February 28, 2010


Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer at the "Step Into Africa" exibit I referenced a few posts back. Before volunteering you get the opportunity to go through the exibit. There are four different stories to experience when you go through, you go through one at a time, multiple people were going through and going right back in to experience another child's story. The lives of these children is just heartbreaking. I'm so sad that I was not able to go to Africa last year, what an amazing trip that would have been (but I know that I made the right choice for both myself and my baby at that time). Today Matt and I went to go through one of the "Older" stories, one that the younger kids shouldn't go through, equally as heartbreaking. Tonight Matt took two of the older kids to go through again, and tomorow I will volunteer again and go through one more story. It is all heartbreaking, especially when I arrive home to my safe and warm house with plenty of food in the cupboards, an overabundance of clothing in the closets, t.v.'s in the rooms, shoes in the garage, blankets on the beds, hot, clean water, realizing the "plenty" that I have. One thing that keeps repeating in my head and something I want to challenge you with is this...

Because I can't (won't) sacrifice ________________ a child will suffer.

You fill in the blank for yourself. I know that I could and will fill in that blank with many different things. One thing I was convicted of was name brand diapers, silly I know, but I also know I could save a lot of money if I bought off brand, and Lila is no longer an infant so it doesn't matter as much anymore. For you it could be Starbucks, chocolate, pop, movies, a new, unnecessary pair of shoes... what could you give up so that a child doesn't have to suffer anymore? What part of your comfortable life could you and I go without? And let's be honest, if we go without a few things, we will still be pretty darn comfortable, our "suffering" (if we even dare call it that) because of a little sacrifice will be nothing like the suffering of these children from Africa who have no parents b/c they both died of AIDS, who are raped daily, who have no food, or the child right here in America that has no food or shelter, or the child in Haiti that no longer has a place to sleep?

Just think about it, and think about what you could sacrifice to end the suffering of just one child.

February 26, 2010

For all the moms...

or anyone who does laundry actually!

We used to be addicted to an Amway Stain treater, but it seems that since our last bottle was gone they may not make it anymore, so we were at a loss. Seriously, that stuff got out EVERYTHING! Nothing else has ever compared! Until now.

We have been using Tide Stain Release for a few weeks and I have been super happy with the results. Lila had her first bloody nose a while back and I didn't realize that there were a few stains on her "Blankie", so when I finally realized it I washed the blanket with the stain release and voila... no more blood! Lila has also had some pretty bad diapers lately, the kind that stain bad and come right out of the diaper, but it is not the problem that it used to be, nope, all gone!

OK, just had to share, when I find something I like I like to pass it along!

February 24, 2010

The Message

I've been looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 this week, looking at the many ways I fail to love others. There are a few people I can think of specifically that I've failed miserably at this. I'm not always patient, somtimes I'm envious, sometimes I boast, sometimes I'm proud, rude and self seeking, I'm easily angered, I keep record of wrongs and I delight in evil. Wow, I'm awful. Then I went to "The Message" to see it's version of this well known chapter. I like what it says as well, although again, I fail miserably.

Love never gives up. (How many times have I said, "Forget it, I tried."?)
Love cares more for others than for self. (I put myself first all of the time, sad to say, but especially in my home with my own family)
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
I'm soooo guilty of always wanting more, trying to keep up.
Love doesn't strut. (a meaning of strut according to dictionary.com: to dress, behave, perform etc one's best in order to impress others; show off) I'd like to think I'm not guilty of this, but in some way or another I know I am.
doesn't have a swelled head, Sometimes my head definately baloons up, I am proud of certain things I've done or people (children) I've raised
doesn't force itself on others Many times I really wish others just got things the way I got them, drove the way I drove, wanted to do things my way...
Isn't always "Me first", See "Love cares more for others than self" above
Doesn't fly off the handle All I can say is my poor kids some days, or the person on the phone that isn't getting me
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others How many times have I at least though "At least I'm not doing..." or but look what that person has said or done, I'm better than that...
Doesn't revel when others grovel No immediate thought is coming to my mind, but again, I know without a doubt that I'm guilty of this
takes pleasure in the flowering of truth Now this is one where I succeed, I definately take pleasure in the flowering of truth... as long as the truth isn't going to bring me down or reveal something I don't want revealed
puts up with anything Puts up with very little would better describe me
trusts God always Trusts God, but trusts self more often would be a better description of myself
Always looks for the best I'm more of a glass half empty person unfortunately
Never looks back Always looking back
But keeps going to the end. Gives up far to easy and far to often

Well, now that you all know that I'm a terrible sinner, oh wait, you already knew that, because really, aren't we all? I'm so thankful for a God that is quick to forgive when we ask and loves us no matter what, a God that will not turn us away because of one thing we do wrong. This is definately part of my daily prayers, that I would be better at loving.

