"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sundays have become more and more my favorite day of the week!
It's a day of...
Dress up...



and play!

It's also a day that the Lord has made!

And at our house it's a family filled day with...

lots of love

and time well spent with a very fun two year old!

Monday, February 27, 2012

I am a little (no a lot) behind with my blogging. Some things just take precedence (getting a little one well), however, I do have a lot to share: C's Valentine pics, recent visits from grandparents, aunt R and cousins, and birthday planning because Miss C is turning 3 at the end of March (wow, did I just say three?).
Stay tuned!

Friday, February 24, 2012

This little girl loves dressing up and says she's a dancer girl! She dances daily to Nick Jr.'s, Fresh Beat Band, and on the weekends when the show airs, she wants mom and dad to join in on the dancing! It sure is a lot of fun around here and I'm sure it's quite the show! This girl has rhythm and groove! Loving the fun!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do you see the yum? I see the yum! My teacher friend Beth, has recently discovered that she can make this yum any way you want it! They are beautiful and oh did I mention, YUM! I'm excited that Beth is going to be making lollipop cookies for Miss C's third birthday party! She experimented with different designs over this past weekend and came up with lots of cookies from wedding cakes, lollipops, crowns, castles, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, baby rattles, and even high heeled shoes! For Valentine's, she gave our team gorgeous (and yum) heart shaped cookies! They were almost too pretty to eat! I told Beth that I was going to share her cookies with you! I also told her that I would tell you that if you wanted some of these beautiful and delish cookies that I'd give you her contact info! I couldn't keep them a secret! I want to spread the yum!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am a:
10, are the children I'm an aunt to by Number
Partner (like wife better but you get what I'm doing)
Team player
Taxpayer (yes, even)
Sometimes I wonder how I juggle being all of these roles, but at the end of the day, I'm thankful for each and every role I have the opportunity of fulfilling.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Yesterday was a day of remembering. After school, for some reason or another, a teacher friend and I started talking about some of the very things that have brought much sadness to our lives. I don't dwell in sadness but this conversation began merely because it's almost the one year anniversary of the deaths of two special children that we once knew. I listenend as she talked about one of the children and almost immediately, somewhere within, I began remembering my own sister Heather. Yes, remembering. I don't talk much on this blog about my family's loss of my sister, my parent's daughter. February 27, 1995 and the days, weeks, and months after were very difficult for my family (even some days now). Those were some of the darkest days that I have ever experienced. It was hard seeing my parents, my oldest sister, and my grandmother react to her tragic loss. So sometimes I just don't want to remember the very moment when my dad told my twin sister and I that "Heather didn't make it".  It's not that I don't want to talk about her here but the passing away of a loved one in general, especially so young, is hard to talk about never mind writing about. No one wants to be reminded that their loved one is no longer on this side of Heaven. No one.

So as my friend continued to talk and share I begin thinking about our precious Heather and how it's almost been 17 years since I've seen her, talked to her, or told her that I loved her. She's been with Jesus longer than I knew her. I often think of her and wonder many many many questions as I know my sisters and parents do.
I wonder:
Why did our beautiful and talented sister have to leave us at the very young age of 20? She was in college studying to be a special education teacher and had her whole life ahead of her. She was going to make a difference and be a difference to others.
Wonder what she'd be doing now? Would she be married? Would she have children? If so, how many? She did have a boyfriend whom she'd dated for several years until her passing. (He is now married).
Where would she be living? I have so many more just like these. So many more.
I also ponder thoughts such as these and when I do I become really sad:
I will never hear Caroline ask if she could spend the night with Aunt Heather.
I will never hear Caroline ask if Aunt Heather is coming to her birthday parties.
I'm sad that my child will never know or see the sister that I once had. I can only talk to Caroline about Heather through pictures. I hope that I can somehow paint for Caroline such a picture of her that she will know her like her mommy, aunts, and grandparents. I want her to know that she loved children, had a heart for those young and old, never met a stranger, and had a laugh that was very contagious. She was a happy girl! After having a child and understanding the depth of love one could possibly have for another, it saddens me more for my parents. I'm sure they have gone through more with her passing then us girls will ever know (I can't even begin to fathom). They seemed so strong for us that night 17 years ago.

Up until age 14 I thought I was immune to "bad" things happening. I hadn't heard much of anyone losing a sibling or a close loved one so young. I learned so soon that tragic things do happen to families. From then on (well high school and college) I always guarded my actions. I tried to think about my parents before I did anything. I made sure that I made good choices for me for them (I'm quite sure that I went way overboard with this way of thinking). I respected them deeply so I did put "what would momma or daddy think" kind of thinking first. I was always fearful of something happening because "what if" I made a bad choice. I never wanted my parents or my sisters to endure such heartache again. Once was already too much. Being an adult, I now know that God doesn't want me to live my life in constant fear or worry. I am not to walk this earth in some bubble because of thinking about the inevitable. I can't also go through life thinking that I have immunity to other disheartening things happening either. God doesn't promise that troubles won't come our way. He promises us that He will walk with us through those times. He wants us to know that He is all we need. I am to have faith and trust and believe in His word. Jesus didn't die on the cross for me so that I could live each day in fear of what might or could happen (sometimes I still need this reminder). He is toally in control of all things.
I was never angry at God for what happened to Heather. I knew that God loved me and my family and that He knew our sadness, heartache, and grief.
God is ever present in my daily life. I love Him. I am thankful for the 14 years that I spent with my sister and for the 20 that he gave to my parents. 
We'll never forget our Heather Marie. I am quite sure that she is having the best time in Heaven dancing at Jesus's feet with my grandparents while they wait for all of us to meet again someday. I don't want that day, for any of us, to be anytime soon, so I'm rejoicing in the fact that today has been given to me and I'm going to praise Him and count my blessings big and small.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I love this post by my friend Cortney! Looking at my little girl grow from an infant to a toddler, and now as she calls herself "a big girl baby" is a little overwhelming. I'm loving so much right now the blissful joy that she has brought and is continuing to bring into our lives daily.
Thanks Cortney for making me smile!

Monday, February 06, 2012

I absolutely love pictures of C with her friends! Her friends bring out the best "giggles" in her ever! Here's Caroline with one of her friends, Kamryn! Kamryn's parents, Edwin and Marianne, help teach C in Sunday school! Kamryn recently celebrated her third birthday at McDonald's and I absolutely love this picture of the fun and happiness!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A week or so ago I gave you these recipes! Today, I have another! This one is called "Barbecue Cups". Rhonda, my sister, has been making them for as long as I can remember and it has always been one of my favorites! I don't always make them. In fact I have only made them three times since I've been married! It's one of those recipes that you know you have but you don't always choose to make! Barbeque cups are super easy and delicious! Let me know if you try them!

Barbeque Cups:
1 lb ground beef
2 TSP brown sugar
1 can of regular biscuits (I use 5 ct Grands biscuits and I tear them in half to make 10)
Shredded Cheese
1/2 cup flavor of choice barbeque sauce

brown beef, drain
mix brown sugar and barbeque sauce with beef
place biscuits in muffin pan making sure to spread up the sides of muffin cup
spoon in meat mixture
sprinkle with cheese
Bake for 10 minutes at 350!

Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM!