2 1/2 year old talks about God all the time too?  And he does not go to Awana or Sunday School yet!  So this I can really take a little credit for (you know mom needs a pat on the back every now and again ;))  In the car we've been listening to this Children's Bible CD (I am super strict about what we listen to in the car...classical, 99.1 christian radio station or CDS that we approve of, no other stations AT ALL--to me they are filthy lyrics and my kids don't need to hear them) and the songs on there are Behold, I stand at the door and knock, Father Abraham, I'm so happy, Noah and the Arky, Onward Christian Soldier, etc.  Well, every single time Behold I stand at the door and knock comes on Mark says, "Mom, is God here?" Because I explained to them how Jesus stands at the door of our heart and waits patiently for us to open the door and let Him in to our lives.  So he loves that Jesus is knocking at the door for him.  And he constantly tells me, "Mom Jesus is MY best friend."

After Julia heard the Onward Christian Soldier song a few times she asked, "Mom what is a war?  What are the soldiers?"  Oh dear, I thought how do I explain this one.  Well when we got home I got a jar of Marky's army men and I lined up soldiers on one side and on the opposite side I lined up another set of soldiers.  I explained that these soldiers on this side are on God's side, in His army, and the other soldiers are on the evil side, in Satan's army, and how they are at war with each other.  I explained how their is always going to be a good and evil and how God's army will one day defeat Satan's army forever.

The Cross


One thing I have always struggled with explaining is the whole death thing.  I don't even like to say the word died.  It's weird I know.  I know its a part of life, but I kind of wanted to shelter my kids from it.  So much so that I will say pass away, disappear, no longer with us, instead of just saying, "He died."  Well, Julia is not one to EVER beat around the bush.  She asks a million questions and she wants the complete answer, AND she can tell if you are leaving stuff out (she can even tell if we skip a sentence while reading a book, it's so not fair)   Well, she came over to me last week and said very proudly, "Jesus died on the cross Mom."  Yes, honey he did.  "He died on the cross because HE LOVES US.  He wants us to be close to God so he had to die."  Well, why was I afraid to talk about this?  Especially since Jesus died but rose again!  From now on I will not be as timid to explain death to my children.  I will not beat around the bush.  Because although death is a very sad thing, Jesus makes death bearable because if we know Him as our Savior death is not the end.  We will be with him in eternity the very moment we are no longer breathing here on earth.  What a promise.

So yes, my children are learning more and more about Jesus...and they are teaching me to have that innocent child like faith that just knows that God loves us, Jesus died on the cross so we can be with God.  Jesus saves.  We need to listen to God.  And God is here.

Out of the mouths of babes.


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Blog Hop

 It's Time to Mingle!



Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things,

Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This weeks guest host and winner of our giveaway from last week is Life as a Seed


There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.
 


The Vows of a SAHM

SAHM-Stay At Home Mom

I have been talking to countless stay at home mom friends, at the library, at the grocery store, on the phone, at church, on the playground, where ever we are we have a secret bond and a similar plight.

We love our families unconditionally.  We love to see our children grow and learn we try to keep house and make meals and stay sane all at the same time.

Today I thoroughly enjoyed a conversation with a fellow SAHM that I just met about how we were able to nurse our babies and make a meal, or clean a room, or potty train another little one--yes at the same time.  Because as a stay at home mom, you are at home, and you are the only adult in the house, and since you only have two hands and more than one child, usually, multi-tasking becomes an absolute art form at times.

Modesty is out the window and privacy is unheard of in SAHMommy land.  Our job is a big one: raise the children, keep them happy, feed them, play with them, teach them, all while managing a household--oh and don't forget your hubby!

And all of you glorious working moms out there, I admire you! Because you have to do all that work inside the home that I do AND work outside of the home!  And sometimes I have to say I get a tiny bit jealous that working moms get to see the outside world more and talk to adults more...gee adult conversation is ABSOLUTELY wonderful when you've talked to a four year old and two year old all day, and even if they are BEYOND cute, sometimes...you want to have quiet time for longer than 10 seconds.

I think it's neat that I can meet a SAHM for 5 minutes and already know how much baby fat she's trying to lose, how long she intends to nurse, and how she may be struggling to find a date night for her and the hubby. It's amazing how we have this bond.

And for the record, we don't stay in our pjs all day (Seriously, I never do that) we do put on make up and get dressed.  We may not wake up to an alarm clock, but I do wake up to a little girl standing right in front of me asking me to get her milk downstairs--does that count?  I don't know about you but I take a shower every day, I try to look my best (ok so I don't wear my suits from when I was a teacher, but I do on Sunday!).  And SAHM do like to get OUT of the house and DO things, hence why library time is so important and field trips, and Bible study, and the occasional sports activities for the kids.

I guess what I'm trying to say is all of us moms need to stick together.  We have the hardest job on the planet.  We bring babies into the world and raise them to be PEOPLE!  We are so blessed, aren't we?  Working in the home or out the home we all have a common thread...we love our families and there is no sacrifices we won't make to keep our families happy and thriving.

So, the next time you meet a SAHM, give her a smile and a hug and tell her she is doing a great job...you just might be the first adult she's talked to today!



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Bringing Up Boys: "Disciplining Boys"

This is Mark.  He's 2 1/2.  He's my youngest.  He's my only boy.  And I am truly, head over heals, in love with him.  He is the action figure of his Daddy and the little guy who makes us all smile.  He wears hats regularly, has gorgeous red hair, blue eyes, and the fairest of fair skin.  He is 25%...on the tiny side for his age, but very scoop-able and cuddly.  Julia (his 4 year old sister and charming admirer) dote on him incessantly, and his father, well, he just gets a kick out of his son.  Who can blame him?

