Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Tis the season for! To some; buying presents is shallow, a hassle, an inconvenience, and they feel as though they are giving in to the "consumerism" and "wordly" part of Christmas (let's not forget, the wisemen showed their love for Jesus by bringing him precious gifts!). Don't get me wrong, some people spend money they don't have, and they give for the wrong reasons, and get caught up in money and presents and forget about Jesus' birth all together, but those aren't the people I'm talking about. I'm talking about the people like me, the people who LOVE gift-giving (and receiving), the people who LOVE going to the mall this time of year to shop for those they love in an atmosphere of Christmas decorations and music, and the people who go to the Christmas gatherings...with impatient anticiaption for the time when everyone gets to "opens the presents"!!! I mean let's be honest, what says I LOVE YOU more than a gift that someone picked out specifically for you, and thought about how much you would love it and use it and think of them when you did.

Josh and I went through Gary Chapman's book "5 Love Languages" while we were engaged. It was through that book that I really discovered how much of an emphasis I put on gift-giving to show and feel love. There are definitely other "lanuages" I use to feel loved, but this one really rang out loud to me.

After having a baby, there are certain love lanuages that are extremely hard to use, such as quality time together....that never happens. But it used to happen all the time, you know when you would just sit on the couch and cuddle and focus completely on each other. Before we had Ty, gift-giving wasn't as necessary because we could show love in other "languages". Last night Josh came home from work with a gift just for me! 2 Williams Sonoma cookbooks! One that I'd specifically asked for for Christmas (Essentials of Baking) and another that he just saw and thought I would love it (Cooking for Baby). WOW, I'm still overwhelmed with the love I feel by him getting me such a thoughtful gift. One that he knew I wanted and one that he specifically was thinking about what I might like, picking it out just for me with love. Both, he could have easily kept 2 weeks and given to me when we celebrate our family Christmas, but he didn't! He wanted me to feel loved today. And loved I feel. Completely and totally loved. I have such an amazing husband.

This fall my mother in law dropped off a fall basket of goodies! What a completely thoughtful gift to make me feel so loved! A basket full of peanuts, apples, carmels, apple cider, a tea towel that use to be her mom's and Halloween candy.

My dad is one of the best gift-givers that I know. I remember growing up he had a gift for every Christmas, birthday, valentines day, mother's day....and this year I felt so loved when one afternoon this October he stopped by my house and dropped off a Jack-o-lantern soap dispenser. No reason, just cause he loved me. So Loved!!!
And the beautiful bright red poinsetta that my mom dropped by to help decorate my home for Christmas this year! These spontaneous gifts make me feel completely and totally loved.

And the most AMAZING gift that God gave us this year.... a baby. Ty Nathaniel Turner. We middled named Ty, Nathaniel because it means "Gift from God". Ty is God's way of showering us with His love, and he gave us such an incredible gift to remind us of His love for us. Completely and totally, overwhelming loved is exactly what we feel. What a gift.

So yes, while some think of gift-giving as shallow and irresponsible and an inconvenience. I'm so thankful for the gifts I can give and recieve at Christmas and year round and for the LOVE that I can show and feel! I can't wait for the gift giving and recieving coming in the next few weeks...and for all the love that will be shown as we give and recieve gifts!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

LOVE is patient

Love is patient.

Let's look at the 3 categories of who to love with patience:

1. God. I need more patience with God when waiting for a response with prayer. Sometimes I find it's so hard to be patient to wait for God to answer our prayers. Patience that God's Will will be done and that He is in control of all. It's all to easy to question God and his Will at times, but loving Him fully and completely means having patience that His plan and purpose will come to pass even when it doesn't make sense and we question why things happen.

2. Those I "love". Why is it, those that we say we love the most, sometimes we have the least patience for. We have no problem showing our true colors to those we love. Sometimes the complete strangers bring out the most patient side of us. I learned this working retail, where customer service was of upmost importance. It's all too easy to smile and say "oh no problem" and if that was someone in our life we loved, we would yell at them, with zero patience and tell them they are crazy. It's just how we operate. Our fuse is much shorter with those we "love". It's like we feel like they should know better. They shouldn't ask so many questions, and don't ask stupid questions, right? If I really love them, I should have patience to let them ask me 100 times and each time give them a calm, loving response.

