Friday, February 25, 2011

Hi Friends

I just wanted to let you all know that things are going to be a little quiet here at Life Happens for the next week or two. I didn't want you all thinking I quit blogging or fell off the face of the earth.

I just need a little break and figure this is a good time since I will be spending next week in Florida. My youngest sister is getting married and I am making a little vacation out of it. We will be plenty busy and I won't be taking the time to sit down and blog.

But I will be back! I promise! And I hope that when I return you will all be here with me still. I love my blog friends! But I just need to take a little break, unwind and refresh my mind.

I do plan to still participate in the Blog Bible study linkup and the Girl Talk Hop. Those will be finished before I leave and scheduled to post so I apologize now for not getting around to see what everyone else posts in these link ups.

Thanks for understanding! If you need to talk with me I'll still be checking my emails. Hope you all have a wonderful week. I'll be enjoying 80 and sunny! Woo hoo!

Winner

The winner of the book Will God's Mighty Warrior: The Creepy Caves Mystery is...

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Yay Nicole!!!

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Nicole is pregnant with her first and she is having a boy! Early spring! Yay! You can check out her fun blog at Not So Suzy Homemaker.

Send me your address Nicole so I can get the book out to you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BBS Chapter 3

Check out the giveaway I have going on. Ends Friday morning.


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It's Blog Bible Study day! I always love checking out everyone else's answers to the questions and reading about how God is challenging them. Actually, I just love Bible studies PERIOD! Thanks to Rebekah and Monica for setting this up and keeping it going! You girls rock!

This weeks chapter was all about prayer.


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What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
I'm going to have to say that simply the challenge to pray MORE was the most outstanding thing for me in this chapter. I've been working for a while to pray more and this chapter gave me a big push in the right direction and I am making changes and working out priorities.


Blessing #2: Greater Purity--I shared with you my problem with gossip in this area of purity.  Now won't you identify your particular problem area and share briefly what you plan to do about it?
My area of greatest struggle? I'm selfish. That is the root of a lot of problems in my life. What am I going to do about it? Well... I guess I should begin by confessing more to God when I am being selfish and learning to live and love like he does. Spending time with God will make me more like Him. Also apologizing to others and asking for their forgiveness. It doesn't take long to get tired of having to apologize to people and that in itself becomes a great motivator to work out the change that is needed.


Blessing #7: The Ministry of Prayer--Edith Schaeffer stated, "Interceding for other people makes a difference in the history of other people's lives."
Not too long ago I read this verse:
2 Corinthians 1:8-11
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Those few words... as you help us by your prayers... changed me. Something clicked. I mean... I KNEW prayer helped. I always believed it worked. I've seen answers to prayer from a very young age. But to see it in the Bible like that. To see Paul write that he was counting on God to continue to deliver him from his troubles because of the prayers of others... It made me want to pray more. For all kinds of things and for everyone.

I want to help people through prayer. I want to make their lives better... and I can do that by praying. And so I do.

Now... I am far from being what people would classify as a "prayer warrior". I still have a lot of work in developing this spiritual discipline. But I'm taking steps. This week I bought a notebook and I started writing down things I am praying for and who I am praying for. I never did that before. I also realized that wasn't enough because sometimes when I am out someone will ask me to pray for them or for someone else and I say I will but it's likely I will forget. So I bought a small notebook to keep in my purse so when things come up I can write them down and remember.

I often pray for people as I think of them throughout the day. I will continue to do that. But I am also trying to be more intentional about stopping what I am doing at some point in the day, opening up that notebook, and praying.

Oh! I just have so much more I could say but this is getting long. Perhaps I will continue it tomorrow in another post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sick Baby :(

Jason is sick today.

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I was woke up at 2am to the sound of him puking. :( Thankfully Mike woke up with me because I can't handle that stuff. Mike got to clean up while I held my baby.

After about twenty minutes Jason wanted to go back to bed. I was woke up this morning by the sound of him dry heaving. Poor poor baby. Breaks my heart.

I brought him out to the living room, set him up on the couch and turned on How to Train Your Dragon. I have a feeling we will be watching about fifty movies today. Too bad too because the snow is so pretty and he had wanted to go out an play in it. :(

Pray for us all please.
Jason has a fever and everything flu.
Liza has had a cough for the past few days. Pray that that goes away and that she does not get what Jason has.
And pray for Mike and I that we stay healthy through it all. And get some rest. We need it.

Thanks friends!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Elephants

When Jason was a few months old there were two baby elephants born at the Pittsburgh Zoo. We went to see them. They were soooo cute!

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So now the elephants are about two and a half years old and I still love going to see them.

