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

November 30, 2007

A great read!

This book is so inspiring. I just LOVE it!!!

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

Savoring even the crazy moments

Someone wanted to spice up the cereal a little and grabbed the cinnamon bottle and sprinkled a bunch of it into the whole box of cereal. But since they hadn't read the bottle, they found out that the cinnamon looks very much like the
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

Wednesdays in the Word

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:

"A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Proverbs 25:11
Isn't that a great idea?! I love it.
But, I guess their two Labs thought they looked good enough to eat... I just might do this and hope that Honey doesn't get the same idea.

November 27, 2007

The beloved ladder

I realized that the ladder is showing in Joy's birthday picture in the last post.
It isn't because we are painting anything.
It happens to provide the best entertainment at our house. : ) And it is one of our kiddos' favorite things. So we are very happy to keep it here for the company my hubby works for when it isn't in use.

They love to:

take this swing
and climb part of the way up this ladder

and put the swing between their legs and jump off...

and then they land on this...

And it is so much fun! And they make it look so easy.
But I know it isn't because I chickened out on it last week. Not that I had any plans of landing on the tramp, they just wanted me to jump off the ladder with the swing. And as I was standing up there on it, I kept picturing myself with a broken bone and unable to cook Thanksgiving dinner. So, I climbed back down.... I think I made the right decision. ; )
I often pray for protection for that 'fun' they are having and God has been so faithful!


November 25, 2007

The Polka Dot Party

Joy's party was so much fun!
~ 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) : )

Lollipop Cookies

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
Popsicle sticks
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

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

And a very Happy Birthday to our dear, sweet Joy! : )

~Becky, who even has polka dots in her dreams ! : )

Our Tuesday nights

"It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High..."
Psalm 92:1

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


I'm a little late joining this but I couldn't resist! Go to Looking to Heaven for all the great menus and recipes being shared.

(*= 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)

Green Beans

Sweet Potato Casserole (from Sarah at In The Midst of It)

*Deviled Eggs that my kids call "Blessed Eggs"

Homemade Yeast Rolls

*Garlic Spread

Chocolate Clusters

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.

Garlic Spread

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

Better than a horse whisperer

Since my hubby's back is still on the mend, he missed church Wednesday night.
I knew that his class of 34 boys was going to be short handed without him so I went to help out. I think in reality, it would take three of me to be as effective as he is but I went anyway. : )

His new helpers were telling me all about how wonderful he is with the boys and how much patience he has. (and I totally agree!)

My favorite compliment was this one:

One of the ladies asked me if I knew about the Horse Whisperer and then she said,
"Well, I tell people that your husband is the Boy Whisperer!
There is something about his voice and the way he talks to the boys...
It makes them want to obey him and he is the only person they will listen to."

I thought that was pretty sweet.
-who is proudly married to the "Boy Whisperer"

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

I'm sorry to say that our new neighbors

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

Wednesday in the Word

Psalm 94:18-19
"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

Life is all about polka dots right now

For the second time we have the pleasure of being thankful for Joy's birth on Thanksgiving Day! She really is a joy. : )

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

Football lingo and JBQ

Here's a picture one of the kids took on our way out the door for our big date. : )

Ignore "the Judge" in the background.
That is quiz box for Junior Bible Quiz matches and it holds the buzzers.
I thought if I kept it by the door, and just about tripped over it all day, then I would remember to take it to yesterday's match.

The JBQ match was a lot of fun! My hubby was working, so I coached our team solo for the first time. It was a blast. Everyone on our team buzzed-in in almost every round. Yay!
And I learned what not to say, while coaching a JBQ team
and I think it is safe to blame it on football season.

We were playing against the team with the top quizzer in our league. (and maybe our state)

Our team was giving it their all and I was so proud. It was the last match of the day (9th round) so we were all gettting really tired.
During the time-out I said: "You guys are doing great. Keep fighting."

Joy turned back around and said "Mom, what do you mean fighting?!"

Me: "Um, well, you know like in football? I just mean keep playing hard. Ya know, keep fighting...?"

-She looked at me like I was from another planet. ha ha
I guess "fighting" and quoting Bible facts and verses really don't go together. ; )

November 9, 2007

Unusual date nights

Our date nights are usually spent chatting over frappacinos at our local Starbucks.

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

An award!

I'd like to thank my dear friend gr8ful4grace at Homeschool in the Little House for giving me the

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."


November 7, 2007

Wednesdays in the Word

I love lists! I'm a list person.
Well, last year I made myself this little daily check list of scriptures....
I just found it yesterday and was it ever a good reminder!

Have I "let my light so shine before men that they may see my good works and glorify my Father in Heaven?"

Have I had a thankful spirit and "rejoiced in the Lord?"

Have I found a way to "go the extra mile?"

Have I "put on the whole armor of God?"

Have I "let the word of Christ dwell in me richly?"

Have I resisted "returning evil for evil?"

Have I "worked as unto the Lord and not to men?"

