Daily Verse

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.








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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

So today, on Christmas Eve 2009 it isn't very difficult to find something to be Thankful for!  At the current moment I am sitting at my parents computer while the rest of the family is sleeping in one corner of the house or another and in just a few hours the house will be hustling and bustling with movement of my two precious children and all these people that love them so....and you know what?  My children love them all right back!  For the first time in my 7 years of marriage and my brother and is wonderful wife of 2 years, we are all sleeping under the same roof and are looking at being snowed in by what some are calling the 'Bah Humbug' blizzard.  I feel very different about it!  While it may keep us from some of the traditions of a normal Christmas Eve, what better could you find than being snowed in with a family that has so much love for each other?

My sister-in-law came out this afternoon and us girls played games while the kids napped, her mom stopped by and joined us for a brief time and oh what fun that was!  Soon all the guys were in and both my brother and my husband joined in the fun and we had some good laughter going while two little munchkins were lap hopping mooching familiar Christmas treats from who they could! 

Please do not get me wrong, the most important part of Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Savior who came to this earth to die for our sins.  I am so grateful for God sending His Son on that very first Christmas and it would be a shame if ever a Christmas went by without reflecting on what the true meaning of Christmas is all about...

But at the same time with all of our business of daily happenings how often do we have the chance to be snowed in as a big happy family with nothing but time to invest in each other?  I for one am looking forward to what the next few days bring...I am sure there will be lots of eating, many tears (brought on my my brother's odd sense of humor), games played, movies watched, but most of all love shared! 

Tonight we will be in church for the traditional Christmas Eve service (weather permitting) and then we will share a family meal together.  After all the dishes are done we will gather around the Christmas Tree and open gifts...anyone that says they do not get excited for this part HAS to be lying!  Who doesn't like opening gifts?  But is it really about the gifts?  I know what is under the tree for me, but it is still going to be so much fun to see family being just that...FAMILY! 

So Mom, Dad, Farmer & Wife, Handsome, Princess, & my BooBear....thank you!  Thank you for being my family!  Thank you for the memories you have already created for myself and my children this Christmas, thank you for the time we will share over the next few days!  Thank you for the love that will be displayed, yes Farmer, I really do know you love me!  I look forward to the rest of our time together this wonderful Christmas break and to the many MANY years we get to push repeat and make memories over and over again!  This is what I look forward to at Christmas time, this is what I am THANKFUL for!  FAMILY!

The only thing could make it more special is if we had one more person and anyone special to them here with us...while you may never be with us for Christmas because you have your family to be with, please know you are welcome to come along side us any time you feel would be the right time.  We are here with open arms and looking forward to one day when our seperate lives can collide, even if just for a short time!  We love you...because that is what family does! 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our Christmas Letter 2009

Greetings from our family,

Oh the wonderful time of year when we get to celebrate the Saviors birth! We are looking forward to enjoying Christmas this year, since we were a little stressed with trying to find a new home in a short amount of time! Here is a rundown of what 2009 was like for the Hartung Family!

January ~ We worked on getting the ‘new house’ ready to move into by Saturday the 24th. It was wonderful to have my parents and so many from our new church willing to help. It only took 1 ¾ hours to get our entire household & daycare moved!

February ~ As a family we decided to take Valentines weekend and relax, we stayed in a hotel with an indoor water park. We all really enjoyed the slower pace! We also started a potluck/game night at our house the 3rd Friday of each month!

March ~ Started with a bang - a crash bang that is! I fell on the ice and knocked myself unconscious. After a fast trip to the ER, we found out that there was no major damage – except her pride that is – for this we thank the Lord! We also joined our church, had Handsome’s parents visit, and enjoyed a special lunch with cousin Aaron & his family in the Hills.

April ~ Was a somewhat quiet month, if you exclude all the snow that fell on us! We had 3 major snowstorms within 2 ½ weeks! It was tough on the checkbook to be off of work for so many days, it was nice to be settled in our new home!

May ~ Oh how crazy it was! My mom was here the first weekend for Princess’s very first tap/ballet recital. It took a little while for her to stop asking about dance class over summer break! We also built a storage shed behind our house, had 2 foster boys with us for a couple of weeks, drove a friends’ convertible up the canyon, and finished the month with a trip to the other side of the state.

June~ We were able to make a trip ‘home’ for Father’s Day weekend and the kids got to throw candy in the Saddle Horse Holiday parade in Lake Benton. My mom joined us again at the end of the month for a little over a week…it was WONDERFUL to have her around that long!

July~ My parents joined us for the Belle Fourche rodeo & fireworks on the 3rd and then for the big parade on the 4th. Grandpa & Grandma also thought that the kids should take part in their first carnival. Princess would have gone on rides all day, but Boo thought two was enough! We also had a special visit from Aunt Carolyn & Uncle Dave and fit in a trip to Devil’s Tower while they were here. We ended with another trip ‘East’ for a quick family reunion and the Opera House summer musical.

August~ Handsome and Boo took a father/son hike right into a den of rattlers…it was the first thing Boo wanted to tell me about! Our 7th anniversary fell right in the middle of the Sturgis Bike Rally…so we stayed home! We also had VIP guests when my Mom and Sister-In-Law came to visit for 5 days! While they were here we visited Reptile Gardens, shopped (of course), toured Hill City, went through Rushmore Cave and the Presidential Wax Museum, and drove past Mt. Rushmore. We are hoping they make it an annual event (hintHINT.) As a family we also enjoyed some snake free hiking and stood in awe of God’s beautiful creation around us here in the Black Hills.

September~ We went to Storybook Island in Rapid City on Labor Day. Princess also started her second year of tap & ballet. We ended the month with the celebration of Princess’s 3rd birthday. Of course, my mom came out for few days to help us celebrate and was able to take the kids on a date WITHOUT Mommy! We also had our traditional drive up the canyon (during peak fall colors), had the birthday party, and then went to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins with Grandma – what a treat!

October~ We were able to go to our very first Family Life Weekend to Remember and enjoyed every minute of it! The kids stayed with our dear friends for two nights by themselves…when did they grow up so fast? The very next weekend they were invited for their first play date – seriously, they have more of a social life than their parents! Toward the end of the month, we celebrated Pumpkin Patch Daycares 1st anniversary, God has blessed in that department!

November~ Most of this month is filled with anticipation for Thanksgiving. We travel to my parents house and spend 5 days with them. I always look forward to the Black Friday sales that start at 4 AM! The kids get to spend a fun day with Daddy and Grandpa!

December~ We look forward to a busy, but wonderful month filled with celebrations of our Savior. We will go East River for 5 days and celebrate Boo’s 3rd birthday while there. The kids are getting more and more excited about time with family…which just brings us to the fact that they are growing way to fast!

2009 has been fast and furious, but oh how God has blessed us richly this year. Together we step into the New Year desiring to serve God while remembering our new family motto of “No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regrets”.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Boo Bear!

His turned out very well...I had a hard time picking a fav, but this one is probably it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Princess

This is my favorite of Princess!

I don't mind these pictures...except the lady put the purple and yellow flowers in a CHRISTMAS I am a purple & yellow fan (go Vikings), but not with red & green dresses at Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Because I cannot pick my fav...

You get to see them all!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My kids are such DOLLS!


The Princess received this awesome dollhouse or as she calls it (dollie house) for her birthday and they love playing with it!  As of this point we have not allowed all the Pumpkins at the Patch to play with it, so it is still the 'special' toy! 

It only took them about two months to figure out they fit in there!  One night while I was cooking and Handsome was folding laundry he spotted this!  Too cute!  They were having a blast!

*Photos taken by Handsome*

Friday, December 11, 2009

Big Boy Bed for Boo!

