Thursday, September 27, 2012

Faithful Families Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are...

Sarah Price: Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord
Amanda: Building Family Ties with Faith, Love and Laughter

Congratulations Sarah & Amanda!  Email me your addresses and I will ship the books to you all.  (savgarcia18 [at] gmail [dot] com)  I hope that these books will be a blessing to you both.

I love what Amanda commented: "I believe that 'The key to raising a faithful family' is for parents to first have a strong relationship with Christ. Then they can walk alongside their children and share their faith with them. We need to be serious about wanting to make sure we pass our faith to our kids. We must live out the way God calls us to live as parents, friends etc.. in front of our children and others, every day. As parents, we also need to make sure that we have a good relationship with our kids and make them (family) a priority. We have no excuse not too." 

Papa D, Nana B & JR Photoshoot

We had such a special time with my parents over the past few days!  Before they headed to the airport, I took some impromptu photos & I'm so glad I did!  Our little man just lights up when he sees them both :)  He sure has fun with his Papa D & Nana B.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Psalm 145:1-8

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; 
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty-
and I will mediate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works- 
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

Psalm 145:1-8

Monday, September 24, 2012

3/4 of a year

My baby is 9 months old!  I will do a 9 month update soon, but right now we our soaking up precious time with Nana B. & Papa D. while they are in town for a couple days.

Oh... don't forget to check out the GIVEAWAY!  Lots of ways to enter, but you can start by just commenting on the giveaway post {here}.  Good luck :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sales Sales.

So many stores are having online sales :)  I keep adding items to my checkout... then deleting... then adding.  I can't buy anything, but the sales are just so good!  Additional 30% off already clearanced items at Jcrew!  Here are some things I'm loving:




And I'm wondering if an XL in JCrew girls would fit me :)  
These are just too cute:

Have you shopped any sales lately?  Love these additional discounts welcoming fall!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faithful Families Giveaway!

Happy Monday Friends.  Thought I would start out this week with an awesome GIVEAWAY!!

My dad (Dave Stone) just released a Faithful Families book series offering parents creative ideas, real life stories and scriptural guidance for building families that love God and enjoy being together.

I count it a blessing to have been raised by such godly parents and to have learned from their example, but it is even sweeter to now have their wisdom and stories written down so that I can read from my new perspective as a parent.  Some stories I remember from years ago, but now I see them differently, realizing just how intentional my parents were about bringing scripture into our home and living out their faith.  Now our family is not perfect, but we strive to love Christ more daily AND have a lot of fun together along the way!  I really think you will be blessed by these two books.  If you don't win, I encourage you to pick one up {here} & be on the lookout for book #3 this spring!

This week there will be 2 winners!  Winner 1 will receive:
Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord.  Winner 2 will receive: Building Family Ties with Faith, Love & Laughter.

See winners {here}!!!

There are lots of ways to enter!  If you don't have a blogger account, you can comment as "anonymous" just be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win.  
Winners will be announced on September 27th.

One entry for each of the following:  

1: Visit Dave Stone's website {here} and then come back and leave a comment below answering the following question: What do you think is one of the keys to raising a Faithful Family?
2: Follow @TheFaithfulFam or @EverydayPitPat on Twitter, then come back here and leave another comment below telling me you are a follower.
3: "Like" the Faithful Families Facebook Page and then comment on this post letting me know you liked the page.
4: Tweet or Share on Facebook about the Faithful Families giveaway.  Comment here and let me know.
5: I know some of you have already read the book & want to win so you can give it to a friend!  If you have read it, email me and let me know what you thought.  How are you bringing the joy of Christ into your home?  What ideas have you taken from the books and started with your family?  I'll add an extra entry for each person who emails :)  Contact me {here}

“Christian homes don’t just happen; neither do kids who love the Lord,” says author Dave Stone. “In this book, you’ll learn that when godly living is your priority, it becomes more natural for your children to embrace faith—real faith.”

