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

August 23, 2008

What's up!

We rented a really cute movie the other night! It was really sweet and funny.
My hubby and I got a kick out of seeing Donny Osmond... When I was a kid, I had the
Donny and Marie Barb*e dolls and I gave Marie a very unflattering haircut. ; )

The Olympics were SO much fun to watch!!!! I'll miss them but I think I've had my fill.... We stayed up way too late on more than one occasion because they were so exciting!

Big news!
We measured....
And Joy and I are exactly the same height! Amazing! My THIRD BORN is as tall as I am.
My hubby often says "You're short, Babe." : )

A family at church blessed my hubby with a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory to thank him for all he does for little boys in his Wednesday night class. It was so sweet!
It has taken us over a month to actually have time to go. We ABSOLUTELY LOVED it. Oh my goodness! -I think we ate 10 lbs of food and brought home with 5 more lbs. of leftovers! It was a nice evening.

We are getting all excited about our trip to California!
We are going to tour the Jelly Belly Factory! Doesn't that sound like fun !?! We'll learn how they are made and try lots of free samples! Yum!

We are going to hike in the mountains and we are excited about going to take a boat ride under this:

and past Alcatraz. And being the big fan I am of chocolate, I want to go here:

We are also planning on going to the Cable Car Museum.

We'll be celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday while we are there, with a Napoleon Dynamite birthday party. ; ) Which will be too funny! The nephews are doing surgery on a unicorn pinata to make it Tina the Llama!!! They said they are serving 'tots and quesadillas' for appetizers! LOL! Aren't they creative?!


August 22, 2008

Congrats to our drummer!

Zach was blessed with the opportunity to play with the the praise and worship team in Youth on Wednesday night!!! He played the congas! And it was awesome!
We were so excited for him!

August 20, 2008

The first week of school

The beginning of a new school year is always exciting. I love reorganizing our shelves/books and making new schedules. (even brand new Crayons seem exciting)

Our family's verses for this school year are: "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." ~1 Jn.3:22-23
Our goals being: obeying, believing and loving

We don't have all of our books just yet...
A marine biology curriculum and dissecting kit are on the way (Eww!) and I still need to order a refill lab kit for our other science curriculum and a foreign language program. So, we used what we had so far to get back into the groove of things.

We've been enjoying our study of California.
(my kiddos want to know why I don't know all this already since I grew up there!-Good question!)
Its been fun studying John Sutter and the gold rush. (lots of life lessons there on greed!) Also, the railroad, the San Francisco earthquake, the building of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
We are looking forward to our day in San Francisco...

I use Learning Adventures: A New World of Adventure with three of our kids and it includes everything but math. I'm going to supplement the history this year with History of US by Joy Hakim because I really like it. I am also going to use another grammar and spelling program for two of the kids. Andrew is using Spelling Power this year. Nathan is going to use Rainbow Science to start earning a high school science and lab credits this year. (8th grade) He's also going to take a keyboarding class online.
Tenth grade for Zach this year will look like this:
Apologia Marine Biology w/lab
Computing for College and Careers (an online class) Semester 2 -(He's been learning Excel. Who-hoo! How timely is that for his mom the treasurer! He helped me last week and I was oh, so impressed)
Finish up Algebra I (start Geometry) with Teaching Textbooks
English (Sonlight)

We had a wonderful visit with our evaluator, Debbie Strayer over the summer. She is such a blessing. If you have the opportunity to hear her speak, you'll be blessed. She has the gift of encouragement. I usually leave our evaluations in (happy) tears and am all excited about the year ahead. As a joke, one of my sons filled my purse with tissue before our appointment. : )
I just love her. I always feel like the Lord is speaking through her to us with divine words of wisdom. I love her enthusiasm in what the Lord is doing and how He is shaping our older boys. She helps me see the big picture! If you'd like to check out her web site it is here and she will bless your socks off! : )

Happy New School Year to all of you!


August 17, 2008

Remembering Grand Mum

The other day, I mentioned my mother-in-law and here's a list of things that remind us of her:

~Longaberger baskets
~William Shakespeare
~Herb gardens
~Lavender bouquets
~'Having tea'
~The Rocky Mountain National Park
~The Farmer's Market
~Saltwater taffy
~Brio trains
~Martha Stewart
~Charles Wysocki's paintings
~And everything English

Here she is with our set of her "Grandest of Children" as she called them.

The kids have lots of fun memories of Grand Mum.

She LOVED to sit and talk with the kids and she was always teaching them about something... Shakespeare plays, the names of herbs in her garden, nature, horses, you name it....
~And we often miss her. She was such a blessing to our lives in so many ways!


