Thursday, October 29, 2009

Please Pray

***Update***
Stellan is absolutely, completely, undeniably, MIRACULOUSLY HEALED!! Can I get an "Amen?!!"
It's taken me a while a ridiculous amount of time to post this update, but on  November 9th, Stellan went in for his second ablation of his heart and it was a rip-roaring success!  You can read all about that day HERE.  So many, including myself, are praising God for His hand upon this sweet babe and for restoring him to complete health.  I look foward to watching him grow and THRIVE!!

Original Post:
Along with literally THOUSANDS of other readers, I am praying for sweet little Stellan today.
If you're unfamiliar with his story, or his Mama, or the rest of the MckFamily, head over to their family blog here: http://www.mckmama.com/
Stellan, who turns 1 years old today was diagnosed with SVT in the womb, born healthy and presumably normal, but at 4 months began having bouts with SVT (super fast heart rate) once again.  He has been hospitalized and gravely ill numerous times, flown by medical helicopter to Boston where he received an ablation of his heart at 5 months and since then has had on-again/off-again bouts with SVT.
He is currently hospitalized, and this bout of SVT came on VERY suddenly and has really hit his poor little body hard.
Please take the time today to pray for him and to ask our Great God, who is the ultimate Healer to do a miracle for Stellan and their family and restore him to complete health.
Happy Birthday sweet Stellan!  Praying you get to eat your birthday cake real soon big boy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The BEST (and easiest) Stuffed Mushroom Recipe Ever!

Trust me when I tell you that your friends will be BEGGING you for this recipe!  I know this because
a. Begging is how I came to have it (I've got no shame...) and
b. It's what happens to me every time I decide to make these delectable little morsels and take them to a party, get together, etc.

The greatest thing about this recipe (other than the begging and adulation described above) is that it's soooo easy to make with very few ingredients.  (My kind of recipe!)

Here's what you'll need:

3 packages of regular sized mushrooms, stems removed and discarded
10 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 Cup Hellman's Mayo (no substitution here, bring out the good stuff!)
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar
Lawry's Season Salt, to taste

Here's what you'll do:
  • Take a 1/4 sized teaspoon or small melon baller to core out the mushroom stems and enlarge the opening of the cap slightly (to allow for more stuffing.)
  • Wash mushroom caps thouroughly and set them on papertowel to drain/dry.
  • Cook bacon and crumble.
  • In a bowl, mix together the crumbled bacon, mayonnaise, cheese and seasoning salt.
  • Fill each mushroom cap with the cheese mixture and place cheese-side up into a 9X13 baking dish.
  • Broil for approximately 7 min. or until cheese is melted and just starts to brown.
Warning!  Be prepared to either:
a. gain approximately 3 pounds (from eating as many as you can yourself) or
b. spend time handing out the recipe cards you very wisely made up in advance to save you from being smothered with people vying for your attention! 
Unless that was your goal all along...in that case~~
Revel in it!! :-)

What's your favorite recipe to take to party or get together?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dinner Diary-Bowtie Festival

I'm still loving all the inspiration and great recipes I'm getting over at Tiffany's blog Eat At Home Cooks.  If you haven't had the chance to check it out--Go there NOW!  (Well, okay, maybe not RIGHT now, but as soon as you read this post, GO!)

Tonight I tried out her recipe for Bowtie Festival and it was a HUGE hit!  Don't you just love it when you can razzle and dazzle your family? Thanks Tiffany!

I wanted to share it here, but for detailed pictures (ours was gone so fast I didn't even get a chance to take a pic!) be sure to check out Tiffany's site!

Bowtie Festival:
1 box bowtie pasta
4 Tbs. butter
2 cups half & half
1/2 cup white wine (I could only find the non-alcoholic version, which was fine with me!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
12 oz.pre-cooked bacon, diced
2 cups Parmesan, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tomato, finely chopped (I omited this since NONE of us like tomatoes!)

