Day 304- Monday Meditation

Meeting with the President every morning

"Come to Me and listen! Attune yourself to My voice, and receive my richest blessing. Marvel at the wonder of communing with the Creator of the universe while sitting in the comfort of your home. Kings who reign on earth tend to make themselves inaccessible; ordinary people almost never gain an audience with them. Even dignitaries must plow through red tape and protocol in order to speak with royalty.
Though I am King of the universe, I am totally accessible to you. I am with you wherever you are. Nothing can separate you from My Presence! When I cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This opened the way for you to meet Me face to Face with no need of protocol or priests. I, the King of kings, am your constant Companion."
Sarah Young

Though I may never meet the President of the United States or the Prime Minister of Great Britain or any other major world leader, I do get to speak with the King of kings every day. It may sound "corny" to say this, but only because it has been said so many times. Christianity speaks the amazing truth that although we don't deserve it, by grace, GOD comes to dwell with us and within us if we invite him into our lives.


Day 303- 13 months

My dear Caleb is now 13 months old! (pictured holding his dear "buddies")Dear Caleb,
You are getting SO big. You are becoming more of a boy and less of a baby everyday. You love exploring your environment and are becoming more opinionated about how you want your life run. You walk everywhere now, but still need us to hold your hand on uneven surfaces, stairs, or to go a long way. Your favorite toys are your ball, your popping ball game, your car track, books, legos, and shapes puzzle. You also like refridgerator magnets and anything we don't want you to get into. Your bond to your "buddies" (cloth diapers used as a comfort item) has increased even more. You will walk to your room, simply to grab a few from the basket I put them in. You bring them back to the living room and sigh in delight as you rest for a few minutes hugging them on the floor with your thumb in your mouth. You then go about your playing with a trip back to hug your buddies every once in a while. It's really cute now, but let's just hope you don't love them this much at 10 years old :).
You are eating lots of table foods now and about 3/4 of your diet is table food. You especially like banana, grapes, peaches, bread, yogurt, cheese, steak, black beans, green beans, and crackers. We supplement your diet with some stage 3 and toddler foods to make sure you are getting enough veggies and protein. You are starting to use a spoon and fork with help and you've been independent with your sippy for a while now. Eating all this food is certainly helped out by the fact you now have 8 1/2 teeth (1/2 a molar!)
You wear size 3 diapers and size 12 month-18 month clothes. You say "da" for dog and say "dada" with meaning now. You are babbling a lot more, so I think you're really getting ready to start talking. You follow simple commands and mostly respond to "stop." I realized that I use the sign and word for stop a little too much when you throw food off of your highchair because you started throwing food, then signing "stop." haha.
I am loving this stage. I love going to the park with you or seeing you interact with other toddlers at library time. I love hearing your laugh many times a day. My love for you is teaching me a lot about God's love for his children. I hope that I can be part of teaching you about the grace, forgiveness, joy, and love that is found in Jesus.


Day 302- Baked Tortellini

I made Baked Tortellini for dinner a few nights ago. It was SO yummy. I forgot to take a pic of it and before I knew it, we had eaten all the leftovers. Here's a pic of a little different version.

This is the recipe that I used:
1/2 c. Chopped onion (didn't use because Al is allergic)
1 t. Olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 9 oz packages of refrigerated tortellini (I used spinach tortellini)
1 jar Alfredo sauce (I used sun-dried tomato Alfredo)
1 c. Cubed cooked chicken (I used 1 shredded rotisserie chicken breast)
1 c. Milk
1 c. Water
1 c. Frozen peas
1/4 t. Black pepper
2 T. Fresh basil or 1 t. Dried basil (I also added 2T. Pesto)
1/4 c. Grated fresh parmesan cheese
2 T. Butter, melted
1. C. Bread crumbs (I used panko)

Preheat oven to 400. Heat oil and add onion/garlic in large skillet. Cook until tender. Stir in pasta sauce, tortellini, chicken, milk, water, peas, and pepper. Heat until mixture comes to a boil; remove from heat and add basil.
Meanwhile, for crumb topping, mix melted butter, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese together.
Spoon pasta mixture into 9x13 baking dish. Add crumb topping evenly over surface. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until edges are bubbly and top is golden brown.

