Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lincoln's learning!


When did you get so big & so strong & so smart? You are growing SO much for mama & dada!

-You can sign "please" to us when you want something! (you say please before almost each bite of food, you say please when I lay you down to breastfeed you, you say please when Daddy walks by a window because you want to look out, you say please when I bring you to the front entry, you say please when there is a toy you want...whenever you want something... so sweet!)

-You know when we're saying 'no' (mostly).

-You know when I say, "Can I have this hand now?" that I want to put your other hand in your shirt (mostly).

-You know, "Up, up, up!" And you get SO excited to come into our arms!

-You go hysterical when Daddy gets home!

-You've started grabbing our faces & giving lots of kisses (been doing for a while now).

-You're doing HIGH FIVES! Although, not sure if it's completely 'clicked' yet!

-You're learning "gentle" when you start banging on our faces or pulling mama's hair! :)

-You're BFing & then averaging between 4-6 ounces of food after that!

-You've had 2 teeth for quite some time & your top 4 middles are trying to cut through. One on the side in particular is almost there, buddy! You're going to have a full smile before you know it! P.S. Mommy is sure thankful you haven't bitten yet!

-You weighed 23 lbs at your last check up (6 months) & you're just over  8 months, so...I'm sure you've gained a bit more weight!

-YESTERDAY, you were on your tummy & made your way to sitting on your bottom! So strong!

TODAY, you were a bit tired from our friends last night, but even were fussing because you wanted Daddy. It is the sweetest. I mean, sad that you were fussy, but endearing that you wanted Dada!

You are growing so big, little dude! 
We love you! Every part of you & are so blessed to call you ours! :D

God really does give good & perfect gifts!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

repent & believe.

Our church is doing a reading plan called F260. We're going through the entire Bible 'highlights'.

Anyways, today's reading came from Luke 12. There are many warnings & many encouragements in this scripture, but one in particular is jumping out at the today. 

"And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God..." Luke 12:8-9

This led me on a thought process of other scriptures that speak of proclaiming Christ's victory & got me wondering: Am I doing this? Am I using the avenues that the Lord has granted me & being a good steward of them? Some yes...some no. 

Before a homemaker, I talked about Jesus quite often at work. And saw some fruit, praise God. Now as a homemaker, there is a different approach because I'm not with the same people every single day. But that doesn't mean that I can't be light. We've recently went through a study called The Tangible Kingdom which has given some really great insight in 'doing life' with others. Loving people. Making disciples through the grace of God.

God is also showing me that while I was working, even though I may've been talking about Jesus & showing Jesus' light through my own life to my coworkers, I've neglected that focus at home. In part, I think it's because my husband is my best friend & sometimes it's easy to be hardest or give the 'leftovers' to those who are closest to you...not be as gracious as I would be to others, in my case. Thank the Lord that my husband is honest enough to give me this feedback. I guess what I'm saying is, you can be a disciple & disciple ANYWHERE! I may not be out of the home as much as I used to be, but guess what, I have 2 of the most important guys in the world to me right here who I need to love, cherish & be Jesus to! Adam & Lincoln! Adam knows Jesus & lives for him & he needs all of me to be his helper & encourager in this journey! And Lincoln needs both of us to look up to & be his guide as we pray that the Lord draws him at the earliest age possible. 

There's so many good avenues for sharing the gospel, so I'll take advantage of one: this blog. 

Jesus says Mark 1:15, "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent & believe the good news!"

Repent: To turn from sin & dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life. 

Simply put, 'to repent' means 'to turn away'. In this case, turn away from sin. 

Believe: To accept or regard something as true


Well, because we are all sinners. We have all sinned & fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Meaning, we don't meet God's just, righteous & glorious standards. 

How many of you have put things before God? I have. 

How about disobeying your parents? I have. 

How about lied? I have. 

If you have done any one of the things (which everyone has), you have sinned against the Holy & Just God. This means, you're not in right standing with Him. This is why we need a Savior (Jesus who died on the cross carrying our sins). Anyone who is not in right standing with God, is in danger of Hell. I don't say this to try & scare you (even though Hell IS scary), I say this because I love you & because it's the truth. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't tell you, but I would hate for it to be so. God doesn't want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9).

Think of it like this: If there was a rapist or murderer & they went to a judge & said, "I am so sorry! Can I leave now?" The judge wouldn't just say, "Well, since you said sorry..." NO! Since he is JUST, the person would need payment for their crimes. God is the same way (with exceedingly higher standards). If we sin against Him in any way, it's the same thing. He demands payment (which Jesus has satisfied if you believe). "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 

If you have any questions, push back or comments, I would LOVE to hear them. I would LOVE to talk to you. I would LOVE to hear from you. I would love to get to know YOU more. You are loved & you can have HOPE in Jesus! :D


Thursday, April 7, 2016

dear adam

dear husband, 

You do a lot of things that make me smile & I'm taking today to think about them. Little things, but things that matter. 