3. Those we don't love. As stated above, sometimes it's easier to show these people patience (to their faces!). Because we are tolerating them, and because we are really good at putting on a front. But then once they are gone, what do we do? Talk about them behind their back. I have no patience for enemies in my life. And yet, it's the 2nd greatest commandment, to LOVE them with patience. How do I do that? How do you have patience for someone you can't stand? And, I'm suppose to love them too!?! oh boy. This category is the hardest for me. It's almost as if these people in my life, before they even open their mouth to talk, I've already lost patience for them and what they are saying.

Lord change my heart. Lord, you love these people just as much as you love me! Help me love like you love. Give me patience to hear what they are saying, give me patience to take to you any struggle I have with them and their character instead of talking bad about them behind their back and in turn becoming a bitter, hateful person.

How to apply patience into my character this week:
Write the word patience on pieces of paper and put them in the bathroom, fridge, car, wallet...this way I'm constantly reminded to be patient in all circumstances. My goal is to be perceptive and take note of how I'm treating God, loved ones and enemies this week and if I'm treating them with patience. If I'm not treating these people with patience, then I'm not loving them. If I'm not loving them, then I'm not doing the #1 and #2 commandment of God's. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I can do in my spiritual walk with the Lord. If I call myself a Chrsitian, I need to love.

Let me know how your week goes. Were there situations where you realized your lack of patience? How did you respond? How did you help remind yourself to be patient? Any good tips for me or ideas?

Lord give me patience for you and for every person in my life. Open my eyes to where I'm lacking patience.

LOVE Challenge

Matthew 22:36-39
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"

Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself"

Wow, what a reminder. LOVE. That little four letter word is full of power. Tis the season to love, right? The most imporant thing we could do in the life on earth is to Love God with everything we are. The challenge we are all faced with is giving every ounce of our devotion to God, something that I'm not sure any of us do well enough. How many times have a said to Josh, "I love you with all my heart" --- ok wait a second, if I'm loving Josh with all my heart, then what's left for God? I think it's something we all need to evaluate.

But what I can't believe, is the second MOST IMPORTANT thing we need to do as Christians on this earth....LOVE people. I think we can all agree, it's super easy to love certain people in our lives. For me, Josh is super easy to love, so is Ty, my parents, brothers, friends, etc. but what about everyone else? Those people that are just so unloveable?

Over the last couple weeks God has really laid on my heart a desire to revaluate how I love. One reason being, this crazy little thing called love, is just too huge to God to not take a good look at in my own life. And another reason being, I don't love like I should. So anyone out there who's reading this and relating to every word I'm saying, take this challenge with me! Let's seek out what God has to say about LOVE and start doing it in our own lives.

What I've felt God nudging me to do is to take a look at how God defines love, and not just read them, but to dive into the definition and make it a reality in my own life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..."

I'm going to pick apart these verses and take a look at my own life and take another look at how I'm loving the following:
1. God
2. Those people I say I "love"
3. My enemies

I'm going to take these verses part by part and let each portion marinate in my mind for a week, so that it's not just in one ear and out the other. But something I think about for a whole week, forcing myself to Love how Christ commands I love. Again, I'd love for others to take this journey with me and share your weekly struggles and successes, so we can encourage one another! Anyone on board?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trick-or-treat memories

I have the best memories as a child dressing up with my brothers and trick-or-treating! It's moments like these that make HOME so sweet to me.






I love starting Trick-or Treating memories with Ty! Can't wait for him to look back at these pictures and when he gets old enough, to think back on these fun times and smile and get that warm fuzzy HOME feeling. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birth Control

Sure, I love kids, and might even want 3 or 4 of them! But I don't need another one in 9 months from now, which would put my two kids exactly 1 year apart. While if it happens, I will count it a huge blessing from God there's no doubt, but it wouldn't be something I would plan for. Although, as a Christian, talking about birth control can be a very controversial subject. Because in the Bible, God tells us:

Genesis 9:7
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.

By controlling when I get pregnant (or at least when I DON'T get pregnant), am I playing God? But yet, isn't there a certain responsibility that comes with being a mom, and my ability to take care of my children, financially and physically and emotionally? What if I cannot afford to have 12 kids? What if physically my body cannot handle one pregnancy after another or the physical toll it takes on my body to care for multiple kids, one after another? As Ty's mom, I believe that I will be judged for how I raise him and so preventing pregnancy too close together in my opinion is not un-Christian or un-biblical. But what brings up the question as to if it's biblical or Christian is when you start to look at the types of birth control.

