"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

January 31, 2007

Oh the fun of owl pellets!

Here's a homeschooling tip:

Never bone a chicken on the same day that you've dissected owl pellets. It's too creepy for words!

I will spare you the pictures I took.
Our owls had eaten and coughed up (these aren't from the other end, ya know) : )
- three rodents and one bird.

When it was over, I had a sudden urge to majorly clean the kitchen.. Blah! My friend made it sound like we were really missing out since we had never dissected owl pellets! Well, I'm happy to say that we are no longer deprived. : )


January 30, 2007

Wednesdays in the Word

I just love Psalm 78! I love applying it to parenting!

Our mission:
v.4 "Telling to the generations to come (our children) the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done." : )

Here is why:

1. So they will 'not forget the works of God.' v.8
2. So they will not 'turn back in the day of battle.' v9
3. So they will not become people who don't 'believe in His wondrous works.' v.32
4. So they will not become people who 'limit the Holy One of Israel.'

The awesome results:
That the generations of our families to come
"may set their hope in God." v.6


Dad's strategy

"Who's your Daddy?!"

My hubby is a wonderful daddy. I could write a lot of posts about what an incredible dad he is!!!
About 4 years ago, the Lord gave him this strategy for staying connected to our kids and passing on his faith. Here's what he strives to do:
1. Play instruments together and worship the Lord
2. Spend 15 min. a day with each child (hearing their hearts)
3. Take each one on a date once a month (they do breakfast)
4. Every 8 weeks take one of them camping (for bonding and fun)

January 29, 2007

The pictures are here!

Christmas 2006

This was our children's first trip to Disney.
Here we are on the ferry ride over to the Magic Kingdom.
After the photo, Andrew asked Zach who he was going to hug first. (isn't that a sweet question?)
(maybe he's seen too many Disney commercials?) Thankfully, entering the park was so exciting that he didn't notice that they didn't have Disney characters waiting to hug him. : )

An incredible Christmas gift from some friends of ours!: )

We are hooked up!

We've finally switched to high speed! YAY! My computer woes have ended!

High speed is really fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope to be adding pictures to the blog tonight... or whenever I get a turn on the computer! ; )


January 27, 2007

Not as great a combination as I thought

The Snickers were overkill and I am ill! ugh!
(a Hershey bar would have been better) : )

A great combination

I know you should really try a recipe before you share it but I don't think you can miss with this
combination- two of my favorite things: Mexican food and CHOCOLATE! : )
I'm going to make these tonight.

Chocolate Chimichangas!!!!!!! (what a great idea!)

6 chocolate bars (my hubby and Nathan said it had to be Snickers-they think alike.) : )
6 flour tortillas
oil for frying
raspberry sauce (recipe provided)
vanilla ice cream

Put a candy bar into a tortilla and wrap it like a burrito. Wrap all of them and then place them on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 min. Heat up the oil. Fry the tortillas until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream on top.

Now, I think they'd be wonderful without the raspberry sauce because this sounds like too much work for
me. : ) But here is the recipe if you want to try it:

Raspberry sauce

10 oz. frozen raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. cornstarch

Combine berries, sugar and lemon and bring to boil. Simmer uncovered for 5 min. or until thick. Let cool completely away from heat. Strain it and discard pulp. (maybe it would be good in pancakes or muffins?)
Whisk in 1 tsp. cornstarch. Bring to boil for 1 or 2 min. Until thick. (it can be stored for up to 3 days)

If anyone wants an awesome chicken chimichanga recipe, just let me know. (it's my sister in law's and so yummy!)

(Note: Chocolate Chimichangas from latest issue of Reader's Digest)

January 26, 2007

Our amazing friend

My hubby has an amazing friend. It would take up a lot of posts to tell all about what Carlos means to us and what he has done for us. And if you know us (and aren't cyber friends) than you have met him already because he is 'family.'
Our kids have adopted him as their uncle since their real wonderful uncles are so far away. He can rattle off their birth dates faster than my hubby can. I have no doubt that he'd give his life for them without a hesitation. Actually, he's given up a good part of his life for all of us already.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend."

We saw this passage lived out in front of us in a big way. Carlos gave up 10 months of his life to add an addition onto our house without accepting any pay. (he only accepted dinners) He worked all day for 6 and sometimes 7 days a week, out of love and without one complaint. Except for sleeping here, he just about lived here all those months. (and the amazing thing is, he still likes us!) : )
He gave up another year's worth of weekends to help us finish up all our goals around here and to be used by God to give us "more than we ever asked or hoped for." (i.e.- two remodeled bedrooms, an extreme bathroom remodel and a pavered patio) Just incredible!