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Some of the elephants were outside and some inside on this trip. The ones that were outside were eating and running around. One of the big ones that was inside was getting a "shower". The elephant person was hosing it down and I was amazed at how well the elephant listened. The guy would say "move back" and the elephant moved back. The guy would say "move over" and the elephant moved over. The guy said "trunk" and the elephant lifted it's trunk and the guy squirted some water in it's mouth. And when he was all done getting showered he listened to the elephant guy and stayed in the corner while another person dumped a bucket of food out for him. Then the elephant calmly walked over to the food and ate it.

If only my kids would listen that well!

Inside the elephant house there is an elephant jaw. It's huge. The kids like it.

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There is also an elephant footprint in cement. An elephant could definitely squash my baby.
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Outside of the elephant house there is a pole that shows how tall an elephant will get.
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We love the elephants! And this time we actually got to hear one make it's noise. It was while in the elephant house and kind of freaked the kids out haha. It was really loud. But definitely cool!
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Favorite Kid Books

There is another giveaway at the end!

We LOVE the God's Little Princess books by Sheila Walsh. Gigi is the main character of these books and she is always walking around wearing a tutu or a pink boa or princess gloves. In Gigi God's Little Princess she learns WHY she is a princess... because God is the King.

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This is most likely where Liza learned to constantly play princess and for Christmas we got her Gigi's pink boa and princess sceptor. It was love.

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There are several Gigi books and they all have good lessons in them which are taught through a cute story. You can also find DVDs with short stories. Liza LOVES watching Gigi.

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One of my favorite things though is the God's Little Princess Devotional Bible. It has little bits of Bible stories and then a little devotional to personalize it. Some days have just a little thought that a four year old can understand. Some days it has a little play you can act out. Some days give a multiple choice questions. There is lots of variety.

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Liza loves to do this devotional before bedtime... and we are starting with Jason in his.

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God's Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible. Jason is still a little bit young for it (the ages are 4-7 for these devotionals) but he likes it.


And for his birthday he got the book Will God's Mighty Warrior: The Creepy Caves Mystery.

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In this book Will's Papa tells him about some caves nearby. Will wants to explore them but is told by his Papa not to go in until he gets there. Will gets too curious and decides to head in on his own. Of course the book doesn't teach that it is good to disobey... it teaches the lesson about listening to adults. The scripture at the end of the book is Ephesians 6:1. "Children, obey your parents the way the Lord wants. This is the right thing to do."

Most of these books can be found pretty cheap on half.com.


Today I am giving away one copy of Will God's Mighty Warrior: The Creepy Caves Mystery.

To enter this giveaway just tell me about one of your most fun adventures in a comment below. (Or just say hello.)
I will pick a winner using random.org on Friday morning.
The winner will be posted on my blog and if I have their email I will also contact them.

Win it for yourself, for your kid, for your grandkids, neighbors kids, a niece or nephew, for the kid rooms at your church or the kids you dream of having someday.

Good luck! (And if you live in the Butler area Ollie's has a stack of these books and they are cheap.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Zoo Day

I'm so glad that we made it to the zoo the other day when it was 60 degrees because today we are having a high of 34 and it won't get much above 40 again for a while.

We always love going to the zoo and it was so nice to be able to have Mike along this time. He never gets to come with us in the summer because he works so much and we don't go to the zoo on the weekends because it just gets too crowded for me.

Anyways... it seemed like we weren't the only ones out enjoying the beautiful weather. All the animals were out as well! I already posted pictures of the tigers the other day. I'm going to save the elephants for another day because there is too much to say about them. Today I am going to share with you everything else.

The rhino is usually hiding in the far back corner and it's hard to see him... but today he was right up close enjoying a little meal. He's always a fun one to get to see.

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The lions were also out. They were just laying in the sun though with a few roars here and there. Nothing like the time when I saw one pounce on a bird. But still, they were out where we could enjoy them. Beautiful creatures!
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The monkey house stunk soooo bad this time. It usually smells but this time I thought I might gag when I walked in. I don't know if it was just the entrance that smelled horrible or if I just got used to the smell but I managed to survive just fine.

Black Howler Monkey
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Mandrill
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I always enjoy seeing the gorillas... but this one just looked so sad.
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I always have a hard time getting good pictures in the aquarium because it doesn't really work to use your flash and by the time you change all your settings around you end up with too slow of a shutter speed. This time I took my 50mm lens along to see if it would help since it has a wide aperture (which allows more light in which will affect the shutter speed) and I found that it did in fact help and I got a few pics from the aquarium that I like this time.

