Grace Notes – Adios January!

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.

Monthly Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone who has embraced the new space here at With All Joy.  We rounded out this month with about 2,200 views, which is pretty awesome for this tiny blog.  🙂  Here are the top posts for this month (beginning with the most viewed).

  1. On Being a Stay-At-Home Mom
  2. Becoming a Woman Who Loves – Chapter 4
  3. Never Left Alone
  4. Yarn for Christmas
  5. Reading and Leading Through the Parables
  6. Book Review | Love’s Memory 
  7. Comfort and Release
  8. Heart-Service
  9. Becoming a Woman Who Loves – Chapter 5
  10. Dad’s Birthday Present

Last {week}

Busy, busy, busy.  El and I have been away from the house a lot this week, and, as a result, our house has imploded.  When we have been home, I have been using much of my spare time on entering all of the participants for Upward Soccer into the online system – I did about 25 new entries on the deadline for early admission the other day that took me about three hours after all of the confirmation emails had been sent out.  Whew!  But, I am still very happy to have a little extra job, especially since we will be enrolling El into the church day school for next year!

I am super excited to get her into the Tots class three days a week.  I’m excited for the new experiences she will get from other children her own age and from the teachers, not to mention the few hours of quiet it will give me!  Yes, I still plan on homeschooling, even a little next year, but the Day School will give her the opportunity to make friendships and work on things like sharing.  Plus, I will get to meet other moms with children the same age as El – hooray for future play dates!

Otherwise, my Dad’s birthday on Tuesday was probably my favorite time of the week.  We had lunch together with his Little Lima Bean (El’s nickname from him) and then walked all around downtown.  And yes, he loved his present.  🙂

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playing in the park with Papa

Adventures of El

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First of all, it’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that El’s little legs can support her.  She has been unsteadily cruising her way around the coffee table and semi-successfully making the switch from coffee table to couch this week.  El is also working on kneeling to sit instead of plopping on her bottom.  I guess we’re getting really close to the free stand.

Second, I can’t believe that I am already planning her first birthday.  It sounds like she might be getting her first baby doll (a Bitty Baby) from her Grandma.  It would be really nice if she would poke the doll in the eyes instead of me, a new fascination of hers.  Here’s to hoping.  🙂

I don’t know why, but El has been super cuddly lately.  We either sit together on the couch in the mornings under a blanket while I drink my coffee or (if I’m still tired) we snuggle in the bed for a few minutes.  Best. Moments. Ever.

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Facebook Fragments

My life as told by Facebook statuses.  Only one this week; you would think I was busy or something!

“That is the first time I have found my stride in FOREVER! If that happens more often, I may rekindle my relationship with running. :)”

What’s for Dinner?

I have only cooked once this week, and it wasn’t terrific.  So, no recipe this week!

In the Works

RomansBanner

 

Our year-long (with a few interruptions) trek through Romans begins this week!  The first children’s sermon with family study guide will be posted on Saturday (hopefully).  I am super excited and understandably nervous about this series, but I have already been blessed by the materials given to me by my minister and by the group of church leaders who meet weekly to discuss each section of Romans.

*2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team*

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!

Isaiah 41:10

fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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?

91.  For how hard my husband works now so that he might have more time in the future

92.  For surprisingly beautiful days in January

93.  Mighty wind that point to the mighty and majesty of God

94.  fits of giggles

95.  a warm, cuddly dog

96.  hot, bubbly bath and a good book

97.  long walks in beautiful places with my Dad on his birthday

98.  the joy simple sticks and leaves can bring to El

99.  dirty pants that point to a happy, healthy, and curious daughter

100.  quiet dinners and late-night talks with a husband who loves me so

101.  surprise by joy in the mundane

Prayers

  • that I serve Joey in helpful and loving ways after long shifts at work
  • patience with El during those long days at home
  • my mother-in-law began chemotherapy this week
  • prayers for a friend who just announced her pregnancy!
  • prayers for another friend who passed her due date yesterday
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Grace Notes

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.

Last {week}

If there were two words for this week they would be anticipation and routine.  Do you ever feel like big life things are just over the horizon?  That’s how I feel right now – I am waiting on a lot of things.  But I also feel like this week just zipped by.  I have been so caught up in getting everywhere that I have almost lost the joy in being where I am.  I just feel so busy.  Do any of you other moms just love it when you can block off a whole day to stay at home?  No grocery shopping, no get togethers  no groups.  It’s so refreshing to have just one day a week at home.