He is quite a guy. He's a certified auto mechanic by trade who didn't know a whole lot more about adding on to a house than my hubby who is a painter. But, he prayed, read books and acted like he had it all under control so that we would feel better. And when he was really stumped on how to do the next phase, God would give him a dream and then he would 'see' how to go about it. Amazing.
Anything he puts his mind to, he figures out and does it to perfection. He's meticulous. The only thing he says he can't fix 'are relationships'.

He is also an absolute riot. He's so funny. He's one big kid. He makes us laugh so hard that I have more than once, spit out my drink at the dinner table! (embarrassing) He's pretty proud of his bachelor status in life and can be a little crude and goofy. During those months, he would let Honey (our dog) lick his plate when he was finished eating and then hand the plate to me and tell me it was clean enough to go back in the cupboard. UGH! One time, I had my hand in the garbage disposal side of the sink to fish out something and he pretended to turn on the switch. I jumped a mile and a half. Another time, he put termite droppings next to the brand new wood we were building with and told my hubby that we had termites, just to see him freak out. (he likes to watch us freak out) Another time, he said there was someone at the door for me and it was the Rooms to Go truck, with furniture that he bought for us! (I was too shocked to freak out that time) He didn't want our "old furniture" going back in the living room that he had just worked on. He's pretty amazing like that.

My hubby stepped out in faith to add on to our little 800 + sq. ft. house on every weekend till Jesus comes : ) or just about! Then Carlos said he was between jobs and would work on it for us during the week. What a blessing!

You see we had a small house with two bedrooms and 4 kiddos, and we needed God to do something. We loved our street, we loved our neighbors and we really loved our tiny mortgage payment and our very low taxes. My hubby prayed and believed God to move on our behalf and to give us the space we desperately needed to raise the wonderful family He gave us. We refinanced our house to pay for the building materials and my hubby determined to add on more space (without debt) which meant doing all the work himself... and in stepped our amazing friend and the dream became a reality. ~Becky

January 25, 2007

What this blog is missing...

PHOTOS! We need photos. : )
I'm hoping to figure out how to post those soon. Experiments one and two have failed... But, I'll keep trying.

Hello to all my sweet relatives who have dropped by! Love and hugs from all of us!

And if anyone wants to leave a comment, feel free. I recently figured out that you click on the word 'comments' and then write us a message and it comes to us as an email. Pretty neat!


Science fair projects

Our home school group is having a science fair.
Science is really not my thing. (anyone for a history fair?)
At the library the other day, I quickly pounced on a copy of "The Idiot's Guide to Science Fair Projects." -that ought to help. : )

I presented the idea of involvement to my kiddos and to my surprise they wanted to enter!
Here are some of the topics we are exploring:

Microwave ovens
Hot air rising

And this original topic: Does video gaming damage your eyes?

Someone (who shall be nameless) would have to test their hypothesis on their DS Lite and/or PS2 for at least 8 hrs. straight. And then we'd have to find an eye doctor who would be willing to donate a before and after eye exam, all in the name of science, of course.... It could be interesting.
My dear hubby vetoed that idea in a hurry. (I think it was the 8 hrs. part) : )
So, that person is now considering "Do dogs prefer their food warm, cold or room temperature?" -And that just isn't nearly as much fun to study!


January 24, 2007

Big news!

Zach's braces are coming off! At the end of March! yay!

January 23, 2007

Wednesdays in the Word

I thought I'd take Wednesdays to share something from my favorite book of all time, the Bible.

Isn't it amazing how self absorbed we are when we are teens and young adults. (It either mellows with age or my laid back hubby is rubbing off on me) Some where along the line, we realize that the whole world isn't watching us and doesn't care if we are having a bad hair day and if our shoes don't look really look good with that outfit. But we all get insecure at times and worry about what people think of us. With that in mind, I saw Galatians chapter 2 in a new light. Here's what I got out of it:

1. An apostle blew it and got caught up in what others thought of him. Peter - "Before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles but when they came, he withdrew..." (v.12 ) And we all know this unfortunately wasn't the first time that Peter let the opinions of others get him in trouble. (hear a cock crowing?)

2. The man whose name means 'son of encouragement' who helped Saul to be accepted by the brethren got in trouble with this too. Barnabus- "so even Barnabus was carried away with their hypocrisy." (v. 13) -Not too encouraging!