August 15, 2008

The craziest thing happened to our dinner

Last summer I told about this!
And I relived that moment yesterday. Oh Mercy! ~Am I ever cured of doing that now!

It was only drizzling when I started to grill some chicken breasts and I was just sure it would clear up. (famous last words)
It was really raining hard by the time they were ready to come off the grill. My hubby offered to get them but I didn't mind going and one of the boys offered to hold the umbrella for me. I thought I was home free and not very wet at all
(except for looking totally crazy to the neighbors....which by then was a given) but when I stepped inside the house,

I slipped on the tile

and before I knew it my grilled chicken went flying,
the back of my head hit the front door
and I landed with a thud on my tailbone...

But, I saved THE Pfaltzgraff People! : )
I love my plates!

A gift from my dear deceased mother-in-law, way back when...

So even though everything was flying and falling, there I was sprawled on the floor holding a plate up in the air to keep it from breaking. What a sight!!!!!
I scared my poor family! But I was fine as evidenced by my plate related presence of mind. ; )
Anyway, I ended up sitting with some ice on my head and the boys made us all
fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. ~The love of those are also something my mom-in-law passed on to us...

I've decided that the next time my menu plan calls for grilling and the weather is calling for rain, I'm going to be looking for the skillet and the p/b and j for goodness sake! : )

August 13, 2008

A guy and a girl

Once upon a time,
a guy and a girl had a very important conversation around their youth leader's dining room table. It was very late and the youth leader's wife and children were in bed.
The youth leader himself was pretending to be asleep on the couch about 2 feet away, listening and enjoying every minute.
The guy waxed eloquently about his love for the Lord and his goal in life, which was Heaven.
He summed it up by saying that he thought the girl would "not be a rock in his shoe on the path toward Heaven" and because of that he was wondering if she'd want to walk the road together.
The girl whole-heartily agreed because anything that had to do with THIS guy AND JESUS was her dream come true!
She drove away from the house VERY happy, even though she wasn't quite sure what it would all entail but the Lord knew and when it unfolded it became:

Their own 3 year version of 'courting' since they'd never heard of it back then,
which led to an engagement of 6 months
and then a glorious wedding in which their purity was celebrated
and is now, almost 17 wonderful years of marriage!

When the guy and the girl reminisce about that conversation, the guy gets a twinkle in his eyes and says he was right about the girl... She didn't turn out to be a 'rock in his shoe.' She's been 'more like Dr. Scholl's insoles!' Then they laugh at how funny and unflattering that sounds. ; )

The girl feels VERY blessed that he picked her and she is honored to travel that road with such a Christ-like guy!

"For here we have no continuing city but we seek the one to come." Heb. 13:14
"..whose builder and maker is God." Heb.11:10


August 11, 2008


We are going to California on vacation -again! And we are just amazed!

We went last year because the Lord did this awesome vacation miracle! ~Our kiddos were missing my parents and wishing we could go to southern California to see them because they weren't going to be able to come and see us. So, the kids and I prayed about it together.
And in the back of my mind I was thinking, there is no way that 6 plane tickets are in our budget...But the Lord didn't need my budget to answer their prayer! Hallelujah! Gotta love that!
Two days later our friend from TX who works for an airline, emailed us out of the blue and said he wanted to give us 6 stand-by tickets. It was incredible! Isn't the Lord amazing?!
And we had the best vacation ever!!! (see California trip posts on side bar)

A few months ago my hubby's brother called and invited us to come and spend a week at their house in northern California. And the invitation came complete with plane tickets!
How sweet and generous is that?! So, we are all excited about that and its coming up faster than we can believe!
The boy cousins will be camping out for the week in the back yard.
(Joy might be glad to be the only girl and sleep indoors...ha ha) We'll spend lots of time swimming in their pool and in the lake and playing instruments together. (we won't have to think twice about alligators either!) : )

They also invited our dear friend Carlos because they consider him 'family' too. He's also the life of any party! My hubby's oldest brother is flying out also and so it will be like a family reunion.

We are taking a red-eye flight home so that we can have one full day in San Fransisco to see the sights. Should be fun! (except that I don't like seafood or Chinese food!) : )

Due to this fun event we've kicked our school year off with a unit on California history!
Speaking of school....gotta run!

August 9, 2008

A future ice sculptor?

Andrew is feeling better now,

and he's been showing us the beauty of ice!

Here is his awesome "ice city!"

(who promises that this was yesterday and not four years ago!) lol

August 7, 2008

Besides Vitamin C and lots of water...

A couple of my kiddos have been sick this week.
And in our family, that can =Hayley Mills. : )
I don't know why but when somebody is sick we watch one of her old movies.
This week, we had time for all three!

