Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday again!

Time for some more random thoughts!

 1. We made cake batter cookies last week and one little guy found out how much he loves them.

2. Cake batter cookies are better with funfetti frosting :)

3. As per normal Sunday afternoon routine, we visited with my Grandmother and I wanted to snap some memories of her house at fall.  This dish of candy corn is a fall favorite.

4.  Another favorite is playing with her California Raisins.  My Grandma used to own a Hall.mark store and when she closed, she had lots of these little guys.  My cousins and I played with them while we were growing up and now our kids play with them too.  Love these little guys!

5.  Not to sound ignorant, but is this a butterfly cocoon?  We found several of these on a tree at my mom's house and wonder if it is a fluke for this time of year...

6.  Ethan discovered the fun of doing this recently...

7.  Fall is definitely in the air here!  The weather has been crisp and these little guys are crawling around.  (Random fact:  I sat up a booth one time at a festival called the "Wooly Worm Festival"  They had Woolyworm races and everything.)

8.  We haven't decorated Ethan's big pumpkin yet, but we got these two little ones ready to take the the babies special place for them.

9.  We (the hubby) grilled egg plant for the first time and we had egg plant burgers this weekend.  I have to say they were yummy and very economical!

10.  Thursday night Ethan and I had a little accident.  It could have been so much worse though and I am SO happy all that we ended up with is me with a sore neck and back and mud in our hubcaps.  Well, that's not entirely true, we also ended up with 4 brand spankin' new tires and the bill to match.  BUT, I feel MUCH safer knowing they are on there and I wont go sliding across the opposite lane of traffic and into a very big ditch and almost flip our jeep because the tires are not in good shape.  Yay!  I was very freaked out, but everything is ok and Ethan has been telling the story to everyone since then.  "Mommy said, 'HOLD ON!' and we went 'swoosh'...'then we went 'BUMP! BUMP! BUMP!' Then I said, 'Mommy, let's not do that again."


10. I'll posting again later today about Halloween.  It probably won't be a very popular post, but I believe it needs to be passed on.  Please be kind and if you would like to leave a comment, I encourage it, but please be respectful :-)

Linking up with Miscellany Monday and NOBH.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I snapped :-)

First off, I want to day hello to anyway who is visiting from the October followers fest!  Welcome to one of my little pieces of the internet!

My name is Mattie and I blog about a little of everything.  Crafting, family, homeschooling, marriage, faith, grief, books, scripture and plan on sharing my love for food soon.  I'm a daughter of the King, married to an amazing man and mama to one on earth, two in Heaven and a little girl on the other side of the world.
Thanks for stopping by!

To learn a little more about my family and I, just click HERE.


I've been busy, but been snapping photos a lot more with my iP.od to share with friends and family on fb and thought I would share a few here of the crafty things I've made and a few things we have done lately.

I pieced this little quilt top for Hope.  I cut two of my old maternity tops into squares and pieced them together.  I've been reading up on quilting tutorials and think I might actually take the plunge to hand quilt this one.  Maybe.  But I probably will end up just doing a simple machine quilt.  I have to mull it over.

Yay!  I love my new camera strap cover with pink minky on the inside!

I made one for a hunter I know with some camo and hunter orange fleece.  I also made a little lens cap holder and attached it to the strap.  Let's just say I've lost more than one lens cap while hiking in a leafy wooded area before and know from experience, this might be handy :-)

Next, I cut up several of Ethan's special baby outfits from his first year into squares and I plan on piecing them together for a quilt. Pray this goes ok...this mama is a little sentimental and would hate to ruin these little pieces!

Ethan has been earning money with our commission system and he decided he wanted to buy some glow sticks.  I had seen this idea to throw some glow sticks in the bath and take a bath in the dark.  Let's just say this four year old thought that it was the coolest thing ever and has talked about this for days!

Speaking of a sweet four year old I know...he read several PAGES of this book to me recently.  I'm one proud mama!

Shoebox lids

I covered a few shoebox lids with fabric and modg.e podge and now I have some colorful canvases to put on my mantle.

That's all the time I have to update at the moment!
I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Broken Praise

"You were the one who filled my cup.  And you were the one who let it spill.  So blessed be your Holy name if you never fill it up again.  If this is where my story ends, just give me one more breath to say Hallelujah!"