Have I kept "my mind on things above and not on things of the earth?"

Have I "honored all people, (my kiddos included) loved the brotherhood, feared God and honored the king?"

Have I made sure not to "provoke my children to wrath" or caused them to "become discouraged?"

Have I spent time "training them up in the way they should go?"

Have I "prayed without ceasing?"

Have I "let the peace of Christ dwell in me richly?"

Have I been "faithful in what is least" so I can be faithful in much someday?"

Have I "honored my husband" and "submitted to him as to the Lord" for he is my head?"

Have I "put on the Lord Jesus Christ and made no provision for the flesh?"

And finally have I "looked for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ?"

That is some list!
Maybe I will loose it again on purpose. Just kidding! ; )
I'm glad I found it and I need to be looking at it quite often!

November 4, 2007

Canoes and quizzing

Most of the family spent our day at Nathan's Teen Bible Quiz match. For us, it is an 11 hr. event if you include the driving time. I love it though. It is an incredible ministry! You can't beat spending the day with the future pillars of the church and listening to them quote the Word. : )
Nathan had a great time and God blessed his efforts.

Zach spent his weekend in the woods with the Royal Rangers.
This time their goal was the canoe merit.
They were going to have to capsize their canoes several times as a part of the requirements. That seemed a little weird to me and brought to mind visions of these: (and made me pray)

To which I was told, they were going to a clear water river and "alligators don't like clear water." I knew that was true since I just heard that from a park ranger at a spring we just visited where the kids were able to catch little critters and look at them under a microscope.

But guess what?

Someone along the way has forgotten to inform said wildlife of this fact.

Because before the capsizing business commenced they saw

a baby alligator!!!

It was a little nervy capsizing canoes after that.
Zach said they kept wondering where the mother was....

(I think it's probably a good thing that this mother was blissfully unaware of this fact until her baby was back home and safe!) ; )

They didn't finish earning the canoe merit. They still have to go for a 10 mile canoe trip. But at least they'll be staying inside the canoes for that! -I think.


November 3, 2007

A new season of ministry

For the last 5 years my hubby and I have been teaching a Royal Ranger class together.

Here are some of the things I've learned over the years teaching 35 Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade boys:

Don't even bother to pass out pink scissors, none of the boys will use them

Cleaning up another child's throw up is much harder than cleaning up your own child's throw up

Make sure that all snacks are the same or there could be a riot

Little boys are like dogs. They sense fear. Always act or at least fake total confidence when teaching

Identical twins can be ruthless. Especially when they refuse to tell you which one is which. If you don't know who is who then just pretend you do.
(if you call them by the wrong name they will correct you and voila! -You'll have your answer!)

And finally, you may never want to play dodge ball again if you trip over a little guy and hit the gravel face first. Ugh!

My hubby is doing a fabulous job teaching these little guys. And he is my hero!
We feel like it is time for me to help in the youth group now.
I enjoyed my season of giving cups of warm Kool Aid in His Name... It was never boring and I'm going to miss it. : )


November 1, 2007

Refreshing the saints

I found out that my friend Tammy is a fellow blogger with a beautiful blog! And if you are homeschooling and have preschoolers too, than you are going to want her to be your new BFF because she has lots of wonderful ideas and activities for the pre-K crowd. She's a blessing to our homeschool group and has such a precious family.

The first day that I visited her blog she'd written on hospitality and it was just what I needed to read! It was a great reminder that I'm not called to give people a fabulous entertaining experience, with complicated recipes where everything seems perfect.
I am called to 'refresh the saints'!
And 'to be hospitable without grumbling.'

God worked it out that I read her post just a few days before having company for the first time in a long while because all summer, our kitchen looked something like this:

So, with that new concept in our hearts, we spent a good deal of time the rest of the week, praying that our family would 'refresh' the Y family when they came over.
And I actually didn't cook any of my favorite 'company' meals. I made something super easy and kid friendly.
I did clean the absolute daylights out of my house though and if I tried to act like I didn't, I think I'd be struck dead. (teasing!)
Anyway, we had the best time! Hopefully, we succeeded in blessing the precious Y family.

I'd say that all 7 kids had a great time together. Zach and Nate got on their instruments and played Light of the World while their daughters and Joy sang it. Then they practiced the worship song that they all know in sign language from being together on the kids church praise and worship team. I was really blessed watching them. Aren't kingdom friends the best?!

We are all looking forward to more opportunities to 'refresh the saints.'
Now, I don't think my kiddos will twitch or be allergic to hospitality in the future! ; )

Go buy candy -quickly

Would you like to get started making a cute Christmas or hostess gift?
Run out and buy a bunch of Halloween candy that is 50% off today and you can make a Candy Christmas wreath. Go here for a how-to video! : ) (Look under "What's New")
It's so cute! And easy! Make yourself one too and everyone who comes to your house for the holidays can cut off a piece of candy. The scissors are a cute touch.
Happy candy shopping!
(and I am sorry I'm not savvy enough to show the video right here)