Like when you fold the laundry I didn't get to while I study. 
Or when you do dishes. 
Or when I get home & you've made the bed for me. 

Or how about printing off those SOAP forms because you remember me talking about them (your hidden motive is probably a massage). 
Telling Sarah I've been wanting Pancheros lately. 
Taking me to a taco truck I talk about literally every time we go past. 
Remembering the Papabear, Mamabear, Babybear shirt & trying your best to pick them out. 

Leading us in some prayers.
Leading us in our Love & Respect discussions. 
Asking how my day was when we sit down to eat or drive somewhere. 

Coming to the grocery store...not because you want to, but because you know I like it. 
Picking up Lincoln from me. 
Praying for me. 
Thanking God for, "A wife who cooks meals like this..."

I have so much to be thankful for...and so much that I overlook too often!

Thank you!
I love you, bug!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

dear Linkers

Dear Linkers, 

Today I am putting on Solomon's Ring (that's what your Daddy would say). We just got back from signing our Will & Permanent Guardianship papers incase something would happen to mommy & daddy. You missed part of your nap (and were a champ, by the way)!

So...we get home & I try to put you down for your nap. You're totally NOT fussing or anything, but you just sound so wide awake -- sometimes that happens when you stay up TOO's like a '2nd wind'. So, I decide that I'm going to nurse the dark...and just let you fall asleep on me (which hasn't happened in AGES...and I LOVE). 

So, your loving life & suckling. Mommy's loving life & sucking. And it hits me...all those times where I was able to help you transition...those times where I helped you fall asleep...those times where I nursed you & you decided it was too much work & needed a nap...those times, for the most part, are gone... and what else I realized is this: if God gives us another baby someday, I may not be able to have those moments with that baby like I did with you because I'll be chasing you around hopefully!!!

This is bitter sweet for mommy! I am SO thankful you are growing up so big & strong, but these seasons of our life are passing SO quickly!!! 

I sincerely don't regret 1 second of those times where instead of doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, cooking lunch, etc, I stayed holding you in my arms -- I'll never get to do that again! I am SO thankful to your Father above & your Father here that they've allowed me SUCH A GIFT AS THIS. 

Love you, 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

dear Lincoln Steele (staying at home)

Hey there, buddy!

Today I am feeling particularly BLESSED to be staying at home with you! I am feeling particularly BLESSED that your Daddy is at work providing for us! I am feeling particularly BLESSED that the Lord has seen fit to give us YOU! I am feeling particularly BLESSED that the Lord has provided EVERYTHING that we need, including Daddy's job. 

What triggered this? It's the little things, buddy! I had just gotten done feeding you at  your 11:00 a.m. feeding... You were standing on my leagues & I just kept kissing your cheekies. That's all. That's all it takes for me to be ONE.BLESSED.MAMA. Think about it? So many babies don't get their mama's kisses all day. So many mamas don't get to GIVE their babies kisses all day. So many babies don't get their mama feeding them all day. So many mamas don't get to GIVE their babies their food all day. So many babies don't get their mama's snuggles all day.  So many mamas don't get to GIVE their babies snuggles all day. But today, I am basking in gratitude.

I love you. I am thankful for you!
I love you, Adam. I am thankful for you!
I love you, Lord. I am thankful for you!

xoxo, J

Thursday, March 24, 2016

dear Lincoln Steele (firsts)

Hey there my little handsome, 

You are the 2nd love of mommy's life & take up SO much room in my heart. Now that you're here, Daddy & Mommy can't imagine days without you! Mommy has been meaning to write every single day in your baby book about all of your new daily things, but seeing how I keep procrastinating that, I'm going to write them here until I get the book together! 

I love you so much!

Born: August 9, 2015
Time: 1:41 p.m.
Weight: 9 pounds 11.7 ounces
Length: 22 inches

Born with LOTS of dark brown hair (that we knew from mommy's last appt.)-(a lot lighter now) & blue-gray eyes (blue now). You looked lots like Daddy, but now you look soooooo much like Mommy & Daddy's sides!

First person to visit you in the hospital: Grandpa VS
Others to visit: Grandma VS, Uncle Justin, Auntie Jill, Uncle Jarryd, Auntie Lyndsey
Grandma F, Uncle Christian, Auntie Jess, Cousin John
Mr. Terry & Ms. Sherri, Ms. Kim, (twice!) Ms. Sarah
Miss Julie & Ms. Jessica
Mr. David, Mr. Aaron & Mr. Avery
Ms. Missy
Pastor Mike & Ms. Connie
Great Grandma VS

Mommy & Daddy took you home on Tuesday & we had you all to ourselves for a few days.

