Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites: How He Loves

When was the last time that you were just completely overwhelmed by God's love? When I listen, and I mean really listen, to this song I realize just how endless, awesome, and true God's love for us is. It also hits me just how short my love falls. Without realizing it, sometimes my love is conditional. I enjoy serving others, but am I doing so out of the love in my heart? Or am I acting the martyr so I can hold it over others' heads? Am I serving God through others or serving my own ego to build myself up?

Songs like this one aren't just enjoyable to listen to but also thought-provoking and soul-searching. I encourage to you listen to the music and lyrics with an open heart and let God show you how He loves you. 

When you love as He does you're more open to receiving His love.  

David Crowder Band - How He Loves 

What songs move you?
Have a happy Friday and a great weekend!

God Bless,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Anything Can Happen Thursday: America's Favorite Pastime

My husband and I are baseball fans. Growing up I loved watching the Seattle Mariners every summer. Anyone remember the Kingdome? Not even pieces of the roof falling during the game kept my family and I away. Hence, why it was torn down. My husband on the other hand played baseball growing up and is an avid fan of all things baseball. We have a chest of all his Mariners memorabilia and knick knacks in our closet. So for us it was only fitting that when Kacie and her family invited us to go to a Tacoma Rainiers game, we had to go! And thankfully we made it to their last home stand of the season.

We were so excited to take Little Man to his very first baseball game. We even bought him his very first baseball hat. Thankfully, even with his 90th percentile noggin, he still has room to grow in it. Even though Little Man did not get to enjoy ball park food (hot dogs and garlic fries, YUM) and didn't understand what in the world was going on, it was still great to take our son to something we enjoy so much. I can't wait till he is old enough to take part in such an fun experience

And who doesn't love spending time with great friends!? Even though we didn't know who was winning or losing during the game, we had a blast. Despite the fact that Little James and June were completely off schedule for their night time routines, we had a lot of fun. I love that we will have these memories to tell our kiddos about when they are older.

Are you a baseball fan?
What are your favorite ball park foods?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What We Made Wednesday: Spicing It Up!

I absolutely LOVE to bake! There's just something about mixing together a bunch of little things to create a big delicious masterpiece. Of course, not all of my creations turn out, but I'm not that picky when it comes to baked items. As long as it's sweet, it's my kind of treat!

With a little one in the house now, I haven't had much time to cook and bake things from scratch. I've resorted to... *gulp*...boxed mixes. I know I know. Every avid baker out there just cringed! But hey, if using a box means I can satisfy my sweet tooth AND have time to play with my little girl, then count me in!
So if you're looking for a quick and easy way to spice up a box of cake or muffin mix, here's your answer: Cream cheese! Everyone likes cream cheese, right? 

Please excuse the sloppy pouring job. Prepare whatever cake/muffin mix you like according to the package (I chose banana bread, but there are tons of yummy choices out there!). Then just fill each cup halfway, add a small slice of cream cheese, then pour just enough mix to cover the cream cheese. Bake muffins according to the package and you end up with this: 

Warm, yummy muffins with the perfect surprise inside! Enjoy! 

What's your favorite dessert to make? 
How do you spice up boring recipes? 

God Bless, 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Testament Tuesday: Restoration

Sometimes life gets busy. You start to feel worn and tired. Sometimes the things that the Lord has put on your heart to do become chores or tasks instead of something to do joyfully. No matter what it may be whether it is your job, serving your spouse, taking care of your child, working out, or anything at all. Friends, can I invite you to restore yourself?

I love that this verse tells us so simply to restore ourselves to the joy of salvation. Can you remember when you first came to know the Lord? For me it was the most joyful thing that has ever happened to me! God is so good that He sent his Son to die for me. Through Him I am set free from the bondage of sin. Wow. I remember this joy and it is by God's grace and redemption that I can do the things He has set for me to do. Bringing myself back to this moment of joy allows and encourages me to carry on, no matter what the task is, to do it with a spirit of joy.

However, I have to be willing. I can think about and have this restored sense of joy in the Lord. If I am not willing to to let it show in my life then it becomes fruitless. But why hold the wonderful life the Lord has set for me back? Fear. Insecurity. Anxiety. All these can get in the way but as long as I am willing, God can work with me and allow me to be restored back to the joy of His love for me.

LORD, I pray that today we can be restored. Allow us to remember the things you have put in our hearts and the joy you have given us. I pray that we have a willing spirit to change our attitudes and actions so we can do all things for your glory. Praise you for your restoration! In your holy Name, AMEN.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Mommy Monday: Spying On Your Baby

Any helicopter moms out there? Yeah, I hear you. I AM you. I never thought I'd be the mom who checked on her baby every time she heard the slightest sound...but here I am. So thank you technology for making this so much easier to do. Instead of running up the stairs every 5 minutes, I can just press a button on the video monitor.

My husband and I decided to go with the video monitor over the sound monitor for multiple reasons. Being able to see and hear her whenever she's in another room puts our minds at ease a lot more than just sound can. Also, when she's older and is able to play in her room by herself, we'll be able to step away and still see her. Some video monitors are able to scan between multiple cameras, so we can just add a camera in another room when if we decide to have more kiddos.

I'm blessed to know many "Minimalist Moms" who are able to use sound monitors or even no monitors. I think my anxiety level went up just writing that. I applaud you wholeheartedly for being that secure. I one day hope to be more like you. Unfortunately, today is not that day.

The first month after we brought Baby Girl home I think the video monitor got used a total of twice, just to test it out. We were hardly ever in separate rooms. And when we were, someone was watching her. Once she started sleeping in her crib, the monitor really started to earn it's keep around here. It has become my newest accessory.

Let me tell you that I've gotten loads better at not freaking out at every sound I hear through the monitor. I think being able to quickly look at her has really helped. I still check it every time I wake up at night and maybe I still can't leave a room without it. But I promise, I've come a long way. 

What kind of baby monitor do you use?
Do you find yourself attached to it?

God Bless,

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites: What's Up Moms?

YouTube is pretty awesome. It came in handy especially during those times in college where I needed a "study break" with some cute little animals that did funny things. Now being a mommy, I like to go to YouTube and look at product reviews for James as well as look for fun DIY projects and recipes.

While pregnant with my little guy, I came across a YouTube channel called, What's Up Moms. It has humor, DIY projects, recipes, and all things moms need in just a few short minutes of video. And when all you have is a few minutes to spare, these videos are perfect.

The three moms on this channel are all women you can relate to and are so welcoming. Looking for some comic relief after a hard day? The funny and talented Elle has that for you. Need a new recipe for your little ones to try? Meg who is very sweet, has quick and easy meals for you to prepare. Got your little one down for a nap and have time for a DIY? Brooke who is very creative and fun to watch will show you how to craft in a snap. 

Want to see for yourself? Here is one of my favorite videos from this channel! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite YouTube channel or video? Please share! We'd love to watch!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Anything Can Happen Thursday: Granny Comes to Town

Living away from family can be really hard, especially when you have kids. I grew up down the street from my grandparents and I probably have more memories with them than anyone else. One of the good and bad things about moving a lot is we might always live far away from our extended families. On the plus side, this means we get to have really awesome visits! This past week, Hubby's mom got to stay with us. June just loves her Granny! We went on lots of adventures and she got to experience our day-to-day routine. We were definitely sad to see her go, but we can't wait till her next visit! Here are some highlights of her time in the Pacific Northwest:

Fun times at the park. 

June is less than amused with your puny slide. 

Play time with our friend, James. 

Forced friendship.

Baby's first tricycle!

Super yummy s'mores!

Hubs and I even got to go on a date that
included kayaking, pool, and pizza!

Happy *42nd* birthday, Granny! ;)

Granny helps us cope with yucky shots.

Happy 6 month birthday, Baby Girl!

One last bike ride before Granny leaves. 

Do you live near family?
What kinds of things do you do when family visits?

God Bless,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What We Made Wednesday: Two Are Better Than One

Sometimes Kacie and I think so much alike. A few weeks ago I started playing around with making sensory bottles for my little guy and coincidentally Kacie was making some for Little June. I loved this idea from Pinterest and Little James is at the age where I thought he might start enjoying them.
I had made mine out of 2 ounce Medela bottles Little Man used to drink out of as a newborn. In them I put anything that would make an interesting noise when he shook them. I found some pasta, bendy straws, and small binder clips. Little Man was not really interested in shaking them and making noise but rather chewing on the bottles themselves. (He is in major teething mode right now!) And they really weren't visually appealing. Fail.

Now Kacie’s on the other hand, where a lot nicer. She used Voss brand water bottles and made very visually appealing discovery bottles. One had colored rice and toothpicks and another had colored water with glitter and beads. In one word, they were awesome. There was one problem though, the cap on these bottles were not very durable and one broke and leaked. The bottles were also a little big for our kiddos' little hands.

Well let’s just say we were both at square one. I wanted something affordable that my son could play with and something that would appeal to him. And who doesn't love the huge grin your baby gets on their face when you give them something fun, especially since you made it!  So how do we make a better discovery bottle?
The Medela bottles were perfect for little hands and the caps were durable enough to keep anything from escaping. Kacie had some beads and made some fun colored rice. Put those two together and you get some pretty neat looking sensory toys for Little James and June.

Even though both of our designs had flaws, we took what worked well in our initial idea for discovery bottles and put them together. What I thought might be a complete fail of a project turned out to be a success. Two brains are definitely better than one!

Have you ever done something that failed and then talked to a friend and it ended up working out? 
Do you have a friend who thinks a lot like you?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Testament Tuesday: Patience

Genesis 29:20
So Jacob worked for Laban seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed like just a few days to him because he loved Rachel very much.

Do you know the story of Jacob and Rachel? Jacob went to Rachel's father and asked for her hand in marriage. Her father said that Jacob must work for him for seven years before he could marry her. Once the seven years were over, Rachel's father tricked Jacob and gave him Rachel's sister to marry. Jacob was upset but promised to work another seven years for Rachel. Is that not the epitome of true love and patience?! Jacob had great faith and trust in God to be able to wait patiently for 14 years to be with the woman he loved.

These days patience is unheard of. We are a "right now" society. "2 minutes to microwave something? Are you joking?" "Ugh. This page has been loading for like 30 seconds!" For me, it's commercials. They take forever!

So it's completely understandable that your jaw dropped when you heard Jacob waited 14 years for something, even if it was the love of his life. We forget that we're on God's schedule. And that's a wonderful thing! Do you know what kind of mess we'd be in if we controlled when things happen? I can't even fathom!

It's hard to just sit still and let God move. I'm a doer. I get things done. So when there's a problem, I'm ready to jump in and handle everything myself. But that's just not possible. Some miracles require waiting because that's where He does great things. In the end you'll learn that God's timing was perfect after all.

Maybe you're waiting for that little blue plus sign on a pregnancy test (we've been there!), some test results, or even a phone call. Worrying will only cause more damage. And what does worrying do anyway but raise your blood pressure? I always find that I can handle a situation (good or bad) better if I go into it calmly and trusting in God's plan. After all, He put me there, in that moment, to show me something. And I'd rather be open to His lesson than too focused on my fears to see it.

What are you patiently (or not-so-patiently) waiting on?

We definitely don't have all the answers, but we know Someone who does. Please feel free to come to us with anything, be it a question, prayer request, or praise. We'd love to hear how God is moving in your life. 

God Bless,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mommy Monday: Meet Baby Jack

Meet baby Jack. He is just all smiles and as sweet as can be. Isn’t he just a doll!

Always by Jack’s side are his parents, Kyle and Robyn Kramer. Kyle is in the USAF. Robyn teaches yoga. I met Robyn at a yoga class on base in Oklahoma. (It was awesome despite the fact that I looked the least bit as graceful as Robyn did doing yoga!)

Jack was born on March 11, 2014. He entered the world crying loud and strong but had low oxygen levels so new parents Kyle and Robyn had to wait 30 minutes to hold him and even then were only able to hold him for a few minutes before he was sent to the NICU until he was stable. It was during their time in the NICU they were told Jack has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), also known as half a heart. Jack then had to be flown to another hospital 3 hours away in Birmingham, AL to be treated while Robyn and Kyle followed by car.
Flash forward to today and this sweet little boy is finally home after a second surgery in Boston. Being only 5 months old, Jack has spent more time in the hospital than at home. Because of this he is going through physical therapy since he is behind physically but otherwise is a strong, playful, and happy little guy! He surely brings joy to everyone who sees his sweet smile.
During his life, Jack will have to go through different surgeries and procedures. He had his first surgery at 6 days old, just recently had his second one at 4 months old, will have another at 3 years old, and possibly a heart transplant in his 20-30s since the surgeries are not a permanent fix. He will also be undergoing another procedure in October to help the blood flow in one of his arteries.
Having a new baby is one of the most joyous and crazy times for new parents, Kacie and I know the feeling, we have little ones ourselves! Although, finding out that your child has a complex and rare heart defect is something no parent expects or imagines going through. What a strong family the Kramer family is to go through all of this!
As you can imagine, there is an emotional and financial toll with all this. We would love for you to join us in supporting this wonderful family. One way is through prayer. Prayers for strength to get through all these obstacles, for Jack to stay in good health, and guidance for times where there may not be much. Also, if you feel led to support the Kramers financially they have a website set up through YouCaring (info below). While their insurance is more than generous, they still need help with food, lodging, and flights to Boston Children’s Hospital. However you choose to support the Kramers is invaluable and very much appreciated. A little goes a long way and means a lot.

Thank you for all the prayers and support for this family!

Want to learn more?
To read more about the Kramer Family please visit their YouCaring site CLICK HERE
To keep up with how Baby Jack is currently doing visit his Facebook page CLICK HERE.
To learn more about HLHS please CLICK HERE.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Gift Card Giveaway!

Congratulations to Ashley Baatz-Huber!
June had fun drawing the winner. Ashley, we'll be in contact with you about your gift card choice. 
We hope you all have a great weekend! God Bless! 

Friday Favorites: Prayer Journal

My Prayer Journal

It has always been a goal of mine to have a strong prayer life. I love how coming to God in reverence and praise brings me close to Him. However, I have always struggled with being able to maintain a strong prayer life. I would go through a good few weeks of prayer and then miss one day and then fall behind for a few weeks. I repeated this month after month and I didn't feel very confident in my ability to reach my prayer goals and be a prayer warrior.

I put becoming a prayer warrior on the back burner because I was so discouraged. Then one day my husband and I were going through a bin of his old high school belongings. In it I found a prayer journal. It has sections for prayer requests, praises, and scripture. I saw it and thought, "That is what I need!" Now I am one of those people who love to collect cute little journals, notebooks, and planners so I found myself an excuse to add to my collection. I primarily searched Amazon and Etsy and ended up finding the perfect one from Val Marie Paper and it is now my favorite companion in prayer. Here is why:

  • It simplifies my prayer life. Sometimes I just tend to babble and rant. This prayer journal has different untitled and titled sections (a few examples are the world, the nation, my loves, my family). Along with having specific sections to pray about, it is separated in to months. At the end of each month there is room to write scripture and answered prayers.
  • It keeps me focused. I love having a place where my prayers are already written out. I am ready to be transparent and open to the Lord without having to think so much about what exactly needs prayer for.
  • I am motivated. Whenever someone asks for prayers or I think of something I would like to pray for, I reach for my journal. It is nice to have a place where everything I want to confide and surrender to the Lord is in one place.
Who would have thought that something so simple would help me in my prayer life? 

What kind of tools do you use to help you walk with the Lord?
Do you have goals for your spiritual life? Do you struggle at times in reaching those goals?

Please post a comment below if you feel led to so we can encourage each other!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Trusting Him

For our first Throwback Thursday, I decided to talk about the time I moved to Enid, America. Moving across the country was very uncomfortable for me because it meant leaving the familiarity of home, which I called the Pacific Northwest.

I was leaving behind all my friends, family, an amazing church, and Target. A very minor detail, but who doesn't like Target?! Would I ever find these things in the middle of America?

First of all, I am shy so making friends wasn't the easiest for me. Second, I was afraid I wouldn't get along with anyone, or I would be that one person that everyone hated. Lastly, it was going to take me a good couple months to unpack so making friends wasn't an option. Although during this little pity party I was throwing myself, God decided to crash it and for good reason. I was making excuses.

These excuses of mine would only happen if I made them happen. God took hold of me and showed me that no matter where I am, life goes on. If I wanted to live a life for Him, I couldn't stay in the house all day and hide. What I needed was to step out in faith and not be afraid.

I trusted God to help me create a new life in Enid, America. I started going to spouse socials and meeting new friends. I eventually became a mentor spouse to help other new spouses get connected. I even started going to a Book Club where I met the most extraordinary women of God I have ever met. Quite frankly, I wouldn't have gotten through the most difficult time in my life without them.

Now I never want to think about what would've happen if I decided not to step out of my comfort zone and trust the Lord. Has it ever been a mistake to trust the Lord? Never!

Was there a time you trusted God and let Him take the reigns? How did it end up?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What We Made Wednesday: Doing Things the Hard Way

One of the things you'll quickly learn about me is I don't do things the easy way. What's the fun in that? I also tend to jump into things with both feet before thinking it through.
I'm the one who runs full speed into the water, whizzing right past the "DANGER: Sharks sighted. Swimmers use caution!" sign.
This post is the perfect example of that. I wanted to show you all something I made that really highlights my craftiness. I love sewing and I love creating things so why not start with a pair of baby sweatpants? Do I have a pattern? Nope. Have I ever made a clothing item before? Negative. Great, this will be perfect. Fast forward 4 hours later and I end up with this:

Isn't she adorable?

Honestly, that girl can pull off anything. Even the most ill-fitting sweatpants ever made.
The plus side to never doing things the easy way and making plenty of mistakes is I'm always learning. Will I try again? Youbetcha! The next pair might still not be perfect, but I can guarantee they'll be better than this pair. When I fail epically on a project, I love how it teaches me something about myself. Even when I get frustrated beyond words, I can still manage to push through and try again.
Well since I can't show you how to make the cutest sweatpants known to man (not yet anyway), I can show you what else I've been working on.
I love painting. Especially when stickers and tape are involved. Stickers and tape? Yup! Let me show you what I mean:

I just love my little girl's name.

You might think using stickers is cheating, but there's no way I'd be able to freehand letters that please my perfectionist nature. Ergo, stickers! Now before you say, "Kacie, I could whip up one of those in no time. Why are you showing me this?",  let me tell you that my "never do it the easy way" self struck again. I was so excited to get the letters on the board that I didn't think about future steps. Thus, ending up spending a profound amount of time doing this:

Should I have painted the board teal then put the letters on? Absolutely! Did I do that? Nope!
But as I said, I love painting with tape so this wasn't an all lose situation. Should you decide to do a similar project, please learn from my mistake! I know I will!
Luckily, the end product was worth all the frustration.

Sweet and simple.

I have a ton of other masking tape projects I can't wait to show you! (They all turned out wonderfully, unlike the sweatpants debacle).
I hope this inspired you to do a quick craft! I love getting the crafty juices flowing, even if it's just for a few minutes a day.

What will you make today?
Do you have any "sweatpants" stories?
Don't let the failed projects keep you down! Try again and I promise you'll learn something!

On a serious note, we would like to ask for your prayers for a mutual friend's family. Her mother just received a lung cancer diagnosis with a life expectancy of 2 months. Aggressive medical action is being taken and we are praying hard for recovery. God works amazing miracles and we pray that He moves in this woman's life. Please ask God to comfort this family in their time of suffering and confusion. Ask Him to put His healing hands on her lungs and their hearts. Thank you.

God Bless,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Testament Tuesday: Courage

While trying to find the perfect verse for our first Testament Tuesday, I came across Mark 5:36b:

"Don't be afraid; just believe."

Another translation says, "Don't listen to them, just trust Me." Jesus is the one speaking these words. It's so simple. "Just believe." So simple, yet it rings true in my life on so many levels. It takes courage to put your trust in God. It takes patience to wait on His timing.
It may not seem like it, but starting up a blog, business, or any new venture with a friend takes courage and trust. Jillianne and I are putting our trust in God that He will guide our words. As much as we'd like to think it's us who's in control of this new chapter in our lives, God is always in charge. It was Him who brought Jillianne and I together for what we believe is the purpose of sharing God with all of you. We hope that through our stories and ideas, your own relationship with God will be strengthened.

It's not always big life events like going to college, finding a job, getting married, and having babies that we need courage for. What about the little things? Getting out of bed on the day of a big exam, forgiving a friend or loved one when they've hurt you, or standing up for someone who doesn't have the power to do so themselves? God will give you the courage you need to complete whatever task lies before you; you need only ask.

What does God give you the courage to do?
We definitely don't have all the answers, but we know Someone who does. Please feel free to come to us with anything, be it a question, prayer request, or praise. We'd love to hear how God is moving in your life.

God Bless,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome Friends!

Welcome to the very first post for James and June! We are very blessed that you took the time to stop by! To get things rolling we’d like you to know a little bit about why we started this blog.

Soon after we each arrived to the Pacific Northwest, our husbands introduced us to each other. Having so much in common we became fast friends. We are both wives, first time mommies, love the Lord, and are passionate about creating things.

Not long after meeting, we knew we wanted to connect and share our lives with others. And what better way to do this than a blog! The Lord has put it on our hearts to express His love and the work He is doing in our lives.

As I'm sure you can guess, we named our blog after our beautiful children whose middle names are James and June. Aren't those the cutest names? We love the fact that their middle names start with the same letter! If you ask us, they're a match made in heaven! It was an obvious choice when it came to blog-naming. 

We will have a variety of topics to share including:
  • Mommy Mondays: The ups and downs of being mommies, days in the lives of raising little ones, and tales of triumph and learning.
  • Testament Tuesdays: Bible and Christian based book studies.
  • What We Made Wednesday: Stories and tutorials of recipes and crafts that we enjoy whether they turn out great or not so great.
  • Anything Can Happen Thursdays: Well…anything can happen! And a special Throwback Thursday on the second Thursday of every month.
  • Friday Favorites: We’ll review products, books, movies, blogs we love, and much more! Also, look for the occasional giveaway.
We always welcome feedback, so let the comments roll! Let us know what we can do to make your time here more enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to getting to know you.