The blog has suffered a little this week because I have needed to put some household things first – but that’s a good problem.  But, in the interim the Mom Initiative featured that latest children’s sermon on their Twitter page (by the way, are you following us on Twitter?), and Margaret Feinberg started following us on Twitter!!!  I love, love Mrs. Feinberg’s books.

Otherwise, I’m functioning off a little less sleep this week, was super challenged by the Romans study this week, loved the guest speaker at mom’s group this week who talked about prayer, and have picked up a new side job with Upward Soccer.  Here’s an interesting challenge from the mom’s group:  Write a list of the different stages from dating through marriage (attraction, investigating, hanging out, etc.) and see how it compares to our walk through Christianity (particularly with prayer).

Adventures of El

Nap time has been SO much better this week!  I even took a nap with a snuggly baby this week. Nighttime, however, that’s a different story.  I’m not quite sure why El is waking up two or three times at night.  It’s almost like she’s having nightmares.  But she’s also teething, so that doesn’t help.  The other night I was up with her at 2:45 and it took me until about 4 to get her back down.  I was wide awake, so I just got up and started my day.

El is such a talker; it is so cute.  She talked to her Aunt Amy this week on the phone.  She now says “good girl” (her favorite), “bye-bye”, “puppy”, “papa”, “daddy”, “mama”, “ah-ben!” (amen), “mi-mi” and “beda-beda-beda” when she’s mad.  🙂

We may have a cruiser very soon.  She has been trying to walk between the couch and the coffee table with a little success.  And she has been crawling on all fours lately (feet and hands), so she might be free-standing soon.  Oh dear, I’m not sure that I am ready for a toddler yet.  But, on that train of thought, El is going to be 1-year old soon!  Ah, that’s crazy.  I have a little over a month to think about her birthday party (check out the pinterest board I have started).

Facebook Fragments

My life as told by Facebook statuses.  

“When, might you ask, is perfect hurdler form necessary in real life? Answer, when the creaky baby gate separating you from the rest of the house is the only obstacle in the continued nap of a teething baby.”

Yep, I did this in high school…all 5’3″ of me 🙂

“A conversation with Eleanor on the changing table this morning:
Me: Tell me what you dreamed about, little girl.
El: *raspy breathing*
Me: You dreamed about Darth Vader! That must have been scary!
El: No!
Me: Well, was Luke Skywalker there?
El: Dada
Me: Oh, Daddy took care of Darth Vader for you?
El: Pew, pew!
Me: I didn’t know he had a light saber!
Perfect Star Wars conversation at 10 months old. :)”

“Getting a work out on a mountain of pillows!”

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“I just crawled out of my daughter’s room so that she wouldn’t see me leave. Adventures in Mommyhood”

“I’m pretty sure that if I could consistently function off of 4 hours of sleep, I could conquer the world. Okay, maybe just my house…definitely the house.”

What’s for Dinner?

Manicotti with a Caesar salad!

I mix a (large) carton of ricotta with chopped spinach (eyeball the amount – you don’t want so much that nothing sticks together), about a cup and a half of shredded mozzarella, two eggs, and a sprinkling of Italian seasoning together.  Spoon the mixture into cooked Manicotti noodles and place them into a glass cooking dish.  Cover the noodles with a sauce (I doctor up some canned spaghetti sauce with sauteed mushrooms and garlic and sometimes add ground beef).  Bake about 350°F for about an hour.  After 45 minutes, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella ontop of the noodles and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Serve with a Caesar salad and garlic bread!

In the Works

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Here are the materials for my current crafting project.  What will it be?  You will have to tune in for Pinterest Tuesdays next week to find out!

Online Community

*2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team*

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!

  • I’ll have to get back to you on this one…

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?

81.  the knowledge that God bestows on his children and the urge for those people to share

82.  the vast and unique gifts found in the body of Christ

83.  whisperings of the Spirit to stop and enjoy a moment

84.  willingness to put down the schedule to enjoy the fleeting

85.  difficult conversations with my husband that strengthen our marriage

86.  increased signs of love from my child

87.  my daughter’s independence and fearlessness

88.  God’s lessons and reflections on my own walk through my daughter

89.  hidden mysteries in God’s Word revealed through patient study in community

90.  music

Prayers

  • sleep for our household
  • for the relationship of a married couple who are currently separated due to the husband’s service to our country
  • for a friend who struggles with the love of her father, I pray that she is not hindered in experiencing the perfect love of the perfect Father
  • for patience

Photo Dump – slideshow!

