Friday, October 5, 2012

Welcome, Milo Leonard!

Welcome to the family, Milo!! 
On Thursday August 16th at 7:27pm, we welcomed our second son, Milo Leonard!

He is now almost 2 months old and he is such a sweetie! I can already tell that he and John are going to be best friends, even though I can also already tell they are sooooo different! Milo is so good for our family dynamic and I'm really happy that we have him in our family :) So far, I can tell that he is a lot more "chill" of a baby and he's already sleeping pretty well at night. Cuter pictures are to come. Ones where Milo is less... gross... He really is a cutie!

As you can see from the picture, we were fortunate enough to experience a water birth! It was so nice and I would highly recommend it. My first contraction in the nice warm water was like eating a cupcake, it was so soothing. If you are in the Charlotte, NC area, you should look into going to Carolina Community Maternity Center in Fort Mill, SC.

That's all for now. John has shut himself in his room and I should probably go hang out with him since Milo is sleeping. :) Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

random thoughts... just because.

I've had coffee. That coffee had lots of sugar. Thus explains this post. And we begin.

I had the strangest overwhelming urge the other day to go somewhere brand new and EXPLORE! Like, go to a cave and find hidden treasure, or go on a long hike and find a trail long forgotten with possibly an old abandoned settlement. This urge was so strong that I almost drove to the Blue Ridge Mountains with John (Michael was at work, otherwise he would've been included in my adventure. Well, I might've kidnapped him from work... with a picnic!)

Speaking of the mountains--- I unexpectedly had a really fun morning. What does this have to do with the mountains? I'll get there. I started out the day thinking, "okayyyy... a whole new day... what the heck do I do with this kid allll daayyyy looonngg!?" So I decided to go downtown Salisbury to buy some pimento cheese from our local whole foods store, Simply Good. Then we went by Salisbury's pride and joy, the amazing coffeeshop Tastebuds. Usually, I get something hardcore like an Italian machiatto or a cappuccino. But today, I wanted something sweeeeeet. With whipped cream! Caramel Machiatto! yum! And Kirk made a baby chocolate milk for John-John, which he drank like it was the great outdoors in a cup. I was going to say "gold in a cup"... but that's not a big deal for him. But to be outside. If he has any thoughts of heaven at this point, I'm pretty sure he thinks "outside" is it! Anywho. He really liked it. On the way home, we listened to Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder and THIS is what makes me think of the mountains. Listening to great bluegrass like this makes me want the following:
1- a trip to the mountains. (full of exploration and discovery and picnic food :))
2- an old dog, a hound dog or an old beagle, named Skaggs or Banjo or Tuck (short for Kentucky) or something else bluegrassy. This is really the only time I ever find myself wanting a dog.
3- finally, it makes me want to live in the country forever!

Growing up in a town or city, I had no idea what I was missing. But living where I do, with a big garden, lots of land, tractors passing my house on a daily basis, the random adventures that can only happen here, I really appreciate the country life. I look forward to the day when we can have chickens again. And I'm going to make their house so cute! And the more kids we have, the bigger the garden we will have! This year, we have been BLESSED with unexpected plants popping up randomly. We originally planted 4 tomato plants in containers to see if they would do better against the fungus that usually kills our tomatoes. Well, they are hardly doing anything. We haven't gotten anything from them so far. BUT we have 7 or 8 tomato plants popping up randomly in our garden where the seeds have fallen and taken root from previous years. Along with all these tomato plants, we have a bagillion watermelon plants springing up all over our garden. This of course makes me one happy pregnant lady since my goal once it gets really hot outside is to have ice cold watermelon on-hand at all times.

And thus ends my post of randomness. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

SWC series: Chapter 2 (pt. 1)

fun with pudding! May 2012
Okay readers! I'm continuing my series on The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson. To reemphasize, I am simply reading through this book again and quoting notable thoughts from the book for easier reference. All rights belong to the author. I claim no insight of my own.

Ch. 2 Shaping the Will (part one of two)

"When a child behaves in ways that are disrespectful or harmful to himself or others, his hidden purpose is often to verify the stability of the boundaries. This testing has much the same function as a policeman who turns to doorknobs at places of business after dark. Though he tries to open doors, he hopes they are locked and secure. Likewise, a child who assaults the loving authority of his parents is greatly reassured when their leadership holds firm and confident."

1. Define the boundaries before they are enforced.

"The child should know what is and what is not acceptable behavior before he is held responsible for those rules... If you haven't defined it, don't enforce it!"

2. When defiantly challenged, respond with confident decisiveness.

"In a moment of rebellion, a little child will consider his parents' wishes and defiantly choose to disobey."

