Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Jesus Carried Us...

"Jesus has carried me in His own two everlasting arms. He has carried us and His rock-solid biceps often took the form of brick, mortar and wood. We’d think we’d come against something we couldn’t overcome, then He’d scoop us up and carry us kicking and screaming to the next season. Not fast enough to suit us, mind you, but eventually. Time and time again, Jesus took a needle and thread and sewed us loop by painful loop back together again. We’re so glad He did."
~Beth Moore
....this echos my heart looking back at 2011. Ready for a new ideas...and exciting adventures with my monkies :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Remember...By Samantha Reed... From

“Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.” Psalm 25:6 (NIV)

I sometimes struggle to see how God’s Word applies to me and my life. You see, I’ve been waiting a long, long time. For a walk down “the” aisle. For a cradle and arms full of soft cooing. For hearts of loved ones to fully turn to Jesus. For manna to rain from heaven.

The funny thing about waiting is it can be all-consuming. It inhales my attention, chews my focus and swallows my thoughts, leaving me in a place of uncertainty and doubt. I forget God’s power to fulfill my hopes for a husband, children and prayers answered. Its then, when I can’t see how He’s going to bring these things to pass, I have to rely on His faithfulness in the past.

Remembering God’s faithfulness in other’s lives in Scripture, reminds us of His faithfulness in our own.

When the waters rise, you’ve waited long for rescue and you feel God’s forgotten, remember… Genesis 8:1*: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

When dust and debris threaten to replace passions, dreams and callings and you feel God’s forgotten, remember… Genesis 9:15: I will remember my covenant between me and you.

When the pitter-patter of little feet is silent and you feel God’s forgotten, remember… Genesis 30:22: Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

When fear, worry, doubt and anxiety enslave and you feel God’s forgotten, remember… Exodus 2:23a, 24a, 25b: During that long period…The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out…God heard their groaning and he remembered… and was concerned about them.

When you can’t sleep and restlessness sets in, remember… Psalm 63:6-7: On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

When guilt consumes and you fear God will never forget your sins, remember… Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

When all hope is lost, remember… Luke 24:6a-7: He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you…’The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’

When your marriage comes back from the brink of despair, remember… Deuteronomy 8:2: Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness.

When dreams come true and you’re thriving in your calling, remember… 1 Chronicles 16:12a, 15: Remember the wonders he has done… He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations…

Recalling these accounts in Scripture helps me remember His goodness in my own life. When I can’t see how He is moving on my behalf, I choose to remember that He promises to be just as present and faithful to me and you today as He was for others in the past.

When joy surrounds. When sorrow clobbers. When all’s right in our world. When the bottom drops out. When we feel loved and cherished. When we feel abandoned and alone, let’s remember… They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. (Psalm 78:35)

Monday, December 26, 2011

7 Years

Happy 7 years to my favoritest dancing partner ever..........I love you Babe!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Give This Christmas Away

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Isaiah 9:2
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined."
Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You Are One of His Favorites

The following is an excerpt from "Kisses from Katie" her blog...

"The last few weeks have been so full of God’s blessings and extravagant surprises. Every day another gift, beautiful and unexpected. I feel spoiled rotten by the God of the universe, His love just too good and too perfect for little, broken me.

I shared this with a close friend recently, giggling with surprise and awe like a little girl who just received a marvelous present from her Daddy. His response was perfect. “He loves you, Katie. You’re one of His favorites.” He laughed and I laughed but it stuck.

One of His favorites. That is what I have felt like this last two weeks. Lavished with love. But isn’t that what He wants every one of His children to feel, all the time? Each and every one of us created perfectly in His image. Each one cherished. Each one “one of His favorites”. How would life change if we thought of each other as such? If each person that approached us we treated as beloved of God, cherished by God, one of God’s favorite people?

I carried it with me today. As I bought beads from women in a slum I thought of them as His favorite people. As I counseled a mother struggling with alcoholism I wept that one of God’s favorite people was struggling like this. I rejoiced with a grandmother who for the first time proclaimed Jesus after watching Him heal her granddaughter miraculously last week. And I smiled at the Joy that I knew God found in her – one of His favorites.

The God of the Universe delights, DELIGHTS in you. In me. In them. Could we rest in that? Could we live like that?

In a horribly atrocious accident, a traditional healer in Masese mutilated a sweet little boy’s throat and mouth. Believing it to be beyond repair I took him to the main government hospital where we spent the next 12 hours.

Most of the time I just breeze in and out of this place – drop someone off, bring someone food, welcome a new baby into the world. But today we just sat. One operating room and 12 patients ahead of us – we sat and sat. And it was as if I had been given new eyes. I looked at the cold hard cement floor and the cold hard faces of the people who work there. Glimpses of things I had just experienced at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital a few weeks earlier with my own daughter flashed in my brain in a horrible contrast to this place I was now seated.

Ward 9 is the accident ward. A little girl came in with her ear cut off. A mother carried a baby that had fallen into a pot of boiling water. A man came in with his hand mangled, ripped to shreds by a piece of machinery, in need of amputation. Someone’s wife died. Someone’s mother died. Someone’s baby died. All those people right there in that cold cement building and all of their lives drastically altered in just a moment. In just an instant their realities changed – forever. I couldn’t stop thinking as I sat there about how the next days weeks and months would play out for each one of them with their new, different realities. And I looked at all off them. All of that pain and all of that suffering and all of that sorrow and all I could think as I looked at each of those faces was “You. You are one of His favorite people.” And I prayed they would know it. I prayed they would know that God was holding all this chaos in the palm of His hand, even this pain having purpose.