Without a doubt, the most convenient birth control is the Pill. And it is really pushed by doctors because it's the most effective. It is so common that women have stopped questioning it. It's just a given, that when you become sexually active, you've got to start taking it. I won't argue. It's the most effective and most convenient choice out there. What I want to challenge you other women with is to not just take it because the doctor prescribed it, but actually ask questions and research what you are putting in your body and what is effecting your hormones drastically. What about Abortifacient? Before reading anymore, please watch this YouTube video....

So how has The Pill changed over time and what are you putting in your body to prevent life from forming? Preventing ovulation and the egg from being released is one thing, but if you are telling me that it's possible for me to actually concieve a baby, a real human being, and then because of the hormone I'm taking everyday, it doesn't attach, so in essence I kill it, that just makes me sick. Not only am I missing out on a huge blessing from God, but that in my opinion is taking another life, one that God has created and one day I will be held responsible for that.

Now it's very important to realize that not every Birth Control Pill is like this. Some just prevent ovulation from taking place, and those pills I am fine with. This all started after Ty was born and I wanted to do something to prevent pregnancy for a while, so my doctor put me on the Pill, but it's a special pill, because I'm still nursing and so it does not contain any estrogen, just progestin. Of course, I started taking it because it was the only option for a Pill during nursing and I knew I for sure didn't want to get pregnant right away! And it was after a month or so that I started reading the product description sheet for the medication:

"This medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It is often referred to as the "mini-pill" because it does not contain any estrogen. Norethindrone (a form of progestin) is a hormone that prevents pregnancy by changing the womb and cervical mucus to make it more difficult for an egg to meet sperm or for the fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the womb (implantation). Regular use of the "mini-pill" prevents the release of an egg (ovulation) in about half of the women who use it. While the "mini-pill" is more effective than certain other methods of birth control (e.g., condoms, cervical cap, diaphragm), it is less effective than estrogen/progestin birth control because it is very important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases. "

Key phrases for me:
- Changing the womb
- Prevents a FERTILZED EGG from attaching to the wall
- Prevents release of egg in 1/2 the women

I take the Pill to prevent the release of the egg, and if that only happens to 1/2 the women who use it, then there's a 50/50 chance I'm still releasing an egg every month! And if that egg does fertilize, then that's a baby in my book! And as long as there's a baby inside of me, I am going to do everything I can to fight for it to live.

I think it's safe to say, I have already stopped using this contraceptive. Will I ever use The Pill again? Sure, maybe. As long as I can find one that fits the standards I have set and not one that causes Abortifacient.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato & Pesto Pasta anyone?

Ah, "What's for supper?" The age old question every woman asks herself each day. And it usually ends up with the response, "well, what do I have in my kitchen?". Does it seem to anyone else that every time you try to find a recipe to make for supper, you NEVER have ALL the ingredients to actually make it. Not to mention if you must go to the store each day to make a different recipe, that adds up cost/meal drastically. I've started forgetting the recipes books for the everyday evening meals. It's easier to just go through the fridge and the cabinet and be creative! Now, if I'm super ambitious, I will plan out and get certain ingredients at the store for the next week or two. Hopefully I will get better at that. :) For dinner this evening, I had purchased sun-dried tomatoes and pesto and pasta several weeks ago knowing that someday I would want to attempt this yummy masterpiece. And after picking up a rotisserie chicken today, I knew today was the day to get creative.

I started by feeding Ty and waiting for him to get sleepy so that I could cook uninterrupted. What a cutie! So sorry baby, I want to hold you so badly, but daddy needs a yummy supper!

Then I used a large skillet to cook the 100% Whole Wheat Penne pasta (gotta sneak in the fiber where I can, no one can tell the difference anyway!!).

While that's cooking, I shredded a whole rotisserie chicken...yum! What a delicious and EASY way to get some chicken for this pasta dish!

Then I cut up the sun-dried tomatoes...this is a very very key ingredient in the recipe. It gives it a little tang and super yumminess!!

After the pasta is done, drain it and return to skillet. Add a block of cream cheese (you can totally get away with 1/3rd less fat cream cheese, maybe not when you're baking, but if it's a little runnier, that's not going to matter for a creamy pasta dish.)