Boil the pasta according to the package directions.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cooking until soft.  Add the red pepper, wine and bacon to the mix and cook for a minute.  (This kept the red peppers slightly hard, next time I may try cooking them longer.) Whisk in the half and half, then the cheese, allowing the cheese to melt.  Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta and put it back in the cooking pot.  Pour the sauce over it and stir it together.
(Optional: Top with the chopped tomato.)

I served Caesar salad with ours and it was sooo good!

What have YOU been cooking up in the kitchen lately?  I'd love to hear!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Casting" Our Cares Away...

So our little one had his big appointment on Wednesday to have his cast removed.
Yeah!!  ((Can you hear the chorus of angels singing??))
It was a day we have all eagerly anticipated over the past 3 weeks.
Although we're thankful for modern medical marvels such as casts, having a 16 month old wearing one has definitely affected our day-to-day.
Of course, with no more cast, we wouldn't be able to enjoy...

  • Wearing Daddy's big sock over his arm at the dinner table...















  • Attempted "sponge baths" over the kitchen sink; washing his head/hair with the sprayer while his head rests comfortably on an overturned soup pot while he cries and flails his arms wildly; angry that we would DARE to force this manner of bathing on him!

  • Cleaning the spaghetti sauce, bananas, oranges, gravy and cheerios out of his hair with wipes in an attempt to avoid the aforementioned "sink" bath.

  • Constantly worrying that I would forget to pick up the dog dish full of water and he would proceed to splash to his hearts content and his cast's demise.

But alas, I need not mourn too long...

After having his pumpkin-y colored cast removed and new x-rays taken, it was determined that one of the two fractured bones still needed a little TLC and healing time so....
Hello, fall-ish Navy Blue color!
See? I don't mind a bit!

And..."Hello!" to one more week of dirty boy!

Just kidding, cause I SOOO give him a bath EVERY night.

*Ahem*

Friday, September 25, 2009

Company and a Yummy Breakfast Treat

This weekend is a pretty big weekend in my household.  It has nothing to do with birthdays, or family members, anniversaries or traditions.  Well, actually now that I think about it, this event probably could be counted as a tradition.  A tradition that my husband looks forward to every year and one that we have been SOOOO blessed to recieve 4 free tickets to:  The annual meeting of the Penn State Nitany Lions with my husbands' beloved Iowa Hawkeyes.  Woot! Woot!!  Oh yeah, we are headed to Happy Valley, baby!
I've been hearing/reading alot of smack-talk going down between my husband and his Penn State buddies this week (we are pretty surrounded courtesy of living so close to Pennsylvania!) and I'm hoping that his Hawkeyes will pull off a victory.  Ya'll know my heart is still in Florida with my 'Noles, but hey, I love my hubby and thus root passionately for his team!  Go Hawks! 
We are taking our 4 year old with us and my Father in Law flew in tonight (all the way from IOWA!) just so he could travel with us to the big game tomorrow.  My son is soooo excited to go.  This will be his first time going to a REAL football game and he's been talking about it all week.

All that said, I wanted to have something on hand for us to eat in the morning without getting my kitchen too dirty before heading out.  We are trying to sell it for goodness sakes and it's sooo hard to keep everything "potential-buyer-clean" while still living in it!!

I remembered that I had a really yummy Egg Souffle recipe buried in one of my cookbooks and decided to dig it out and throw it together for tomorow.
I thought I would share it here as it's super easy to whip up and is soo good!  (This recipe was given to me by a sweet "host Mom" during our travels with our vocal group MISSION.)


Egg Souffle
6 slices of cubed bread
6 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb. of cooked sausage or bacon, drained and crumbled (I used two boxes of the pre-cooked bacon)
2 cups milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt or salt (I used salt since my FIL is deathly allergic to red pepper/chili pepper...no ER visits for us this weekend, thank you!)

 Beat eggs, add all other ingredients.  
Put in a casserole dish and refrigerate at least 12 hours.
Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 min. or until set in the middle.
Enjoy!

Here is a picture of it ready to be baked in the AM!  So easy and so good!
Be blessed!
~Jenn~

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doing Fine

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life....and I'm feeeeling Gooood..."

Ever have one of those weeks where so much happens all at once that it's hard to catch your breath?  These past few weeks have certainly been like that for us!  

