I have several several posts that I need to write to catch up here, but until I find the time to do so here's a little lesson I scratched the surface on this weekend.

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Association of Biblical Counselor's Conference. One of the speaker sets was mother-daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson who wrote the book: Give Them Grace.  Their talk probably stuck out the most to me because it speaks most to where my heart is at right now.

My take-away in a note is this: I need to walk in freedom to not have to be the "good" parent and give my kid(s) the freedom to not have to be the "good kid". Because we are both sinners who need to partner together to seek God's grace.It's ok for life to be messy. And it's ok for my parent to not be perfect. Because it is not my job to save my kids - salvation is always,only from the Lord!  There is freedom there.

I can't wait to read the whole book!

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Peppermint Showers

I have a post I need to write about new levels of destruction the Sasster reached yesterday. I just still havn't recovered enough energy to write about it yet.

As I type this I am fighting an ugly chest cold. So not fun. So really not fun when you are with-child.

In the past, when I have a cold, we have bought the vick's shower steamers. But the last time we looked we havn't been able to find them (plus I really don't like spending money on them).

So today, I had an epiphany. I sprinkled drops of peppermint oil around the perimeter of my shower and took a steamy shower this morning! It was wonderful and I plan on doing it again before bed tonight. I'm sure any minty oil would work and I probably would have preferred eucalyptus but peppermint is what I had on hand. I definitely breathed easier and coughed less for a couple hours after the shower.

You should try it!

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My Kids Rock Mondays

Braggin on my babies on Mondays!

I am sooooo thankful that my kids rarely get sick. Minor colds is what we deal with the most if ever.  Last night, Laura Kate woke up with a 102.5 fever, barking cough, and sore throat. The last time she had a fever was when she had Rosoela Virus at 15 1/2 months. That was 2 and a half years ago. (Let's just say my mommy-heart is carrying full load. It makes me so so sad that she feels so yucky.)This morning, fever is down but I know she still feels awful (seeing the doctor later in the morning) and she is still the happiest little person I have ever met. Even though she doesn't feel well. I love her playful spirit so much. One word we always felt for her and were challenged to pray over her is "joy" from the time I was pregnant with her even. She has not disappointed. Praying her body catches up with her spirit in that area today!

[this was taken around the age when she last had a fever]

I didn't think it was possible to have 2 funny kids when your first turns out to be the funniest person you have ever met. But it turns out, it is possible. Shepherd Andrew is quickly following in his sister's shoes and makes me laugh all the time. What makes him different is that he has this mischievous quality about him. He likes to hide things. I keep the toaster in one of the cabinets to the left of my oven. I don't have cabinet latches because this was never a problem with LK, but apparently I am going to have to get some latches to keep little moose from playing with the toaster. I looked in there and saw this: 

[magnetic alphabet letters hiding in the toaster!]

I have Joyful, Funny Kids!!!!!

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (Pregnancy Edition)

1. Body Pillow
I like just the plain, $10 body pillow from Walmart. I have used different kinds (thanks to great friends who let me borrow them!) but I always got too hot and felt too claustrophobic. Mainly because we have a Queen size bed and it was just too much. I do however still need something and I like the plain body pillow!

2. Plastic Drinking Cup w/ straw
This has been a huge help in helping me drink a lot of water quickly throughout the day. Mine is purple and was a gift but came from Old Navy. You can find them everywhere though.

3. Shic Intuition Razor

Ok y'all. This is one of my favorite favorite non-negotiables in pregnancy. Shaving is already hard enough but the Intuition razor eliminates the lathering step for you so you only have to reach over once. I like the pomegranate flavor and it is pretty moisturizing.

4. Be Maternity Seamless Ruched Tank

This is my favorite article of clothing during pregnancy. It is from Target and I would wear it every day if I could. I wear it under things and it I really like how it covers. These past two pregnancies I have carried so low that my tummy will hang out a little under shirts which means I have to wear a tank under them. These are perfect because they are stretchy and long.

5. Heating Pad

I know there is some leery-ness when it comes to heating pads in pregnancy. I have spoken with all 3 of my OB's and every one of them have told me the same thing: As long as you don't put it on your belly it's fine. It will not cause your overall body temperature to rise which is what the main concern would be. All of the typical safety guidelines when using a heating pad do still apply: don't keep it on high, don't fall asleep with it on, and make sure not to put it directly on your skin. 

6. Snacks
Especially during those first few weeks, but really throughout, we all know we need snacks to keep us going. In the pantry, bedside table, purse and car. A good friend told me during my first pregnancy that you don't have to eat crackers but really just whatever tastes good and will stay down. For me, it was mini chips ahoy.  Love 'em.

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Hard Week

Sleepless nights + Braxton Hicks + headaches + nosebleeds = A Hard Week.

This is what life looks like when your mama has had a hard week:

Don't worry kids. I've already had a little chat with Mr. Fischer and next week we are going to back to normal. 

(Are you even more impressed now that I said yes to making green chocolate chip cookies? )

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(Don't) Just Say No

I think I say no waaay too much in parenting. I get asked 5, 467 questions a day and I probably say no to 5,000 of them. And about 3,000 of them don't have a good reason behind the "no". I think it has become my default.