Today we take a look at Chapter 16 in Bringing up Boys by James Dobson.  If you are just joining my Book Club Wednesday for the first time check out this post which will catch you up on the last 3 chapters.

Here are today's bullet points:

* children need firm but loving discipline
* kids like to challenge authority (duh)
* rules at home need to prevail out of doors (like in the grocery store)
* parents need to be confident and show loving discipline
*teach children respect and authority...teach not expect they already know
*today's parents are more lax and permissive (double duh)
*parents expect their children to be self-disciplined
*it is OUR job to shape and mold our children's minds

"Shaping and molding young minds is a product of careful and diligent parental leadership.  You can be sure it requires great effort and patience."--Dobson

Hence, why at the end of the day I am literally EXHAUSTED.  Because teaching and training and molding your children into the people God would have them to be takes a lot of work, wisdom and loads and loads of patience.  Whenever anyone asks me what my prayer request is it is usually for my husband or wisdom in rearing my children, and for PATIENCE.

And we've all been to the grocery store or the library and have seen parents NOT show loving discipline by either totally ignoring bad behavior from their kids (I once watched a child hit her mom during story time and the mother never said one word!) or screaming and belittling their child.  It's almost as if there's a wide spectrum of how to discipline or not to at all.

My husband and I recently watched a video on a discipline tactic to use with your children which includes counting and a time out, and it has worked wonders.  It's called Magic 1-2-3, and we highly recommend it.  Do you ever feel like a broken record giving the same lecture about why it's not nice to hit your sister, or interrupt mom on the phone, or how we share with our friends?  Yes, it gets old real fast.  The same lecture over and over.  Well, guess what? It gets old real fast for little Johnny and Sally too, and chances are if you've said it once or twice they've heard it 3 million times.  So now the minute the behavior pops up we say in a calm voice, "That's one."  then they have 5 seconds to shape up or "That's two." and another five seconds, "That's three you need a time out." (and the time out depends on their age...Julia gets 4 minutes because she's 4 and Mark gets 2 minutes because he's 2.) Afterwards its apology and get back in the game mentality "all is forgiven"...but you know what?  Mom and Dad are not exhausted from over talking, Julia and Mark KNOW what is expected...and we very rarely ever get to 2 or 3 because the negative behavior stops.  Now of course there are exceptions, (you don't get 3 chances to hit someone, that's an immediate time out) and if something is brand new then a discussion is of course warranted because the behavior has never been seen before and the child might not have known it was wrong or not acceptable.




But firm, loving and CONSISTENT discipline is always appreciated by kids because they know what is expected and they know what mom and dad's expectations were.  We are so thankful for Debi H. sharing that video with us in December it really changed our discipline style.

What saddens me by this chapter is what I have seen in the classroom as a teacher.  And this is the problem where parents just expect their kids to know how to do things that they have never been taught.  It is so unfair.  I pray that I will be a parent that even if it takes extra time and patience and lots of prayer that I will still take the time to model and show and explain how to do the things I expect from my children.  I can remember during parent teacher conferences where parents would be shocked that their child was doing poorly in a subject (which I was always shocked by since I sent papers home weekly to be signed and returned) and then the parent would say, "Well I TOLD them to go in their room and study!"  To which I would say, "Third graders don't know HOW to study.  We have to model it for them."  You can't just send your child to their room and expect them to "man up" or "be an adult" and do something they have never learned.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  It takes mom and dad sitting on the bed practicing with flash cards, quizzing spelling words, listening to speeches.

Our kids NEED our time and energy.  I know it's hard and tiring, and we want them to be smart and independent and just know what to do and when to do it, but we need to be alongside them guiding, teaching and instructing.  Even if our children are in school and they have teachers, WE are STILL their teachers!  And we as parents KNOW them best!  God promises to give us all the tools we need if we ask.  We can't be afraid to be parents.  We have to be confident and loving.

I love the verse in 2 Timothy 1: 7 (It's our MOPS theme verse this year too) "God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible." 2 Timothy 1:7  
God doesn't want us to be shy, timid parents.  We brought these children into the world! He wants us to be bold, loving, and sensible!!!  We are the authority figures and our tone, our behavior, our actions are being carefully observed each day, so we need to also practice what we preach.  Are we kind?  Are we loving? Do we share?

"There's a time for affirmation, tenderness and love.  They nourish the spirit and seal the bond between generations.  But there's also a time for discipline and punishment.  Moms and dads who try to be eternally positive, ignoring irresponsibility or defiance in their children, fail to teach them that behavior has consequences.  But beware! Parents who are continually punitive and accusatory can create serious behavioral and emotional problems."--Dobson
As wise parents we need to ask God to help us and guide us on our disciplining journey.  I used to hear teachers say, "I love teaching but I hate the discipline problems."  But you know what the discipline problems are OUR job, because we are molding and shaping young minds.  It's the number one job of every parent and teacher...disciplining cannot be ignored.  But we need balance disciplining.

Dobson ended the chapter by commenting on how chores and allowance are good ways of teaching your children responsibility and also bringing your child to work to see what it is like.  I can just picture now John taking Mark to work one day...and I know Mark will be amazed at all the sights and sounds of NYC...but he will also be watching to see how Daddy treats his co-workers, how hard he works, and how well he provides for his family.  Dobson stresses that we need to give our children a taste of the real world.  Don't let them sit in front of tv or play video games all day, let them experience reality.

Hope you found this chapter helpful! Next Wedensday is our last chapter and it's called The Ultimate Priority!

*** Another blog I would like for you to stop by and visit is: The Excellent Wife...she is amazing!  A godly wife and godly mother. http://theexcellentwife.com/

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