Grace notes is the portion of this blog where I get to share a little about my week. Just as much as I need to be reminded of joy in my daily duties, I also need to be constantly reminded of the grace that is extended to me every day. It is so easy to get caught up in the small occurrences or dwell on misspoken words of the day or week. My God loves me and forgives me – I need to constantly remember this and extend myself that same grace when I mess up.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! I feel like we have been gone for so long! I could have started back up last week, but I feel like it took us (and by us, I mean me) a good five days to recoup from the holidays.
The Christmas Eve services went really well this year. Instead of having a family service and a midnight service, we had two family services, so that meant two sermons from me. I have not done a children’s sermon for Christmas before and have definitely not delivered one of these sermons in front of the whole church. But, I did it! And it went pretty well.
We had so much fun with El’s first Christmas. Of course, she was way more excited about the paper and bows than the actual gifts, but we got it all on video, all three Christmases. I was so glad that 1) Christmas was split up for her (morning at our house, evening at Joey’s Mom’s house, and the next day with my parents) and 2) people were pretty reserved with gift giving. El doesn’t need a lot, and I’m really happy that no one set a hard precedent for themselves on future Christmases. Her two favorite gifts were a pink ride on motorcycle from my grandparents and a Spanish-speaking “laptop” from Joey’s biological Mom. She’s getting pretty good around on the motorcycle now.
Every year for New Year’s, Joey’s college friends get together for a few days. This year, we met up in Atlanta and had a lot to celebrate. It was the first time most of them had met El, one couple got engaged a few days before we arrived, and another couple is expecting their first baby in April. It was interesting being the only parents there, but El loved being the center of attention. Check out some of the beautiful pictures one of our friends, Taylor, took for us while we were there (and go visit her website!).
The only real downs were from the past two days – I probably broke my pinky toe on Monday, and I had a migraine yesterday while having El to myself all day.
Adventures of El
El is busy, busy, busy. She is thoroughly enjoying her new toys, clothes, and books (but especially the books). The funny thing about Christmas with babies is that they open a few presents and then pass out for a little while, open some more, sleep some more, and so on until all the gifts are opened. I think what El enjoyed the most about Christmas morning was her first taste of a sweet – monkey bread! I swear her eyes changed when the sugar hit her. 🙂
Speaking of food, she has tasted her first bits of dairy. She is not too fond of cheese (she’ll learn), but she loved, loved her first cup of milk. And, somehow, she has already discovered how to make bubbles with it, silly girl. I also think that milk makes her a little hyper – I have never seen her crawl so quickly as she did that first day!
Otherwise, we’ve started a little homeschooling – more like structuring her day a little more. We started with a documentary on the 1930’s and then watched a video on Rome (just kidding, but she may have absorbed a little of the documentaries while I was folding laundry). I loved some of the ideas from Intentional Homeschool about intentional toddler time (even though mine is not quite a toddler yet).
What’s for Dinner?
I’ve heard that some readers still want to know what I am up to in the kitchen, but I have had so many crafts to post lately that I have neglected the What’s for Dinner? portion of the blog. I also have not been terribly creative lately, and, truthfully, there are whole blogs dedicated to amazing cuisine, so I am not going to try to compete. However, I will share what recipes I have found and cooked this week. Enjoy!
Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash
Skinny Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Creamy Cauliflower Puree
In the Works
Blog – What do you think of the new web design? We are so excited about the new website. The blog is also now open to advertising and an etsy shop might be opening soon for Ella Baby Headbands! Have you checked out the review on Love’s Memory yet? A super fun launch party for the book is happening on January 15th where you could win my first three headbands along with other fun prizes.
Reading – 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp (a very awesome Christmas gift) and I am about to start Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (which I received for free through BookSneeze.com). Joey is reading King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus and Bringing Up Girls (which I wrote a review for).
Writing – a lot and working on some guest posts. I have one in my head about the migraines I get.
- Moments of Healing
- Entitlement is Killing Us
- 7 Little-Known Facts that Could Get You Killed
- One Rule of Blogging: Keep Strict Hours
- When Criticism Rains Down Hard…(and how to handle it in a Godly Manner)
- Hula-Hooping into 2013
- Marriage Monday: Avoid a False Start
- When You’re Ready for More than Hardly Surviving Your Life
- A Lost Birthday
- Can You Love Jesus Too Much?
Click on the link above to join the LivingProof Live Ladies (and myself) on a journey to commit 24 verses of scripture to memory for the year. Here I will record what I am currently working on and either why I am memorizing that particular verse or what I have learned about that verse. If you are participating, I would love to know what you are memorizing!
- Hebrews 4:12 – (a catch up) I memorized this one to start off the year and to hold fast in my heart the importance of keeping scripture in my heart.
- John 15:5 – I am particularly struck by the last part: “…for apart from me, you can do nothing.”
Thanks —> linking up with the Gratitude Community
A few blogs I read have a gratitude community where they keep count of their blessings; I loved the idea. Does anyone want to keep count with me?
60. For Tylenol
61. Watching El dance
62. Baby giggles – brighten any day
63. The close bond of friends
64. A prayer gathering over New Year’s
65. Generosity and love from our family
66. The beautiful message and joy Christmas brings
67. Inspiring articles from Christian women around the internet
68. My husband’s heart and thoughtfulness
- Praise for my mother-in-law’s last radiation treatment today, the tumor has shrunk significantly
- An internet friend, The Lovely Crow, who has had some terrible news lately
- For everyone involved in children’s ministry