You had lots of visitors in the first 2 weeks or so of life! Uncle Justin, Auntie Jill & all the kiddos came to see you on Thursday & blessed us all with some yummy Papa Murphy's pizza! And even brought us one to keep in our freezer -- Daddy's favorite: sausage & green olive! Uncle Christian, Auntie Jess, John, Uncle Jonathan & Auntie Casey came to visit, too! Grandma Gayla was such a blessing & stayed with us for a whole week! She cooked us yummy food like alfredo & bruschetta, daddy's favorite chocolate chip cookies & lots of other yummies! Grandma Diane came & stayed for a few days after that, too! A lot of people from FFC came to visit bringing us lots of food to eat after that! It was such a blessing to have the body of Christ surrounding us during this time!

August 24: 2 week appointment
August 29: 1st I-Cubs game

September 4: Meet Lydia (@ MLG Launch)
September 11: 1st Sleepover @ Uncle Justin & Auntie Jill's
September 13: 1st Sickness (lasted a few weeks?)
September 19: 1st smile
September 22: Mommy's 6 week f/u post
September 25: 1st sleep through the night (2 days before 7 weeks)
September 29: kept smiling at Daddy's fart noises before work

October 9: 2 month appointment
October 10: Cousin Kelsey baby shower (& meeting Great-Aunt Melody/Lynn/Dot & Cousins Krista/Kelsey/Cierra)
October (sometime in here): 2nd sleepover @ Gpa Scott & Gma Gayla's for a few days while Daddy's sick... :(
October 18: Back from Gpa & Gma's -- sleeping through night again!
October 22: Daddy & Mommy anniversary! Bailey's baby shower
October 30: Beggar's Night/Gma Gayla babysits you & Daddy/Mommy celebrate a-day

November 2: Slept without dreamfeed (1 day after 12 weeks)
November 7: Meet Katie
November 13: Meet Uncle Jeremy!
November 18: Great Grandma VS comes to visit again
November 21: pick up new carseat b/c we thought you outgrew old one (1 day before 15 weeks)
November 26: Thanksgiving @ Gpa & Gma VS
November 28: Thanksgiving @ Gma F; First trip to her house

December 18: Eagle Christmas party & meeting all Daddy's coworkers
December 25: First Christmas  & WOKE ON TUMMY! (3 gifts from us -- FP phone & record player & recordable book); also got shirt from Andrew & Jeanne...bunch of stuff from Terry & See...stuffed animal from Sue...
December 26: Gpa & Gma VS Christmas; Meet Auntie Mel & Cousin JJ
December 30: Mommy starts cutting certain foods for BFing

January 11: Rolled 3x (Mommy missed the 1st one though!)
January 12: Woke up sleeping FACE DOWN (planking!)
Jan 16: squeezing hands really tight
January 22: Miss Jen was holding you at MLG & when you saw us, you started crying (NOT typical)
Jan 21/22/23: starting to make really funny, high-pitched noises
January 31: Dedication!
MID OF JAN: really started nuzzling into me before bed...faceplanting into my collar bone & getting last burps out before bed & naps!
END OF JAN: Loving new textures! Sucking on tongue! Grabbing toes! Rolling! Lots of noises!

February 1: Meet Cousin Jamie
Feb 10: Mommy saw you roll BACK over; starting to move HIPS; fascinated with TOES
February 14: 1st Valentine's Day (got a white button up w/ bowtie!); Daddy got to watch you roll back over!
February 15: 6 month appt; starting to get toes/feet under you...
February 19: Birth Days with 2015 IDA babies! Saw Laura & Emily & David
February 22: 1st Tooth (Gma Gayla was here! -- had been teething since 4 months) 2nd tooth VERY soon after!
February 27: 1st food (brown rice cereal that Daddy had purred, Mommy mixed, Daddy fed you for the first time!); John's bday party
Feb-March: Gma Gayla has been staying every couple of weeks since she had her hand are LOVING getting to know her & recognize her!

