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Eli’s Big Announcement

2 Mar
Elijah is SO excited!

Elijah is SO excited!

Words really cannot express just how excited we are to share that we are expecting another little Emerson this fall!  Truly children are a blessing from the Lord and we are so excited.  We are actually due in October so I’ll probably be referring to our baby as “Our Little Pumpkin.”  🙂

It was so fun to tell Elijah because he had been asking for a baby.  I told him if he wanted a baby that he needed to pray for one.  He prayed for a baby all the time.  Isn’t that the sweetest thing?  He prayed numerous times everyday that God would send our family a baby and then God did!  I really hope that Eli remembers praying for a baby and then God answering his prayers!  1 Samuel 1:27 is taking on a whole new meaning in our household: “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him.”

I’m still in my first trimester but I am feeling okay.  I’m slightly nauseated but nothing serious like when I was expecting Elijah.  I had extreme morning sickness for months and months.  So far I don’t feel much like eating and all I want to do is sleep but I can handle that!    This pregnancy feels very different from my last.  When I was pregnant with Elijah I was a newlywed and still in school full-time!  Now the hubby and I have been married for four years, we have a three-year old, and I am blessed to be able to stay at home with my family.  It’s nice to no longer be in school full-time while pregnant but I do have a VERY energetic little boy.  Thankfully we have gotten into a nice routine where Eli is taking a nice nap in the afternoon so that I can rest or sleep for a while.  I’m not able to take a nap everyday but just laying down to rest has been very helpful.  The hubby is taking super good care of me and even washing some dishes.  🙂

Was there a time in your child’s life when they prayed for something and then God answered their prayer? 

Reboot Your Bible Reading Plan: 31 Days in Romans with Elyse Fitzpatrick

22 Feb
Reboot Your Bible Reading Plan

Reboot Your Bible Reading Plan

 

I wanted to take a minute to share with all of you ladies about Crossway’s upcoming Reboot Your Bible Reading Plan: 31 Days in Romans with Elyse Fitzpatrick.  I don’t know about you but I”m already behind in my plans for reading the Bible this year but I’m excited about spending the month of March in Romans.

The Crossway website says this about the campaign:

“If you never got off the ground with a 2013 Bible reading plan or are so far behind you’ve already thrown in the towel, join us on Mondays in March on the Crossway blog as we read Romans 1-8 together. Each Monday in March, Elyse Fitzpatrick will share devotional thoughts from Romans, helping us delight in God’s word and rejoice in the gospel in 2013. We invite you to bring questions, insights, and interact in the comments section. For more devotional material to accompany Reboot with Romans, check out Elyse’s newest book­—Comforts from Romans: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time.”

I am super pumped about this.  Elyse Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite authors up there right next to Elisabeth Elliot!  God has used the words in her books like a fine scalpel to mold my heart.  If I could encourage you to read one new author in the next year it would be Fitzpatrick.  I did receive a complimentary copy of Comforts from Romans from Crossway but I would have definitely purchased it myself if they hadn’t been so kind to send me one.  🙂  I have also read the following books by Fitzpatrick: Idols of the Heart, Because He Loves Me, Give them Grace, Comforts from the Cross, Overcoming Fear, Worry, & Anxiety, Counsel from the Cross, Love to Eat, Hate to Eat, Will Medicine Stop the Pain, & Women Counseling Women.  When I say I love Fitzpatrick’s books I’m not kidding!  🙂

Dermagist Skin Care Review

3 Jan

clarifying system for acne prone skin by dermagist

I was really excited when a representative from Dermagist contacted me about doing a review of one of their products.  For the past two months I have been trying out a new skin care line called Dermagist.  I must say that I am pretty impressed with how their products have helped to balance out my skin tone.

I used the Clarifying System for Acne Prone Skin which included the Detoxifying Cleanser with Resveratrol and Clarifying Cream.    The results were really good and I think my skin looks better than it has in a couple of years.  I will say that I hated using the cleanser.  Usually cleansing my face is one of my favorite parts of my hygiene routine.  The Dermagist cleanser smells AWFUL. I really prefer my cleanser to have a pleasant smell.  I guess that is what comes of years of using Smell Good Face Washes.  😉

Still the clarifying cream smells great!  In the past I have shied away from using creams or moisturizer because I worried that they would make my skin oily and more prone to breakouts.  This stuff is AMAZING!  It smells great and works wonderful.  There is something that just makes me feel pampered when applying face cream.  🙂

The product is sold as a 45-day supply but I am confident mine will last at least 3 months or more.  They are a little more expensive than what our budget usually allows for skin care items so I am not confident yet what I will do when my supply runs out.  I have never tried ProActive (which was insanely popular when I was a teenager) so I don’t know how Dermagist compares.  I found that the results were similar to using the prescription Clindamyacin in conjunction with a good skin care routine.  If you want to avoid prescriptions and need good results this might be a good thing to try.

