December 30, 2007
Then on Sunday our friends from TX left and three hours later our relatives came back to spend one more night.
It was funny how it all worked out that way.
We got a kick out of our 'hotel' with the revolving door and the three hour break in between guests. : )
Now, everyone has officially left.... Even the dog we were watching for the 10 days has just left.
And I am officially wiped out.
But oh, was it fun!!!!!!!
It was one memorable Christmas week and we loved it all.
December 28, 2007
The kids and I have done a little cleaning and remade the beds for the next round of company (friends from TX) that will arrive in an hour!
We had a blast with our family.
Here is my hubby leading us in Christmas carols on Christmas morning.
The guys of the family called it "an air soft gun Christmas."
We set up a war zone in the backyard and they played capture the flag but it was capture the shoe
and it included lots of shooting. ~That's about all I know since my sister-in-law and I stayed in the house. But the dads were out there, high up in the tree house as referees. I bet they can't remember the last time they sat in a tree house together. ; )
We also played lots of family football . Even Joy got in there and played and had a touch down or two. You go, Girly! ; ) There was lots of video gaming and eating and more eating...
We took lots of video footage of the fun since cousin Philip and Nathan are both the owners of Flip Videos now. (boy, are those things fun!)
My dad said that he and my mom sent me something that I have always wanted and that I would be the first in the family to own.
That had me stumped since my kiddos have all the fun gadgets WAY before I even know what they are. (the Flip being one of those for sure)
Anyway, what they sent me was this:
It's a Mexican taco shop for a Christmas village
and it lights up!
Isn't it too funny?! I absolutely LOVE it!!!!
I have a THING for Mexican food and this is the absolute perfect gift for me! It makes me laugh and think of growing up in San Diego and eating at all my favorite little taco shops. We used to say that the ones that looked the worst always had the best food. So, the dumpier looking the better. I'm going to keep it in the kitchen all year round and smile at it. And try not to think of the roll tacos I'm missing by living in Fl. ha ha
Guess what? Good news for my gang! The Wii* is in! And when I told them we were going to pick it up, one of them thought I said "wheat." ; ) Too funny!~Becky
December 27, 2007
Oh. My. Goodness.
There must be something about having our two families getting together and going for pizza that makes for a crazy combination. ; )
And if you are one of our kiddos and you enter a restroom at about that time, then you are likely to be left behind!!! Ahhhh!
We all headed out the door of our house and got into two minivans and didn't realize one of the cousins wasn't with us until we were at the restaurant and it was time to order!!!
It's a really good thing that we are WAY past the toddler years. ha ha
So, we've been faithfully counting heads ever since! : ) Goodness gracious.~Becky
December 23, 2007
Back when we were in youth ministry (and their girls were in our group) they 'adopted' us since our family members are all so far away.
Each year we join them and all their relatives for the best Peurto Rican food ever!
I still can't pronounce these yummy things we eat every year but they take two days to prepare! They are made with plantains and olives and they are so yummy!
The V Family understands what a big deal it is for us to be having family members who are flying out for Christmas. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their two boys arriving tonight!
We are glad their boys have changed their minds about "never coming to Florida again." ; )
It's going to be a big, loud, fun week around here.
I hope you are having a precious time remembering the One who gave us the best gift of all!
December 19, 2007
"The angel of the Lord surrounds those who fear Him and he protects them."
And we saw that protection in a big way, this weekend....
We were all in the car and on our way to a graduation party when a truck hit us from behind because it was hit from behind by an SUV!
We didn't suffer any injuries but let me tell you, it was quite a moment when my hubby and I realized that two of our kids, in the back row, were 20 inches from the impact....
And when that dawned on me and I had to turn around in my seat and I didn't know what I would see.... Well, it was just totally frightening!
But they were fine! Glory to God!
We've all had some headaches and backaches, but that is it.