For starters, almost two weeks ago, my husband (enjoying a Friday off of work) decided that he wanted to treat our boys and kept them home from daycare to spend some quality time with them. They had a nutritionally balanced yummy breakfast at McDonald's and then decided to pay one of our favorite fall destinations a visit.  
Ever since our firstborn was an infant, we have loved taking the boys to a local orchard during the fall season.  Beautiful decorations, pumpkins of various sizes, wonderful homemade pies, horse rides, various rich colored blooms, a playground and petting zoo make this a memory-making destination each time we go.
Jeff enjoyed letting the boys pet the goats and play on the playground for a bit, and then gave our youngest (15 months old) a piggy-back ride on his shoulders.  As our four year old walked ahead of him, my husband tripped/stepped into a hole in the gravel which sent both of them hurtling forward and our little one somersaulting over his right shoulder.  My husband kept a firm grip on his right arm to prevent him from hitting the ground and hitting his head.  Of course, the whole thing scared our little guy and he cried for a bit, but recovered quickly and they went on with their day: lunchtime, naptime, playtime, etc.
When I got home, we both noticed that he just wasn't acting like himself.  He would cry off and on for no apparent reason.  My husband mentioned what had happened and we started wondering if maybe he had tweaked his shoulder.  A few strategically placed squeezes later, we weren't convinced that there was really anything wrong.  He was still using his arm to point and could lift it fine.  However, he cried through most of dinner and nearly all of his bath time, which gave us more reason for concern.  After his bath, I laid him on the changing table to put his jammies on.  As soon as I attempted to (gently) put his right arm in the sleeve he started bawling.  My husband and I looked at each other and the decision was made.  We were headed to the ER.  
I am ever so glad that we made that decision because two hours, a little TV, a lot of fussing, and a couple of x-rays later we had our diagnosis: both bones of the forearm were fractured about two inches above his right wrist.  Needless to say we were heartbroken for him and my poor husband felt TERRIBLE!!  I'm still convinced that he probably saved him from an even worse injury had he fallen on/hit his head on the gravel!  Of course, this is the same little boy who just TWO months ago was in that same ER getting 4 stitches in his eyelid after big brother tried to "swim" between his legs in the bathtub!
  (Note to the baby hospital....we really do love our children no matter how this looks!) 
Anyways, our little guy got his cast on a week ago and is doing splendidly! 

See?

video
Also, pay no mind to the various items on his floor.  He really should try to pick up after himself a little better. 
Ahem.

As if all of that wasn't enough, for some reason I've also chosen the last 2-3 weeks of my life to become a little more adventurous in the kitchen and have cooked up a whole slew of new homemade concoctions that I have NEVER attempted before.   
Having spent the first couple of years of our married life dining on such finer things as Dinty-Moore-Beef-Stew-Over-Rice, Tuna Helper and Grilled Cheese with Ramen Noodles, to say that making things from scratch is HUGE for me might just be the understatement of the year.
My husband has been wondering who body snatched his wife happily devouring every meal and has really spoken to my "love language" with comments such as "Your batting 1000!" 
(It's really a good thing I love sports so much and will gladly take a sports analogy like this to my cooking as the sincerest form of compliment!)

Here's a short list of the things I've made (from scratch) for the first time in my life recently:
(Blogs about several of these will hopefully be forthcoming. More on that in a bit)

  • Homemade Bread (6 loaves of it!) without the use of a bread machine OR a free stand mixer (although I am now on the hunt for used versions of either...)
  • Stuffed Shells
  • Homemade Pizza Dough (for Calzones which I had also never made)
  • Homemade Pie Crust (for the yummiest Quiche Lorraine. I made a double batch of my mom's recipe, but this was my first time NOT using a store-bought crust.  It was soooo much better homemade!)
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls~ (Oh my word, ya'll....these were THE.BEST.EVER!!  I only used half of the dough and it made 7 pans full!  These would make a great gift-giving idea.  But don't steal, cause I'm thinking I will give these out for the holidays.  I will definitely be posting about these oooey-gooey heavenly morsels from this great mama cook soon!)

