Saturday, October 29, 2011


Okay, so you're all like, "Didn't she just post about carving pumpkins yesterday?! &about a pumpkin patch recently, too? How many more of these pumpkin posts are there going to be?" Well, this is the last one. Ohkayyy?

Pumpkin painting. This is one of my favorite parts of Fall around here. I feel like I can be so much more creative than I can whilst (yes, whilst) carving &the pumpkins last so much longer. Downfall? No pumpkins seeds to roast.

Painting worked so well this year with Bennett! He needed direction, but it wasn't like carving where he couldn't really do anything. He was so excited about it & I didn't have to show him what to do at all. He totally knew what we were doing.

Bennett was straight-faced the whole time he was painting, just like he is when he's serious about know, like drumming & dancing.

He seriously smiled for about two seconds for this picture &that was it. Painting is serious business, man!

We had so much fun painting our pumpkins. Even after we were done, Bennett kept asking to paint more. I've pinned quite a few homemade paint recipes (finger, bath, etc.) and painting art projects lately. I think we're going to have to start doing them more often!

Friday, October 28, 2011


A few weeks ago, we went to Matt's sister & brother-in-law's house for supper and some pumpkin carving. It was fun to see Bennett's reaction to the pumpkin "guts". Jake has a really nice camera, so I'm sure you can guess which of these pictures came from his camera vs. mine.

*Photo by Bennett*

Thursday, October 27, 2011

19 Months!

Okay, okay, I'm a few days late this month. That's okay, Bennett's still 19 months old right now!

Bennett Likes
Playing in the van (van off, keys out, supervised...of course)
Playing Foos Ball
Play Dough
Ducks (he kisses them every time he finds a rubber duck)
Wearing his Halloween costume
"Crunch" cereal
Singing songs- Favorites are "Our God" by Chris Tomlin and "The Wheels on the Bus"
Reading Books

Bennett Dislikes
Being told "no"
When Daddy leaves for work

Struggles this Month
Tantrums! We're working on our reaction to this.
Saying, "no" to everything

Triumphs this Month
He finally started saying "yes", but it sounds like "yex" and I love it.
He's pretty close to being able to count to 3.
Knows green & blue most of the time.
Knows the letters "B", "T" & "O" most of the time.

Bennett's Uncle Jake took some 18 month pictures for us this past month. We went to a park and just let him play while Jake followed him around with the camera and "Aunt" Sarah & I followed to make sure he didn't jump of the equipment. We hadn't taken Bennett to this particular park before &I was impressed by how well he navigated the big equipment. I told Jake that we only needed a few good shots since we have so many pictures from his 12 month pictures and we're going to be doing family pictures with Matt's family soon, but we ended up with 202. I'm not complaining. I won't share all of them with you, but here are some of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


When Bennett was born, we were given lots of great gifts, but one of our favorites is "The Jesus Storybook Bible"written by Sally Lloyd-Jones from Matt's sister &her husband. They picked it because each of the stories in the book talks about Jesus. The pictures are awesome and the stories generally keep Bennett's attention.

I was reading the story of Jonah (found in the Book of Jonah in the Bible) to Bennett the other day. For those who aren't familiar with Jonah's story, God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell the people there to turn from their wicked ways or they will be destroyed. The people of Nineveh were some of Jonah's greatest enemies and so he didn't want to go and give them a chance to repent. Instead he buys a ticket to Tarshish, which is the basically the opposite direction. While on the ship, a huge storm comes & long story short, Jonah has the sailors throw him into the sea to calm the storm since he knows the storm is his fault. A big fish swallows him up and three days later spits him out right where he started his journey. Jonah then obeys God &goes to Nineveh & the people repent, much to Jonah's dismay.

As I was reading Bennett the story from the Jesus Storybook, I found myself chuckling at the language the author used to tell Jonah's story.

"But of course, it wasn't a good plan at all. It was a silly plan. (Because you can run away from God, but he will always come and find you.) Jonah went ahead with his not-very-good plan. 'One ticket to NOT Nineveh, please!' he said and boarded a boat sailing in the very opposite direction of Nineveh."