We are so thankful that we were not injured or at fault. Praise the Lord. And, although our van doesn't look so great, it still runs perfectly and that is a big blessing during this busy season.
December 17, 2007
Welcome to our home!
Before we added on to our house, we didn't really have a good spot for our tree but now it has a spot in the alcove with a window. One of the decorations we have out every year is a nativity set was my hubby's grandmother's. (and thankfully, baby Jesus survived our decorating day) I love this set more than any set I've ever seen because of how Mary has her arms raised worshipping her Lord which is something I love to do too. (and thank goodness for superglue or she wouldn't still be doing that) : ) These mugs are not part of the decor ... but it seems like they are to my family, who has had to look at them for so long.
They were only fifty cents a piece (even the large latte ones) at Wal*Mart. Woohoo!!! I'm filling them up with goodies for our Royal Rangers and Missionettes leaders who are such a blessing to our kiddos every Wednesday night.
Here is a recipe that is a family tradition and perfect for putting into mugs like this or tins. I've given this as gifts many times. Warning! -They are so good, you may not want to share them at all. : ) You will love them because the cooking process alone, will make your house smell heavenly.
Combine: 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of All Spice or Mace.
December 13, 2007
I just love to grind my own flour and make breads and pancakes etc...
Speaking of which, there must be some motherly endorphins released when pulling homemade bread out of the oven. It makes you feel like a nominee for mother of the year or something . I really think I should go and make some right now in fact, because I am not feeling even close to a nominee today. ; )
Anyway, this store isn't open on Saturdays and so for the past 6 or so years, I've had to bring the whole gang with me for this long drive and our kiddos aren't ever too happy about it. Just mentioning it makes them groan.
But not on Tuesday...
When I told them that we were going to go and buy wheat,
nobody groaned and
nobody even spoke.
They just stared at me.
~Right here I have to mention that what they have asked for
for Christmas is a Wii...
Bless their dear hearts, very single one of them thought I'd said
"Let's go buy a Wii!" : )
December 11, 2007
December 7, 2007
Even though we'd saved up for the pricey meals this day would require, my hubby decided at the last minute that it just wasn't a good use of money. (couldn't argue with that) If we hadn't done the birthday milkshake celebration, then we would have gotten out of there for $11.00, which is the price of parking.
Here's how we did Disney 'econo-style'
-Of course it helps to live in the same state because then you don't need a hotel room...
We brought our lunch (yummy Cuban sandwiches which he made us) and ate it in the car. Which doesn't sound too fun but it was just fine. We were out of the park and at our car in only 10 minutes! (even with the tram ride) Then we ate and headed back in for the next show. It was WAY easier than we thought it would be. (and we saved at least $100.00 since there are 7 of us) We also brought into the park our bottled waters, nuts and protein bars for snacks. At dinnertime we munched on our snacks and realized that we would have missed an awesome show if we would've gone to dinner. The park didn't stay open late on a week night, so it closed at 8:00. After that we headed over to the first set of golden arches we found in Orlando and had something off the dollar menu for our dinner. : )
Going 'ecno-style' was a fun challenge that proved to be worthwhile. We were glad we splurged on the crazy birthday memory though.
Our MANY thanks to the A Family who made all these fun memories possible! : )~Becky
December 5, 2007
We were overwhelmed and thrilled!!!
It was our kiddos first time. We went on the day after Christmas and we made so many fun memories.
Well, that dear family has blessed us again........ with more tickets!!!
And so, we are off to make more memories.... On my hubby's birthday! (and we are bringing Carlos, our favorite bachelor and my hubby's best friend because it wouldn't be his birthday without him!)
December 4, 2007
Sometimes that is a compliment for all that I do to make this season special...
At other times, we both know it is code word for 'Christmas decoration control freak.' Does anybody else rearrange the ornaments your kids put up when they are in bed? I know, I'm weird.
After our photo shoot the other day, we had a little decorating party after school.