  • Stromboli (pretty basic, but my first time making it and my first time using frozen bread dough. Pretty cool when you're in a rush, but I think the next time I'll just whip up the homemade pizza dough I used for the Calzones.  Cause I can so totally "whip it right up" now. Uh-huh, yeah.



Hopefully I can find the time in the next week or so to put up the recipe 
posts for all of these, but I'm not sure that will happen since this went up last night:

Yep, our house is for sale.
(*Sniff*)
No really, it's a good thing.  It's just one of those things that you know God is in, and you know He's telling you to do, but you still have those moments where you're like "Are you sure?!"
God has put such a burden in my heart that my purpose, my calling is to be home with my children.  I have already missed sooo much precious time with them and they will only be small for a season and I don't want to miss.any.more!
We have loved our house and have soo many wonderful memories, but we know that I would never be able to stay at home while in this house.  We're trying to make the right decisions (even though they're REALLY hard sometimes) and following alot of common sense.  (We'd make Dave proud!)  
Please be praying with us for the sale of our home and that God would provide just the right place for us, whether that be another home, or an apartment, or a townhouse.  We know that all of this is in HIS hands and we are trusting in that!
So, now between working full-time, whipping up homemade creations in the kitchen, loving my husband and children, cleaning up the pee and poop my diabetic dog is leaving for me everyday and trying to keep my house potential-buyer-clean, I'll still be trusting Him to take care of every insane, crazy, stressful moment and hopefully live to blog about it enjoy every minute of it.
That, and learning how to do cool things with my blog that may, or may not annoy everyone else who reads it like striking through perfectly good words just to satisfy my own sense of humor.

Be blessed,
~Jenn~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

~My Boys~




Just wanted to share some recent pics of my favorite little men.
We've had a great summer, and are eagerly looking forward to the fall and winter months.
For now though, I'm enjoying reflecting on God's goodness and spending some time thanking him for these two precious boys!

~Brothers~


    ~Seriously, how cute is he?~            


~Growing up waaay too fast!~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

~A Whole Lotta Dough~

I'm not quite sure, but I probably should be embarrassed to admit the fact that I'm 32, and two weeks ago was the very first time I've ever made homemade bread. EVER.
While I'm in the confessing mood, I should also point out that I was never that "into" helping my mom in the kitchen. I didn't grow up with a love of cooking or any sort of natural inclination to just throw a little-of-this and a little-of-that and whip up something that could be called edible.
No, I was much more content to let my younger sister hone her cooking skills in the kitchen with my mom, while I fine-tuned my ability to spot an "off sides" or a "pass-interference" while plopped down in front of a football game with my dad. (Which reminds me of a pretty funny story from when Jeff and I were newlyweds which I will have to save for another day...)
Ahem.
Well, fast forward 7 years of marriage and two kids later and I FINALLY feel like I am starting to get my groove on in the kitchen! For about the last 3 weeks, I've been cooking up all new recipes that I've procured from other people's blogs and I am having a BLAST! Okay, maybe blast is a little too strong of a description, but suffice it to say that I'm enjoying my husband telling me I'm batting 1000 lately with my cooking! HA!
So, back to the bread. Having never made it before, I didn't realize that I could be saving alot of money by baking my own bread. Not only that, but when you make it yourself, it's way healthier and simply delicious!
I found my soon-to-be-first-ever-baked-bread recipe at an AWESOME cooking blog called Eat At Home Cooks. The author of this blog shares VERY simple, affordable, and delicious recipes in a way that novice/semi-novice cooks like me can really appreciate. In addition to showing a photo of the ingredients and the final product, her steps are easy to understand and she blogs about any embellishments made or what she would do differently the next time. I also love love LOVE that she has weekly, printable menu lists that I can take to the store and do all of my shopping for the week. This type of menu planning means that we are eating out less (thus saving $$) and also enjoying home-cooked meals every night! When I saw her recipe for this bread, I knew I had to give it a try! I also decided that making 6 loaves of bread for the first time wasn't enough for one afternoon and dove head-first into another dish that I had yet to try my hand at....Stuffed Shells. Both recipes turned out sooooo yummy and have now been added to my "staples."
Below are the pics of my afternoon. Enjoy!






Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Dirt Bike








Today our church had a yard sale.

However, this wasn't your average, run-of-the-mill yard sale.
No, my friends, this was an outreach; a ministry opportunity; a venue in which the love of Jesus could be shown to our community freely.

And by freely, I really mean freely because, well, everything was given away for free!

What a fantastic idea!

I didn't make it, but from what my husband tells me, it was a great success! People were blown away and more than a little surprised to see that our church was literally giving things like GPS systems, treadmills, furniture, picture frames and clothing away for free.

Last week, my husband drove a truck and trailer over to a members house to pick up several items that they would be donating for the yard sale. Later, my 4 year old joined him and happened to notice that one of those items was a dirt-bike just his size.

Well, you can be sure that he asked Daddy about it and my husband told him that while he couldn't have it (because it was for the yard sale) they could certainly pray that maybe no one else would want it and then maybe he could have it. (All left over items were donated to Goodwill and, well, up for grabs.)

Needless to say, our little guy has been praying that he might be able to have the dirt bike and several times today while home with me (while Daddy was at the yard sale) he would ask me to call my husband to check on the status.

When my husband got home he told my son that "it was there for a while and the next thing I knew, it was gone!"


Someone else had been blessed by it.


I could tell that he was a little bummed and this became even more clear when the two of us were sitting together at the dinner table tonight. Our conversation went something like this:

M: "Mommy, I'm sad"
Me: "Why buddy?"
M: "I'm sad because I didn't get the dirt bike"
Me: (wanting to somehow make a life lesson out of the situation): "I know honey, but it's okay...someone else was blessed with it."
M: "But I wanted the dirt bike!"
Me: "Well, guess what buddy..."
M: "What?"
Me: "Our church was actually giving away all of the stuff at the yard sale for free!!"
M: "They were?(eyes wide) Why?"
Me: "Well, buddy, because we wanted to use today as an opportunity to reach out to people in our community. We were giving things away to show people the love of Jesus and to use this as an opportunity to invite them to our church where maybe, just maybe, they might hear about Jesus for the very.first.time.ever!!"
M: "And bring the dirt bike back?!?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ahh....we have a long way to go folks. :-)


Be blessed,

~Jenn~

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Q-U-O-T-E of the Day








Recently we've taken great delight in the fact that M is showing an increased interest in reading and spelling out words.

This is great, of course, except my husband and I are realizing that our days of spelling out things to each other like "Do you think we should go "s-w-i-m-m-i-n-g"? or "How about a trip for "I-c-e-C-r-e-a-m" after dinner"? without getting a reaction out of him are quickly coming to a close.  

It won't be long before we say something like "I really think he should go to 'b-e-d' soon!" to which he'll aptly reply, "But I don't wanna go to bed!" :-)

Well!

This increased interest in spelling took a funny turn while at the dinner table this afternoon.  Here's a brief transcript of how the conversation went:

M:  "Daddy, can we go to blah, blah, blah....?"  (Well, he didn't really say that, but we couldn't understand what he was saying except that he was trying to spell something out.) 
Jeff:  "What did you ask buddy?"

M(more determined): "Can we go to "V-E-E-T-V-Y-P-E-L?" (slight snickers and smiles from us at this point)

Me: "Well, buddy, can you just use the word to ask us where you want to go?"

M: "Yeah! Can we go to the 'Circus'?!?" 
***********************************************
Kids are sooo funny!!!

Be blessed,
~Jenn~ 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Joy







Early morning snuggles & giggles
Taking my oldest on a yard-sale "adventure"
Blueberry muffins and iced cold lattes
Finding treasures just for us in the rain
Watching his heart buying gifts for others
Joy in being a family
A hot tub big enough for all of us and our memories
Putting off busyness to simply play
An easy lunch of grilled cheese & diet cokes
Naptimes...oh, glorious naptimes! :-)
Heart to heart talks with the love of my life
Thunder and lightning between the clouds and sun
Lazy Saturday afternoons at home
The pitter-patter of little feet down the hall
Binkys and tickles
Bath time and bubbles; jammies and bedtime stories
Food and shelter and love and blessings

The nudging from the Holy Spirit to drink it all in today
and to treasure these moments
of JOY.