I recently learned about Music Inspired by The Story
The Story CD

On this album is 18 songs by 24 amazing artists.  The songs are taken from the Word of God and are absolutely beautiful.  From the orchestra playing the overture "I AM" about creation to Mark Hall and Megan Garret of Casting Crowns singing as Abraham and Sarah in a song called "Who But You" to Steven Curtis Chapman singing as the thief on the cross in "How Love Wins" these songs are all amazing.  They are backed by the London Orchestra.  Not only are they composed absolutely beautifully, the lyrics are from the word and are so extremely moving.

But out of all of these, the song that hit me the hardest is called "Broken Praise".  It is from the book of Job and it is sung by non-other than Todd Smith (from Selah, and of course the husband of the beautifully inspiring Angie Smith)!  You can go HERE to listen to part of the song (#11), but I really wanted to post the lyrics here as well.  I HIGHLY recommend you purchase this song (actually the whole album).  It is such an awesome way to experience the Bible.  And check it out!  They are all going on tour together too!


Broken Praise

If one more person takes my hand
tries to say they understand
tells me there's a bigger plan
that I'm not meant to understand...

If one more person dares to jest
that I have something un-confessed
tries to make the dots connect
from righteousness to Easy Street...

I, I won't deny that I've relied
on some assumptions.
A man's honest life
entitles him to something.

Who am I to make demands
of the God of Abraham?
And who are you that you would choose
to answer me with mercy new?

How many more will wander past
to find me here among the ashes?
Will you hold me?  Will you stay?
So I can raise, this broken praise
to you...

Who else would see my suffering
as one more opportunity 
to educate, to help me see
all my flawed theology?

If one more well-intentioned friend
tries to tie up my loose ends...
Hoping to, with rug and broom,
sweep awkward moments from the room...

I, I can't forget 
that I have been just like a mad man
for my chance to die
never have to face the morning.

Who am I to make demands
of the God of Abraham?
And who are you that you would choose
to answer me with mercy new?

How many more will wander past
to find me sitting in this ash?
Will you hold me? Will you stay?
So I can raise, this broken praise
to you?

You were the one who filled my cup.
And you were the one who let it spill.
So blessed be your holy name
if you never fill it up again.
If this is where my story ends 
just give me one more breath  to say...







Wordless Wednesday (Go, Goalie, Go!!!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The One Thing

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

As I was reading the Word today, this scripture jumped out at me more than normal.  I had to step back and evaluate if I could honestly say this to the Lord from my heart.  

One thing.  

That's all I should seek.  Everything else will happen according to his face if I seek out this one thing.

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord...

I know that I should be able to say, "Yes!!! That is ALL I want!!!"  But in actuality, I know that sometimes my desires for other things become so big that it becomes hard to focus on that one thing.

I want my babies.  I want Shyla and I want Jakin.  I want this adoption process to be what it was predicted to be in the beginning (a 12 month process beginning to end).  I want Hope in my arms.  I want my family all together.  I want my heart not to be so heavy at times it's hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel.  I want famine to end and the lost to be saved and mother's to love their babies from before those two little pink lines appear.  

But, if I focused more on that one thing, being in the presence of the Lord, these other desires would be met.   Someway, some how.  I will have my babies in Heaven.  We will be reunited.  The Bible promises of that.  If I focus on that one thing, this wait time will be made easier as I focus on God's will.  Not that I make myself busy with all the "good" things I'm doing here on earth, but just with being with Him.  Dwelling in His presence.   If I place my desires on that one thing, I can pray for those who are hungry and hurting and encourage other's to do the same with God's love and guidance.  When I choose to make that one thing the desire of my heart, I will be able to feel joy in the midst of this sad world more freely and still love those who are broken and hurting.

Lord, help me seek and desire that one thing!

Psalms 27 ends by encouraging us:

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

So I encourage you to draw close to Him, desire that one thing and wait take heart while you are waiting for the Lord...


Monday, October 24, 2011

Family Day {Miscellany Monday}

We had a great weekend of spending time together.  While I was uploading the photos from the pumpkin patch, several things occurred to me...

1.  How fast this little boy...

...became this big boy!