Pollyanna is still my favorite!
I still get choked up when she leaves on the train for the operation even though I've seen it a gazillion times! You gotta love the 'glad game!'
And we like the loud reverend who says "And you know I can do it too!"

We also love, love the old Parent Trap!Too cute!
That Darn Cat is my least favorite, but its fun. The slang of the 60's is a riot. "She's the head roach at the local birdhouse." (translation: The warden at the county jail) : )I like when her surfer friend picks up her family's mail and says "Bills, bills, nothing but bills!"
I say that when looking through my mail sometimes. ; )
See! -I've seen these way too many times!
I think we bought them way back when our gang was very young and going through the chicken pox and they've been loved and quoted ever since.

August 4, 2008

Summer highlights

Our fun summer is coming to an end...
Lazy summer life as we know it is about to change on Monday!
It will be
quite a change
since we've been staying up really late, getting up late, watching movies, doing puzzles, playing Scrabble and just goofing off.

The summer started out with a stay at the beach with our dear friends from Texas and then
all of our weekends were devoted to Teen Bible Quiz fund raisers!
The next thing was the big trip to Wisconsin for Nationals which turned out to be awesome!
After that, things slowed down a bit until we had the crazy but fun week of VBS. And then this past Saturday night we enjoyed having the Teen Bible quizzers and their parents over for a BBQ/game night and a time to honor their coach.

I think it will be a fun year of fellowship. We have a great home schoool group and I'm excited about serving as treasurer. My hubby and I are also going to be the teen coordinators this year. Its been fun to plan the field trips and activities the teens will do and a little daunting learning the Excel program for the record keeping.

Zach spent his summer doing Algebra I. (because the guy has goals!) : ) He's also been running a mile 3 times a week in 5 minutes and some amazing seconds. -Its for the Physical Fitness merit which is the last Royal Ranger merit that he needs to earn. He's on his way to getting the Gold Medal of Achievement which is similar to being an Eagle Scout! Nathan is working on memorizing the book of Mark for TBQ. Joy has been doing puzzles and she and I have been baking fresh fruit cobblers whenever we get a chance. Yum! Andrew is dad's little buddy and they've been working around the house on weekends. He can usually be found following Zach around. : ) (adoring little brothers are pretty cute)

Our newest adventure in homeschooling begins next week...
I'm looking forward to that more disciplined way of life.
It provides for lots of family interaction, some trials and FUN.

Finally coming to a city near us!

Oh My Mercy! The big excitement around here tonight is that they are coming here in concert!


-Finally coming to a city near us! Whoo-hoo!

All of my guys are very big fans and my hubby is the biggest fan of them all! When we were in San Diego they were thrilled to see where they worship (or were about to worship since the church building was still being built) and since the beach was down the street my guys were just sure that we were having surfing lessons at the same beach Switchfoot surfs at. It was pretty cute. (I mean cool. They really get annoyed when I use that word 'cute') LOL : )

~My hubby, Zach and Nathan are going to get to go to the concert and they are beyond THRILLED. The Lord did a sweet, timely thing to provide the funds on the very same day we found out about the show. Isn't He awesome!? I love watching Him give people the 'desires of their heart.' : )


August 1, 2008


We are praising the Lord for His faithfulness last night. (see post called Something Exciting)
Despite all the quirky things that happened it will be a sweet memory in all are minds in years to come.

One thing that is kind of funny now, is that all we knew was that we were asked to do the praise and worship for the youth who were having a 'back to school' night and that they wanted Nathan to quote a chapter.
Well, after the 3rd adult man came in the room in a suit, I started wondering where the teens were and what this event really was.
My idea of a back to school night is teens, food, (teens and food always go together)
worship and a sermon on being a witness in our schools and living our faith.

Once we figured out we were very under dressed we realized it wasn't quite what we pictured but it was a fantastic night.
It turned out to be a celebration service for a ministry that just finished up teaching a math and science summer course to inner city youth. The kids did some performances and received certificates, teachers were honored etc... They also had a guest speaker who is a millionaire and owner of 9 McDonald's give an inspiring message to the kids on having a 'millionaire mentality' and following God's principles to be successful in life. It was really neat.

My hubby did a fabulous job leading worship. (Joy had been sick for the last couple days and was too 'stuffy' to sing, so it was just the guys.) I haven't seen him lead worship since we've been at our present church. (6 yrs. or so) It was beautiful. The highlight was when everyone joined in singing "How Great is our God" together. (that was the only one they knew the words to so next time we'll need to bring song sheets) They asked Zach to accompany their youth choir on the spot, and he played like he'd been practicing with them for weeks. Amazing. The other highlight for our drummer was when everyone started clapping along to his snare drum.

~These guys may only know 4 songs but they sure know them well!
It was quite a night! Praise the Lord!