March 1: helped mommy plan daddy's birthday for the 1st time!
March 12: 1st DMV...daddy keeps saying, "everyone always remembers their 1st DMV!" He's silly.
March 13: Second Tru for the FULL time in nursery...your # popped up during service, so Daddy & I rushed to nursery & you were crying SO hard. We have NEVER seen you cry so hard in your life. You couldn't stop & were sucking air. We brought you to the nursing room where mommy brought you to breast to calm you down & we watched the rest of service from there. Apparently you started getting fussy, so they tried to change your diaper (you DO NOT like to be laid down on changing table when you're tired!) & that's when you really lost it! We were serving in KZ, so we tried a 2nd time & they brought you to us in KZ since you were starting to get upset again! Poor buddy.
March 16: First Lip cut (on window when you were standing on cill with mama)
MID MARCH: Really sitting on your own -- no props...getting your feet & knees completely under you with your butt stuck up in the air!
MID/LATE March: 4 hour eating schedule ...wake time approx. 1.5 hours before naps
March 27: tried sweet potatoes
March 27 or 28 (can't remember): FIRST basket with dada
April 9: Daddy starts calling you scooter
(week of) April 3-9: you start sounding "dada" even though we don't think you know what it means
April 12: BANANAS!
April 13: Mama THINKS you signed "PLEASE" 2-3x...but not 100%...although PRETTY sure :D
April 13: SHOWERING mama with kisses (Daddy says you've been kissing him a while)
-Really starting to fuss when put on your changing table...and when a toy is taken away (or sour cream at the grocery store!) :D

April 18: tries yellow squash

April 25: Ate off mama's banana
April 27: PEAS
April: starting to understand "HIGHFIVES" & NOT rolling over when changed; knowing the words "up, up, up" & saying please when we say this at times...
April 28: Mommy baby proofs outlets because you are SO close to crawling. Today you started up on your knees going after things! Gah! You've been working on it & it's really happening!
April 28: Mama bought sippy cups last night & we're going to try them out today!

April 30: When you yawned, you made a 'burp' noise, just like MAMA -- LOL
May 1: Just noticing he's starting to clap!
May 2: Avocados!!!
May 12: Greenbeans
-you're giving fives!
-you're saying DADA (although IDK if you know what it means)
-You wiggle your feet when you're excited
-You are getting more of an opinion!
-YOU.LOVE.BANANAS. and eat them pureed or regular!
-YOU HAVE 5 TEETH! and bit mama's collar bone the other day when it was nap time (not malicious)
-You LOVE outside


Other things you love: 
Pinching your pointer finger & thumb together tightly
Blowing Raspberries
Learning new sounds
Ceiling fans & lights!

May 14: eating puffs
May 16: were found sitting in crib
-starting to eat with spoon
May 17: dropped crib down to lowest setting
May 18: tried cheese!!!

husband's motivation!

You may have remember me writing about getting motivated to study for my massage boards here!

Well, I had told my husband that I needed some sort of punishment or something if I don't study some night... well, the other night it happened... I came home from shopping with my mom until like 1 a.m. Hunky husband & I hadn't had a lot of time to talk because we were having a fun girls night after our little dude went to bed. But the next day while folding laundry, husband & I were catching up on the previous night. He says, "You know how you told me you needed some motivation to get you studying? Well, here's what I thought of..." And he proceeded to tell me his clever ultimatum. I study 2 hours/night...or...HE SLEEPS ON THE COUCH (I also turn over my phone to him, so I don't get too distracted)! I started laughing. YES. All I could do was turn around & say, "You sure know how to make me study!" I DO NOT WANT THAT HAPPENING, SO YOU KNOW WHAT -- I HAVEN'T MISSED A SINGLE NIGHT WHEN I CAN HELP IT!!! And he has NOT slept on the couch. Turns out, this is what I needed all along! :) I love my husband -- well done, smart man. Well done. I have been learning SO much. Perk for him -- he gets some more practice massages, too! Boards -- HERE.I.COME.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

red's amazing M&M cookies...

howdy friends!

I'm trying to get it more together as a wife & a mommy, in regards to the kitchen. I've made a calendar where we have certain foods certain nights...for example:

Monday: Make-Your-Own Pizza Night
Tuesday: Pasta Night
Wednesday: Taco Tuesday
Thursday: Random/New Recipe
Friday: Bible Study (so we eat there)
Saturday: Crock pot (depending on what's going on)
Sunday: Burger King (getting to know the workers) &/or Crockpot &/or Leftovers

I'm also trying to get better at dessert. Now that I've figured out how to spell it correctly (I told myself you always want more of it, so that's why there's 2 s's...not 1! :)...). I'm finding it exciting to have a snack for my husband to enjoy! I brought this to Bible Study & everyone seemed to enjoy it as well... 