2. That Ethan and his mama both can hardly smile with out their eyes completely disappearing while in the sun.

3. Feeding goats when you are 17 months old is a little scarier than feeding them when you are 4 years old.

4.  Pumkin patches and corn mazes are always fun!

5. How two years can absolutely fly by and feel like decades have passed at the same time.

6. Squirrels are noisy, but lots of fun at the same time.  Especially when they join you for a picnic lunch.

7. I love it when I catch my guys monkeying around!

I hope your weekend was full of family and smiles!

I'm linking up with No Ordinary Blog Hop and Miscellany Monday.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: Money Secrets of the Amish

Book Description from

Discover the money-saving and wealth-building secrets of America’s thriftiest people, the Amish.
Author, journalist, and descendant of the Amish, Lorilee Craker, was just like the rest of us, feeling the pinch from the financial fallout of 2008. As a freelancer, her income was going the way of the dodo—family dollars seemed like an extinct myth, the bank account some archeological evidence of past prosperity.
Then, inspired by a news segment covering her people, the Amish, and how they emerged from the economic crisis unscathed, she realized it was time to get back to her roots and learn a thing or two about their time-tested approach to personal finances. While the middle-class was wringing its hands over the family budget and the wealthy were weeping over their slashed portfolios, the Amish were content as always, spared from the cares of the world and worldliness. They not only had financial health to support their lives, they exuded a wholeness that eludes so many when the financial bottom drops out.
In Money Secrets of the Amish, readers go on an “Amish money makeover,” learning the choices, secrets, and disciplines that safeguarded the contentment and the coffers of America’s favorite plain folk by spending less, saving more, and getting happier doing it.
I really enjoyed this book.  As an expectant parent through adoption, I am always looking for inspiration to save on our budget and put that "extra" money towards our adoption fund.  (Let's face it, adoption is expensive.)  I loved reading the author's experiences and interactions with the Amish as she was researching for this book and the money-saving tips are amazing as well.  While many of these "tips" were not new to me, it is always re-affirming to hear someone else say things like, "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without" and talk about the awesome deals you can get while secondhand shopping.  We live fairly close to an Amish community and I have always been fascinated (and maybe a little jealous) of their culture of hard-working, fun loving, family oriented simplified way of living.  This is a very interesting read that I recommend to anyone looking to pinch a few more pennies!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Friday Fives

Needing some writing inspiration tonight...enter a new (to me) blog hop!  

1. Where do you escape to when you've had enough?
    Usually, when I've had one of those days where I need to escape, the best I can do is find a quite place somewhere and hop on or pinterest for a few minutes.  I really don't physically wish to "escape" much.  I'm very blessed to be with my little guy all but 2 days a week and those two days I am doing something I love to do.  

2. What shows are you watching this fall?
     We don't have cable or satellite or even Net.flix currently, so this one is kind of not applicable for me.  But I guess I could just share what movies Ethan is loving now.  We watch Lion Kind and Aristocats probably at least once a week.  I love that he loves old(ish) cartoon movies!
3. What was the longest roadtrip you've ever taken and where did you go?
Ben and I (and Ethan!) in Florida, 2007.
    When I was in college, I spent two spring breaks in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas.  That was about a 15 hour drive from South Eastern Kentucky.  But, they were SO much fun!  Also, I went to Destin, Florida when I was 8 months pregnant with Ethan to my brother's'm not sure how long that road trip was supposed to take, but I'm guessing it took us A LOT longer since I had to potty every hour!  We also drove from Kentucky to Oklahoma City in 2009 when my niece was born...I was about 16 weeks pregnant with Shyla then.  Again...that trip probably too way longer than it was supposed to!

Ben, Ethan, and I (and Shyla!) at the Survivor Tree.

4. Do you plan on taking your kids to Disney World?
     Maybe someday.  If we can do it and pay cash, I'm all for it.  We would much rather give our kids experiences than who knows...our kids may get one awesome Christmas "gift" someday!

5. What is something people would surprised to know about you?
     Some people might be surprised to know that I have a tattoo and I would LOVE to get another someday.  The one I have now I got in college and it is a tiny little ladybug.  The only thing really holding me back from getting another it that sometimes it seems like it would be a waste of money when I'm saving for an adoption!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Snapshots from Snapbucket

My computer has been running terribly slowly and it takes forever to upload pics from my camera, so here is our week in review from the view of my snap.bucket app on my i.pod...