Right now Dermagist is offering a couple of specials.

Please note I did receive a free 45-day supply of the Clarifying System for Acne Prone Skin from Dermagist in exchange for this review.  The review did not have to be positive.  All opinions are my own.  

Water Table Fun

1 Jun

Such a blessing to little Elijah.

A couple of weeks ago I accidentally bought Elijah a Fisher-Price Water Table.  Honestly it was an accident.  We were quickly making our way through our favorite grocery store (Aldi) and all of a sudden I stopped.  There across the row from the pickles I saw it: a water table complete with a ferris wheel, water wheel, and best of all a spiral center where balls could be thrown.  At once I was mesmermized.

I quickly marked about half of the items off of our grocery list and loaded up the water table in our cart.  (You can only use cash at Aldi so I had to put some things back in order to have enough money.)  😉  In one sense I was almost giddy at the thought.  On the other hand, as a super frugal momma I struggled with a little guilt.  Is it really okay for me to spend $30 on such a frivolous toy?  One that we will really only use for a couple of months?  We hardly ever spend money on new toys for Elijah.  (Yes we do buy a lot of books, but I could probably count the number of new toys we have purchased for Eli on one hand.)

Our whole family is thankful for the water table which now adorns our front porch. It is a delight to watch him enjoy it everyday.

I brought the toy in the house somewhat skeptical of what Brandon’s reaction was be.  He was absolutely shocked and laughed so hard when I told him all about wanting to buy it, momma guilt, and thinking maybe we should take it back.  Brandon thought it was a wonderful idea so I spent the next fifteen minutes putting it together while Eli jumped up and down.  Then we spent a delightful evening exploring Eli’s new toy.  Today I’m really thankful for that toy.  We (and I do mean we) continue to enjoy playing with it almost every single day.  If you pass by our house on a sunny afternoon you can almost be sure to find Eli and I outside splashing around and having a wonderful time.   Feel free to honk and we’ll wave back at you! 🙂

March Reads

18 Apr

 Image

 

Phew!  What a busy month March turned out to be at the Emerson household.  I wasn’t able to spend much time reading this month but I was blessed in so many other ways.  The weather was wonderful and we all really enjoyed extra time outside.  I went hiking twice once with friends at Cumberland Falls and once with family at Blue Licks.  My brother was home for a brief leave from Kuwait and was able to be home for Easter.  🙂  There was also lots of good snuggling with my favorite little boy and many children’s books read.  Maybe I will have to list a few of our favorites next month.  🙂  

This month I read only two books:

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.  Hands down this is the most impactful book I have read this year!  The book was challenging and moving.  Although only in her early twenties Katie Davis serves as a missionary in Uganda and is the mother of fourteen adopted children.  As I read through the book I kept thinking I want to know God like she does.  In many ways I felt as though I was reading through a book by Amy Carmichael or Elisabeth Elliot.  If you only read one book this year make it this one.  

A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu.  This little book is filled with adorable aprons to sew.  I had no idea there were that many styles of aprons!  The book did have some good ideas on decorating aprons and lots of photographs of interesting vintage aprons.  The one thing I did hate about the book is the fact that all of the patterns have to be enlarged on a copier.  What a major pain.  I’m not sure that our printer can do this and there is no way I am taking Elijah to Staples to enlarge a pattern when I can just sew one of the many patterns I already have on hand.  🙂  Thankfully this is only a library book and not one that I plan on purchasing.  I am planning on sewing the Dig It (gardening) Apron on page 37 within the next month as there are just measurements given and not actual pattern pieces that must be copied and enlarged. 

What to do with old contacts and glasses

26 Jan

Have you ever wondered what you could do with your old glasses or even unopened contacts that you never got around to using before your prescription changed? Various Lion’s Club or community organizations often have a box where you can simply donate your used glasses. Last night while I was going through yet another box of paperwork I was reminded of the Madre Organization. (I had made a donation of contact lenses a few years ago and found the receipt.) Instead of tossing those sealed contacts simply drop them in the mail. Choose to take a few extra minutes out of your day to bless someone else rather than just toss them into the trash.

For more information please visit www.madre.org

Mail contacts or glasses to: MADRE – 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001

Thankful for a Neighbor’s Kindness

9 Aug

Our new free play house for the backyard.

On Saturday I was fortunate to run into a neighbor who was giving away his son’s outdoor toys.  Yes!  We spend a good 2 hours outside daily and I was thrilled at the prospect of some new toys.  After unsuccessfully trying to place the toys in our van our sweet neighbor packed them up and delivered them at our house!  I didn’t even know the man before Saturday but you better believe that a loaf of homemade bread will be on his door step by the end of the week! 

Eli loves the window in the little house. He has already tried to head dive right through it!

The house is the perfect size for Eli. I can't wait till we can have friends over to play in it.

The second little blessing.

It's the perfect size for Eli!

A precious little boy enjoying his new toys. So blessed!

The Breakfast Picnic

22 Jul

Eli enjoying his breakfast at the park.

 

Yesterday we started a new family tradition: a breakfast picnic in the park.  You see with all of this incredibly hot weather we have not been spending as much time outside playing.  If I’m not careful this can make for a long day for mommy and child.  To remedy this we are now having breakfast and play time first thing in the morning a couple of days a week.  We did this yesterday and it was great! 

Food somehow tastes better when enjoyed outside.

It is great!  Since it is so early none of the slides have heated up yet which makes the park so much more enjoyable.  It is also so peaceful!  I can’t tell you how serene it was watching Eli play while a light dew touched the grass.  I took along a sheet to stretch out on and leaned up against an old tree in the shade.   

What a great way to burn off energy!

We had such a pleasant start to our day.  Eli was able to burn off a lot of energy as I prayed for a while and then joined him to play.  🙂  This can also be a great way to sneak a bit of exercise in for mom.  (We actually walked to the park.) 

If you would like to try your own breakfast in the park here are my recommendations.  😉

Take Along:

  • Food: Muffins, bagged cereal, granola bars, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, fresh or dried fruit and of course something to drink. 
  • Sheet or Blanket: Since I don’t own an old blanket (crazy huh) I always use an old sheet. 
  • Wipes: for those precious dirty little hands and faces. 
  • Book to Read Together or Alone
  • Ball, little Truck to push, sand toys, etc. 
  • Most of these items can even be packed the night before in a picnic basket or large bag.  Then in the morning you only need to grab some drinks and off you go! 

 

All grins after our breakfast picnic.

 

What new or old summer traditions does your family enjoy? 

Vegetarian Moo Shu

6 Jun

 

  • Heat 1 t. oil in a large pan.  Add 4 lightly beaten eggs.  Stir gently about 3 minutes.  Remove to a plate. 
  • Heat 2 t. oil in pan.  Add 1/2 t. ground ginger and 1 t. minced garlic and cook 1 minute. 
  • Add 1 12 oz. bag of broccoli slaw (this is often on manager’s special at Kroger) or shredded mixed veggies. 
  • Add 1 small can of water chestnuts (drained), 1/2 bunch green onions chopped, 1 T. soy sauce, and 1 T. rice vinegar.  Stir.  Cook about 3 minutes until veggies are tender. 
  • Add 2 T. hoisin sauce or General Tso’s sauce and cooked eggs (from the plate).  Cook about 2 additional minutes.  Stir in 1/2 bunch green onions and enjoy! 
  • This recipes makes 4 servings and has only 171 calories.  It is very filling and tastes great!  It doesn’t taste “vegetarian” at all and is a great way for my family to eat vegetables that we don’t otherwise eat.  🙂

 Recipe adapted from Eating Well: 500 Calorie Dinners

Surviving an Awful Morning

1 Jun

 

We’ve all had them.  The day that begins awful and just gets worse.  Well that’s exactly what happened to me today.  I woke up and we realized that our air conditioner was in fact broken.  Of course the baby had gotten up really early and would not be consoled (not even with Tylenol).  The house was a disaster.  Then I started working on a project for Brandon only to find out that the printer was broken.  To top off my morning my bank informed me that someone had stolen the number of my debit card and was trying to charge hundreds of dollars from my account.  Really could this morning get worse?  It was only 10 o’clock by this point.  It did.  I was short with my wonderful husband. 

When it seems like our day keeps getting worse what on earth are we to do?  Have a good old-fashioned teenage girl cry-a-thon?  No way!  Run, run, run to the Cross of Christ! 

  • One of the best ways I have found to do this is to PRAY.  Really pray from your heart.  God cares how many hairs are on our head so He definitely cares when our days are not going so well.  I have found it helpful to journal a prayer to the Lord.  It helps me to express how I am feeling, but also shows me areas of my heart where sin is taking hold.  It is also great to look back later on during similar trying times. 
  • Look to God’s Word.  Especially the Psalms.  There is almost a Psalm for every feeling, thought or event that takes place in a person’s life.  Did you know that there is a Psalm that seems to speak directly to the stressed out woman?  I realized it a few days ago.  I guess it was just in time for the morning I had.  Here it is.. 
  •   “O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.  But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, hope in the LOrd from this time forth and forevermore.”                 Psalm 131
  • The next time you are having an awful morning cling to the Cross.  Then calm and quiet your soul before the Lord.