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

March 30, 2008

All things strawberry ~continued

Joy's chocolate covered strawberries turned out so well! This recipe was so much easier than the one I used to use. (with a double broiler -ugh!)
Who knew there was a special shake and a twist involved? : )

I just had to try this recipe because it sounded so strange. And ya know, its not bad. But, don't try it on the same day that you make chocolate covered strawberries because what can compare to those! : ) It's a combination I would never of thought of in a million years. Has anyone had this before?

Strawberries and Balsamic vinegar

Fresh strawberries
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 c. powdered sugar

Place each of these in their own separate bowls and then dip your strawberry in vinegar and then sugar!

And this fruit dip is good. Healthier than the one that calls for dipping strawberries in marshmellow cream, that's for sure! ; )

Yogurt Fruit Dip

1 c. vanilla yogurt
1 can crushed pineapple drained
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. coconut

Mix, cool one hour or overnight. Great with fruit and cheese cubes.

I've had this spinach and strawberry salad before and I can't wait to make it! I think I'll just buy a similar dressing, though.

One thing I love to do with strawberries is put them on homemade waffles (made from fresh ground wheat!) Yum! I make those and pancakes with my wheat more than bread. Bread takes so long and if it doesn't turn out just perfect then I get all discouraged. : ) But today, one of the kids told me that they would rather eat my bread than cookies!!! Gracious! There's some incentive!!! I'll have to get back to bread making .

Last on the list of fun strawberry recipes is strawberry shortcake. And when I get in a M*rtha St*wart mood, I make her shortcake recipe. It's great but I don't get in that mood very often. ; ) If I want to make shortcake in a hurry, then its a yellow cake mix from a box that I make in a bundt cake pan. (which makes it look nicer!) Since I've seen My B*g Fat Gr**k Wedding too many times, I can't ever say "bundt cake" without thinking of that movie! LOL

I think that's it for 'all things strawberry!' : )


All things strawberry!

We went picking!

It was fun but not as much fun as it has been in the past since we had to pay twice as much for the strawberries and the pickings were slim! : (
But, we had a nice time anyway and came home with 21 quarts! Yum!!!

Here is my sister-in-law's recipe for strawberry bread. We loved it! I think I'll be making this again soon.

Strawberry Nut Bread Makes two loaves

3 cups all purpose flour (I use freshly ground wheat flour

1 t. baking soda

1 T. ground cinnamon

2 cups sugar

3 eggs, well beaten

1.5 tsp vanilla (I read this wrong and put in 5 tsp! Oops! Still yummy though!)

1 cup veg. oil

Grated rind of one lemon

3 cups chopped strawberries (about 2 baskets)

3/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two 9" loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking soda and stir until the soda is well distributed. Add the cinnamon and sugar. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, oil, and lemon rind. Spoon the strawberries into the liquid ingredients and stir gently to coat them. Add this mixture in batches to the dry ingredients, by hand. Fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake 1 hour. Test with a wooden toothpick. Allow loaves t cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack. Do not slice until ready to serve.

~If you have time, I'd love to hear what your favorite strawberry recipes are and I'll post some more tomorrow.


March 28, 2008

All the books that would be written

One of our boys just finished reading the book of John yesterday and he was telling me how cool he thinks John 21:25 is:

"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one,
I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

So, we just sat there a minute trying to comprehend how many books the world CAN contain
and what that verse means.

I love that verse too.
I told him that I gave it my own paraphrase and it's written in his baby book, which surprised him.

It says:

"Zachary did many other cute things as well.
If every one of them were written down,
I suppose that even the whole world would not have room
for the books that would be written."

He smiled....
And I think, he thought that was just a little weird.
But that's a mom for you! : )
Wasn't he cute?!
He still is!!!


March 27, 2008

A quilt fight

It's pretty embarrassing how long it is taking me to make this quilt.

The two of us had a falling out a couple months ago and we haven't been on sewing terms ever since. : )

But, I'm happy to say that I have forgiven it for making me rip out a gazillion stitches and we are best buddies once again.
We even watched Idol together the other night.

So, at this rate, I might actually finish it one of these days.

And when I do, I think my family and our favorite bachelor will be in shock.
Because this is the same one that I was talking about last summer. That I was suppose to have done by the New Year's um, before, actually.

Yes, I'm one speedy quilter! ; )

March 26, 2008

Wednesday in the Word

My younger kiddos and I enjoyed reading Little Pilgrim's Progress recently
and we had 'some church' : )
when we read the part where Christian is in the dungeon of the giant Despair!