So I'm trying to do better.

Today the Sasster and I made green chocolate chip cookies.

Because I didn't have a good reason to say "no". 

I even threw in some bonus m&ms. 

And look at the reward for my "yes".

Shepherd just doesn't understand why they are green. 

He thinks it was a tad eccentric to have green cookies. 

He doesn't understand what is wrong with just plain brown cookies.

I told him this is just one of many times in his life we are just going to have to indulge his Sasster. It's just better that way. Everyone is happier.

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15 Things I've Learned About Pregnancy

1. Eat what sounds good.

The first pregnancy I worried about everything, didn't eat a lot of things, and stuffed a lot of things I didn't like in me. And I gained more weight in that pregnancy than any other.

The second pregnancy I ate more of what I wanted but worried about it when I did.

This time, if it sounds good I eat it and I don't worry. I don't have time to worry. I have gained the least amount of weight so far this time and have felt the least-sick and had the most energy. I have eaten a lot of cheetos and  snickers and I just don't worry about it.

(FYI, I take my prenatals most of the time, I do still heat up lunch meat by my George Foreman and I haven't partaken of alcohol or raw fish. I don't take meds that are known to be harmful, etc...I just don't worry about it)

2. Good, dream-less sleep is more valuable than gold.

3. There is a LOT of stuff you don't really need when you have a baby.

The things you do need are minimal.

No matter what Target sales emails lead you to believe.

4. Emotions you feel when you are pregnant are not always to be trusted.*

You heard me. Sometimes they are only fake, hormonal exaggerations of reality.

5.  Ask your doctor as many questions as you want, as often as you want. They get paid a lot of money to know the answers to your questions.

6. Don't listen to everything everyone says. Choose your confidants wisely and lovingly (or not-so-lovingly) ignore everyone else.

7. Don't compare.*

Just don't.

Every baby. Every mommy. Every pregnancy is different. God made us that way.

8. Don't worry till your doctor does. Even then, don't worry, pray.

Trust the Lord. And trust your doctor. If you don't trust your doctor, find a new one.

And don't google. Just don't. Let your doctor be your expert, not random online articles that contradict each other. I repeat: if you don't trust your doctor, find a new one.

9. Drink water.*

Enough is never enough.

10. Even cold water can cause indigestion. Even then, refer to #9 and take Tums.

11. Pray about every little thing. Everything. Every thought. Every worry.  Pray, pray, pray.

They aren't your kids anyway, they're the Lord's. From conception. Act like it.*

12. Ask for help.*

Husbands can learn to paint toenails. Just ask.

13. Re-define your idea of a clean house.*

Modify your chore list, maximize the times of day you have the most energy, and choose to spend your energy on the things that will keep your brain awake at night. Everything else, give yourself grace and ask for help.

14. Take belly pics on days when you feel cute.

If you don't ever have days when you feel cute, take other people's word for it. (You'll want the pics later.)

15. It's all worth it.

Feelings associated with pregnancy are not always synonymous with how you feel about your baby. If you hate pregnancy (mine with Laura Kate), you will not hate your baby. Nothing brings me greater joy than that sassy one. And holding her in your arms that first time and realizing newborns do in fact have eyelashes,  makes all those bad feelings melt away (eventually).

(*Some of these are still a work in progress. Turns out I'm still not perfect.  Shocker. I know.).
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Easter 2012

We have had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter. I really work hard to make this weekend special and set-apart because it is the best holiday because it represents our one and only reason for HOPE.

On Friday, Kyle had the day off of work so we had some good family time relaxing during the day and then had a Good Friday Service at church that night.

On Saturday, Laura Kate and I dyed Easter Eggs and made cupcakes!

Kyle and Shepherd grilled some sliders for dinner on Friday.

I do not understand a lot about the male species, but I do know that they will take every opportunity to celebrate with fire. Men are fascinated by fire. So Kyle built a bonfire in grill and explained something about firey hills in Fredricksburg or some other nonsense. 

Also, I ironed our Easter clothes on Saturday night. I didn't take a picture but I thought it was remarkable since  I don't really iron very often.

Today we woke up early and the kids were excited to find their Easter baskets!!

We attended the 8:00 service at church this morning and had an incredible worship service celebrating our Jesus who is ALIVE! Man worship was good this morning! We also helped out with the kids during the 9:00 service. I'm so thankful for a church that helps us teach our kids about the person of Jesus and gives them a solid Biblical Education. Laura Kate came home singing  "Jesus Came to Save Sinners" and talking about Jesus being Alive.  [I have a video that I'm waiting on from Kyle that I will post ASAP!]

[insert video here]

We came home to get the ham in the oven and had an egg hunt and took some pictures! Fun Jenn joined us for lunch and the egg hunt. We had so much fun. Shepherd was not really interested in taking pictures but he LOVES the eggs.

I "cooked" my first ham and we had rolls, green beans (thanks Jenn!), Au Gratin Potatoes and Cupcakes.  Oh and Watermelon Lemonade. Yummy!

Happy Easter!

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