Then I added a different kind of cheese (a kind that I already had in the fridge), some mozzarella/provolone. You could use anything, parmesan would be really tasty too!

Then add the milk, I used Skim just to cut the fat where I could and it still turned out very creamy. Start with a smaller amount, you can always add more as it cooks.

Time to add the other super key ingredient, the pesto. Stir well, cause the oil separates to the top. And add about 2 heaping spoonfuls.

Then add the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes and some salt and pepper and put on a low heat to melt the cheeses, add more skim milk as needed until the creamy consistency you like.

Keep on a low heat and stir until ready to serve.

Then get in your freezer where you have a bag of frozen biscuits, and stick a few in the oven (why not carbo-load?!?!). This was a must when my sweet mother in law gave us fresh homemade peach jam...yum! Gotta have biscuits just for the jam!!

Serve up and enjoy! Yum!!! :)
Again, this could be altered as needed depending on what you have in your kitchen! Use different kinds of pasta & cheeses. Just remember the key ingredients: Pesto and sun-drided tomatoes! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homemade Fall Decorations

Nothing makes your HOME much sweeter than decorations for each of the seasons. I found one fall home decoration idea in a Martha Stewart Living magazine and just had to try it! It's perfect for any fall "event" you might be having, but not perfect for lasting 2 months through the fall season. This decoration is only good for about 4 days and then it goes bad. This weekend we had a special dinner at our house on Saturday evening in honor of Ty's Child dedication at church and so this was perfect for our one evening of entertaining. It gave me something small, but special to have set out to welcome our parents into our HOME and help it feel like fall and also help them feel special that we took the time to welcome them by making a decoration.

Here's how I did it:

I went to Dillons and purchased 7 perfect "fall colored" pears. They were $7.39, so about $1 a piece, not bad. Also I was worried when I bought them because they were very firm, I was afraid that would make this little project difficult, but it didn't at all. Infact, I wonder if that made them last longer because they were more firm. I will probably look for the firm ones next time.

Next, I wrote with a sharpie marker on the pears the word I wanted to spell. Which in this case happens to be "WELCOME". I wanted my guests to know that I did something specifically for them, to make them feel special, warm, loved and welcomed...hopefully they felt at HOME. You could also spell "FALL" or someones name or "HALLOWEEN", or whatever the reason for your celebration.

Then I used the cloves I bought at Dillons. For those of you super domestic women, you won't have to worry about this expense, but I did not seem to have any cloves on hand in my kitchen. They cost $6.99, with $2 off with a Dillons plus card. Bringing the total cost of my project to $12.38 + tax. Not bad, and then you can use the cloves for all sorts of holiday cooking and hot beverages (such as apple cider for your guests as they arrive!).

Then take the cloves and push them into the pears over the sharpie markings. This actually hurt my thumbs more than I thought it would, the cloves are a little sharp. I was ok with only 7 letters, but next time might consider some gloves just to make the process faster and painless. :)

Then display your beautiful fall decorations anywhere you desire! I chose right on my kitchen island where I was going to have the appetizers for my guests to see as soon as they arrived. But a fireplace mantel would also be perfect or maybe a guest bedroom where your houseguests might be sleeping for the weekend!

Hope you enjoy this little fall decoration idea to make your HOME even sweeter and welcoming and inviting this fall/holiday season!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A clean home?

It's funny, maybe not funny, more disgusting really, how all the sudden, the second you switch over from being a single woman to a married woman, there becomes all these unspoken expectations. When you're still single, but engaged to be married, you are just beyond excited to finally get married and live with the man you love more than anyone, and wake up next to him each morning. Little do us naive women know, with that privledge of residing with the one we love come unspoken expectations! Funny thing is, usually (at least in my case), it's not expectations that our husbands put on us, we put them on ourselves and on each other as women!!! WHAT?!?! Why do we do that? Sure there are lots of them, having a meal cooked each evening, keeping up with the laundry, and most of all, keeping the house clean. All the sudden, the moment you say "I DO", these expecations become blarringly obvious to women. Josh has never once questioned where his dinner was, or why the house was so messy, or why I hadn't washed his clothes soon enough. Again, I'm married to the perfect man. :) As women we don't need husbands nagging at us to feel these pressures, we do that all by ourselves!

Why is it, that anytime I go to another woman's home, it's always spotless and a candle burning and fresh baked bread in the oven and everything in it's place? Or it sure seems that way from the outside.