Unfortunately, it wasn't too cozy a moment to tuck into our memories. Which is really a bummer because I won a free c.d. and agreed to post about a family event we did while listening to it. ; )
Somehow some candy canes were packed away with the ornaments that had been stored in the attic last year. This meant that when I opened that box, I found a roach fest in progress, which caused me to do a lot of shrieking and squealing.
And that led to much teasing from one of my boys who thought I was way too wimpy.
Then I had one kiddo zooming the antique baby Jesus from my husband's grandmother around the room and another one tossing glass balls we received at our wedding ....
Maybe it was the eggnog? (ha ha)
So, the Christmas Queen (the side of me that is the decoration control freak) had a few things to say...
But before all that happened, we were happily listening to this:
And it was beautiful. All of the kids commented on the music. I especially liked "Christmas Angels."
We are really big Michael W. Smith fans. Nathan and my hubby were in the audience when "Above All" was recorded live at a church in the area. It is a fond memory of theirs and they love to talk about it whenever they hear the song.~Next year, I think the Christmas Queen is going to hide the antiques and let the kids do all the decorating! -Without me even rearranging them. Imagine that?!
I think they will be really suprised and happy. : )
And we will definitely be playing more of this great c.d. throughout the season!
December 2, 2007
They are cute, aren't they? And speaking of eggnog, we are eggnog connoisseurs. ; )
We gave Promised*Land Eggnog a try because Nathan heard about it in his Sunday school class and I couldn't pass up one that had Isaiah 9:6 on it!
It was mighty edifying and tasty. : )
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
~Becky -who would love to hear which brand is your favorite...
November 30, 2007
Even though it's convicting, it's a fun read. The author is so humble and humorous. It has inspired me try something new in our morning devotional times.
I can't wait to read it aloud as a family. You can go here for more info.
November 29, 2007
And boy did that spice things up! Blah!
Somebody else decided to sneak a swig of pure maple syrup. They were more than fully corrected when they discovered that the cap hadn't been screwed on properly...
and not until it was too late, did that person find out that they'd just
swallowed a bunch of ants! Ick!
~My hubby reminds me that these are the best days of our lives.
And I want to enjoy every minute of them now because someday this will become one DULL place to live. ; )
November 28, 2007
Sunday, we heard a wonderful sermon on the power of our words and how they effect our friendships, faith and future. Our pastor shared a really neat thing that his wife did.
She went to a craft store and bought wax apples. Then she spray painted them gold and put them in a silver bowl on their coffee table to be a reminder that:
November 27, 2007
and put the swing between their legs and jump off...
and then they land on this...
November 25, 2007
~ And I think I have polka dots completely out of my system now. : )
And that's a good thing since I always go a little overboard with a theme or even a school topic...
I have Google* searches on 'polka dot parties' to thank for all the fun ideas because I'm not all that creative!
Here is the polka dot pet who was ready for the party:
And the polka dot punch: (or at least it was when the ice ring melted)
The polka dot cake: (thanks to those Necco* candies)
The polka dot decorations: The polka dot banner said Happy Birthday Joy. We printed it out on the computer and glued each letter onto a large dot. And thanks to those garage sale stickers we had polka dot balloons and streamers!
It was all a lot of work but that was a big part of the fun. It made for lots of mother/daughter projects and we had fun and made memories planning all of this.
The Lord has blessed Joy with some precious girlfriends from our church. Even her Missionettes teacher came, which was so sweet.
These girls were so cute, polka dotted and polite. They were also so QUIET. We are a loud, rowdy family when we are having fun, so I was amazed at the lack of noise. : )
They enjoyed gluing buttons on the tote bags and decorating the lollipop cookies was a big hit.