Another chapter I've been looking at is Proverbs 31:10-31 (The wife of noble charecter), which was convicting in the NIV version, but then I read the Message version and felt even worse about the job I've been doing as a wife and mother.

It's long, but I encourage you to look it up on Bible Gateway when you have a few minutes, I'm going to highlight only a few, but know that once again, I'm guilty of all of not obeing any of them fully...
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing
She's up before dawn preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day
She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day
diligent in homemaking
always faces tomorow with a smile
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say and she always says it kindly

So, adding that to my daily prayers. To be a better wife and mother, being more diligent and less lazy, more productive, more God fearing and more generous.

February 22, 2010

An Opportunity for you...

My church, Community Reformed, is teaming up with World Vision to bring the AIDS experience to west Michigan. It's an interactive experience where you'll see, hear, and experience stories of tragedy and triumph lived out by real children in AIDS-affected communities, and you'll gain a completely new perspective on the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.

More information and free tickets can be found here (tickets are recommended but not required) And if your really ambitious and want to help volunteer you can also find that information w/ this link.

Frequenty asked questions can be found here.

I have heard only good things about this exhibit, can't wait to experience it myself and for my husband and Landon! If you go let me know what you think!

February 10, 2010

Picture Post

These are on facebook as well so I know they are duplicates for some of you...
9 months old and "So big"
Watch and learn lil sis

Guns... what can I say?


Getting around on her own!
Not so happy about the camera in his face!
Sleeping in an awkward way!

Parker & Lila

February 8, 2010


We've been trying to be a little healthier over here. By "We", I mean "I", the rest of the family is just along for the ride! By healthier I mean exercising, eating better and trying my hardest to loose some of this weight that just doesn't fall off like it used to.

Eating healthier has meant that I joined Weight Watchers online. It's only been a few weeks, but most of all I've learned to eat lower calorie, lower fat, high fiber foods. Filling foods. Food that make me feel satisfied for longer. One of my newest favorite recipes is this:
Mexican Quinoa (If you've never tried Quinoa you definately should, yummy)
2t Olive Oil
1/2c. quinoa rinsed thoroughly (you can get this at health food stores and I also found it at Meijers on the top shelf by the rice)
1/2c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced (I used the jar kind)
1/2c diced red pepper
1 14 1/2oz can rotel undrained
1 can whole kernel corn undrained
1/4t ground cumin
1/4t ground red pepper
1/4t salt
1 can black beans, rinsed

In a 2 quart nonstick saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add qunioa, onion, garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring, until quinoa begins to crackle and onion is soft.

Add tomatoes, corn and seasonings, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is translucent and tender. Add black beans.

Uncover and continue cooking 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Makes 4 servings, add 1/8 of an avacado chopped up and 1/8c cheese for a 5 point meal!

Excercising has meant that I get up much earlier than I ever though possible and head to the gym almost every morning. But now that I'm sleeping through the night it isn't so bad.

Speaking of Lila... she is on the move. FAST. She is trying so hard to pull herself up on everything and reach everything (and then proceed to eat it). Definately takes more supervision, but I would say that it makes her a bit happier than she used to be. She still likes us to be close, but were used to that! At her nine month appt last week she weighed in at 23 pounds 9 ounces, she is finally slowing down a bit! She has an eye doctor appt next week for her clogged tear duct, I'm not sure how bad it really is, but we'll see what they say!

Elliot had a big day a few weeks back (which I mentioned in a previous post). He started three-school. Just one day a week, the only opening that Zeeland Christian had mid-semester. He did so good when I dropped him off, he said goodbye and went and played, he loves it. He knows no one in his class so I wasn't sure how he would do, but it seems to be going well. I also signed him up for preschool next year, three days a week with his "best friend" as he says! The poor boy gets so bored at home with me so it will be nice for him to get to go to school!

Landon is busy with basketball on Saturday mornings and Bailey also has soccer on Saturdays, luckily only one game has overlapped! They seem to be having fun, both seemed to have improved over the last year quite a bit, Bailey scored her first goal ever this past week, we were all very excited for her adn luckily Matt was able to be there to see it!

I've taken very very few pictures so far this year and even fewer of them have made it off my camera onto my computer (0 to be exact). Hopefully I will find some time to do that soon and will be able to share some cuteness!