Now don't get me wrong, this is our HOME we are talking about. And it's very important to keep it clean and picked up and appealing for guests to come inside and feel welcome and want to stay. As I talked about in a past Blog about making church our HOME and treating church as you would your own HOME when you have guests over....I still think there is an importance to keeping a clean HOME, and that is not just to show off to the other women who stop by. But to create an environment appealing to anyone who comes over to come in, stay awhile and be a part of your life in your HOME.

But what about those times when life happens and other things take priority? Will guests understand? Will I be judged? Is a spotless HOME always an expecation?

Ty is 9 weeks old today and for some reason, taking care of the house work has really taken some extra attention in order to find time to get done since his birth. And today it just so happens that my little man got his shots! :( It was such a sad day for us both. But now he's sleeping on me and I'm going to let him cuddle as much as he needs to today. I'm not going to force him to sleep in his own bed just so I can get some housework done. I want him to know that mommy's here and I will keep him safe and protect him and will not leave him alone. So all of our friends coming over tonight for supper and small group hopefully will not mind if the bathroom isn't spotless, and the carpet hasn't been swept and living room dusted. Because today, Ty needs his mommy (and mommy needs her Ty :) ) and for this once, just this once, I'm going to try to not stress out about the expectations I as a woman put on myself to keep a clean home. Might drive me crazy....and I'll be honest, I hope he allows me 15 min to clean a little at least, but I know I'm not less of a woman by putting Ty 1st today. Right?

Thankfully I've got some pretty stellar friends who I know will love me no matter what my house looks like. Again, it's these darn expectations we put on ourselves!

So for any woman out there feeling the stress of a dirty home, uncooked meal, and dirty clothes, my advice for you to do today:

As soon as you and your husband are home from work, leave your dirty house (and don't think about it when you're gone- out of site out of mind:) ), go out to eat, and go buy some new clothes since all of your others are dirty! Sure this might be an expensive option, so maybe don't do this too often, but definitely DO do it! And don't feel guilty for it. As as woman you deserve it and the expectations will be there waiting for you another day. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I love BOYS!

That's right, I love boys, but not just any boys, my 2 boys! Josh and Ty...they are the coolest, most amazing, & most attractive boys I've ever seen. :)

There's something a mom cannot explain to have a son as her 1st born. This little life, with all his physical characteristics that look just like my husband! I love my husband more than anyone in the world, and think he is more handsome than anyone and so loving and patient. So naturally my heart overflows with happiness when I see my son with all the exact same physical characteristics as my husband. I love looking at Ty and being able to see Josh. Ty has no idea how lucky he is, or how much more lucky he will be if he has the same personality as his daddy!

You tell me....does he look like his daddy or what?

Not that I wouldn't have been happy with a girl first, but I love that we had a boy! I grew up with 2 older brothers and loved it. There's just something right about having a boy as the oldest child in a family. There to protect, and experience life 1st, to help the younger sisters out. I couldn't have asked for 2 better brothers. I was such a loved little girl and now as adults, I'm blessed beyond measure to still have 2 awesome brothers, and now 2 amazing sisters, to bring so much joy to our lives! Josh and I are so thankful for the relationship we can have with them, even though we are many many miles apart!

Brett and Blake playing with me! I think I had some pretty fun rides, what do you think?

Ah, cuddle time with my brothers!

I love that we get to have baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, legos, trucks & tractors filling our house. I love that we get to throw him around and "toughen him up". The dynamics of families with boys as the oldest, are just fun! I can't wait to have a fun HOME! I love that boys eat a lot of food....I will get to cook as much as I want and Ty will eat it all because he'll be young and have a fast metabolism. :) His haircuts will be cheap, especially if I can do them like I do Josh's! I can't wait to see what his interests and abilities are. Will he be a soccer player like his daddy? A basketball player like his uncles? A John Deere lover like his daddy?

I can't wait to teach him about Jesus. I can't wait to teach him how to be a kind and loving gentleman. I know my role as the women in his life is very short lived, but it's so very crucial. Because without me there to teach him about Jesus, he would not live a life as a man after God's heart. And he would not be prepared to be the man of his future wife's dreams. As a mom to this boy, I have a lot of responsibility, and probably won't get a lot of credit or attention for it, but someday when I see him loving Jesus and loving his wife and family, it will be worth it, and I will see the fruit of my efforts.