Before the lunch time prayer, my hubby gave the girls a little talk. He encouraged them to keep on the path and not to stray to the right or to the left in their walk with the Lord. He asked them to help Joy in her walk too. He prayed a blessing over all of them and asked the Lord to help them to be good, godly influences on each other and he prayed some other sweet things... And the polka dot mom got all choked up and had to get a grip so that she could give lunch time instructions. : )
Here is the sweet birthday girl, who thanked us for giving her the "best birthday ever."
She is a blessing! Happy Birthday, Joy!
Here is the recipe for the lollipop cookies. They would be fun to do at Christmastime with green sprinkles and red hots.
They are easy to make and fun to decorate. I am kicking myself that I didn't get photos of the ones the girls did yesterday. They were adorable. This recipe is from Martha of course. : )
It makes 24 but we wanted our cookies large, so it made less. It took some experimenting to figure out how large was too large and made them fall off their stick... but the boys and Carlos didn't mind eating our mistakes. The recipe suggests that you roll them in colored sugar and then bake. But since we wanted to make them ahead of time and decorate, we didn't do that. We baked them plain and then had the girls frost them and add polka dot candies. Skittles, red hots, sprinkles, strawberry whoppers... (did I mention I was way into the theme) : )
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
2 tsp. pure vanilla
sprinkles or sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat together. Add flour mixture on low speed. Roll dough into balls. Roll into sprinkles or sanding sugar. Place one and half inches apart. Insert wooden sticks. Press lightly with a glass or other flat object. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before picking up.
November 20, 2007
We are still working on having a family worship band.
Every Tuesday night looks like this around here:
With Dad leading us with his passion for worship
and Joy singing
And I pretend to play this... Just teasing! But my sweet merciful family has given me the easiest job possible since I never have time to practice. ~I just play a few of the notes using the "strings" mode which adds a pretty sound.
But Nathan is the 'real' keyboardist around here!
And Zach is our awesome drummer.
Andrew just got this
so he'll be joining the band very soon. Hurray!
November 17, 2007
(*= see below for recipes)
Our menu will be:
Mashed Potatoes and gravy (I'm not that great a gravy though but don't tell my family)
Sweet Potato Casserole (from Sarah at In The Midst of It)
*Deviled Eggs that my kids call "Blessed Eggs"
Homemade Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Frosting Pie
*Peanut Butter Pie
My dear mother-in-law taught me how to make these... And my kids think it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them.
Deviled or Blessed Eggs
Boil 8 eggs for 12 minutes
Immediately immerse in cold water and begin to peel then rinse.
You cut them lengthwise or in half for a chubbier look. If you cut off the tiniest bit off the bottom of the eggs, then they will be stabilized. Put all the yolk in a bowl along with the bits of white you cut off to keep them from rolling.
Mash and add salt and pepper.
Add a teaspoon of sugar
A Tablespoon of basalmic vinegar
Add either real mayo or Slaw Dressing
Mix and fill your eggs. One year I used my cake decorating kit to make them fancy but I usually just spoon in the filling.
Because of the basalmic vinegar, they aren't bright yellow. You can use another vinegar but I just love the taste of the basalmic so I don't worry about the lack of color.
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (we like two) minced
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
Whip all these together until well blended. Best if chilled. Serve on crackers or on rolls. But best on homemade bread!!!
November 16, 2007
Here he is teaching near the white board. He's really fond of the boys but not so fond of the uniform. ; )
November 15, 2007
met an untimely demise.
A way-before-Thanksgiving day demise.
They were unable to feed 20 people after all, just two stray dogs. I was getting rather fond of them.
They really livened things up around here! : )
November 14, 2007
"If I say, 'My foot slips,' Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up."
In our case today, my hubby could say 'if my back slips out of place' Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. " Praise the Lord for that.
Yesterday his back went out and he had to come home from work and spend the day on his back.
He went to work today, in faith and in a good bit of pain...
It is getting better.
"In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." amen
November 11, 2007
Every couple years we give the 'olive plants' the option to have a party with friends. (a couple of them prefer family parties instead)
What Joy wanted most of all this year was a party with her friends at our house. Something we haven't been able to do in many years because of lack of space and then 3 years of adding on to our house.