(hover over the photos to see descriptions)

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Grace Notes

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.

Last {week}

So, you know how when you practice a spiritual discipline, Satan thwarts you at every turn?  Oh. My. Goodness.  The past week has been a battlefield over my morning quiet times.  I try to get up at least an hour before El wakes up to have some time to myself, but starting with last Wednesday when I got my migraine, I have experienced so many different physical and mental deterrents from getting up, including food poisoning and a nightmare-experiencing baby.

Middle school youth group went well – we did some bashing on the Wii with Bash Party to start things off and then moved on to learning about the character of Jesus through the Story Formed Way.  Our group is making some incredible strides and I am so thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  They are really absorbing the material and asking some awesome questions.

On Monday I attended a Romans Bible study to help me prepare for the Romans sermon series.   To say that I am intimidated by this series is an understatement.  This group is going to stretch me too – some of the most Biblically knowledgeable men in our church (including my husband!) are in this group.  I am also slightly baffled that they can have such profound discussions punctuated with random humor.  😉

Tuesday had an exciting blessing in store.  {A little background}  If you haven’t noticed, I am a pretty young bride and very young mom (I got married half-way through college and had El almost a year after I graduated from college).  I love the experiences I have had and I know that I got married at the right time.  However, the one thing I haven’t loved is a little loneliness in being such a young wife and now mother.  I have a handful of close married friends (now) and none of them have children yet.  So, happy day, when one of my Mom’s co-workers sent my information to the leader of a mom’s Bible study at her church.  The group was inter-generational and there was child care!  What a refreshment.  I really look forward to more fellowship.

And Wednesday was…Joey’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Babe!  The poor guy didn’t get to celebrate until he got home at 5, but we had a good time.  Right now he’s messing with his one gift.  I got a few family members to chip in to buy him a Kindle.  Boys don’t outgrow toys, the toys just get more expensive, but he deserves it, he never gets things like this.

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Adventures of El

Naps – who needs them?  And why sleep through the night when you can wake up at random intervals for intense conversations with sleepy parents?  This is El’s philosophy for the week.  I’m ready for this philosophy to change.  Also, I will reiterate that teething is evil.

Whew, this child is seriously testing her boundaries, and she knows it!  She pulls up on the first step to the stairs, I tell her no, and she does one of two things.  She either looks at me and grins, or crawls away and says “good girrrrrl”.  She then revisits the stair later to see if I will tell her “no” for touching it with her tiny finger (grinning all the while).  This is El in time-out for going up the stairs (and pitching a fit for being redirected).

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On a lighter note – El loves having the ability to make decisions.  She amazed my Dad today by choosing her snack (cereal over yogurt bits), with excited squeals I might add, and choosing an outfit from Target (she wanted both tutus, but we made her choose one).

What’s for Dinner?

I have no idea why the links from last week didn’t work.  Every time I updated the post, the link broke.  All three recipes were from Skinnytaste, in case you were curious.  This week has been a stretch-the-contents-of-the-refrigerator-as-far-as-they-will-go kind of week.  But, I did cook for our community group yesterday.

A go-to recipe for me is a pork chop with cranberry-apple relish over wild rice and whatever veggie I have (I made lemon-garlic sauteed green beans).  Usually I just pan-sear the pork chops in butter and garlic, but since I had so many to make, I coated each chop in butter and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then baked them at 375°F for about 30 minutes.  In a medium sauce pan, I combined two cans of whole cranberries (for 8 pork chops), 1 chopped apple (I kept the peel, but you don’t have to.  Dried apricots work well too.), a splash or two of orange juice, some cinnamon and a pinch of ground clove.  I let this simmer, stirring occasionally, while the pork and rice cooks (I just use boxed wild rice).

For dessert, I drizzled Hershey’s chocolate syrup over a plate of cream puffs.  Mmmmm.

In the Works

Blog –  With All Joy was involved with its first book launch this week.  Did you head over to shannonhopeodonnell.com to scroll through the 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 – My first guest post was accepted!  I am so excited!  I don’t know when it will be posted, but I will let you know.  It is really similar to this post from the Heartstrings category.

Online Community

*2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team*

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!