Made puppy chow on Monday.  Yum!

One very cute little guy was found hiding with his friends!

I got these little sweeties in the mail!  The larger one weighs what our daughter, Shyla Joy weighed at birth (1 pound 11 ounces and the little one weighs what Jakin weighed (8.4 ounces).  These are a product of the amazing work that Molly Bears does completely free for bereaved parents!

Finally used my jewelry stamps and LOVE them!  I definitely see doing some jewelry making in my future!

Olive garden
Went to see my younger brother/Ethan's favorite person in the whole world (and took this o-so-flattering pic of both of the only one I could find...)

Our doll from Baby be Blessed made it's way home to us!  Yay!  We won this beautiful custom doll in a giveaway from their blog.  I love it!  It even has a special scripture for our little Hope...

I found some interesting things in our washing machine...
At least Hand.y Manny has some really clean tools now!
I absolutely LOVE finding little things like this.  It literally made me smile for at least five minutes.  I know how extremely blessed we are to have Ethan in our lives and I know how easily he could have not been here. We are undoubtedly aware of the fragility of life and both Ben and myself love finding little reminders that we are blessed to be Ethan's parents.  WE get the opportunity to reach into his heart and show him the love of God and raise up a Godly man.  We get to teach him scripture and sing songs with him.  We get to fix his supper, read to him, wash his clothes and find little jack hammers with big happy eyes in the machine.  We get to trip over shoes and talk about Heaven and laugh at the Lion King for the 5th time in a week...oh boy, feeling extremely grateful right now...I could go on forever...but, I will continue with this weekly review from my i.Pod camera...

I spent some quality time with my singer and got crafty...

I made this beautiful camera strap for my camera!  I love it!  The minky fabric makes it so cozy on the back of my neck...I will be making more of these!

I also worked on this.  I had the squares cut for a while and just got to piecing them today.  The material is from two of my maternity shirts I have worn in my previous pregnancies and the quilt (when I finish it) is going to be a cuddly quilt for Hope.

Lit candles for my babies.  Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness and Remembrance Day and there is a wave of light for all the little ones gone very early in life.

Wave of Light

My candles were lit tonight...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grief Work

This Saturday is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Like many of the amazing loss mamas I have met on this journey, I don't post here as often as I used to, but I have had my babies on my heart so much lately.

I have also had the other families who have experienced this kind of loss heavy on my heart as well and I just wanted to share this quote by W. Graham Scroggie, in Billy Graham's book, Facing Death...

Let grief do its work.  Tramp every inch of the sorrowful way.  Drink every drop of the bitter cup.  Draw from memory and hope all that they can offer.  To see the things our loved ones have left behind will give us daily pain...but what would we be without those reminders?  Would we like quickly to break with the past in order to ease our grief?  Those who truly love will say that they have found in sorrow a new joy, a joy which only the brokenhearted can know.
 So as we all remember and try to raise awareness this week, let us draw from our memory all that it can offer and bask in the joy that only the brokenhearted know.

I know without a doubt, my brokenness has brought me (and my family) closer to God.  It has made our marriage stronger, our parenting better and our relationships more meaningful.  We may have known pain like no other, but we also live with a glimpse of Heaven in our hearts and know that the trials of this life are just a blink of the eye compared to what is coming....deep, everlasting, JOY.

Remembering with you....

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Because this is so close to my heart, I wanted to share it with you all.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance and Awareness Day.  A day to remember all the little ones gone so very early in life and a day to raise awareness and support.  If you know someone who has experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss, take a moment to send them some love on Saturday.  A card, an email, a phone call.  Simply speaking of their loss is enough to bring them comfort.  Say their child's name and recognize the life and the person who is temporarily missing from the family (we WILL be reunited one day!) and it will help heal their heart.

I will be remembering many little ones in Heaven and their sweet mommies on Saturday...especially two little ones that I miss everyday...

Sweet Shyla Joy who went to Heaven at 28 weeks in 2009.

And tiny Jakin Isaac who joined his sister at 19 weeks in 2010.

From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Psalm 22:10

The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears.  If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of my child's name.  It soothes my broken heart, and sings to my soul.
Author Unknown