Friday, August 21, 2009

~ A Little Linky Love~

Recently my heart has been encouraged by several different (some of them VASTLY different) people and their blogs. My husband would say that I've been obsessed with my reading, and in reality, he's probably a bit right.
A writer I am not.
However, I do LOVE to get lost in good writing and I love to be surprised by humor. I love to hear stories from other moms that remind me instantly of something I've either recently experienced, or at least can empathize with. Most of the women whose blogs I follow would probably *gasp* at my use grammar, spelling and prose. But I digress.....
Mainly, I wanted to introduce you to several people that I, myself, have never met.
Some of their stories are beautiful; some tragic; some hilarious, but all are heart-warming and worthy of reading.

Today I wanted to list two of my favorites:

My Charming Kids is the blog of "MckMama." She's probably just as commonly known (worldwide I tell ya!) as mama to sweet baby Stellan. I first heard of this miraculous little boy when I noticed another friend was "Praying for Stellan" on Facebook. I clicked on the link and instantly fell in love with this sweet-cheeked cutie and the amazing story of his life! I've followed along as this little guy has quite literally fought for his life on several occasions, defied all the odds, baffled the medical community and proven that God is ultimately in control and truly does answer prayers! His mama blogs about the journey God has them on, as well as the crazy, hectic life they live with three other little ones running around. Her stories will have you laughing out loud! Check it out.

Through MckMama's blog, I've also had the privelege of being introduced to Angie of Bring The Rain.
Oh.My.Goodness. This gal is the real deal. Angie created Bring The Rain as a way to chronicle her family's journey on a road of love and loss; heartbreak, triumph and healing. She is quite possibly one of the most beautiful writers I've come across in the "blog world" and is just lovely inside and out. She also happens to be married to Todd Smith of the Contemporary Christian Recording group Selah. Together they have 4 little girls~three on this earth, and one who dances in the arms of Jesus~
You won't want to miss the privilege of reading their story...just have a box of tissues handy!!

Oh, and there are so much more! For now, though, I hope you'll enjoy getting to know these gals as much as I have.
What are some of your favorite blogs??

Be blessed,
~~Jenn~~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet the Objects of My Obsession, er, Affection...

The Journey Begins...

My first post on my new blog!

Now some of you (or maybe none of you) may be wondering, "What in the world was wrong with your OLD blog? You know, the one you haven't updated in nearly a year?!?"
Touche'
Well... yeah. You're right.

However, because sooo much has changed in my life since my last post on my old blog, that THIS blog and title seemed so much more appropriate!
Because, you see, I am a woman on a MISSION!

****I am COMMITTED to doing everything possible to become what I know God is calling me to be...a STAY-AT-HOME MOMMY!!!***

There, I said it.
Out loud.
For all the world to see.
Somehow, it makes it feel more attainable....or at least, it makes me feel more accountable. And believe me, I can use all of the accountability I can get! I hope to use this blog as a way of keeping track of my failures, my successes, the tips and tricks I'm learning as I go along, the encouragement I gain from other mommies out there who have walked this road before me and as a way of journaling my hopes, dreams and prayers along the way.

Wanna come along for the ride? :-)

Now, a little about myself and WHY I want so badly to be home....
My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years now, and he is the BEST thing that's ever happened to me! Of course, we've had our fair share of ups and downs, but now, the downs just make the ups that much sweeter! We are continually growing and learining how to love each other better and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us! He also happens to be the Worship Director at our church. You can check out our AWESOME church here.
The two of us met while working for the missions organization WorldHelp in Forest, VA where we toured and traveled with the now-disbanned vocal group MISSION. It was, in a word, suh-weet!! We got to see so much of the country, meet many, many wonderful people, record an album, take showers at truck stops...Oh yeah...awesome. We have loved being in ministry for most of our married life and it is still such a privilege to use the gifts God has given us.

