Transition Time

The weather is crisp and cool. The things of Fall are entering my mind... apple picking, pumpkin pie, cozy sweaters, and glowing candles in the evening. It's a time of transition. A new season. A time to pull out our Rubbermaid containers, pack away our summer clothes, and hang up our fall wardrobe.

It's a time to reflect on what the Lord has for us during this season of life. What areas of our lives need to be tidied or perhaps packed away for another season? What activities simply add clutter or chaos?

Let's prayerfully seek how we should spend this season of our lives. Are there people we should be reaching out to? Do we need a fresh perspective on our current roles? Could we be serving with more joy? Have we forgotten that true joy can only come as we lay our burdens at Jesus' feet and humbly allow Him to transform our hearts?

Carolyn Mahaney has a wonderful message called In Every Season of Life. She uses Ephesians 5:15-17 to remind us of God's providence and to encourage us to discover and respond to His instructions. The audio download is available here for free.

~Ephesians 5:15-17~
Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Things to Remember About You ~ September 09

Miss R:
- Your first gymnastics class!
- Your favorite things: Fletch, Hydrant, your ponies, Black Beauty, and of course orcas.
- You're 3 1/2 years old!
- Your first scooter.
- We're half way through Little Hands to Heaven!
- You moved up from the Sprouts Room to the Big Red Barn at church and now Mommy is your teacher. :)
- Filling up your button jar to practice saying, "Yes, I'd be happy to!"

Miss A:
- Your new words! Mama, Dada, Rahrah, cacka (cracker), shoos (shoes), joo (juice), dah (dog), kikah (kitty cat), appa (apple), tat toooo (thank you), awwduh (all done), awwgah (all gone), alluh (hello), bye bye, oo oo (the sound a doggy makes), muhmuhmuhmuh (more).
- Walking, walking, and walking some more!
- Climbing to the top of Miss R's swing set.

I've Rearranged My Blog Furniture :)

Things look a bit different around here dont' they? What do you think? Do you like the new look? I wanted a different template that would allow me to display my photos larger. I followed this tutorial at iHeartFaces to make my changes. The directions were easy to follow - a very good thing for my serious lack of techie/HTML knowledge.

Check out my first post that showcases my new large-and-in-charge photos. Don't be scared by Miss R's very large blue eyeballs that will greet you there.

Now if anyone could help me figure out why my link bar is so tall... see the thingy up there under my banner that says |Home| |DaisyBows| |Tapestry of Faith|? All of that extra blue space underneath the links are seriously driving me crazy. I'm not sure I can deal with that for very long! :) And it looks just fine when I preview the blog! I guess I'll have to ask... I mean beg... my techie husband to have a look. He's really not fond of girlie things named Daisy and Pear.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you! All of the little extras that used to be in my sidebar are now at the bottom, so scroll waaaaaaaaaay down to find them. I'm so glad my blog is clutter free. Now about this house...

"Blue" Photo Challenge

iHeartFaces is having a "Blue" Photo Challenge this week. Blue eyes... a blue floral shirt... a blue rug... and a blue couch makes for a pretty blue photo. You really must click on the photo to enlarge it to do those eyes justice. :)

What a Difference a DSLR Makes!

I'm just starting out and have MUCH to learn, but my new DSLR has been so much fun! I've been drooling over bokeh and enjoying blurry background bliss for the past few weeks. I promised that I would share some images taken with my new camera, so here they are!

Poppy and Miss A:
My SIL and Willis:
Pickles the parrott:
Rachel wearing her DaisyBow! :)
Me being super silly!
Miss R
Cousin V

Heart of Dakota Update

We're currently in week 12 of Little Hands to Heaven. We took things slowly over the summer to take advantage of the gorgeous weather, but now we're back into the swing of things. Lately we even complete two days worth of school in one day. Miss R keeps asking for more, so I'm following her lead. We should be finished with the curriculum in late Winter. I'm thinking about doing My Father's World Kindergarten in the Spring when she turns 4, and then jumping back to Heart of Dakota the following year.

Here are some highlights from Little Hands to Heaven!

Baby Moses:

A water color painting to remember when God parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites cross over on dry ground.Here's a project to remember that God turned the Nile River to blood because the king wouldn't let the Israelites go.

She remembered how even the water in their glasses turned to blood, so she wanted to make her drinking water "bloody" too.


I didn't take that many pictures of our projects this summer. I'll try to get better about that! Most of our summer photos have a little bit of grass, sand, sea, and sun in them, and that's the way it should be! :)

iHeartFaces - Completely Candid

When I read this week's photo challenge theme, this picture immediately popped into mind! It makes me chuckle everytime I see it. :) See some more great entries here!