A year ago today, I was one of them. I sat in a small cement room in a village hours away and life as I knew it fell apart. Ceased to exist. A little girl that had been mine for 2 years went back to live with the mother God has given her at birth. And thus began a journey, even that pain had a purpose.

Months later Jane and her birth mom, Nancy showed up at my doorstep. Nancy had lost her job and they had been evicted from their house. They were both sick and now they were homeless. So they moved in. After lots of loving and lots of encouraging and lots of days when I felt my heart would just be ripped out of my chest as I watched my baby girl learn to call Nancy “Mom” they moved out again. We had found Nancy a job translating and cooking for Amazima, we had enrolled Jane in Kindergarten, and it was time for Jane and Nancy to be their own family – still good friends with, but separate from ours.

I just longed to tell all those people in that hospital that a year later, I can say, “Yes. This is the hardest year I have ever done.” But I can also say, “I would do it again if He asked me.” Because Faithful God did not let go of our hands. This new life has been hard to learn. But we have learnt it. Life changes in an instant and God sees all of it, redeems all of it, uses all of it for His good.

And as I look back over this year I realize something. Such purpose in the pain. Our beautiful, spoiling, extravagant Daddy didn’t want to just give Jane a family. He wanted to give Nancy one too. This wonderful Father of ours, He didn’t want just Jane to come to know Him, He wants Nancy to come to know Him too.

Because Nancy, she is one of His favorites"

No Room

No room...Oh wow...tears....go to this link to read their story.....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pictures-Fun with Friends

Always a fun time with our sweet friends Luke and Lisa and their sweet ElleMae
EllieJoy and ElleMae

Friday, December 16, 2011


"God's ways bring freedom, not bondage."
- Beth Moore

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Walker for Sale

Walker with seat and brakes for sale....only used a couple times. Great condition.
Call me if interested! #815-370-2623

Rich or Poor?

If somebody collected a dollar from you every time you complained, and gave you a dollar every time you showed gratitude, would you be rich or poor?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It’s not joy that makes us grateful; it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.
-Brene Brown


Begin with the end in mind. -Stephen Covey

He Gathers the lambs...

"See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."
~Isaiah 40:10

IT Will Not Betray you...

Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be


Monday, December 12, 2011



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wildly Love It

"That’s one of the truth wonders of the Greatest Story ever told:

That the only way to make a thing loveable — is to wildly love it.

And this loving a life because of the Giver of it? This is what makes life a loveable thing."
~Ann Voskamp

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Love Ruling

"Between a man and his wife nothing ought to rule but love''
-William Penn

Heart Healthy

Friday, December 9, 2011


We have these moments to hold in our hands...and tuck in our hearts.

Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come.

And that's why we

gotta make every second count.


It's what we do in the here and now

that matters in the the then and there.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Be You

"Be you, because a mask only fools people on the outside. Pretending to be something you're not takes a toll on the real you, and the real you is more important than anyone else."
-Alex Gaskarth♥

Courage or No?

"What would life be, if we had no courage to attempt anything?"
-Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pictures---Fun Times

my little cousins....that are way too cute for their britches ;)

as well as these monkies ;)

armed and dangerous!

you never know what these 2 are up toher favorite spot....

and the monkey business continues...

playing house....

Sunday, December 4, 2011



"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyways..."

- Eleanor Roosevelt..

Love & Peace

Love and a strong decision to do whatever is necessary to live in peace are what hold people together in unity and harmony.

~Joyce Meyer

The Love Debt

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13:8 NIV

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lets Talk Food

so lets talk about some of my favorites around coffee/hot chocolate addiction....ahem....i mean....selection....yum

i really don't think i can live without this white sauce from Heaven.....i'm a dipper.... and not a skinny one :)

and then there's this amazing stuff......although i haven't quite gotten used to the taste of acai berry yet.....the energy high it gives is definatley outa this world!

and no....i haven't become a "cowboy coffee" drinker yet...why drink it black when you can add these scrumpdillyiciousness to it?!?!?!?

ok so have you heard of Timeless Treats Bakery in Fairbury?!?!? yes....their buckeyes and double chocolate expresso cookies make MamaMonkey smile BIG......

and this little BabyMonkey has become quite the chore to feed.....since doing a trial run of taking her off her reflux medicine that she has been on since she was 3 mths old......she doesn't eat much except for babygood....yes you heard me.....our 1 1/2 yr old is back to eating babyfood.'s healthy and it keeps her happy. And we head back to see our favorite Dr down at Carle next week that has been such a blessing to us with all Gabe's issues too....hopefully he can straighten her out too :(

fresh fruit around here is yumminess for glad our monkies will eat it.

chips that Gabe can have.....and we like too!

and do you see that Cookies N Cream Muffin half devoured?? it had a layer of vanilla frosting with cookie crumbs on top until it was discovered by Swiper the babymonkey ;) and oh wait....where did it go??? countertop camouflage! compliments of Dave's Bakery....

and then there's co-jack cheese from Dave's's very common to see little monkey piles of cheese in our kitchen ;) as well as prunes ;) ha!

My Mama's homemade granola....amazingness.....and it's for sale if you want some!

and last but not least.....the BEST OF ALL....cannoli....oooohlala....with some fun winter decor to garnish it ;) the stuff is my best is my hubby when he gets me some ;)

Christmas Favorites

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas.................Some of my favorite things.....white lights at nighttime all over the house.....

and love this mixture that makes the house smell amazing.....oranges & lemons cut up, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves, add water and simmer.....

and we officially hava cowboy tree this year to go with our western family room in the basement!