About as quickly as I started laughing (one ticket to NOT Nineveh, please...haha!), I stopped. Oh, man. How often is that me? How often do I think, "ANYTHING but that, Lord."?

We have a lot of changes happening in our family right now. Changes that I am really excited for &that will be positive changes, but changes that even a year or so ago I would have run from kicking &screaming. It's funny how God can give you time in a "great fish" to change your mind about things. I remember thinking at one point in the past that we couldn't possibly leave our current church. It was home and family.

Tonight is our last night with our youth group & Sunday will be our last service with our current church. God has lead us to a position for Matt at another church not too far away. There are some awesome people and ministries waiting for us at our new church, but Grace (our current church) has been our home for the last 3 1/2 years. Much like Jonah was comfortable where he was, we are comfortable where we have been. Jonah had to leave his home and the comforts that came with it so that he could bless the people of Nineveh.

Now, there are obvious differences in our story versus Jonah's. I mean, the people at our new church are most definitely not our worst enemies. In fact, we're excited to be with some really good friends and make more new friends. We haven't been fighting the fact that God has lead us to this church, but He has definitely had to prepare our hearts for this change over time. Also, we will be overjoyed with any growth at our new church, unlike Jonah who was just a big grump (I'm taking a little creative licence here.) about the whole thing .

I do find it ironic, however, that our current town and the town that the new church is in are 2 of the 3 places that I always used to say I would never want to live. We have loved living where we live now. We have met some of our best friends here and will obviously continue those friendships. I'm anxious to see what God has in store for us on this new adventure. Obviously something awesome if He's taken so much time and care to prepare us for it.

I feel like this post is all over the place. Let me summarize for you...

1. "The Jesus Storybook Bible" is an awesome kids' Bible. If you have a little one, you should check it out!
2. Sometimes Jonah's story is fairly similar to my story.
3. God has been preparing our hearts for a big change.
4. Although we are very excited for the new things to come, we will miss our church family here and will cherish the 3 1/2 years that we've been able to spend with them here on earth.
5. I apparently like to ramble.

So, yeah. Check out Jonah's story if you haven't read it before & pray for us tonight if you think about it. I'm sure it will be a super emotional night saying "see you later" to the kids we love so dearly at Grace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I love, love, love Follow Me on Pinterest. If you don't know what it is, you need to click on that button and go check it out! Let me know if you need an invite. I'll gladly send you one. I get so many awesome ideas for things from there. Unfortunately, I don't actually do a lot of the ideas that I see.

For some reason, I've been bit by the creative bug as of late and have started making a few of my Pinterest ideas happen.

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I made this deliciously easy calzone for lunch the other day. (photo via pinterest)

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I've made my own version of this smoothie for breakfast several times. I use juice instead of coconut water (I can't find the stuff anywhere) and strawberries instead of raspberries because they were on sale. It's SO good & Bennett really likes it, too! 
(photo via pinterest)

I made these Parmesan Knots to go with our lunch the other day. I used "Grands" rolls & I think I was supposed to just use regular buttermilk biscuits. They still tasted awesome, I think they just were supposed to be smaller.
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I'm working on a version of this Crocheted Wreath combined with the fabric rosettes for my front door. I'm nearly done with it & I love it!

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Bennett & I have plans to make this art with a friend before the fall is over.
(Picture via Pinterest)

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I printed and framed this Fall Printable for our house.
(picture via Pinterest)

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I wore my scarf this way
(Picture via Pinterest)

Okay, that's a lot of stuff, but seriously? It's not even 1/4 of what I have pinned! I've got plans to complete some more pins soon. Am I the only one who wishes there was some way to mark when you've actually tried something you've pinned? It would be a whole lot easier to keep track of things!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gifts from England

Recently, Matt's dad took a business trip to England &he brought Bennett back some cool gifts. Oh, he also brought Matt & I some Tiny Toblerone, but I already ate all of them didn't take a picture of those.