"The child has made it clear that he is looking for a fight, and his parents would be wise not to disapoint him! Nothing is more destructive to parental leadership than for a mother or father to disintegrate during that struggle. When the parent consistently loses those battles, resorting to tears and screaming and other evidence of frustration, some dramatic changes take place they are 'seen' by their children. Instead of being secure and confident leaders, they become spinless jellyfish who are unworthy of respect or allegiance."

3. Distinquish between willful defiance and childish irresponsibility.

"A child should not be spanked for behavior that is not willfully defiant."

4. Reassure and teach after the confrontation is over.

(this section is fully quoted because it is SO good!)
"After a time of conflict during which the parent has demonstrated his right to lead (particularly if it resulted in tears for the child), the youngster between two and seven (or older) may want to be loved and reassured. By all means, open your arms and let him come! Hold him close and tell him of your love. Rock him gently and let him know, again, why he was punished and how he can avoid the trouble next time. This moment of communication builds love, fidelity, and family unity. And for the Christian family, it is extremely important to pray with the child at that time, admitting to God that we all have sinned and no one is perfect. Divine forgiveness is a marvelous experience, even for a very young child."

5. Avoid impossible demands.

"Be absolutely sure that your child is capable of delivering what you require. Never punish him for wetting the bed involuntarily..."

6. Let love be your guide!

"A relationship that is characterized by genuine love and affection is likely to be a healthy one, even though some parental mistakes and errors are inevitable."

-- To spank or not to spank--

(corporal punishment vs. child abuse)- "[corporal punishment] is a teaching tool by which harmful behavior is inhibited, rather than a wrathful attempt by one person to damage another. One is an act of love; the other is an act of hostility, and they are as different as night and day. "

"A spanking is to be reserved for use in response to willful defiance, whever it occurs. Period! It is much more effective to apply it early in the conflict, while the parent's emotional apparatus is still under control, than after ninety minutes of scratching and clawing. In fact, child abuse is more likely to occur when a little youngster is permitted to irritate and agitate and sass and disobey and pout for hours, until finally the parent's anger reaches a point of explosion where anything can happen (and often does)."

"If punishment doesn't influence human behavior, then why is the issuance of speeding citations by police so effective in controlling traffic on a busy street? ... both reward and punishment play an important role in shaping human behavior, and neither should be discounted. Leonardo da Vinci... wrote, 'He who does not punish evil commands it to be done!.' "

"Let me hasten to emphasize that corporal punishment is not the only tool for use in shaping the will, nor is it appropriate at all ages and for all situations. The wise parents must understand the physical and emotional charactersitics of each stage in childhood, and then fit the discipline to a boy's or girl's individual needs."

Dr. Dobson continues Chapter 2 by listing specific age categories and offering a few practical suggestions. To be continued!

Friday, April 20, 2012

From the Garden updated!

More from the Strong-willed child is coming but I just wanted to say that I've updated my "From the Garden" section. Enjoy the sneak peak at our small family gardens this year. I think I'll post a new recipe, too. Check out the "From the Kitchen" section to find out what it is! yummmmm....

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Strong-Willed Child notes: Chapter 1

I've spoken with several mommas out there that would love to read the super-helpful book by Dr. James Dobson entitled, "The Strong-Willed Child" but they just don't have the time! I borrowed the book from a friend of mine (Debbie from the ultrasound bus!) and have taken a few notes. I'll go chapter by chapter for easy reference.

All quotations are from the book. I claim no insight of my own. Just the facts, ma'am.
Copyright 1978 by James Dobson

Chapter One: The Wild and Wooly Will
"Just as surely as a dog will occasionally challenge the authority of his leaders, a little child is inclined to do the same thing, only more so."
"Adult leadership is rarely accepted unchallenged by the next generation; it must be 'tested' and found worthy of allegiance by the youngsters who are asked to yield and submit to its direction."
"[The] respect for strength and courage also makes children want to know how 'tough' their leaders are."
"The ultimate paradox of childhood is that boys and girls want to be led by their parents, but insist that their mothers and fathers earn the right to lead them."
" Treat your child with sincere love and dignity, but require him to follow your leadership. Choose carefully the matters which are worthy of confrontation, then accept his challenge on those issues and win decisively. Reward every positive, cooperative gesture he makes by offering your attention, affection, and verbal praise. Then take two aspirin and call me in the morning." 
"It would appear that the strong-willed child may possess more character and have greater potential for a productive life than his compliant counterpart. However, the realization of that potential may depend on a firm but loving early home environment. Thus, I repeat my admonition: begin shaping the will of that child while he is in toddlerhood. (Notice that I did not say crush the will, or destroy it, or snuff it out.)"