You can read the first chapter of each book for FREE if you go {here} and download them :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The temperatures are dropping and it's drizzling outside today...  perfect time to break out my classic fall recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup!  Hope you have a cozy weekend with loved ones.
Enjoy!  Mine is simmering now :)

From my favorite cookbook: Vera Bradley- Cooking with Friends

Wildwood's Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 (14 oz) cans tomatoes with green chilies (I get mild)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (30 oz) can white or golden hominy
1 (16 oz) pinto beans
1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans
1 envelope of taco seasoning mix (I get mild again)
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

(Tortilla chips & shredded Monterey Jack cheese)

Boil the chicken in enough water to cover in a large stockpot until cooked through.  Drain the chicken, reserving 4 cups of broth.  Cool the chicken slightly and shred.

In a stockpot, combine the chicken, reserved broth, tomatoes, hominy, beans and mixes.  (Feel free to make your soup as spicy as you like or place chilies or peppers on the side so guests can add their own heat to their soup.)  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until guests arrive.  

Ladle into soup bowls.  Sprinkle with chips and cheese.  

(I'm serving mine tonight with cornbread and may even add a can of pumpkin to the cornbread mix to make it moist and autumnal- is that a word?!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Yes" and "No" (part 2)

Read Part 1 {here}

Quote from On Becoming Baby Wise:
“Many Parents consider discipline to be a means of controlling a child’s actions at any given moment.  It is that, but discipline is also much more.  The primary objective of early discipline is to lay down a foundation upon which the next stage of development can be built.  Young children learn from concrete experience, not abstract parental reasoning, so we train by instruction and reinforce compliance with encouragement and correction (Don’t forget that encouragement part!) Initially, you will encourage and correct your child’s actions.  In time, your focus will be his or her heart, wherein all the child’s actions originate.”

Some theorists believe that parents should assist the child in the impulsive ways they already respond never “actively direct the child’s moral conscience”. For example, they would create and control the child’s circumstances and environment in order to protect them psychologically.  As Christians, we know that our natural way of doing things can be far from what God wants from us.   When we became Christ followers, God did not bring us straight to heaven or transport us to an ideal environment with like-minded believers where we would all act perfectly.  Instead, we stay in this broken and sinful world.  He calls us to change our behavior and realign our mindset to be like His through the working of the Holy Spirit.  In the same way, Christian parents need to realize that we cannot perfect our child’s environment, but we can love and train them to have a heart like Christ that shines in any situation.

Like all parenting lessons, discipline starts with the little things and begins at home.  I may be able to rearrange furniture in our living room and put away “no touch” items, but what happens when the surroundings change and I find myself in a friend’s home.  That busy toddler will think he has free reign in all environments and will not understand my frustrated yell or frantic “no”.  

As much as we want to give our children everything they could ever want, we know as adults that certain desires will not benefit them or could be dangerous.  God is the same way.  He loves us far greater than we could ever imagine, but have you ever had an unanswered prayer or a door clearly shut by the Lord?  More than just teaching our children obedience and trust in earthly issues, we need to help them see that sometimes God says “no” to us for our own protection or because there is something far greater he has in mind.  The earlier our children learn that the world, as much as we might want it to, does not revolve around them, the greater success they will have in this world and in their walk with Christ. 

Now, let me tell you that Patrick and I are learning.  Everyday.  We thought the first years of marriage showed us just how selfish we were and now, as parents, we continue to see just how much more Christ is calling us to sanctification.  This is a whole new world for us and we definitely don't know everything... and who knows, by our next child, we may realize that we didn't know anything!  But thankfully, we are able to glean from our parents, mentors, Christian authors and most importantly Scripture as we struggle through this blessing of parenthood.  What we do know is that this is a glorious privilege not to be taken lightly.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
Psalm 127

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Yes" and "No" (part 1)

Our sweet boy is learning the word “no”.  That probably ruffles a few readers feathers J  
“You tell your baby No?!  That’s so mean!”

Yes, we tell him “no” and we also tell him “great job”.

