Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Good Reminder

Yesterday, on the radio, I was reminded of this truth that I've heard before. Basically, here it is in my own words:

There are many things in life we have to say "no" to. Most of us know that, for there are many things that we realize are down right bad and we must completely shut the door on them. However, do we remember that there are also GOOD things that we must often say "no" to? Why must we say "no" to good things? So we can say "yes" to BETTER things. And not only that, but there are also BETTER things that we must say "no" to. Again, why? So we can say "yes" to the BEST things!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fun With Cakes!

The last several weeks I've had the privilege of taking cake decorating classes at Michaels craft store! I've come to really enjoy it and I'm looking forward to more projects!!! Last night was the last night for course one. I think I'll try to carry on and take some of their other courses in the future. So, here is a picture of my final cake:

I primarily copied the cake on the front of our course book.

My handsome hubby very willingly did baby sitting duty all four nights and Clara got to have some good Daddy time! Thanks, honey! I had fun!


If only smarts were contagious... I would have a serious case of intelligent-itis right now. You see, how could I avoid it having spent an evening, this last weekend, at an annual engineering awards banquet??? But alas, I must have been inoculated against that peril.

So, you ask, what does a room full of engineers and those, like myself, who have chosen to stand beside them in life, look like? Well, surprisingly, they looked much like any other group of well dressed people! :-)

Ok, goofiness aside, I really looked forward to dressing up and going out with my hubby to this event. Some kind friends watched the baby. We met some very nice people and had some enjoyable chats. Ok, I'll be honest, there was a discussion before dinner where some people were discussing what degrees they had, etc. and then someone asked if I had a degree. I don't, and I found that embarrassing and intimidating. So, that was one of my most unpleasant moments of the evening. But for the most part I had a very enjoyable time. The meal was delicious. The gentleman who won "engineer of the year" made some entertaining remarks. And like I said, we met some very nice people. And it was fun to be dressed up and out with my handsome man. All in all, I'm up for it again next year!!!

Clara and I are off to "Baby-garten" at the library today. That's a bit more my speed!!! :-) :-) :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Walk Down Memory Lane!

Here are a few more cute pictures from our time in corporate housing! Enjoy!

"The things I have to put up with in this family!!! And will someone PLEASE tell Mom and Dad that pink and red don't even go together!!!!!"

So happy...and loud!!!! :-)

Not focused the best, but I still love this one!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snapshots of Motherhood

Little toy foam letters and shapes strewn all over with the most adorable little teeth marks in them,

A highchair covered with bits and pieces of cereal, smeared yogurt, smashed sweet potatoes,

Hair, still wet from bath time, sticking straight up on top of a sweet little head,

Hot pads and towels pulled from the drawer and strewn across my kitchen floor,

Little pudgy hands grabbing at my pant legs and struggling to pull herself up to stand next to Mamma,

The sound of a perfectly good magazine getting ripped up,

The sound of a little person coming to find me,

Squeals of laughter and happiness over the smallest things,

A measuring cup banging against the kitchen floor,

Water from a humidifier spilled all over a wood floor,

Little fingers investigating your mouth, eye and earring,

A little head gently bumping up against mine to give me a "kiss",

A squirming, delighted little girl when Daddy gets home from work,

Wails of displeasure at being put to bed,

Smiles and happiness as you walk in to get someone out of their crib,

The cutest little feet ever,

The feeling of "oh no. She's not awake already!",

The feeling of pride at a simple new accomplishment of my little one,

The special happiness of knowing my little one wants her mamma....

These are snapshots of motherhood.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All you wives and mommies out there! Here's a neat, short article I read today. May it be an encouragement and inspiration! This lady has a neat blog! To go to it click on the word "blog" in the previous sentence! :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Food For Thought For Valentines Day

Here's a neat definition of love that my Mom gave me once in a plaque: "Giving to the basic needs of others, without expecting anything in return." Wow. How many of us REALLY love others? How many times do I give without expecting ANYTHING... not even a smile, or a thank you, or any recognition AT ALL???