The hardest part about having a boy is knowing you will only be the women in his life for a short time. A friend on facebook talked about how her son asked her if she would marry him someday. Ah, the dream of every mom's heart. :) To be the only women in your son's life forever. But that's not the way God intended it to work. And so even now, at 8 weeks old, we begin the process of letting go. And I think I've decided the easiest way to begin that process is to begin thinking about what I'm preparing him for. His wife will be so thankful for the Godly man he is and thankful that I poured my life into him to prepare him for her and her alone. Oh how I love that woman already and I don't know her. I love her for how she's going to love my little Ty (who I know will someday no longer be "my Ty" but "her Ty", but I need to remember that really he's "God's Ty"). As I think about passing the baton on to that beautiful girl, my eyes fill with tears (perhaps because he's only 8 weeks old, but I don't think so, I'm not sure I'll feel any different in 20 more years:) ). You literally raise them so they will leave you. If they don't leave you, you haven't done your job. Being a mom is amazing, I hope that in 25 more years, I still feel that way, and won't be just saddened by the loss of the kids I've poured these next 25 years into. I don't think I will though. I think that Josh will be a huge part in helping me keep the right perspective. Josh will always be the man in my life, from now until the day we die, and that's why it will be so crucial to keep our relationship strong and make it a priority because someday soon, all we will have is each other. I don't say these things to sound negative or depressing, just to keep life in perspective and preparing myself as a mommy to let go, even now. I have a feeling the next 25 years will be one "letting go process" after another. :) And in the mean time, I am going to cherish these precious precious moments with Ty and cuddle as much as I can, kiss him, play with him, and laugh with him as much as I can, while I still can, while I am still the woman in his life!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Last year I talked about Holiday Traditions and how it is still possible to have them even as a newlywed couple, you don't need to have a bunch of kids to begin traditions! This year I want to touch a little more specifically on the Christmas holiday traditions. For anyone who knows me, you realize that mid-October is NOT too early for me to start talking about Christmas, listening to Christmas music, planning where to put the tree, when the family celebrations will take place and what Christmas food I'm going to try this year! This year is no different. Infact, now that our HOME has been transformed this year with our little T.N.T., those "family traditions" are taking on a completely different perspective!

Just this past weekend we traveled to Colorado to visit Blake, Carlin and Reece and it just so happened that we got to visit a year-round Christmas store, St. Nick's! Josh has it right when he said that if we ever move to Denver, I will be working there. :) It was breathtaking, an amazing Christmas-land! While we were there, we found the perfect addition to our family Christmas traditions, something I've been trying to find for a while now. An advent Calendar.

I have the most amazing memories as a child with our family's advent calendar. It was one my mom made and we got to put a new ornament on the tree each day in December. I still to this day love getting to be the person to put the ornament on the tree! I knew, especially once we had kids, that I wanted to find something like that. To really help create an excitement and anticipation of Christmas as it draws near and to give my kids the warm, fuzzy "HOME" feeling for the rest of their life as they remember it.

The advent calendar we found is perfect. It's a Gingerbread House Advent Calendar. It has doors that you open for each day in December approaching Christmas. This leaves it up to us to do anything we want for each day, as behind each door are empty boxes.

Our plan is to have some of the following things or instructions in the boxes:

- Frost Christmas Cookies today

- Have one Cocoa Dulce Chocolate for each person in the family to eat

- Make a Gingerbread house today

- Read "It was the Night Before Christmas"

- Read the Christmas Story from the Bible

- Have one mini candy cane for each person in the family to eat

- Drink Hot Chocolate today

- Open a new ornament from mom and dad and put on the tree

- Drive around and look at Christmas lights

- Listen to Christmas music all Day

- Go Christmas Caroling

- G0 buy Christmas gifts for an Angel Tree Child

- Write a letter to Santa

- Drink Apple Cider

- Play Monopoly

- Wear Santa Hats all day long, no matter where you go

- Take neighbors Christmas gifts

- Take cookies to someone who doesn't know Jesus


What are your ideas for more fun and creative things to put in our Advent Calendar?

Obviously some of these things are better to as a family with kids, but we are going to use it this year even though Ty isn't old enough to do a lot of these things. If we can't think of 25 things, we can always put chocolate in the boxes, can't complain about that, especially if it's Cocoa Dulce!!