The great thing about this recipe is that I think it could be adapted to use red sauce or ground beef or any vegetables you have laying around.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Day 290- my anxious heart

Sometimes I am an anxiety glutton. I pull worry into me so it even becomes infused in my personality. I dwell in the possibilities of the future. I live as a practical deist, forgetting that God is present with me now and will be just as near each future hour. Lord, help me to consider YOU as the greatest part of my present and future, with all situations and decisions as secondary.

"Anxiety is the result of envisioning the future without Me. So the best defense against worry is staying in communication with Me. When you turn your thoughts toward Me, you can think much more positively. Remember to listen, as well as to speak, making your thoughts a dialogue with Me.
If you must consider upcoming events, follow these rules: 1) do not linger in the future, because anxieties sprout up like mushrooms when you wander there. 2) remember the promise of My continued Presence; include Me in any imagery that comes to mind. This mental discipline does not come easily, because you are accustomed to being god of your fantasies. However, the reality of My Presence with you, now and forevermore, outshines any fantasy you could ever imagine."
Sarah Young

Luke 12:22-26
"Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: they do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single day to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"

Ephesians 3:20-21
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen."


Day 287- Favs of the Week

Favs of the week include:
Sleepytime Vanilla
Love this tea! It's a yummy spin on the "classic" sleepy-time tea. I don't know what it is about fall, but a cup of tea before bed does a body good.

Neti Pot
I used to be a skeptic because I couldn't get the water to run through my nose. Come to find out it's because my sinuses were so clogged it couldn't get through! tmi? Since I was sick last week and have been fighting drainage and sinus-yuck since, I have been trying to neti-pot 1-2 times each day. I feel SO much better afterwards. Yes, it's a weird sensation, but I totally recommend it. I even watched a video on WedMD called, "The Truth about Neti-Pots." I was sure they would bash neti-pots and say they only had a placebo-effect. But no, they basically said neti-pots are amazing and have even been shown to be as effective as antibiotics in some studies! Thankfuls...
336. having lattes with mamas and babies yesterday morning
337. a MOPS mom playdate
338. Caleb can down sign "all done"
339. finally having groceries again
340. finally mopping the kitchen and foyer
341. finally having clean laundry again (sensing a theme?!)
342. Grandma Hunt is coming today
343. it's almost the weekend
344. a groupon for My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
345. my fall wreath


Day 286- Couponing

No, I haven't been couponing... I NEED COUPONING HELP!

I watched that show "Extreme Couponing" a couple of times and now I feel guilty every time I go shopping! How do those ladies do it? It must be addicting to get paid for taking $800 worth of groceries out of a store!
I have been more brand/ingredient conscious since having a child, so our bill has gone up, not to mention that KC groceries are more expensive than Denver's. (Who would have thought!?) I follow a couple of couponing blogs, but thus far they have only served to make me feel guilty as well. I think the main problem is that couponing is the FULL TIME JOB of these ladies (or at least part time job). I have to remind myself that I make more money in my part time job than saving a couple hundred in groceries each month (maybe?! some of those ladies are crazy good!) I wish there was a way to do couponing 1/2 way. I feel like you either have to go all in or just pay full price. (Now I am definitely a budget shopper- Aldi, store brands, etc, just don't have enough time to shop all the store sales and find coupons to match). I guess in the mean time I'll keep brainstorming ways to reduce my grocery budget. I'd be curious what all you fellow bloggers do to reduce your monthly grocery bill. Especially if you're too busy to create an excel spreadsheet from every store in town that corresponds to coupons in your larger than life coupon binder!

331. having a clean house
332. having a charged camera
333. having time to blog
334. having a sweet aka "awesome" husband
335. having a child that is healthy enough to learn how to climb on top of things :)


Day 281- Jackson Paul Shelton!