Back in the beginning of November we thought that our Boo was ready for a big boy bed.  He had commented on wanting a big girl bed like Sissy's several times and, well he is almost three!  I had bought a bed for him was back in January (when Princess started sleeping in hers!) but it just didn't seem like the right time for him then.  Well, I am not so sure that this was the right time for him either...but he is there none the less!  We had a difficult time with getting him to stay in his bed rather than get up to play in the middle of the night.  We tried EVERYTHING and it just wasn't working.  He was getting more and more grumpy from lack of sleep, and the Patch kids that normally sleep in his room were not getting their naps.  But just in the last few days we tried one last thing and it seems to be working...for the most part!  He does love his bed, and his new bedding!  It helped to make it more of a cowboy feel to his room!  We are proud of him, though he did sleep VERY well at Grandpa & Grandma's at Thanksgiving in the pack n play there!  But now he is ready for Baby O to come and sleep in his old crib...with almost three year olds you move from one battle right into the next!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Another ~actual~ Thankful Thursday post!

Today I am thankful for the fact that I can hear!  I know it is something that many people {including myself} take for granted, but lately I have realized just how important it is to your day.  For whatever reason I lost my hearing in my left ear several years still under investigation!  Well, after I fell in March ~actually I slipped on the ice and knocked myself out~ my hearing in the left ear started coming back here and there.  It started with ringing that would come and go, then this summer I started actually hearing things here and there!

Then the week before Thanksgiving I managed to loose my hearing in my right ear, thankfully within a few days my hearing in my left ear started working pretty well for me.  But I do not hear soft toned voices very well.  After being so patient for about a week my Handsome finally persuaded me to go to the doc and get things checked out so that Thanksgiving wouldn't be miserable for everyone involved.  I went, they flushed {both ears} and left NOT HEARING A THING!  The flush trapped water in my ear that made it impossible for me to hear anything for the rest of that day and into the next.  Though, I did get a perscription for drops and while I have not used them as faithfully as I should...we have come to the conclusion that it must be water trapped in my ear somewhere.  When I wake up I can hardly hear a thing after laying in bed all night...but by evening, my hearing is much better! 

So, I am thankful for being able to hear 'I love you' and music and babies and every.tiny.little.thing! 
What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Our Christmas Ornements

The start to our Ornament collection...Handsome got it for me while he was at Myrtle Beach and sent it to me while I was in college!

Our first Christmas together!


2004 (from my Mom, aka~Grandma Pancake)


2005 Ornament exchange at church!


2006 ~ the Princess' first Christmas!

2006 ~ for Princess, from Grandma Pancake!


2007 ~ Boo's first Christmas!

Princess (2006)


2008 ~ Princess

2008 ~ Boo

2009 ~ Princess

2009 ~ Boo

1992 ~ To from Grandma Jeanne

1994 ~ From Grandma Jeanne

2007 ~ Meshach, our Pomeranian

2007 ~ Nema Jaylee, our Mini Doxie!

We this year decided to only put ornaments that have a story or are one of our 'special' ones on the tree!  This is most of them, and we did get one for us as a couple for 2009...but I do not have a picture of it wasn't on the tree when these pictures were taken!  How fun to have a Christmas tree full of so many special memories, rather than just being pretty!

There will also be two more added to the tree later today, the ones our kids made at daycare yesterday.  They are red ball ornements that we used white paint to put their handprints on and we turned each finger into a snowman!  Pretty cute they are!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas Tree adventure 2009

Starting out the walk through the snow to find the 'perfect SMALL Christmas tree!"

Happy to be in his snow boots and snow pants in the SNOW!

We found it!

Seeing Daddy carry it down the hill...excited!

Very excited!

It's a good one!

Loaded up to head home!  The kids thought it was the coolest thing to have the tree 'up top the stuburban'

All decorated and PRETTY!

Checking things out...I used to do this and fall asleep under the tree when I was a little tyke!

He would have stayed there for hours if we had let him!  He loves the Christmas tree and puts his hands in front of his mouth and says, "Oh my word...OH MY WORD!" is going to be a fun year!  The next morning when they woke up to presents under the tree it was wonderful...except they thought they could open them right then, but nope...they have to WAIT!