In just one week of us being intentional and consistent, John Ryman has learned:
-       to stop and look at us when we say “no” or “no touch”
-       which items are off limits and is beginning to avoid them
-       (my favorite) that when he does the right thing and we say “great job buddy” he will sit down and start clapping with a proud grin on his face! 

The dogs' water bowl was the first thing for our little crawler to discover and the first “no touch” item.  Knowing that we couldn’t hide the water bowl every time JR was awake, this was going to be the first thing our mobile boy needed to learn.  With watchful eyes and consistent instruction, we would wait until he was reaching out for the water and warn him with “no touch”, then quickly moved him to the other side of the room.  He was smarter than we realized.  Trust me, your baby is way smarter than you know!  What did JR do?  He crawled across the living room, into the hall and straight back to the water bowl.  We repeated it two more times, before giving a little swat on the hand.  After that, for a couple days, he might get close, but simply saying “no touch” was enough of a reminder.  Now, he crawls all around it and pulls up on the door next to the water bowl, but he doesn’t touch it.  I try to encourage him as much as I can, so if I see him eye the bowl and then sit down next to it, I start clapping and praise him for not touching it.  He gets so proud and will clap for himself!  Precious!  Now, I don’t leave him alone because he is still learning (my goodness he is only 8 months!) and I’m sure there will be days he tests us, but if we continue to respond consistently I hope he will grow up to obey first-time and feel a sense of security in the consistent emotions in our family.  

(Please notice that I am using the word “we”.  Both parents need to work together and be consistent.  You must communicate together on what you are going to expect from your kids.  If you are both going to be relaxed and let the child run free- you still need to share that with each other so the child isn’t confused with the changing boundaries or lack there of.)

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to babysit in dozens of homes.  I have been able to watch godly (still imperfect) parents striving to raise their children in the Lord.  While many taught me wonderful tips and parenting lessons, there were other homes that showed me what not to do.  I can tell you that the most important thing I realized over those years was the significance of consistency in parenting.  I tried my best not to watch in a judgmental way, but simply to make the most of my time before starting a family, learning from the good and the bad. 

If we teach our kids that they can have anything they want and do not create boundaries, then it poses a major problem when they begin to interact with the outside world.  I feel sorry for their first teacher who has to teach them the difference between play time and desk time.  (Thank you Teachers- I’m sure you put up with a lot because of our parenting mistakes!)  Or who helps your child understand they can’t run freely and need to stay in line in order to organize all the children in the class?  If your child has never been told “no”, how will they respond when they do not make the team or pass their driver’s permit?  The real world is not that easy.  Your child will have to be told “no” in this world and given boundaries by society, most importantly, for their safety.  If you cushion every area of the home and put away every fragile “no touch” item, how will they learn? 

(to be continued...)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dirt & Worms for Dinner

John Ryman enjoying some dirt & worms!  (aka spaghetti noodles and black beans)

This boy sure loves eating his big boy food!  I've found that if I wait to season our food until after it's cooked, then I can set aside a little of our dinner for John Ryman.  It encourages us to eat healthy and joins JR in on the family dinner.  Black beans are perfect- just give each one a little smoosh and they are great for his two teeth.  Peaches & bananas are easy for him to bite into and he is even getting used to the texture of quinoa.  Zucchini and squash steam quickly and make for a simple side we all enjoy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest Blogging

Head on over to my dad's blog {HERE} to read my guest post for today at Faithful Families.
And be sure to check back next week for a special giveaway :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fingerprints & Messes

There might be a few more toys on the floor and fingerprints all over the fridge, but it is so worth it!  I love seeing the joy on his face when he finds a new drawer that he can open or when he realizes he can pull up on the fridge all by himself.  So many new adventures and tricks!  What a blessing to be his mommy and see him learn each day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Swings & Farmer's Market

 It was such a beautiful morning!  We drove up to the Keller Farmer's Market for some peaches and did a little swinging at the park afterwards.  JR sure loved his first swing experience.  He didn't make any noise at first (no squeals or laughing) just eyes wide and mouth wide open in a huge grin.

Happy September!  Praise the Lord that cooler weather, boots and pumpkin spice lattes are in the near future.