Welcome to the world, Jackson Paul Shelton! I hope the Sheltons don't mind me posting a couple of pics, but I'm so excited for this little guy to be here! He's gonna have some great parents and a great little friend named Caleb! I'm so happy that both mom and baby are healthy!

It just brings back so many memories of about a year ago when Caleb entered the world! He was so little (though still over a pound bigger than Jackson!)

Oh those lovely Billi-lights

He was so precious and gets cuter by the day! By the way, he can do the motions to Wheels on the Bus! We've got to get it on video!

321. That all 3 Sheltons are healthy!
322. To have a dear friend enter the world of motherhood with me!
323. To be feeling much better
324. For the weekend
325. To get to hold baby Jackson this morning
326. For the sentiment that I do, in fact, want to have another baby (eventually)
327. That I only have a couple of notes to write this weekend
328. For brunch at First Watch after our hospital visit
329. Family time at the park
330. Bear Creek soup mix


Day 277- In and Out

Caleb's new favorite thing to do is anything "in and out." He puts items in a bucket, then dumps them out. He slides objects through a slit in the couch footrest over and over. Recently, he discovered HE can go in and out.

In and out of the toy trunkIn and out of the kitchen cabinet

311. Chick-fil-a
312. Skinny Vanilla Lattes
313. Mums
314. Fall decorations
315. HGTV
316. that Sarah is coming back from Sierra Leone soon!
317. Baby Shelton is coming soon!
318. a warm fall
319. yellow and red leaves
320. getting to go to our 5 year JBU reunion!


Day 275- ABC's of me

ABC's of ME!
My friend, Sarah, tagged me a long time ago to do this meme!  I think I did one earlier this year, but I guess I'll do one again!

So here we go:
{a} age: 27
{b} bed size: king, love it!
{c} chore you hate: well... Most, but I really hate mopping and putting away clothes
{d} dogs: we used to have Nigel, but he lives with his "grandparents" now, since we didn't want to move with him (he is one spoiled pup now living on the farm!)
{e} essential start to your day: 9 hours of sleep (ha) and a hot shower
{f} favorite color: green
{g} gold or silver: Silver
{h} height: 5'7"
{i} instruments you play: used to play the flute and guitar, not so much anymore
{j} job title: Pediatric Physical Therapist
{k} kids: Caleb David, born 9/26/2010
{l} live: Prairie Village, KS
{m} main article of clothing: athletic clothes for work, jeans at home
{n} nicknames: Susie, Suse, Susie boosie, Bookie
{o} overnight hospital stays: dehydration as a baby, Caleb's birth @ 26
{p} pet peeve: hmmm... people who are intentionally mean
{q} quote: "The way we live our days is the way we live our lives."
{r} righty or lefty: righty
{s} siblings: Stephanie (25), Stacy (20)
{t} time you wake up: around 7 most days
{u} university attended: John Brown University for undergrad and Regis University for grad
{v} vegetables you dislike: like most, not super fond of raw onions or brussel sprouts
{w} what makes you run late: sleeping too long
{x} x-rays: dental
{y} yummy food: anything chocolate
{z} zoo animal: love the monkeys and polar bears

I tag Stephanie, Crystal, and Krista

Day 275- Sick :(

So, I'm sick. It was bound to happen at some point. I mean, I have a son going to daycare and I work with children and I just moved to a new state with new germs. I just so happen to be a horrible sick person. I wallow and despair. I rely on Al too much (aka ask him to do everything). And to make things worse, I'm not hugely sympathetic when others are sick. (I've got some things to work on!) I'm going to have to grow up one of these days when I have multiple children running around the house and Al is gone to work. But for now...

301. to have a caring husband who will take care of me when I'm not feeling well
302. that I have a good friend who offered to bring soup and dinner
303. kleenex.
304. netipot.
305. sinus medicine.
306. Caleb slept in some this morning (although he woke up again in the middle of the night. we've got to figure that boy out!)
307. yummy oranges
308. a warm robe (since our house is only 66 right now)
309. hot tea
310. chicken and dumpling soup (so much better than chicken noodle!)