He had been beaten several times and been given a poison that he could take if he wanted to end his misery or he could hold out, only to be killed in a few days.
But what he didn't realize at the time, was that he had the Key of Promise in his pocket!!!
The key that would release him was with him the whole time.
Isn't that a great analogy? How often do we get into discouraging or despairing situations and not realize we have the key to the dungeon, all we have to do is get it out and use it!
We talked about that being the time when we need to take the WORD
that we've 'hidden in our hearts' and speak it over our situations.
The promises in the Word are our Keys of Promise and they will open doors and the Truth will set us free.
Then we can leave all those things behind and get back on the "King's Way!"


March 24, 2008

Spring Break!

This is spring break at our house!!! Woohoo!!!

We are all excited about doing......

not a whole lot of anything!
~It will be some blessed downtime!

I'm looking forward to doing some deep cleaning and reorganizing which I don't have much time to do normally. I also need to catch up on some grading for my high school kiddo and spend some time planning out the rest of his school year.

Other than that we'll just be hanging out.

Except for one event which is one of our favorite things that we do every year...
Go strawberry picking! This post reminded me that 30 quarts is a little too much.
(But I had two extra pickers last year, since our nephews from CA spent spring break with us. And then one of them got an actual break : (
and that was a little bit too much excitement for this aunt.LOL)

I can't wait to have a fridge and freezer full of strawberries! It's so much fun. ~Next week I'll have to post some strawberry recipes and ask for your favorites.

We will also be playing lots of this!
Which is new at our house and a blast!!! (maybe I'll get some much needed dancing skillz!) : )


March 20, 2008

The pets!

Joy caught this awesome picture of Jimmy the other day!!! He is getting so pretty.

We think we've heard him 'singing' the music to the Wii* and making the sounds of the boxing game! He got really excited and sang away to Handel's Messiah in school yesterday. : )

While I'm at it, here is Honey!
It is kind of funny to have a dog named the same thing I call my hubby and that he calls me. (we didn't name her) Once in awhile it gets a little confusing.

I always feel like I ought to go and tell new neighbors that I'm not yelling for my husband when I open up the door late at night calling "Hon-ey!!!"
She doesn't always come when called. : )

There was one Sunday morning, when she got out of our yard and we couldn't find her. The whole family was in a panic. We all went our separate ways to look for her. I stood in the middle of the street in a dress and bare feet (lovely!) calling "Honey!!!" (and hoping the neighbors knew that I meant the dog.) Ha ha ~ They were probably glad to see my hubby drive up soon afterwards. ; )
And we were really glad to see Honey show up!

No photo of the fish! But the crazy fun we've had with them is here.
Fishy heart attacks, flushing and a Nemo impersonation. : )


March 18, 2008

A request for prayer

Will you pray for a dear friend of mine?

She's a precious sister in the Lord and a homeschool mom. She's one of those women who could be on a part two of the Hebrews 11 list!

She has been in the hospital all week. Earlier today we found out that her kidneys are failing and then we heard that she'd been moved to ICU.

Thank you!

Edited to Update:
Thank you for praying for my friend! No news at this time, other than she is in stable condition.

Wonderful muffins!

We just finished up our geography study of New York.
Did you know that New York has a state muffin?!

Can you guess what kind? Apple!
They were SO good! We'll be making them again!
Here is the recipe from Learning Adventures (we are on a New World of Adventure this year)

Apple Muffins
2 cups flour (we used wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peeled and chopped apples
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Streusel Topping:
1/2 reserved crumb mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 T. sugar
Combine flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Remove 1/2 cup of this mixture to set aside for the topping. Now turn your attention back to the dry mixture. Add the chopped apple and stir well. Beat egg and milk in a small bowl and then add to the apple mixture. Stir until moist. Grease muffin cups with non-sticking spray or use cupcake liners. Spoon batter evenly into each about 2/3 of the way full. The streusel mixture is made by combing the 1/2 cup of reserved crumbs, the cinnamon, the pecans, and the 2 T. of sugar. After combining these, sprinkle streusel crumbs over the batter of each muffin cup. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Yum!

~And if you are studying New York,
The Empire State Building by Elizabeth Mann is such a great book!
It would also be fun to add to a study on The Great Depression. The pictures will blow you away. It didn't look like anyone used safety harnesses back then!
(I would not have wanted to be a building inspector on that project!)

March 17, 2008

A whole lot of stripes

We decided to take a photo during our celebration!
It was kind of funny when we looked around and realized we were almost all wearing stripes!!! ~Except the two that chose to wear plaid!
And we didn't even notice for awhile!

So, here we are! ~ In lots of horizontal and vertical lines. ; )


March 14, 2008


We are having a thanksgiving celebration tomorrow!
We decided to take a day each year to celebrate the amazing things that the Lord did to our house these last three years!