Together we have two of the sweetest little munckins that call me 'Mommy'.
My oldest, M, is 4 1/2 and daily brings to mind all of the many times my mother would say to me while growing up "I hope you have one just like you someday!!!!"
Now, somehow in my mind, I always pictured that IF this came to pass, it would most certainly come in the form of a petite, brunette, freckle-faced, tom-boy princess...but, apparently, in God's wonderful sense of humor, He chose to fulfill this "prophesy" by blessing me with the most energetic, baseball obsessed, stubborn/strong-willed, all-BOY you could imagine! :-) I love him to pieces and I know that God has big plans for his life, but BOY does he keep me on my toes AND on my knees daily!

My youngest, sweet baby H, is 15 months old today and goodness does he make us all laugh! He loves music (MUCH to my delight!) and his favorite, as of late has been to bob his head up and down with the beat of "Vertigo" by U2 blasting from our minivan's sound system. LOVE IT.
He has become quite the busy boy recently and I'm realizing very quickly how much still needs child-proofing in my house!! He adores his big brother, loves bath-time, HATES being on the changing table and has slept through the night since he was 9 weeks old. And he's going to be JUST. LIKE. HIS. BROTHER! :-) I think my Mom may have wished a little too hard for sweet justice to take place here on earth!

As for me, I have worked full-time in the medical field for the past 12 years as an Sonographer (fancy term for Ultrasound technician.) My first two years in the field were spent scanning babies and bellies but the past 10 years, I've mainly specialized in cardiovascular ultrasound, or hearts and blood vessels. As much as I love what I do and as thankful as I am~especially in today's economy~ to HAVE a career and a job, I sooo long to be home with my children!!! I know that there is so much that I am missing on a daily basis and so much that I could be pouring into their little lives! Although we have wonderful childcare for our boys, it's still childcare all the same and could never compare to being HOME with their mommy.

I'm not exactly sure what this journey will look like, or how long it will take us, but there are four things that give me hope that we will get there:
  1. We have a PLAN! Not too long ago we were introduced to Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover book. If you haven't read it yet, Go.Get it. NOW!! It is absolutely a MUST read for anyone stuck in debt (which we are), those that want to improve their family's financial future (which we do) and want to live like no one else (which we will!!) We are using this wonderful tool to make a clear cut plan towards taking control of our finances. It's gonna take ALOT of hard work and probably even more sacrifice, but in the end we know that it will be worth it.
  2. I am realizing that there are sooo many others out there in this big crazy world who have the same hopes and struggles as I do! I would love to make this a place where other moms can connect to share tips, advice, or words of wisdom of how they ARE walking or HAVE walked this road before me.
  3. I have a vehicle. Well, actually, two that sit in my driveway. But what I mean is that I have a means. Even though I work full-time, I have started my own business that eventually I hope will replace my full-time income and allow me to transition **HOME**!! I am soooo excited! Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to be a instant fix to our situation? Probably not. But I'm a hard worker and since I don't shy away from a challenge very easily, I am more than willing and able to put in the effort for the desired results. Not only that, but I feel soo good about what I'm doing. My business is actually HELPING others! Now, I know I had some of you up until #3, but let me assure you that I don't plan on using this blog solely as a means of promotion (although a little never hurt anyone, right?) :-) Suffice it to say that if you're a mom like me who's tired of the rat race and YOUR greatest desire is to be able to work from home and be with your children than go check out my website! You can find the link at the top left side of my blog. I'd love to have you join me!
  4. Lastly, but certainly not least is the fact that I serve a VERY Big God, who has VERY Big plans for me. Yep, in fact he promised!! Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my very favorite verses of all time. The reason for this is simple. He loves me. He has a plan for me. And HIS type of future is the ONLY kind I want! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE." Can I get an Amen?!?! How awesome that God wants the very best for me? I can be confident of this AND in the fact that He has this same plan for my family and especially my children.
So, off we go! I am excited to start this journey and to "journal" as we go. My hope is that along the way I will be blessed to develop friendships with other moms who also have a "Heart for Home Sweet Home." Be Blessed!
~~Jenn~~