It is extremely important for each family to make their own Holiday traditions, because traditions are HOME. It's very easy for newlywed couples to only continue to do their family traditions with their parents and sibilings, and race all around during the holidays to make sure both families are getting the attention they desire, to keep their family traditions going. It's important to remember what the Bible says:

Genesis 2:24

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh"

Now don't get me wrong, holidays are all about family and I am as excited as the next person to go back home and open presents from the stocking I've had my whole life, and drink egg nog and apple cider, and play monopoly for the entire 24 hour period that "A Christmas Story" plays on TV, and many other fun traditions. But it's important for Josh and I to not make Christmas only about our "family's Christmas' ". If holidays and traditions are HOME, and are essential to creating a HOME, then it's crucial that Josh and I do what is necessary to start our own family traditions, and not rely on our family. Now, am I saying that it's important to not be with each of our families for Christmas? No, all I'm saying is that effort must be made (especially as a young married couple, where families expect your presence to keep their Holiday Traditions in tact). You are a new family, even if it's just 2 of you, it's a family, that has left your mother and father and are clinging to one another and are creating your HOME, and so if that means saying "No" to your family in order to begin your own traditions, then I believe that is perfectly fine!

One tradition Josh and I have had since we've been engaged has been to go out the week before Christmas, we go out to eat, stop by Starbucks and then drive around Wichita looking at Christmas lights while listening to B98 FM continuous Christmas music! I look forward to this every year. And by doing this a week early, it has allowed us to stay a part of each of our family's traditions. Now that we have Ty, we hope to keep the few traditions we have already begun and now add MANY more! It will be interesting to see how our traditions evolve as Ty gets older and as more kids are added to our family. The sad part is knowing that someday....Ty will get married and leave our family, just as we did to our parents. And then our traditions will once again have to change. (but I'll save that topic for another blog post) :).

Let the Christmas traditions begin!!!

Where does time go?

Ok, I know it, do it, call me pathetic, I am. I haven't made time for blogging, why, I'm not sure. Well, I know why, it's this really little guy named Ty Nathaniel Turner. Somehow my days and nights all run together and before I realized it, 8 weeks had gone by! That's right, my little Ty, isn't so little anymore, he's already over 11 lbs! And I have no blog posts to show for it, not one. I'm disappointed in myself because it's something that I love, but it has been much much harder finding time to do ANYTHING for myself than I thought. Let's be honest, on days that I get a shower, makeup on, hair dried and curled and clothes on before noon, are REALLY good days! In fact, I think I could count on one hand the number of times that has happened in the last 8 weeks. :)

If there's one thing that has really surprised me is how all consuming this little guy could be. Don't get me wrong, I knew he would take all my time and attention, but I really never dreamed that an entire day would go by and when asked the question, "what did you do today?" my response would be, "uh, well, hmmm, went on a walk with Ty, feed Ty, changed his diaper, slept when he was sleeping, oh and I got in a shower a some point...". Sure, I expected that the 1st week or 2, but after 8 weeks!?!? :) I'm getting better at being more productive, but it's been much more challenging than I anticipated. Gotta be honest though, I'm not sure if I would have wanted everyday these last 8 weeks to look any different. They've been amazing. In fact, there's a part of me that would love for life to now stop and be able to live everyday around Ty, instead, as a mother I am forced to still try to maintain "normal life" with Ty just added into the mix. This new mommy-life is the biggest blessing I could have asked for. I've loved every moment getting to know this little human being that God created and entrusted to us. He's super cool, for those of you that don't know him (well, that's coming from his mom, take it with a grain of salt :) But he really is!).

My goal: to begin blogging. Maybe everyday? That would be a goal, I will try hard to meet, but no promises these days! I'll blog about motherhood, the ups and downs, the surprises, the expected, the challenges, the blessings and also just about life in our new HOME. Our HOME has drastically changed, but it was a change that we love. Don't worry, all you non-mothers out there, it won't only talk about motherhood, because while yes, my HOME is defined by my new role as a mommy, HOME is not now only secluded to being a mom. So I will try my best to keep that perspective.