The way He did it, still boggles our minds. "God has done great things for us and we are glad!!!" Really glad!

This is what happened:
In 2004, we refinanced our house so that we could put an addition on to our little 800+ sq. foot, fifty year old house, which had only one bathroom and two bedrooms. We really couldn't afford to move and we loved our little house, our yard, and our neighbors. ~We REALLY loved our tiny mortgage payment. We planned to add on a large bedroom and a bathroom for our three boys (that would give our daughter her own room, finally) and to close in our carport for a family room.

Since we didn't want to go into any debt to do this major project, we used the refinancing money for all the building supplies

and decided to do the work ourselves. It was by faith, that a painter, without any construction skills, determined to take on this project. : )
We knew it would be slow going since he could only work on it on the weekends.
~We figured it would only take my hubby every weekend until Jesus comes!

But then God more than met us and had miracles in mind!!!

By the time we had the permit, it was 2005.
Then on the second of February, my hubby's best friend Carlos, said that he was between jobs and would work on our addition for us during the week. Without pay!!! (the only thing he would accept were home cooked meals!!!!) : )

Carlos gave up 10 months of his life to work on our house that year! He was here 6 days a week and sometimes 7. That verse that says "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend" will forever remind me of what he did for us.

I love this picture. He was totally afraid of heights. So, when he worked on the roof, we knew that it was because "perfect love casts out fear." : )

Did I mention that he's a mechanic by trade and didn't know a whole lot more than my painter? : ) He did have a little bathroom remodeling and tile laying experience but that was about it. He told us later that he just acted confident so that we would feel better. (what a friend!)

He read books and prayed when he didn't know how to go about the next phase. There were several tricky things that he had no clue about how to do and God showed him how in dreams! Seriously! It was amazing!

He did everything to perfection!!! He was meticulous about details. What a blessing. Everything he works on always turns out beautifully. We would've been happy with so much less, but he always gave us perfection. It was very humbling.

It was an awesome learning experience for our oldest son who was his right hand man. He learned so much that year! It was one big family project since the other three kiddos and I helped by being the clean up crew.

The addition was finished just before my father-in-law came to visit from CO for Thanksgiving that year!!! It was incredible and so much sooner than we ever dared to hope for.

Then the 'fun' continued in 2006 when Carlos helped us remodel the other two bedrooms. Then he decided that it wasn't 'right' that the boys had a nicer bathroom than we did and he GAVE our bathroom an extreme makeover! It is gorgeous! I love it so much! I was always saying that I didn't know why I was getting a little piece of heaven, early. But, that's what it felt and still does, feel like.

We thought we were all done with construction after the bathroom and boy, was I ever glad. It isn't easy to home school with a nail gone banging in the next room or a compressor going that is so loud you feel like you have to yell to be heard.

But in the summer of 2007 Carlos wanted us 'to let him' remodel our kitchen. (Is he one amazing friend or what?!) He didn't like the fact that the rest of the house was perfect and that the tile WE really did lay ourselves 6 yrs. before, was... um, crooked! We don't possess tiling skills!
And then he and my hubby got to thinking and wondering ..... Before I knew it, it wasn't just a new floor they were talking about. It was knocking down a wall here and a wall there! (and I actually shed some tears over the thought of more demo and construction)
My sweet hubby talked me into it. They said it would only take a month and that didn't sound so bad. But it actually took three (all summer) and it was harder on me than the other projects put together. : )
It was an interesting time:
~Having it look like a bomb hit our house
~Having a toaster in the laundry room which got crumbs in the clean laundry.
~Having to boil water to do the dishes several times a day.
~ And many other things that sound really whiny now that its all over. ; )

Thankfully, all my appliances were in the new family room which was a blessing because we couldn't have eaten out for 3 months!!! Although, I don't think I would've minded that a bit. ha ha
Here a before picture:

And these are during:
And these are after:

It was one amazing gift!!!!!

That sums up that last 3 years of our lives!!! And it doesn't sum up all that Carlos did during that time or all that he means to our lives!

So, tomorrow is our big celebration and we are going to give 'honor where honor is due' and bless and thank our dear friend. Although, I don't think we can ever thank him enough.

May God richly bless him!!!!!!!


March 13, 2008

The vote

I thought I'd post the update, that my hubby didn't get voted in as a deacon.
-Some very seasoned saints were voted in and I'm sure they will do a wonderful job!
When we saw who the other nominees were, we were in awe all over again, that he was even nominated. : )
It was a neat experience.


March 12, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

Have you read this post of Beth Moore's about giving God glory for the things He does in our lives?
I loved it.
Go read it. : )
~It will make you want to sing, shout and praise the next time He moves in your life.