And I imagine we all, including myself, tend to think of the "basic needs" of others as their physical needs. Make sure Clara gets fed and there's a good meal on the table for hubby and me. Make sure Clara's little toes don't get too cold... put those socks on! Get that laundry done! Etc., etc., etc. However, what about other kinds of needs, like someone's basic emotional needs. Does my daughter feel that Mama really loves her and wants to have her around. Does she feel like she's special? Does she see evidence every day that Mommy and Daddy REALLY love each other, so that she can feel secure in her family? Does she feel a sense of peace, calm and order in her home?

And how about the precious husband. Am I daily meeting his emotional needs... to feel loved, respected, honored? Is he able to come home and feel peacefulness, calm and order? Is it a place where he can be refreshed for the battles ahead?

And what about those people in my social circle that I know nobody really likes very much and are difficult to be around? What basic needs might God be asking me to help them with?

And what about the spiritual needs of others... the need to hear about the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth that can set them free?

Let's ask the Lord Jesus Christ to give us the true, pure, unconditional love that only He can give. We can't have it on our own... just check out I Corinthians 13... that's true love, but it's too hard for us. However, with Christ, all things are possible!!!


If that isn't just one of the most precious sights I've ever seen! ~ Gracie

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Family Pics

I thought that after looking at the blog, while it's nice to see we have a cute daughter, I have a very pretty wife too and so I wanted to post a family pic. Clara thinks it's fun to stay awake all day and barely consents to one nap. On a Wednesday at that! So after Bible Study she tanks up a little bit and then falls into a deep sleep.

This is my cousin Joel. He lives in the area and serves in the Navy. We have enjoyed getting to know him as he has turned into a man since I really knew him last. Yes, I let sailors hang around my house (If they behave themselves.) ;o)

February Report

Ok, time for a February report on some of my goals for the year.

Spiritual Goals

Reading Through the Bible: I must confess, I'm behind... but still going!

Find and start a good Bible study course: I've been thinking of trying one by Kay Arthur or one by Elizabeth George. If any of you have ones you'd recommend, let me know.

Memorize at least 3 verses a week: Ummm... not happening so far. :-(

Reading one encouraging, edifying book per month: Still reading my January one (That I had actually started before that). "At His Feet" by Madge Beckon... it's an excellent, devotional style book. Need to get moving and catch up on the goal though!!!

Skills and projects that I have the goal of working on this year:

Cake Decorating: I'm currently taking a 4 week cake decorating class from the craft store Michaels (sp?). Hopefully, I will soon have some stuff worthy of taking pictures!

Canning: Hopefully, that will happen this summer after a good vegetable garden!!! I did make yogurt in canning jars the other day...does that count?

Art: Did some painting several weeks ago... but not much since... unless you include the cake decorating.

Piano... Umm.... yeah... let's leave that till next months report..... :-/

Budgeting! My first priority is to keep faithful track of my grocery spending and trim it down to a good, reasonable amount. I have already determined the goal range: I've been trying to keep track off and on. Doing fairly well this month... so far.

Experimenting with new hobbies/skills that I've either never done or did a long time ago: Cake decorating would be the main one so far.

Vegetable garden: I ordered most of the seeds we're planning to use the other day!!! Yay! I ordered tomatoes, corn, pepperoncini peppers, passilla bajio peppers, collard, asparagus, onions, okra, butternut squash, sugar peas, bush beans, spinach, basil, cilantro (sorry, Dad! I promise, if you come visit you don't have to eat any!) and rosemary. To that list we are planning to add sweet potatoes and garlic.

Improving my homemaking skills in general: Well, one new homemaker type thing I tried recently was making home made yogurt! It was surprisingly easy and turned out quite well!!! I got the recipe from a friend!

Improving my home decorating: Mostly still in the unpacking, organizing stage of life around here.

Photo Albums... not yet

Raising chickens (that's more Stephen's goal :-), but I want to be a good helper to him! :-) We haven't started on this yet.

Physical goals:

Exercising three days a week: Well, this week I finally did that, I didn't do much on any of those days, but at least it was something.

Meet the weight goals I've set for myself over the next few months: Well, didn't meet February's goal... but oh well. The main goal is to meet the target weight some time in the not too distant future!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Highchair Happiness!

French Fries Are Yummy!!!!

Clara's been doing a good job of trying out new foods... including those that don't rank too high on the nutrition scale!!! :-) She thinks french fries are pretty good! :-) You might have to click on the picture to blow it up, but that is what she's eating.

She used to look so little sitting in that highchair... not any more!

Crawlin' Cuteness!!!

