Friday, April 29, 2011

Resurrection Sunday Recap

It’s seems almost too late to be doing this, but I thought I’d share a little of our Easter with you on this Fresh Friday. 

Let me just say up front that I am not anti eggs, bunnies, and candy when it comes Easter.  I’ve had several people over the last month ask (very respectfully) if we “do” those sorts of things in our family.  The answer is yes… sort of.  Yes, I have window clings on our deck sliders that have bunnies, flowers, and eggs all over.  Yes, at Easter dinner each person had a little treat bag full of Easter candy.  Yes, Jadon did have an Easter basket (ever since his first Easter at 10 days old!).  We did all that. 

Some of you reading this may be from the perspective that there’s no harm in placing an emphasis on the Easter bunny.  (We don’t.)  Others of you may be from the perspective that if it’s not directly related to Christ and the cross then it shouldn’t be celebrated with Easter.  The bottom line for my husband and me is this: Above all else, the emphasis of Easter must be the cross and nothing should else should distract from that truth.  Our desire is to see our son anticipate celebrating the resurrection of our Savior more than what the Easter bunny brought him.

This is ideal for us, but it isn’t easy; and to be honest I had a very difficult time with this leading up to Easter.  How do I get my two year old to understand that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the price for his sins and then conquered death by rising again on the third day?  How do I get him to understand that this was significant because Christ made the way possible for us to have a relationship with God, to be called a child of God, to be declared righteous in God’s eyes?  Part of me wondered how worthwhile it would even be at this point.  Maybe I should just worry about this next year… Or the year after?  It was then that I realized a couple of things. 

The first thing that I realized was that God is in ultimately in control of my son’s heart and mind.  There’s no magic age at which my husband and I should make a more conscience effort to share the gospel with our son.  In Matthew 19, when Jesus called the children unto him, Scripture doesn’t give any indication as to how old these children were.  Their age was apparently insignificant.  Their knowing Christ was extremely significant.  So, I’ll do my best to share Christ with my son, even at his young age.

The second thing I realized was that God can (and did) use these family moments of celebrating all that Christ accomplished through his death and resurrection (and the hope of his return!) to edify Mom and Dad.  We all need be reminded of and relish in the work of the cross.  It’s so amazing that we should never be too grown up to think, talk, or thank God for it!

That said, I don’t have an incredible list of amazingly creative things that we did to celebrate Easter as a family.  In fact… I really only have one thing.  Yup.  That’s it.  On Saturday evening (the day before Easter), the three of us gathered up a recipe, baking ingredients, and a Bible and made Resurrection Cookies together.  If you’ve never made these before you’re not missing out on the best cookie you’ve ever had, but you are missing out on a cross-centered family moment.  With each ingredient we placed in the bowl, we read Scripture and discussed the significance of Christ's resurrection.  Once the cookies are placed in the oven, the door is closed and the oven is turned off.  The “tomb” is sealed with tape and we wait until morning to open the door to see the surprise that we have in store for us.  As fun as all this was, the best part was waking up on Resurrection Sunday to hear my son saying “tomb” (and of course “cookies”).  Upon going downstairs, he immediately ran to the oven.  I know he mostly wanted the cookies, but to me it was evidence of his beginning to understand something deeper.  We weren’t just talking about cookies.  We were talking about Christ. 

Eater morning... waiting for our Resurrection cookies
The finished product!
What a great way to start our Resurrection Sunday!
The rest of our Resurrection Sunday was spent with our church family in the morning, and friends and family throughout the rest of the day.  It was a wonderful day of rejoicing in Christ’s act of redemption on the cross.  I’m amazed by the love of my great Savior and all that he has given me.  

~ Carrie ~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2 Thumbs Up

This week's 2 Thumbs Up goes right along with the organizing theme I seem to have going on this week.  (I must really be craving more order to my life!)  While looking through the A Bowl Full of Lemons blog I came across a link for Cozi.

It was a recommended family organization site, so I thought I'd check it out.  We've used it for 2 weeks now, and let me just say... We LOVE it!  I almost don't even know where to begin!

What is Cozi?  According to their site, "Cozi is a free web service that helps families manage crazy schedules, track shopping and to do lists, organize household chores, stay in communication and share memories—all in one place."  

What do we use it for?  There are a bunch of tools on the Cozi site, but the ones that we use are the calendar (which can be synced with Outlook and other online calendars), to do lists (which have many options... like for each family member, or for home and for work, or an actual Hunny-Do list!), and shopping lists for specific stores.  

the Cozi calendar feature

What is my favorite feature?  There are a lot to choose from, but I think my favorite feature is the app for the iphone or droid.  We don't have an iphone, but we do have an ipod.  The ability to access my shopping and to do lists wherever I am, including checking off items as I'm in the store has been wonderful!

Why use Cozi?  Whether you have teenagers in your home or it's just you and your hubby (or even singles/students), you can benefit from Cozi.  If you want to be more organized, plan ahead, and accomplish more goals, Cozi is a great way to help you out. 

I am in no way benefiting from sharing this info with you.  I've just enjoyed it so much I wanted to spread the news!  What's the harm in trying it out?  It's free!  Take a look!

~ Carrie ~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

21 Day Organizing Challenge - Week 1

It feels good to say that the first 7 days of the 21 Day Organizing Challenge (from the Bowl Full of Lemons blog) is complete.  To be honest, by Friday I was having second thoughts about doing this - particularly my timing in all of this (right before Easter... which I was hosting).  Now I can easily say that I'm glad I started it, and I'm now excited to share some of the results from my first week.  

Day 1 - Junk Drawer


This drawer was actually recently tackled by my husband (a month or two ago).  He was a little put-out that I was re-cleaning it, but I told him that I hadn't gone through it yet.  I was able to get remove a bunch of my stuff that was in there (old baby things of Jadon's, a few small decorative things that I've not made a decision on where to put, and some other odds and ends).  This was a good place for me to start - and took all of 10 minutes to do!

Day 2 - Computer Desk

 I LOVE my desk.  It's a Craig's List find and probably over 100 years old.  The two things that I love most about this desk are 1) all the compartments and drawers (for staying organized) and 2) the slant front (I can close it and have everything out of sight... even my laptop!).  Unfortunately my desk had become cluttered with old lists, receipts, coupons, and just other junk!  I think the after came out pretty good!  I admit that I did not tackle the drawers underneath it because in all honesty, I completely forgot!  Maybe I'll get to that this week!  
Day 3 - Tupperware Cabinet

My tupperware wasn't too bad.  I love the Rubbermaid containers I have.  Not sure exactly what they are called, but all the lids snap together for easy organization.  I would definitely recommend them, if I remembered what they were called... :)

BEFORE (minus a couple items)
AFTER (with everything)

 Not a whole lot to see here, thankfully.  But there are some major trouble spots coming (especially next week), so stay with me!

Day 4 - Linen Closet

So, the story of my linen closet is that I was very excited to finally have a storage area solely devoted to sheets, towels, extra bedding, and toiletry items.  So, I started out organized (the bones are there), but have not kept up with it very well.  

I like to stock up on extra toiletry and medical supplies when I see a good deal... unfortunately some of those things have a shelf life, so I threw out several things that I forgot I even had.  I packed away tons of baby shampoos, lotions, and body washes that were being stored in this closet.  I also found a couple pillowcases that I thought we had lost somewhere.  Woohoo!  Needless to say, I think the space is now being better used. 

Day 5 - Under Kitchen Sink

BEFORE - Very cluttered... no established place for anything
AFTER - Organized
Oh, under the sink.  Who really looks under there anyway?  My only real strategy here was to put the things that I use most often closest to the front.  The bin contains extras (like dish soap, dish scrubber, and dusters) and smaller items that often get lost under the sink.  

Day 6 - Dresser Drawers

I had to modify this day.  We keep our dressers pretty well organized and often sort through and give away clothing we no longer wear.  So, I was trying to figure out what to do instead and immediately thought of our closets - but that is day 19!  So, I decided to tackle the guest room closet.  This closet stores out-of-season jackets, irons, and ironing boards.  It also is a convenient area to throw stuff from Jadon's room that needs to be packed up and brought to the attic (clothes and toys he's outgrown).  There were some more things on the left, but I couldn't get that in the picture.


 Day 7 - The Pantry

This was definitely my biggest challenge of the week.  This pantry has been a project since we moved in!  It's better now, but still not done.  My hubby has promised that in the very near future he will build me a shelf just below where the spices are located.  (Maybe tomorrow?)  For now, it is a lot better!

That's all until next week!  Here's what this week's list looks like:

·              Day 8 – Coat Closet
·              Day 9 – Toy Organization
·              Day 10 – Laundry Room
·              Day 11 – The Freezer
·              Day 12 – Spice Cabinet
·              Day 13 – Medicine Cabinet
·              Day 14 – Under Bathroom Sink

~ Carrie ~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

“Come People of the Risen King”

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”  They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’?  We don’t understand what he is saying.”

Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I mean when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?  Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.  You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that child is born into the world.  So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.  In that day you will no longer ask me anything.  Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

“Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.  In that day you will ask in my name.  I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.  No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech.  Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions.  This makes us believe that you came from God.”

“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied.  “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home.  You will leave me all alone.  Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

John 16: 16-33

I hope your Resurrection Sunday was a day of remembrance, rejoicing, and relationship with our Risen Savior!  Whether your “joy is morning sun” or if you are “weeping through the night… His perfect love will never change, and His mercies never cease”.  Continue celebrating the hope and peace of our Risen King each and every day. 

~ Carrie ~

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Messy...

It's been yet another exciting, busy week in our household - full of traveling, visits with family members, music, ice cream, etc.  We've had a lot of fun together.

This week has brought with it two milestones in child-rearing - one good and one not so good.  I'll share the bad news first.  Jadon's newest sentence is (drum roll please...): "Are we there yet, Mummy?"  I lost track of the number of times we heard this on our way home Thursday... and he slept for three quarters of the ride!  We've since heard this question every time we go for a ride!  Unfortunately I'm thinking this phase isn't going to pass any time soon...

So now here is the good news.  I think Jadon's ready for potty training, mostly because he's been going on the potty of his own free will (more than in his diaper) for the past 2 days.  It's both exciting and scary for me.  I dread having to clean up wet and/or soiled clothes, furniture, or floors.  We'll see how it goes.  We're thinking we'll officially begin next week, so any prayers offered up on our behalf would be much appreciated!

Leading up to Easter, I have not shared any of what our family does or will do to celebrate Easter this year.  The reason is that we're still trying to figure this out!  This weekend we'll be trying a few things out, so you can be sure that I'll be blogging about what we did and thoughts on how it all went.  For now, I hope you have had a reflective Good Friday, and with me are looking forward to Resurrection Sunday!  Have a wonderful Easter!  

~ Carrie ~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2 Thumbs Up

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written:

   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
   the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law?  Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.  Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:18-31