Btw - does anyone know how to display the photo larger on Blogger? When Blogger resizes it, it loses some sharpness.

Answered Prayer

Miss R is 3.5 years old and so far, I haven't had to buy her many clothes. God has always provided for us through my generous friends at church. It's not uncommon to see Moms with a large bag of clothes slung over their shoulder, looking to pass them along. Outfits are passed around, worn, and passed back around again. It frees up the money that we would've spent on clothes for more useful, and hopefully more Kingdom minded purposes.

I began praying for a fall wardrobe a couple weeks ago because the weather is starting to cool off now. I don't usually tell anyone about my need because when the prayer is answered, it builds my faith. Even though I've experienced many answered prayers, each time it happens, I still find myself feeling a mixture of excitement and surprise.
Last night, when I arrived at Bow Night (an evening to make DaisyBows with my friends), two of my friends had bins and bags of clothes for us. Yippee! Look at that mountain of clothes! :)

And more importantly, I'm so blessed to have sisters in Christ who care about me, pray for me (on the spot) when I have a need, and encourage my walk with God. They ask me how my relationship with God is, and they ask me questions that dig deep and spur me on... that's the stuff that real relationships are made of. Thank you ladies!

If I Faint Not...


I'm weary today. Weary from battling heart issues like sharing, respect, and obeying all the way, right away, and with a happy heart. Phew! I usually write encouraging posts about struggles that I've gone through and how we've overcome them. Not today. :) We're still on the battle ground and the end is simply not in sight.

It's tempting to read yet another Christian parenting book, seek out another discipline method, or ask other Moms about the methods that work for them. That's what I would usually do, but I'm not even going to do that today. I know Who the source of wisdom is and I know that these struggles need to be laid at His feet daily (or in my case lately, minute by minute). I'm going to continually petition God for the hearts of my children and for wisdom and patience on my end as I guide them.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)

I feel like fainting, but I won't. :) I know He'll get us through this season because He is faithful and good. And I know that He uses even these small trials to draw me closer to Him. So if fights over sippy cups, plastic dolphins, and animal crackers are enough to bring me to my knees before the Lord and deepen my relationship with Him, the trial is suddenly a privilege.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1:6-9)

Contemplative...

I wonder what thoughts are dancing around in her head... perhaps some of her favorite things like orcas, dolphins, and puppies. Or perhaps what she learned in Sunday school that morning... that God gives us a heart to know and love Him... or maybe it's about the challenges a 3 year old faces like which shoes to put on which feet, how to build a tower before Miss A knocks it over, or how to get through dinner by eating the least amount of food possible... I suppose I'll never know. :)

Entered into IHeartFaces "Contemplative" photo challenge.

Our Boy Charlie

Meet our dog Charlie. Who could resist a face like that? I couldn't, and I convinced Matt that he couldn't either. That's why we forked over a ridiculous sum of money without even a backward glance. Oh the days of a dual income and no children.

Matt is holding our 3 week old Charlie here. Don't you just want to squeeze those chubby cheeks?
This is actually a picture of Charlie's sister, but it was too cute to pass up. He looked just like her. We'll just pretend it's him.

It's hard to imagine that this handsome boy could be such a trouble maker. Digging holes in the yard, refusing to come inside, diving into every muddy puddle he can find, getting out of our house and dashing down the street to the neighbor's pool party (twice), and catching baby bunnies. Walking him is no picnic either. Just imagine a fast moving streak of golden fur followed by a human blur (usually Matt).

All in all, he's a pretty good boy. He's wonderful with my girls even when they treat him more like a horse than a dog. He has a great life, one that I'm sometimes envious of. I wish I could curl up in a ball and take a nap now.
Charlie, even though you drive us crazy at times... we still love you.

Fix It Friday!

It's time for Fix It Friday, and this week's photo is of such a little cutie! I'm still trying to rock Picnik.com and I'm working on subtlety. :) I've been realizing that people's eyes probably shouldn't be glowing like neon signs. I also need to cool it on the skin smoothing. That airbrush tool is like a bag of Herr's sour cream and onion potato chips. It's really hard to stop once you get started. Well, here goes.

The original:
My edit:
Hopefully this is a little more natural looking than my previous edits, although I'm just not sure I have an eye for it yet.

P.S. My camera came in and I've been having a BLAST! Photos to follow in the next post.

