Monday, October 31, 2011

Our little Copycat :)

A couple of days ago, we were sitting enjoying a family meal around the dinner table and chatting about life. (Let me preface this by saying that I ripped a hole in my favorite pair of jeans...SAD!) Anyway, so I was telling Cameron about the jeans I was wearing and how I didn't like them very much. They're stretchy and a little big and they're kinda like Pajama Jeans...even though I got them at Target. I've never worn Pajama Jeans, but this is what I imagine they're like. Super comfy and stretchy, but probably not that cute :) (No offense if you wear them and like them!)
So, I say, "Cameron, I H-A-T-E my pajama jeans." Madilyn chimes in, "Mommy, I A-C-D-H my shirt." Needless to say, it got a great laugh from all of us, and then she proceeded to say it 30 times more because she knew it was funny.
Oh be careful (my) little mouth what you say! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Port Farms with MOPS :)

We finally got to visit Port Farms and see what all the fuss was about. All of my friends have been to Port Farms more than once, but we'd never had the chance to go. Thankfully, my MOPS friends wanted to make it an we went. And, Madilyn is still asking to go back (even though we can't, 'cause the weather is too yucky and it closes in a few days anyway). Next year. Definitely next year.
Here are some fun snapshots of the kids enjoying their day.
This first one is of Madilyn, waiting in the parking lot...wondering what all this pumpkin farm business is about...
Here are Caleb, Madilyn and Asher...they loved looking at all the pumpkins.
And making silly faces. But what kid doesn't love a good silly face picture?

Then there were the slides. There are little slides and big slides down the sides of a hill.  Madilyn was scared to go on them, but after we tried a few times, she went down the big one all by herself. She's conquering her fears and having fun. I love it! :)

Mommies can have fun on the slides, too.

There were goats and chickens and bunnies that they kids could feed.

But Madilyn liked the fake cows the best of all.

Corn was another highlight of the outing. There was a cornfield, and there was a big corn box, full of dried corn that the kids could play in.

All in all, such a fun day! Can't you tell by the happy passenger on the Fun Bus?
We will definitely be going a few times next Fall. And, we're taking Daddy with us next time! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Fun Day!

Today was Fall Fun Day at our church. We have never been, so Madilyn and I weren't sure what to expect...but it was FUN!!!
This morning was very cold, windy and rainy, and it would've been the perfect day for me to stay in, but I had signed up to bring 3 dozen cookies to the event...or else I probably would've just stayed home. But I guess I'm learning that if you live in Erie, you go to stuff no matter how bad the weather is because you have no idea when it's going to get better. Can't stay home forever! I'm so glad we went, though, because we had a blast!
Madilyn painted a pumpkin which is still drying as I type this, 8 hours after it was painted. The kid loves to paint! She really knows how to apply it thick, too :) She picked the pumpkin that had all the pimples on it...I guess she knew it needed some love.
Next, we went to face painting. At first, I asked her if she wanted to get her face painted. She replied, "Yes, I want to paint my face. My do it!" But, after I convinced her that those paints were not hers, she still wanted the sweet lady to paint her face. I have never seen Madilyn sit as still as she did today. And, the "Fy-fwy" (butterfly) turned out just great!
Then we headed over to the food. They served meatball subs, chips and cookies with lemonade to drink. There were crayons and color pages for the kids to work on while they ate. I ate the sandwich and Madilyn ate all of the side items while she colored a masterpiece. We make a pretty good team! ;)
Lastly, we stopped by Candy Bar BINGO before we left the event. I wasn't sure how she would do at this since she doesn't quite get the concept of letters with rows of numbers, but she surprised me and loved it! We didn't win the first round, but we played another round and Madilyn got a BINGO! She got to pick a full-size candy bar...and she picked a Hershey Bar with Almonds. The girl's got good taste.
She ate the majority of the candy bar on the way home (hey, I had to sneak a couple of bites) and then she started in on my Reese's Pieces (I got the consolation mini-size candy bar since I didn't get a BINGO). This was such a treat since we don't give her candy very often at all, and if we do, it's in tiny amounts :) I'm pretty sure she's going to dream about chocolate tonight!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Body of Christ