March 10, 2008

A good read

My friend Jamie, has a new blog!

I love her posts!!! Go by and say 'hi.'

She is a blessing! ~And her 'munchkins' are adorable. : )


March 8, 2008

What an honor!

My hubby has been nominated to be a deacon at our church!
I'm so thrilled and excited for him!!! ~Being a deacon and eventually an elder, have been the desires of his heart ever since he became a Christian back in college.

He has such a passion for the local church and he has such a servant's heart.
I think he would make a wonderful deacon.
(But I'm biased! I think he would be wonderful at anything.) ; )
We will find out whether or not this is God's timing on Wednesday,
when the church takes a vote. : )

"Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."


JBQ districts

Today we had our last Junior Bible Quiz match!!!
It was the district finals with 300+ quizzers from all over our state coming together to play each other.
Here is Joy winning a ribbon for being in third place for highest number of points scored in
our flight! Whoo-hoo!
And Andrew had three positive quiz outs. Yay!
Our team was in flight number 6 (out of 9 flights) and we came in third place!
She and Andrew have worked really hard and they've had a great year.
My hubby and I enjoyed our first year as coaches!
(I wish I could post our team photo but I'd want to get all the parents permission first)
What a great group of kids we get to hang out with!!!! (their parents are really awesome too!) ; )


March 6, 2008

The day that computers were not my friend

Yesterday was full of "technical difficulties" for this mom.

First off, one of our computers crashed!

The other computer wasn't much help at all because our new Intern*t filter wouldn't let one of our boys do his homework for an online course he's taking.
This new filter seems to work in reverse. It lets in what you don't want and keeps out what you do. Ugh!

Then we went to a meeting to pick up my son's test scores. He took one of those tests that helps you determine what your strengths are and what kind of a career you would enjoy. But, when we got there, we were told that his test scores were 'lost.'

After that major dissappointment, we headed to the grocery store.
At the check out, youngest son told me that he was buying me this:

He said "Mom, I think you need a little chocolate in your life today!"
Prayer and chocolate work wonders, even when all computers are against you. ; )

March 4, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

The last couple of days, I've been enjoying my quiet time in Deuteronomy chapters 6-9.
Even though these verses refer to the children of Israel, they apply to my walk with the Lord and they blessed me.

"He took you out so He could bring you in..."

"For your good always...."

"Then it will be righteousness for us..."

"To do you good in the end..."

Isn't it neat to see what God has brought us out of and what He's brought us into? Once that usually not-so-fun process is over, it's easy to see how it was totally for our good and always is. He is faithful!


March 3, 2008

Our funny kiddos

My sweet mother-in-law was always encouraging me to write down all the cute little things the kiddos were saying and doing when they were little.
And most of the time, I didn't have time to. We affectionately refer to those days as "one big blurr!" But we enjoyed every minute!

So, my mom-in-law started jotting down this stories when we talked on the phone. (she lived in CO) And then when we all got email, she started printing out those little quotes and stories I sent her and compiling them into a notebook for me. Wasn't that sweet?
I knew that someday I would inherit that precious book and I was so excited. After she died it was missing for 3 years!!! I used to pray and pray that God would reveal its whereabouts. He did! It finally turned up and I have it now. I love it!!!!

These are some of my favorite goofy/cute things the kids have said this past year or so that she would've got a kick out of.
She would be really glad to know that I am actually writing them down! : )

"That clock has stopped. That really TICKS me off."

Mom: "Do you want to use the lint brush on your shirt?"
Kiddo: "Why? Isn't this the season of Lent?"

"I want a shirt that says 'I have the best dad in the world.'"

"Mom, you sure put some lame things on that blog."

"You are the best mom I ever had."

"Tennis isn't tennis without Dad."

"I wish that there were such a thing as genies to grant my wish that the whole world would get saved."

"Why do they always sing "Saved a ranch like me?"

"Are you on your blob?"

"Boys have gallbladders and girls have bladders."

"Don't say anything cute or Mom will put it on the blog."

"Why are they called 'the children of Isreal' when they were over 30 years old?!"

"Isn't it lying to clean our room so much before company comes and make them think it's always this clean?"

"It seems like this room has magical rowdy powers."

"Why would I want to get out of bed when I have such incredible pajamas."

"God bless the person who invented gift cards!"

"I have enough socks to last until Jesus comes."

"If Dad was a wall, you would still say he was cute, Mom."

"I'm not going to have tons of children when I grow up because they'd be too rowdy."

"Mom! I can't be referred to on the Internet as an olive plant!"

Kiddo: "Why did Martha*Stewart go to jail anyway?"
Other kiddo: "I think she stole someone else's recipe."