This is how I blog with Ty...hope I can get all my thoughts in whatever time he allows! I've got the keyboard right behind him resting on the boppy...not sure what Deb Raney would say, but I think this is the perfect "writing environment"! Doesn't get much better than to have my baby cuddled up next to me while I write. :)

Alright, here we go. Goal of Day 1---success!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Week 34

Diary of Baby Turner (week 34):

I can't wait to hear the new cousin Micaela is going to be born sometime this week!

In the mean time, I'm working hard in here at getting VERY big! I might be around 20 inches tall by now and about 5 lbs. Mama keeps telling daddy about how big I'm getting, so it must be true. It's definitely getting tighter in here. I go to see the doctor this Friday and after that, they told me I get to start going every week, that must mean that it's getting very close to the time for me to come into the world!

For a while I was beginning to question if I was really a boy because my fingernails are getting so long. But I heard that they will cut them as soon as I'm born, and I know I'm definitely a boy because my boy parts are descending this week. So that's right, I'm all boy now!

Mom and dad put more of my nursery together this week. It's looking really good now, my bedding is a safari theme and it's really cool. They said they aren't done quite yet, but they are sure getting close.

Mom and I went to a Michael Buble concert and had a great time! It was much louder than I'm used to though. Her friends even surprised her with gifts before the concert!! Pictures are below.

Can't wait to meet you all in 6 short weeks!

love, your big sack of flour :)

I was surprised at Old Chicago with my friends from Hutton!

They even brought presents!

A cute outfit, diaper genie and crib sheets!

Sheila & Vicki with us at the Michael Buble concert!

Naturally 7...they opened for Michael and they were amazing!!

There's Michael!

Week 32 & 33

Diary of Baby Turner (weeks 32 & 33):

I just had the best couple of weeks! I got to see so many family members that I hardly ever get to see. First I got to see Aunt Carlin and Uncle Blake and Cousin Reece in Colorado and hang out with them for a few days. Reece kept saying my daddy's name over and over, my dad must be a pretty cool dude if Reece talks about him all the time! And on the car ride to and from Colorado I heard mom and dad talking about names again. They are down to 2 first names and 2 middle names....I think I know what they are leaning towards though. And it's pretty awesome, just wait Reece, you'll be saying my name over and over in about 7 more weeks!

Then I was surprised with Aunt Lauren and Great Grandma and Grandpa Turner just this last weekend! Uncle David couldn't come but he sent some awesome presents from Guatemala! We had a lot of Turner family fun, with another baby shower for me, Father's Day celebrations and my daddy's birthday!

You should see my nursery, it's really filling up fast, I can't wait to use all my new things! Oh and my mama just told me that some of my safari bedding just came in's gonna be awesome! I wonder which safari animal will be my favorite.

And I can't wait for Cousin Micaela to get here! Less than 2 weeks away!

Mama keeps telling daddy how heavy I'm I guess I'm growing quite a bit! There's not as much water to swim in as there used to me, so I'm running out of room fast. I'm about 4 1/2 pounds and somewhere from 17-19 inches long! I'm getting more and more baby fat all the time and last week at the doctor, they said I wasn't head down yet, they keep telling me I need to turn head down, I don't know what the big deal is, I'm comfy, isn't that all that matters? We'll see. :) And this week I've been working on my immune system so that I don't get sick after I come out! Oh and last night all the muscles around me got really tight for a while, mama said not to worry, that she thought it was just braxton hicks contractions, but she wasn't sure. She said it was practice for what's going to happen when I come into the world. I don't know if I'm going to like that very much.

Well, only 7 weeks left! See you all soon.

Big Baby Turner

The beautiful cake that Heather made for me and Baby Turner! She got her inspiration from our baby's perfect, and tasted delicious!! Thanks Heather!

The adorable onesies that everyone made for Baby Turner. (2nd from the left is a KSU powercat, but the sticker hadn't been taken's not just a purple blob.:) )

I love giraffes and the Schrock's got us this one, it's so so cute, and even plays music! Again, perfect with our safari bedding!

A coat from Uncle David, brought directly from Guatemala! Isn't it adorable?

Some of the sweet guests who came to help celebrate Baby Turner! Even Aunt Lauren made it from Honduras!

More guests, I was so thankful to have the baby's Great-Grandma Turner there!

Another giraffe!!! I couldn't be happier, hope this little guy is as excited as I am. Grandma Deb got him this!

And a cute tractor sweater vest from Grandma Cathy!

The sweet hostesses, Linda and Heather. Thanks for making this time so special for me!