3. Paul was different. He was totally unconcerned. "...from those who seemed to be something-whatever they were it makes no difference to me." (v.6 ) Don't you love Paul? He didn't have hang ups with this. Then he reminds us that God "shows personal favoritism to no man." What a blessing!

We've got to remember verse 20 that reminds us that we have been "crucified with Christ." We are no longer even living! Our flesh wants to rise up in us and be concerned or bent out of shape about what others may think of us, that is for sure. But, it is Christ that is living in us now! : ) We know He never got caught up in any of this, like Peter, Barnabus and I have.

Fish tank fun

Can fish have heart attacks? : )
We think we've seen one! The poor little thing shook all over, then swam around like he was fine and then died! (of course, he had a name so it was sad)
We've had one fish get stuck in the filter and live. That was nice.
We found out that they can be 'scared to death' -literally. Three of them had that fate from a little friend of ours.
And one did a Nemo imitation. Or was it Gill? Someone (yes, I have guilt) left the tank open and it dove out for freedom (forgetting that it's "all drains lead to the ocean") and landed on the living room rug and wasn't noticed until it was too late.

Fish tank fun started for us on Father's day last year as a gift to the best Dad ever. My hubby had been saying that our new living room would not be complete until he had a fish tank. (years ago we had one when we traded in an obnoxious parrot for it-but that's another story) You see, we have relaxation tactics around here. I guess because we need them! Mine is sitting in the living room with lit candles everywhere and his is to gaze at fish. : )

We had a great time surprising him with the tank and the stand. We got a raw wood jelly cabinet to be the stand from Wood You. So, it was rather a 'do it yourself ' gift but thankfully he loves staining and varnishing wood. Then we took him for a picnic dinner at the beach. (that actually sounds like something we should have done for Mother's Day instead because he is not a beach lover!) Anyway, we wanted to show him this gorgeous beach that we had enjoyed recently with our home school group. Well, Hurricane Ernesto had just come through ( it wasn't a big one) and the beach was not pretty. No fluffy sand or green translucent water... Instead the water was dark. There were big rocks and seaweed all over the place.-blah!
- But then it hit us! Big white FREE rocks were everywhere. How cool would some of those look in our new tank! (and did I mention free?!) So, we decided to make a our tank look Floridian. No fluorescent rocks and plastic plants or mermaids for us! It turned out really nice!

I tease my hubby about the fact that when mentioning his vision of the perfect living room, he left out the part about how he would never actually feed the fish or clean the tank! ; )
But, at least I don't have to dispose of any remains! Since the kids find them so fascinating, they do all the flushing!

Andrew's advice

This morning...

"Mommy, you should get YOUTH-O-LOGY! It's a cream that you put right there. Those things under your eyes are called bags on t.v. And if you put this stuff on they'll be gone in 90 seconds! You should get some."

Aren't mornings fun?! ; )

January 21, 2007

Go Colts!

Rejoicing with Tony Dungy tonight!!!!
We just had to stay up and hear him give the glory to God.
We weren't disappointed! PTL! : )

From the 1800's back to 2007

My guys are back from the reenactment. They had an incredible time. Zach said it was "all competing and eating." : ) Nathan was a great 'man of the house' this weekend. He was a big help in a mini crisis we had and he encouraged the discouraged, which was a blessing.

They competed at throwing tomahawks and knives, shooting bows and arrows and lighting fires. (Zach is really good at throwing tomahawks) The fire competition was timed. They had to get a spark from flint and steel to light with char cloth in a nest of money hair. Zach held the record time with 6 seconds for a little while. (Later this year, they hope to get certified so that next year they can compete with the black powder rifles.)

My hubby was really impressd with the whole atmosphere. FCF is an elite group of men and boys within the Royal Ranger program.The young men are called 'young bucks' and the middle aged and elderly are called the 'old timers.' Once you get in, you can be a member your entire life. The young bucks respectfully do a lot of the grunt work, like washing dishes. The old timers are held in very high esteem. They feel called to make a difference in the lives of young men and are very generous towards them. It's a really neat group. (Some of them have been camping together for more than 20 years!) We can't wait until Nathan can join too.

My hubby came a way from it blessed and spiritually refreshed. And highly motivated to practice these skills before next year's "competing and eating" takes place. : )

January 19, 2007

Keep me in a mini-van!

I had to drive my hubby's Nissan Frontier today. It has a topper with a ladder on it. I haven't driven it but a handful of times and I was a little nervous...