 Papa brought Bennett back a Peter Rabbit book and a cute little key chain guy.

Not that I should expect it to be any other way, I mean I'm sure this is entirely normal in Europe and incredibly strange that I've taken a picture of this, but I just love that the book has the price in Euros on the back.

Annnnnd that "favorite" is spelled "favourite"? It's my favorite.

Also, if you noticed the red spot on Bennett's forehead, it's because he fell down the stairs today. I was in the basement doing laundry and Matt was at the top of the stairs helping Bennett scoot down them. He was sitting on his bottom, but he dropped a car down the stairs and when he reached to grab it he just toppled down. Thankfully, Matt yelled and I caught him before he hit the concrete floor! It was probably the scariest moment of our parenthood so far. He's so stinking tough, though! He cried for maybe 3 minutes and then was his normal self. I did call the doctor's office to make sure that I didn't need to have him checked out and to find out what to watch for concussion-wise. He's just fine, thank God!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hey, Hair!

We're getting family pictures taken today. I decided it might be nice to have curly hair for said pictures. Soooo I spent a good half hour in the bathroom this morning twirling & pinning my damp hair in hopes of some lasting curls. My hair strongly dislikes to be curled. I went outside with my hair looking so stupendous, what with the twists and bobby pins (I just couldn't resist Bennett wanting to "mow" in this beautiful weather). I've spent the last half hour using a hairdryer to lock in those curls. This is what I've come up with.

So listen here, Hair. You have exactly one &one half hours to cooperate or I will be forced to hose you down and straighten you out. Settle down!

**okay, so pictures have now been cancelled for the evening due to an illness. You're off the hook today, Hair.

*Also, I have absolutely no make up on in those pictures. I will be adding that before pictures.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Bennett's favorite book is "Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin" by Tad Hills. It's been his favorite for over a year now. We definitely have it memorized. He quotes half of it when we read it. In the book, Duck & Goose's friend, Thistle finds a pumpkin and they decide that they'd like to find one too. They look all over for a pumpkin, but can't find one until Thistle suggests that they check the pumpkin patch. It's really a cute book &one that I don't mind reading over&over&over&over. 

Today we went to the pumpkin patch to find ourselves a few pumpkins. On the way there Bennett & I quoted the book from memory and he was super excited when we got there to see the pumpkins!

We visited some more of what are probably Bennett's favorite animal, goats. We bought some goat food for them, but we had to help Bennett hold his hand flat to feed them. He kept trying to just give them the food and got bit a little. He wasn't too phased by it, though.

Bennett definitely yelled at that fake pig. It's his new thing.

He did not want to come off of that tractor. I think he would've stayed up there for hours if we would have let him. The picture where he is running by the pumpkins? He was trying to get back to the tractor. He kept yelling for it. "Tractorrrr! Tractorrr!"

Bennett loved the jumping pillow. He was beaming the whole time he was up there jumping with Matt.

Bennett stood in front of this sign for a picture for exactly one second. Hopefully he'll stand better next year. We have pictures of Matt & I in front of this sign from several years ago.

We went on a tractor ride to see all the pumpkins. Bennett really wanted to get up and walk around the trailer until we showed him the tractor that was pulling it. Then he just watched the tractor.

Bennett &I picked out pumpkins. We were going to get one for Matt, but we ran out of arms and it was getting close to nap time. We'll get him one from HyVee or someplace later. Bennett's pumpkin was so heavy that he fell over!

Our pumpkins were just over 17lbs together, so it was about $9 for both of them.

Bennett got to pick out a cookie from the snack area and promptly passed out after he ate it. Which, of course means that he's in his bed singing to himself for naptime.

We had such a great morning. I have to admit, I had to keep myself from tearing up while I was watching Matt &Bennett on the jumping pillow. I'm just so thankful for our little family. We'll have a painting/carving party soon to decorate our pumpkins. I can't wait to see Bennett's reaction to touching the pumpkin guts!