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The sea dragons are one of the kids favorite things.
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Reflections are always a great way to get a photo of yourself if you are the family photographer.
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It's always fun to find Nemo.
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I managed some decent photos of the jelly fish. Such interesting creatures.
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Sea Lions
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Such a fun day. And while lots of people decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and ended up making the same plans as us it never got too crowded. The kids were so happy to get to go to the zoo again. We enjoyed our picnic lunch. And the kids actually got to buy something from the zoo store since they had some Christmas money left.

Jason got a snow leopard and Liza got an elephant. So cute! Liza is pretending to be an elephant in this photo...
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Our zoo memebership is good until some time in June so I am sure we will go a few more times before it expires. And we may just have to renew it again.



Friday, February 18, 2011

The Story of Jesus Winner

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Happy Camper said...
Favorite Childhood Memory.... any and all family vacations! No matter where we went or what we did it was ALWAYS fun and memorable. Looks like a great book!

Congratulations Deb! This book will be perfect for Eli with it's short stories and bright pictures. Send me your address so I can get it out to you.

I'll have another giveaway next week so make sure to come back and see what books I'm talking about and which one I will give away!

Tigers

If you've been reading you know we had beautiful weather and spent a day at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I love that place. And if you have four people in your family and go at least twice in one year then getting the family membership is a great deal.

The first animal you come to in the zoo are the tigers. Sometimes they are out and active. Sometimes they are out and napping. Sometimes you can't see them at all. Today they were out and active... and I was completely surprised to see three young tigers. I wasn't aware that the tigers had had babies? Who knows. But there were three young tigers and they were playing and they were cute!

This one was hunting the flamingos next door.
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Watching the tigers...
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We got some lazy roars out of this tiger. Wouldn't want to have those teeth sunk in me!
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On our way back out of the zoo the tigers were still out so we stopped to see them one more time. (I could have watched them all day as I absolutely love tigers. They are beautiful creatures!) While there Mike was taking a picture of me and the kids when a nice stranger asked if we would want her to take one with all four of us. She was so excited that she was able to see the tigers in the background too. Nice stranger. :)
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I need to go back again with my zoom lens. (These are pretty cropped.) I always leave my zoom at home and then get all bummed that I did. One of these days I'm just going to take the whole camera bag. Maybe. Maybe some day when I go without the kids.

I love tigers!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ok.

I've decided I am ready for spring now.

I don't mind the winter but once Mother Nature starts giving me a day or two of 60 degrees and sunshine... yeah... I am now over winter and ready for spring.

It's been a GORGEOUS day! Yeah we still have dirty piles of snow hanging around... but I see GRASS! I want to be barefoot! It's a little too soon for that though.

We went to the zoo today and ate lunch outside and ran around in sweatshirts.

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(Thanks to the wonderful stranger who offered to take a photo of all four of us! More zoo pics later.)

It was amazing.

I am happy.

It better be nice when I go to Florida the first week of March. I want to feel the sand between my toes and sunshine on my face. (Anyone in the Tampa area? That's where I will be. And we will be over in St. Pete for an evening... I think March 1. Is that a Tuesday? Let me know if you want to meet up.)

Pittsburgh International Auto Show

Mike likes to go to the Pittsburgh International Auto Show every year but he didn't have anyone to go with this year. (He didn't really try to hard to find anyone.) I had a friend offer to babysit for us so I figured I would see if she was available for one of the days of the auto show... and she was... so I told Mike I would go with him.

I'm a good wife like that.

Because car shows don't really do anything for me. Unless they have a bunch of old Mustangs. I'm a Mustang girl... although I've never had one. But if I could get any car I wanted it would be a 64 Mustang convertible, red interior, white exterior. That's my dream car. But this auto show was to show off the new cars.

Mike told me it's never too busy... but turns out it's never too busy if you get there early in the morning. When we got there there was a MASSIVE line. I was ready to cry. Thankfully the lined moved really fast and in ten minutes we were in.

Mike had a good time sitting in all the cars. I sat in the passenger seat a few times and would say things like "this seat is really uncomfortable" or "I don't like the color" or "why would they do THAT? That's just stupid."

It was kind of fun.

But most of the time I just walked beside Mike and hung out with him and took pictures.

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If I have any more kids I'm getting one of these...

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We don't go in to the city very often but I always love driving in. If you go somewhere where the land is flat you can see a city in the distance forever. But when you drive in to Pittsburgh you see nothing... then you round a bend and all of a sudden... there's Pittsburgh. Just like that. You're there.

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After we were done at the car show we went out for dinner at Red Robin. Their burgers are AMAZING and they have bottomless fries. Stuff yourself full baby. We did.

It was so nice to actually do something different for once and I am so thankful for my friend Karen for watching the kids for us for several hours (for free!) It's so wonderful to have people like her in my life.

We are heading back to the city today to go to the zoo. Can't pass up a day that is supposed to hit 60 degrees!

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