McKinley's Spring Program

This past March was McKinley's very first preschool Spring Program. Each class did amazing but there was this one sweet little 2 year old in a blue shirt and headband that just stole the show:) No really, the whole program was great. I mean there is nothing cuter than a bunch of preschoolers singing and dancing. I am so thankful my parents were able to make it to Nashville to witness this cuteness first hand!

Here are a few pictures from her "performance". Due to privacy agreements I had to do some major cropping to most of the photos which resulted in poor quality, but she is so cute and was having such a great time, I am posting them anyway:)

Mia's 1st Foods

It is funny how my kiddos are so different in so many ways. McKinley has always been our fun, loving, fly by the seat of her pants and make everyone laugh (by accident). Mia is definitely a bit more serious, very analytical, & thinks everything through. 

This shows even in how they eat. McKinley has always LOVED food. She will eat anything you put in front of her. Mia seems to want to look at the food and think about it before it ever reaches her mouth. Then when it does she tends to be a little dramatic and is not able to hide it.

This is our second time doing baby led weaning. It worked so well with McKinley that we knew we wanted to try it again with Mia. Well...we ended up having a completely different experience the second time around.

Our sweet little Mia just did not want to eat solid food. It didn't matter what it was, she was not going to eat/swallow it. We tried all kinds of fruits & vegetables, different colors, textures, temperatures. This kid was not giving in. She would try it but as soon as it hit her lips we would get a horrible reaction. It would best be described as the bitter beer face and it would always be followed by a gag.

So we kept giving her solid food and she kept refusing it. I was determined not to give up but after several weeks of this I caved and bought a few jars of pureed baby food. She of course loved it. So I decided to choose my battles and this was one I didn't have the energy to fight. She started getting the pureed food in addition to the solid food with each meal. We did this for a little over a week, maybe two weeks and then all of the sudden she decided she didn't care for pureed food anymore, she was all about the solids! I guess she just wanted everything in her own time. Now she is a champion eater just like her older sister. These two will eat ANYTHING!

Here are a few pictures from the first couple BLW sessions...

Sweet Red Pepper (try #1):



Sweet Red Pepper (try #2):

Sweet Potato:


*** I am happy to report that since these pictures were taken (a mere 7 months ago :/), this child will now eat ANYTHING!

Mia's Baby Blessing

WAY back in February our church had their annual Baby Blessing for all the babies born in 2013. This is always a special day for each family.

Our sweet little Mia was one of the babies being honored. The Baby Blessing happens during our regular church service. First there is a little commitment ceremony, then each family is called up onto the stage and finally, this special time is closed with a little prayer. After church the celebration continues when each new baby and their family are treated to a yummy lunch.

We are so thankful for our family that was able to be a part of this special day. It means the world to us to know that these sweet girls have such amazing and loving people in their life!

Playing Catch Up

OH. MY. WORD! I can not believe that it has been 4 months since my last blog post! There are definitely reasons for my lack of blogging, the main reason being that we have not had internet to our computer. We have only been able to access the web via our tablets and phones and unless there is some secret that I don't know, it has been impossible to use blogger on a mobile device. The other reason for our absence is that our little family has been busy. The days are short enough and I just haven't been able to find a few extra minutes to devote to the blog:) So hopefully over the next couple weeks I can get everyone caught up on what has been happening at the Organ House and what these two little cuties have been up to.


Bless This House

It is hard to believe that we have been in our new home for four weeks! We are finally starting to feel settled and like we are “home” and not just renting a condo for a week of vacation:)

This journey started back in November when we sold our townhome and (after looking at the very limited housing inventory) we decided to build. We picked a builder, a plan, a lot, signed some papers, wrote some checks and then we were told that our house would be ready about the middle of April. Yay!

Mike and I were super excited to be building our “1st” family home! In the past 11+ years we have owned two other homes (a condo and a townhome); this one will actually make our 3rd. Each home has been special to us for different reasons. But I think this home will be extra special because we built it for “the family.” We are now located in a very family friendly neighborhood. We are in a community with great schools. And we finally have a real yard (with grass and everything:) for the girls (and dog) to play.
Most of all, this home will be extra special because it will be the first home the girls remember growing up.
Since this is our “1st” home and we are building it from the ground up I wanted to do something special. Something that would put our own stamp on the home and I am not talking about granite counter tops or tiled showers. I wanted something with meaning, and then it came to me… let’s do a “house blessing”. My parents did this when they were renovating their home and I had seen a few people do this via Pinterest and I loved the idea.
The House Blessings that I have seen before have mostly consisted of people writing scripture, prayers, sayings etc. on the studs of the home. My original plan was to pick one scripture for each area/room of the home. That would equal about 23 scriptures...completely doable! So I started my search for the perfect scriptures for our home. I kept finding scripture after scripture after scripture and before I knew it I had a list of over 100 of the most perfect and amazing scriptures. WAIT. WHAT? I was now looking at a list of 100+ scriptures that I had to narrow down to about 23. I started picking and choosing, and slowly the list started to shrink but I had done all the editing I could do. It is really hard to edit out the Word of God!!! The scriptures that remained on the paper were just too perfect to dismiss. So I did a quick tally and I realized I would now have to find a place in the house for the 80 scriptures that remained. Each scripture was then assigned to a specific room and place in the home.
The next Saturday we grabbed several sharpies, loaded up the family and headed to put our mark on what was soon to be the new Organ Family home. We ended up writing half of the scriptures on that Saturday and came back the following weekend to finish writing the others. I wanted this to be a pleasant family experience and with two little ones I found it necessary to split our memory making into two different days. After all we were writing close to 100 verses in the middle of winter… 