  • John 15:5 – I am particularly struck by the last part: “…for apart from me, you can do nothing.”  I didn’t post it yesterday, because I haven’t memorized it yet!  Ah.

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?

69.  My husband’s birthday and all 29 years that he has been on this earth!

70.  For friends who babysit for free (and clean my kitchen!)

71.  For the amazing men who lead at my church

72.  For women who look out for the younger mothers and wives in their lives

73.  For Christian sisterhood that binds us all together whether we have met or have similar backgrounds

74.  For passion for the Good News

75.  For the amazing growth I have seen in some of the youth in our church

76.  For amazing medical advancements

77.  For the amazing wisdom that God has given my husband

78.  For all of the amazing Bible studies and communities that I have been involved in lately

79.  For the wealth of encouragement and wisdom available in written and virtual form

80.  For the echos of God’s love sent through friends, books, life, and nature

Prayers

  • for the continued care of my mother-in-law who has cancer
  • direction for the youth leaders as they pray for and lead the youth in our church
  • for continued Christian fellowship and mommy-connections
  • for a childhood friend struggling and feeling alone in motherhood

Photo Dump – slideshow!

(hover over the photos to see descriptions)

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A Late Farewell to 2012

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Hello friends,

2012 has come and gone.  I don’t know about you, but 2012 for my family was pretty awesome!

  • My Dad was installed as the new rector of a church two hours away from us.
  • Ella-saur graced us with her very surprising entrance in March.
  • Our nephew graduated from high school and, a few months later, graduated from Marine boot camp at Parris Island.  We are so proud of him and really need to write about how God moved in this young man’s life (and ours!).
  • I started this website in July!
  • I took my first visit to the West coast in November, and it was our first trip with the baby – whew.
  • Soon after, I took my first visit to Colorado!  I could totally live there – it was beautiful.  But, it probably wouldn’t be as enjoyable if my brother- and sister-in-law didn’t live there.
  • Our beautiful little niece was born in December (number 3!)
  • El’s first Christmas was simultaneously a blast and exhausting!
  • And, to top off a great year, we traveled to Atlanta for the annual Wofford-clan New Year’s get together.  This is the seventh year since my husband has graduated from college that his group of friends has gotten together for New Year’s, and I am so happy that I can call this group of amazing Christian people friends as well.  This year was so much fun because it was the first time most of them had met El, another couple is expecting, and another couple just got engaged.  I am also super excited to see our first family photos from a little photo shoot our newly engaged friends did for us.  🙂

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And here, for a further wrap up of the year, are the top ten posts of 2012.

  1. Heart-Service
  2. Matthew 18:20 Mondays – Becoming a Woman Who Loves
  3. Parenting Mistake #198
  4. Common Blessings
  5. Dating My Husband
  6. Surrender
  7. Introducing:
  8. Grace Notes (October 23)
  9. My Beloved is Mine,
  10. Power in Prayer

2012

Technically, the About page made the top ten list, but it’s not really a post and it has changed – so go check it out!  What were your favorite memories (or posts!) from 2012?  Please share them in the comments section!

Grace Notes

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.

Last {Week}

Five days until Christmas!  Are you ready?  In staff meeting last week we were asked what our Christmas preparedness was on a scale of 1-10.  A week ago I was around a 2 or 3.  I hadn’t thought about the Christmas Eve children’s sermon, the tree was naked, my sister’s scarf was a total of five rows in length, etc.  But now I’m around an 8 or 9, yay!  The tree is finally decorated, I have thought about the sermon, I got some gifts wrapped, and I did a few extra things.  Did you check out the outfit I made for El?  She’s supposed to be a lamb for the Christmas pageant, but she looks a little more like a bunny. Continue reading

Grace Notes

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.

Last {Week}

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Fast-action shopping!

December is awfully busy!  I went to at least three meetings this week, attended a couple parties, attempted to finish Christmas shopping, and tried to speed crochet some scarves I need to finish.  All of this on top of chasing a surprisingly quick baby around the house (and other public places).  Thankfully, I only had to take Move-anor to two of the meetings, but the hour and a half long staff meeting could be very interesting today… Continue reading

Grace Notes

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.

Last {Week}

Welcome Advent!  I feel a little more excitement and expectation for the season this year. I could be because of El or just because this year seems a little different, more purposeful and reflective.  Advent went off with a bang at our church with Day School Sunday.  The 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s classes joined the congregation and sang for us – it was so cute. Continue reading