We are praising God that we have the room now to have 8 girls over for some birthday fun.
And she is SO excited. (maybe because this will be the one day when she isn't outnumbered boys?!) : )
My Martha fan and I chose a fun party theme we found at Martha's web site:
POLKA DOTS! And since she loves all thing crafty, we are going to do polka dot crafts.
We are also:
wearing polka dots...
Decorating with polka dots...
And eating polka dots... not exactly, but the goal is only things that are round.
We thought we'd grill burgers since they are round. Too bad its not melon season because melon balls would be cute. I'm not sure what else we will have.
I'm kind of nervous since I've never hosted a party for girls at our house. (we've had a couple for little boys though) My hubby thinks it is a little scary ; )
but I think he'll find that 8 girls are much easier than the 35 little boys that he teaches every Wednesday night. Don't you?
The polka dot crafts are: Decorating lollipop cookies (they have a Popsicle stick baked into them) I'm making these ahead of time
Decorating tote bags (from Oriental trading-only 83 cents each! yahoo) with buttons and polka dot ribbon and fabric pens and making bracelets out of buttons
Games are : Twister and air hockey
Favors are: Cute polka dot head bands (I found on sale for a dollar each)and round candies like gumballs, jaw breakers and suckers .... put inside their decorated tote bags.
And have I mentioned that I've never hosted a party in my home for little girls before and I'm a little nervous? Hopefully all this and lunch will keep them busy for two and half hours. I'm not sure. But I'm not going to worry. Because the other day, out of the blue, Joy said "I don't think any birthday party can be perfect." And I agreed with her and felt better. Isn't she a joy?
I think Martha and I could learn a thing or two from her. : )
Please leave us any POLKA DOT suggestions you might have
Ignore "the Judge" in the background.
I guess "fighting" and quoting Bible facts and verses really don't go together. ; )
November 9, 2007
Last week doesn't count as a usual date...
We had the not-at-all-romantic experience of being stranded in a not-so great neighborhood after locking not one, but two sets of keys in the car.
Then we had the adventure of riding in a cab. (a first for me) Our cab driver didn't waste any time getting us from point A to point B though and I was glad for my seat belt. It was some evening...And way more expensive than two frappacinos!
Tonight's date night is going to be unusual too. It will be way more expensive than two frappacinos or ten...
(but thankfully it is FREE for us. PTL!)
My hubby's boss is taking everyone in the company and their spouses to dinner at a downtown restaurant. (It's the oldest and most famous one in our city) And then to a play at the performing arts center. Woo hoo! The neat thing is that the performance is going to benefit a local prison ministry. The play is called from Jail to Yale.
And so we are REALLLLY excited!
It will surely beat last week's date! : )
And my hubby looks so good in that new sport coat of his, that I may have trouble keeping my eyes on the stage!
November 8, 2007
I felt so very blessed!
This award originated with Dan King: "Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) is to make more disciples. The role of a disciple of Christ is to carry His message to the ends of the earth. It is with this heart that I have created the Mathetes Award."
Those who receive it are to pass it on to other disciples who are sharing the good news in their own bloggity ways.
Here are the rules: Winners of this award to pass this on to five other "disciples". As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for (1)this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God), (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name the sites of those you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ.
And I'd like to give it to these precious 'disciples' who share the Lord in awesome ways on their blogs:
Becky at The Butler's Wife
Tammy at A Fruitful Vine
Toni at In the Midst of this Season
(And I would have given it to Homeschool in the Little House too, but there's probably a rule against tagging someone back) : )
Dan King's prayer: "I just pray a blessing over bloggers that receive this award and ask that the Holy Spirit use them mightily as they share the Word of God with the world around them. May all their efforts be fruitful and their words carry the annointing of the Spirit of God. In Jesus' name, Amen."