Here is the conversation that took place in it today:

"Good thing you didn't hit that car, Mom! Because Dad would have killed you."
"Dad would never kill Mom! If Mom crashed the truck, Dad would laugh."

~Well, I don't know about that! Let's not find out. ; )


January 18, 2007

Camping in your Slippers

This weekend is the Trace camping trip for my hubby and Zach who are members of FCF. (Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship) This is their first real event after becoming members last year. That in itself is quite a feat. Lots of merits to be earned and classes to be taken. Then comes the grueling initiation and the hazing -in Christian love. (of course!) And what do they get to do now that they are in? Camp in their slippers!

Actually, everyone has to wear time period appropriate clothing. And well, unless you want to go and skin a pig (we actually have a friend who is planning to do this-ugh!) then you settle for leather slippers from the clearance rack at Walmart and hope that no one gives you a hard time about your rubber soles! : )

School today, included a lesson on making char-cloth. Here's what I learned today:
1. Pre-burned cloth helps start a fire with a spark from flint and steel
2. Chimneias come in handy for the cooking of the cotton in a tin can
3. Taking cotton out of the tin can and putting it on the BBQ grill is much faster!
4. Those little pieces of cloth could spark and relight while you are at Walmart
5. Taking the blow dryer outside and trying it out on the cloth puts your mind at ease about whether or not they will relight when the wind blows and burn down your whole house

I won't bore you with the details of the worst traffic jam I can remember or shopping for sale priced slippers and a lantern with oil, because of course a flashlight just will not do! Or getting two carts full of groceries while you are there... (this post was almost titled Utter Exhaustion instead, but that wasn't very creative)

Guess what works if you do not have or know of an animal to skin, for canvas pants? : )
Painters pants! And guess what my dear hubby is? And what he owns? Yay! And guess what we get at the paint store? A discount! Now, the painter's son has his own painters paints! But, I will probably have a fit if Zach actually paints in them because, well, it wasn't that much of a discount!

(Note: John has taught all the kids to paint and Zach is really good at cutting in! We've done some painting projects as a family and bartered for some pretty cool stuff!)

I had to give Zach a big hug and rejoice in God's grace that we had everything pulled together and that they were looking pretty 1870'ish by 5:30 this evening! And he reminded me of a wonderful fact. It may be a lot of work but I don't have to actually GO camping! Amen to that! I will stay right here in 2007, wearing my slippers IN the house ...and missing them while they are gone.
~ Becky

January 17, 2007

Wednesday Nights

My dear hubby and I teach the Kindergarten, First and Second Grade BOYS at church on Wednesday nights. It is the Ranger Kids section of Royal Rangers.
There are close to 40 of them. Some nights are crazy and others are smooth. Right now we are praying for more help. We only have one other man who helps out in the class. (a former Marine! That yell of his comes in handy at times)
Tonight was one of those great nights for me. I had one of those teachable moments. Don't you love those?! In between the lesson, the playground and the snack, some of the boys had some earnest questions about Heaven and Jesus' return. What a thrill to share the truth with them. They aren't always little sponges that soak up what you are saying. We don't see tons of 'fruit' teaching this grade level like we did when we were in youth ministry. My hubby reminds me that we are planting. It's all about sowing. . . Sowing love and sowing the Word. One day, there will be a harvest...

Have I mentioned how amazing my hubby is lately?
How many men can go into a room of 35 boys and keep their attention. (It is a gift! He is amazing.) How many can be used by God to be funny and fun after working 8 1/2 hard hours and driving 30 min. to get there? How many would even want to try?! He is my hero!

January 16, 2007

Hooray -take two!

I'm so excited to join the bloggity world!

If my mother in law was still living, she would definitely have had a blog!!! (maybe more than one... I can picture her with a Garden Group blog and a "Grandest of Children's" blog (that's what she called the grandkids) and a Shakesphere Lovers blog.... The woman had to write! She had about 20 years worth of daily journals in her bedroom!) I enjoying writing too. But, when I pass on, there won't be as many journals to go through now that I have a BLOG! : )
She actually saved all the emails I sent her with cute stories about our 'olive plants' and compiled them all in a notebook. What a precious book I knew that I would inherit someday. After she died, the notebook was nowhere to be found. My hubby searched. My dear father in law looked. I looked. No luck. I used to pray and ask the Lord to reveal its whereabouts. It was found a 6 months ago after being missing for 3 years! What a treasure it is! So, starting a blog reminds me of my dear mother in law and her love for the "grandest of children." : )