Thank you grocery store clearance section, for having this bag of M&M Baking bits for $1! And for putting a recipe on the back of your bag. Sincerely, Jacie Noelle

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups M&M'S Brand Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Baking Bits 
(I just put the whole bag in...well, whatever I hadn't eaten yet...seriously)

1. In a large bowl, cream butter & both sugars until well blended. Add egg & vanilla & mix

2. In a different bowl, sift flour (I didn't do), baking soda & salt together (I just poured in a bowl & mixed). Slowly add these to butter mixture & stir until combined. 

3. Fold in M&M's (I used my mixer at first, but it was breaking them all, so I used a spatula & followed directions!). Chill dough for 1 hour or overnight (I did overnight -- mostly because I got too busy to finish that day!).

4. Drog dough by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased tray about 2 inches apart. 

5. Preheat oven to 350. 

6. Bake 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12-14 minutes for crispy cookies. Enjoy! (I found this to be a harder part -- maybe it's our oven. 8-10 minutes they were still like dough! So, I kept adding 2 minutes at a time...I still don't have a perfect time, but hopefully I'll make again!).

xs & os, 

Friday, March 4, 2016

what God is teaching me through my child...

My friend, Laura, wrote a little something on life with a 7-month old (I can't believe Link is going to be 7 months in 5 days -- GAH!). She wrote on how your baby teaches YOU so many things...she is SO RIGHT.

Before Link was here, I was pleading with the Lord to show me His love through the gift of this precious life. To show me how He loves me by the feelings that I have for this little one. And He has taught me that & then some. 

A couple things the Lord has taught me:

-(more about) His unconditional love: When Link was first born, I distinctly remember sitting in that bright yellow rocking chair, snuggling him in my arms while he fell asleep in my arms. Bliss. And completely, utterly being head over heels. THIS IS HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT YOU, DISCIPLE OF JESUS! You are His child...and he is totally in love with you. 

-Growth: Around 2 weeks, we put Lincoln in his room to sleep. He's a pretty good sleeper & for the most part, always has been. After 4 weeks or so, we started BabyWise. There were a couple of nights later on where we let him cry 5 or maybe 10 minutes. But after a night or two, he learned that he falls asleep on his own. This isn't because we don't love him or want to neglect him...quite the opposite. We believe this is good & for growth. He NEEDS sleep. And we NEED him to sleep. We are still there, but we've stepped back a little bit to let him learn. And grow. And I think the Father does this, too. I've come to realize that in the trials of life...or when I think I can't hear or feel God, He is ALWAYS there...maybe he's just allowing this trial for growth. Never mistake that for unloving.

-Rest: Rest in Him & His promises. Just like a newborn rests in your arms & is completely reliant on you, allow God to be that for you. 

I just found this email that I sent to two of my girlfriends August 27th (Link was born August 9th):

Before Lincoln got here, I asked God to help me understand his unconditional love more with this baby. To show me just how he loves me by how I knew I'd love Linc... anyways, it's been neat to see & I'm still learning. Just now, Linc had a Moro Reflex while sleeping on my chest in his Ergo. He cried for like a second before I put my hand on him & he heard my voice & told him it's okay...the he immediately rested & fell back asleep. Isn't that what it's like with the Father? We have a 'problem' or something scares us & HE is the only one who can help us. Sometimes he allows us to have those 'problems' to draw us closer to the only One who can console us. Anyways, just a thought I had. Motherhood is the best!

Happy Thursday!

Now, I really wish that I would have written all these things down & I'm kicking myself for not...but as I remember others, I'll post them up here -- they're good reminders for me, too!

Praying that someone can be encouraged through this... :D

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Massage Motivation.

Most people complete their clinical, complete their classes, graduate from massage therapy school AND THEN take like 5 years...or prep for their boards, right? 

Well, unfortunately that's what I've done. Procrastination is for the birds. Finding proper motivation to even finish this is really tough for me.

Anyways, Jill Duggar recently completed her Midwifery training which led to her husband posting some verses he was meditating over online. This inspired me to make a bookmark in my study book that I can look over before I study... 

Just incase you're struggling finding motivation, too:

Colossians 3:23
"And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord & not to men..."

Ecclesiastes 9:10
"Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom..."

Proverbs 13:4
"The soul of the sluggard craves & gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied."

Phil. 4:13
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Phil. 2:14-15
"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless & innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked & twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world..."

1 Corinthians 10:3
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God."

Proverbs 16:3
"Commit your work to the Lord & your plans will be established."

Image result for procrastinationImage result for procrastination

Well, now back to the study grind before my little one wakes up. I keep reminding myself...


YOU DO YOUR PART, HE'LL DO HIS! Not to mention all the time & money that has been poured into this -- and I want to be a good steward of both! 

I'd appreciate your prayers as well for strength with my upcoming test! ...and strength for all the prep! :)

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