These are recent pictures, taken since moving into this home.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


We're going to have to get a picture of the newest, sweetest thing around here!!! Clara is giving kisses!!! She gently bumps her face against yours!!! It's just the sweetest!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A while back I promised you some more of my goals / resolutions for the year. I found the list I wrote down shortly before the new year started and have been reading through it and thinking about which ones I want to keep (or start) working toward, and which I want to drop and which ones I want to share with you.

As I mentioned before, I have the goal of reading through the Bible in one year and reading one encouraging, edifying book every month.

Also, I would like to find a good Bible study course and start working on that and memorize at least 3 verses each work. I know, that's not much... but it's three more then nothing...!

Some skills I have the goal of either learning or improving in this year:

Cake Decorating
Budgeting! My first priority is to keep faithful track of my grocery spending and trim it down to a good, reasonable amount. I have already determined the goal range.
Experimenting with new hobbies/skills that I've either never done or did a long time ago.

Physical goals:

As I mentioned in the previous post I want to have the goal of exercising at least 3 times a week. Also I set some weight goals for the first few months... aiming at getting down to my target weight.

Some projects I want to work on this year:

A nice vegetable garden
Improving my homemaking skills in general
Improving my home decorating
Photo Albums
Raising chickens (that's more Stephen's goal :-), but I want to be a good helper to him! :-)

Well, that most of the goals I'm wanting to keep for this year! As I said before, there are some I don't feel comfortable sharing in public... hopefully you'll forgive me! :-) I'm thinking to make a list on the side bar of this blog and giving a report about once a month on how I'm doing. Hopefully, it will be a good reminder and motivation to me!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Pictures From The Last 3 Months PART 5

Kailey's Mom, Karen, and I be came friends after meeting at the apartment complex we were both living in. We still get together now that we've moved. Here's some great shots from awhile back!


Be Gentle, Clara!!!!

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Pictures From The Last 3 Months PART 4

More fun pictures from our time in corporate housing!

Awwwww!!! Cuteness!

More Mirror Fun!


Every great explorer needs something to eat to keep that energy up!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Pictures From The Last 3 Months PART 3

As you probably know, we spent the first two months here in corporate housing. One of the fun things about that place were the big mirrors!!!!

"I don't know why that other baby is ALWAYS copying EVERYTHING I do!!!"

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Pictures From The Last 3 Months PART 2

Ok, in part 2 we're going to take a quick look at our trip across the country. We had a fabulous time staying with family and friends along the way. Unfortunately, I didn't take very many pictures, but here are a few of the ones I did take.

Clara with one of her Great-Grandmas!!!!

The two girl cousins: Gigi and Clara!

Aunt Sarah, Clara, cousin Phinn and cousin Gigi

Aunt Heather!

On we go... mile after mile! At least we look happy about it! :-)

That was one LOADED car!!! We had to take everything we wanted for the trip AND the two months of corporate housing while we decided where to settle. Thankfully, the corporate housing was fully furnished.

Our little trooper! She did such a great job of enduring those many miles!

Of course, as any respectable person would do, one of the first things we did in VA was pay our respects to General Lee. We went to Washington and Lee College and visited Lee Chapel and saw where the General is buried. He was a great man.

Car Hair! At Washington and Lee College

Cuddle Time. This was taken on our last night on the road.

Come again soon for more walks down memory lane!

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Pictures From the Last 3 Months PART 1

Ok, now that I've given some up-dates on what Clara is looking like now, over the next several posts, I'm planning to rewind three months and show you some of the highlight pictures from those months (Those of you who haven't been here for a while and want to see recent pictures, just scroll down).

Almost exactly three months ago, a HUGE truck rolled up to our house, two guys jumped out, and over the course of about three days they packed our stuff into boxes and loaded the truck! It was such a treat to not have to do all that ourselves! I got thoroughly spoiled! Yay for Stephen's new company! We were surprised at how HUGE the truck was. Thankfully, we didn't fill it all up!

Killing time with Clara while Daddy and movers take care of stuff.

OK! Enough already, please Mom!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Looking Cute On Daddy's Birthday!

Today is the Daddy's 29th birthday! Here are some adorable shots we took today! Sorry I centered the second one so terribly!!! Happy Birthday, Daddy!!! From your adoring fan club!