(Prepare yourselves; this is going to be a long post.)
I have included a list of the 80+ scriptures we used throughout the house along with a few pictures to document the day.

Main Entryway:
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 (Over Front Door)

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews13:2 (Hall Floor)

Numbers 6:24-26
The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26 (Entry Floor)

The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:6-8 (Wall)

Deuteronomy 28:6
 You will be blessed when you go in and blessed when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:6  (Over Door to Garage)

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child the way he should go…even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (Bedroom Hall)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20 (Bedroom Hall)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 (Main Hall)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (Main Hall)

Living Room:
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope for a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (Floor)

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (Floor)

Matthew 22:37
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37 (Floor)

Love one another. John 13:34 (wall)

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14 (wall)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12 (wall)

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3 (wall)

McKinley wanted to "write" on the walls too.

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” John 4:13 (Island Floor)

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3 (Floor)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 12:12 (wall)

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…Galatians 5:22 (wall)

Prayer: Give food to the hungry, o lord, and hunger for you to those that have food. As you satisfy the needs of each of us, make us mindful of the need of others. –unknown (wall)

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

Dining/Breakfast Area:
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, our morning joy, our evening rest. And with our daily bread, and part, bring peace and joy to every heart.
Mealtime Prayer (Floor)

For wherever two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Mathew 18:20 (wall)

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews13:2 (wall)

Matthew 6:11
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Matthew 6:11 (wall)

Master Bedroom:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-30 (Floor)

Be still and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10 (Over Door)

 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 (Above Bed)

 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 (Above Bed)

 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11-12 (Wall)

Psalm 4:8
 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 (Wall)

Love is patient, love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4 (Wall)

Master Closet:
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? …But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:25-33

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Master Bath:
Cleanse me … and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 (Wall)

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (Michelle’s Mirror)

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart. Proverbs 15:30 (Mike’s Mirror)

McKinley’s & Mia’s Bedrooms:

Mia in her room sitting next to Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (Floor)

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 (wall)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 (wall)

McKinley in her room standing next to Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13 (wall)

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 (wall)

She is clothed with strength and dignity… Proverbs 31:25

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another. 1 Peter 5:5

McKinley’s & Mia’s Bathroom:
Cleanse me … and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 (Over the tub)

Writing 1 Peter 3:3-4 in the girls bathroom.
It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you- the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear and is worth much to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (Mirror)

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old. Ecclesiastes 12:1 -3 (Floor)

John 13:34
Love one another. John 13:34 (wall)

Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 (wall)

A happy heart makes the face cheerful. Proverbs 15:13 (wall)

Love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22 (wall)

McKinley helping Daddy write Psalm 119:165
Great peace have they who love God’s law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165

Guest Bedroom:
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-30 (Floor)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (wall)

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (wall)

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (wall)

Upstairs Bath:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Bonus Room:
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3 (Floor)

Attic Entry:
So store up your treasures in Heaven; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished, you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12

I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Philippians 4:11

Drop Zone:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Half Bath:
Love the lord you god with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37

Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17
Philippians 2:14
Do everything without arguing or complaining. Philippians 2:14

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

In front of the two cars:

Mike writing Joshua 1:9
Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…Genesis 28:15

Over the main garage door:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Back Patio:
Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15

Be still and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10

After we successfully covered this home in scripture, I took a moment to reflect on “what now”. So, I have picked these beautiful, meaningful and appropriate verses but they were soon going to be covered with drywall, tile, hardwood & carpet. Is that it? Will I have spent all this time searching for and writing these perfect verses, only for them to be forgotten once they are no longer able to be seen?

I didn’t want that to happen so I decided to set what seems like a very unrealistic goal, especially at this moment in my life. I am determined (to at least try) to memorize each scripture and the spot where it is written in the home.
Now back to present time, four weeks in our new home and I have not (yet) memorized a single verse that is written but it is definitely on my to-do list! I am so happy we took the time to do this little “house blessing.”
I want to end this post by saying how GRATEFUL we are to have a roof over our heads, food on our table, love in our hearts and the freedom to worship our God! And my prayer is that not only are we able to use this home to nurture and grow our sweet little family but I pray we are also able to use this home to BLESS others. Whether it be by opening the doors to others for meals, providing someone a place to stay or by simply inviting our crazy life group over for an evening of doing whatever it is that we do:) 

Whew, you still with me? I told you that was going to be long!