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Sooooo totally didn't mean to skip March but times have been crazy busy. I've been almost wearing myself out doing life: family, church, traveling, building a business, getting ready for my craft/yard sale, AND growing another baby! A nap sounds really nice right now, but I MUST blog! :) Here are some cute pictures of Michael and John going on a joy-ride on the lawnmower. He's outside AND with Daddy, so John is a happy little boy. 

 Yesterday, I had my 2nd and last ultrasound done at this really amazing place: My friend Debbie and I were volunteering our baby-bellies to help train nurses to use the sonogram equipment so that they could go out and offer free ultrasounds to pregnant ladies considering abortions. My ultrasound was done in their portable ultrasound RV that they park in the parking lots of abortion clinics in the Charlotte area. They are saving lives and people are being brought into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the great love He has for them and their unborn child. It was a neat experience. 
Here are some pictures to give you a better idea of what it looked like:

"Buckle up Ladies!"

Debbie's sweet daughter, Eleanor. Debbie in the background with the nurses.

yeah, I'm a blogger. Take our picture! :) 

The ministry that provides this life-saving service is called Cities4Life. (
"Cities4Life is not simply an event or a ministry; it is a culture. We exist to create a culture of Life in every city where the death of unborn children exists. We seek to transform the culture of death brought about by the abortion industry, to a culture of LIFE in our cities as we work to mobilize the body of Christ to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. This is accomplished by uniting and supporting grassroots, Gospel-centered ministries dedicated to proclaiming the Truth of Jesus Christ, exposing the deeds of darkness and providing tangible support to abortion-minded mothers at local abortion clinics. 
So the question is... what can you do? PROCLAIM. PROVIDE. PRAY."
-Cities4Life brochure.

I encourage all of you reading this to first and foremost, stop what you're doing, and pray for revival in America. The hearts of the mothers and the fathers need to be turned to their children again. 

"Behold I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse." Malachi 4:5,6

Secondly, while you're praying, ask God what He would have you do to stand with Him and His Church for the lives of the innocent children that are killed every day in our nation. 

We need a heart-change and then we need to MOVE where the Spirit leads. 
Give us Your love, Father, and the boldness to live it out!

If you have any questions about Cities4Life, you can contact Jenny Starnes at---

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Giving Love & Receiving Grace

This might be a long one- I've got a lot to say. The last few weeks have been really good. Challenging but good. Father God has been faithfully speaking a lot of good stuff to me lately. Thus, I'm writing this post so as to share and so I don't forget it! :) The first revelation in this string of revelations came on a morning where I was barely functioning. So tired. A little bit at my wits end. And ya know, when your mind is out of the way because it's not quite there, God's voice is able to come in a lot clearer! Get my own thoughts out of the way so His thoughts can come right on in.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Day in the Park

So Today is beautiful! John and I headed out to Rockwell Park after his morning nap! We had a little picnic with sandwiches. Of course, I mostly held his sandwich and milk while he and I ran around. Rockwell Park is cool. It has lots of play things. Perfect for kids of all ages. It even has a really cool pirate ship. Where was the first place he went? The pile of sand. He was totally disinterested in the play area at first. He played in the sand and went running off to explore the wide open places. But then he realized that there were cool stuff to climb on. And so he did. He only did a few crazy stunts. He was climbing one thing and decided to come back down and he kinda missed the last step and did a somersault. He was totally fine. He even made a few friends, of course! Along with his sandwich, his lunch consisted of sand, dirt, and sticks. He took a huge handful of sand and popped it in his mouth. It was pretty sick. He should have a good clean colon out of the deal though. All in all, it was a perfect afternoon. He is napping soundly now and I'm about to join him. Oh and baby #2 is doing good! We got to see him/her last Friday. My due date is September 6th. That's about all I know for now. :) Blessings, friends!!

Love those toofers!

John loves dirt.

mmmm Almond butter and jelly sandwich

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Becoming apParent

The last four days have moved in slow motion. This new pregnancy is interesting. For those of you with more than one offspring, you will understand: I'm forgetting about it and yet at the same time, it has still absolutely changed everything. I guess I have more going on in my personal life this go around to be so engrossed in looking at pregnancy websites and all that. Plus, I've been there done that. But there is still a "wow" factor. This go around, I will be giving birth at a birthing center in SC. I'm very excited :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Drum Roll Please...

That's right, folks. John is going to be a BIG BROTHER! Apparently, a year is enough time to forget how laborious labor can be, so I'm ready to do it again. :) I'm probably about a month along. We are not the kind of people to wait forever before we tell people. We found out on New Year's Day (wow... that was just yesterday... seems like so much has happened since then...) and we are thrilled! I'm glad that they will be so close in age. They'll be best friends. They'll be able to relate to each other. I'll have 2 kiddos under 2. Whew. You can start praying for me now :)