Just to give y'all an update, I've started serving again in Children's Ministry at church!!! And, I still LOVE IT! :)
It's been since before Madilyn was born that I was ministering to kids at church, and I thought that maybe my heart had shifted or something...but as soon as I started serving again I realized once again, "I was meant to do this!"
I received some great advice from Pastor Valerie (a sweet friend and mentor) who said, "Ashley, part of the reason you still feel far from home is that you're not being used in your giftings." You see, God made each of us with something to give. We all have our own unique talents and giftings that He's placed inside of us. We are all a part of the "Body of Christ." And, when each part is functioning at full-capacity, we give so much to others and we totally reflect the way that God intended His church to be to a lost and dying world. I always like to think, "If the ankle doesn't show up and do it's part, the toes can't do theirs because the toes aren't connected without the ankle." (And, in a wierd but true way, if you are the ankle, you'd better get to the spot God has for you...the toes are waiting! :) haha)
"Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts with one body, and we all belong to each other. In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you." Romans 12:4-6
It's amazing to me how much more "at home" I feel, even being thousands of miles from my friends, family and all that is familiar. God has given me the ability to reach kids, and I have a passion to see children saved and ministering to other kids with all the power of the Holy Spirit who is inside of them! But, I realize that this is because God put that desire inside of me.
What has God put in you? Use your talents for the glory of God and find yourself "at home," even if you're far away.
"For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are." Romans 8:19
Be who you are in Christ! The world needs you. And, creation is waiting...

Erie County Farms

Well, I have decided to start updating my family and friends on a few little special things about living in Erie, since most people won't be able to come visit while we are here. A major part of our lives in Erie is being thrifty or frugal...mostly because we are living off of student loans :) A great place we've found is called Erie County Farms, thanks to my sweet friend Megan.
Now, I know what you're thinking. It's what I was thinking, too, when I heard the name for the first time, but it's not a farmers market. It's actually inside an old grocery an old Walmart or something. But the deals that come along with this crazy place are AMAZING! We go and get super fresh produce and meat in bulk packages! :) Who doesn't love a ton of meat?
I love Erie County Farms days because our freezer and our refrigerator are stocked FULL. And, there's something about having a full refrigerator and freezer that makes this mommy feel super blessed and provided for. (Thanks be to God for all of His provision!) Seriously, there is some good food at ECF. How good? So good that my 10 lb. bag of potatoes goes all month without sprouting and going bad. So good that my large bag of spinach is still crispy and fresh for 4 weeks...I rarely ever throw away produce from ECF. It's super fresh and delicious! Yummy!
Some of the deals we've found are:
10 lb. bag potatoes for $1.99.
3 lb. bag of onions .99
coffee creamer .99
big bag of baby carrots .99
hamburger meat $1.79 lb.
boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.19 lb.
Madilyn calls it "County Farm" and she wants to go there all of the time...probably because I give her "dum dums" because I want her to sit quietly while I navigate through the madness. It is literally basket-to-basket lines of people pushing and shoving through the aisles to get the best deals.
If you ever come and want to go, let me know. I only have the patience to go once a month...but I'll do it for you if you want to :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunny Days

We have had the most gorgeous weather lately! It's been in the mid to upper 70's and lots of sunshine, and we are living it up!
We have had lots of zoo time and park time! Speaking of parks, we discovered such a beautiful park on the edge of town. It's called Picnicana Park, and it's in the Summit Township. It had beautiful trees, lots of fun playground equipment and even a little hill to hike down to a stream. It is absolutely gorgeous! We actually went there two days in a row because Madilyn said, "Mommy, that was my most favorite park in the whole world!" What mother wouldn't give in to that? :)
The first day we went with Pierce and Autumn and some other friends.
The next day we went to Picnicana with Olivia. The girls had fun throwing rocks into the stream. Pennsylvania has beautiful trees and I am continually amazed at all of God's creation. Colossians 1:17 "HE existed before anything else, and HE holds all creation together."
Also, our zoo time included Cameron today! It's his birthday, and we have enjoyed a nice family day together!
We even got to ride the train!
Madilyn rode the carousel and named her horse "Salty." She pet Salty and talked to him the whole time...very sweet.
Fall is such a fun time of year in Pennsylvania. I feel like we're finally getting adjusted to living here :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Already October???

Man, time flies! I can't believe it's already the first day of October...and boy did it feel like it! Today was COLD with drizzly rain and wind. Yuck. The perfect day for another indoor activity. Thankfully, Stephanie called and invited us to go to the FREE kid's workshop at Home Depot. Apparently they offer these once or twice a month. The kids get a cute little orange apron with a new pin to put on their apron (they collect a new pin to add to their apron each time they attend). Today we got to make a rescue helicopter. Madilyn keeps calling it an airplane...but whatever. Close enough, right? :) So, we hammered, glued and put stickers on our helicopter.
Then, after we finished, the kids had refreshments. Gotta refuel after hard manual labor like building helicopters. I love these faces...patiently waiting for the yummy food! There were cookies and popcorn, but guess what they went for...
Popcorn!!! I think they loved their popcorn and lemonade just as much as they loved using hammers and glue. What do you think?
P.S. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it even more than Madilyn. I can't get over how CUTE she looks in that apron!