Shai Linne

I don't listen to rap. I never did. I prefer the girl and guitar types... you know... like Bethany Dillon (by the way, if you're a fan, her new record comes out tomorrow!!!). So when Matt came home jamming to Shai Linne on his IPod, I greeted him with a skeptical eyebrow raise and a muffled giggle. Christian rap or not, it wasn't for me.

But I kept hearing how wonderful the lyrics are, how theologically accurate, how powerful. So I relented and stuck the IPod speaker in my ear. The lyrics were full of truth, honest, and they really made me think! I now appreciate Shai Linne's music, not necessarily for the sound and style, but for the amazing lyrics. The beauty and power of the gospel transcends musical genres. As a side note, my girls really love it too. It's hysterical watching little Miss A bop around the room in her diaper while it's playing.

Click here to listen to his music. One of my favorites is called Wake Up Revealed (2nd to last song). It's Shai Linne's story about how he came to know Jesus as his Savior. It's similar to my story so it really resonated with me. Personal testimonies captivate me because each one is such a miracle. I always get the chills or want to cry or both!

The Greatest Story Ever Told is another song worth listening to. It's basically a tour through the Bible from beginning to end. Awesome!

Atonement Q&A goes over definitions of all the big Christian-ese words. Want to know what these mean: regeneration, redemption, propitiation, justification, sanctification, glorification? Have a listen here. :)

The Hubster...

I just know that Matt would enjoy blogging so I'm trying to suck him into my little blog world. Whenever I stumble upon a husband/wife blog, I get giddy. How e-romantic is that? The problem is, and this is a direct quote from him, "I'm neither a Daisy nor a Pear." So perhaps my blog name and design is a little too cutesy for him. I'm willing to compromise. After all, it's like that in real life. I get to decorate the house, choose the paint colors, and the decor. But the tool shed... well, that's completely his domain. :) So perhaps we can make a little room on the blog for a slice of masculinity around here. And the name change? Well, that's going to take some thought. Any suggestions (dare I ask)?

My first dSLR is...

...on it's way!!! After 2 weeks of extensively researching various cameras, I decided to buy a refurbished Canon Rebel XSI! To be honest, I reeeaaally wanted the Nikon D90, but it was more than I wanted to spend on my first camera. I don't even want to think about how many hair bows and marble magnets I had to sell to afford the XSI. I have a lot to learn about photography and I know that the XSI will challenge me for quite a while. If I ever start to outgrow it, well, maybe the D90 will be cheaper by then. One can hope!

Hopefully, my blog photos will start to improve once I figure out how to work the thing. I'm excited about taking on the challenge of a new hobby. Yay! Maybe one day, I'll even upgrade my dinosaur version of Photoshop (which I never use because it sucks the life out of my laptop). For now, here's an iHeartFaces photo that I altered in Picnik.

BEFORE:
AFTER:

Still teaching... Still learning

As some of you know, I was a Kindergarten teacher (a great job) for 4 years before I became a Mom (the best job). There's something about this time of year that brings out the teacher itch in me. I have an overpowering urge to frame my walls with apple themed bulletin board borders, to laminate every piece of paper in sight, to adorn my dining room table with nametags for each family member, and to label the house with environmental print. *sigh*

Now... I'm not contemplating going back to a full time job. No way! Of course there are days when I feel like putting the girlies on the nearest school bus would be so much easier than never. getting. a. break. Ever. But then God always brings me back. He reminds me of the privilege that it is to witness each new milestone, to shape their hearts biblically, and to love them and care for them the way only a parent can. He humbles me with the knowledge that these daily parenting challenges bring me closer to the cross seeking grace, patience, and wisdom. Oh how I need His constant help more than I ever did before my name changed to Mommy.

So the perfect solution to satisfy my classroom teacher longing and my stay at home Mommy status is to become a Sunday School teacher. Yay! I'm going to teach in the Big Red Barn, a classroom for 3-5 year olds. We're using an awesome curriculum called Praise Factory. I am so, so, so excited about what we're going to learn. It is very unlike any other Sunday School curriculum I've ever seen or heard about. I could write an entire new post about it (and probably will one day soon). For now, it's past midnight. I really have to break this terrible going-to-bed-at-midnight habit.

DaisyBows is Back!

After a much needed, relaxing summer break, DaisyBows is back online! Three of my friends and I create handmade hair accessories ~ hair bows, infant clippies, headbands, beanies, and bow holders. We have a TON of summer bows on sale right now and some of our fall collection bows will make their debut this week. Of course I have a treat for my faithful blog readers... just mention "Daisy and Pear" in the Message to Seller box upon checkout to receive free shipping! Shipping costs will be refunded via Paypal. Visit our shop at www.daisybows.com. Enjoy!