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

December 29, 2008

Is my Mii fit or fat?

A month or so ago, our dear friend Carlos blessed us with Wii Fit!!!
We were so excited and the kiddos started playing it every spare minute.
(one of them who doesn't have any extra on him, lost 6 pounds!)

We really think it's fun. It's a great way to do home school p.e. and all without leaving the house! Whoo-hoo!

I think this must have been an optical illusion or something, but the kids were just sure that since my hubby and I hadn't played it often enough,
our Miis were gaining weight.
So, everyday I would have to hear about how my Mii looked fatter!
Oh, good grief! Talk about incentive!-I don't think that really happens... Does it?
Well, I am trying to play it more often. No one has mentioned my that my Mii looks thinner though, so I don't think that's a reality. I lost three pounds which was fun.
It says that I'm not overweight but that I would be healthier if I lost 9 pounds. Now, wouldn't that be nice...

Running really gets your heart rate up. And I think it's annoying when that guy you are supposed to follow keeps looking back at you if you slow down, like 'what happened to you?!' So, that makes me want to keep up. I haven't had any of the other games really get my heart rate going yet but then I haven't explored or unlocked very many things yet either. Do you have a favorite game?

What I've decided Wii Fit does best, is give you exercise in HUMILITY! Ugh!

Here's why:

~It says that I have the balancing skills of a 55 year old! (there's an ego booster since I am no where near age 55!)

~My Mii is constantly hanging her head in shame when I ski! Good thing my hubby has never taken me skiing!

~It reminded me today to watch out for afternoon SNACKS just after I'd pigged out on spiced walnuts, which are one of my favorite things to make at Christmastime. Was that a coincidence???

~And to top it off, my hula hooping skills had my children howling with laughter and video taping me against my wishes.
They showed it to my hubby at dinner, who did more laughing...

So, my afternoon snack plan for tomorrow will be humble pie (aka Wii Fit) instead of the spiced walnuts....
But I'm not hula hooping again unless I'm the only one home! ; )

December 27, 2008

More praise...

Guess what?!
Another amazing thing happened for the sweater hat ministry! (Hats of Hope)
If you don't know what I'm talking about you can check this post and then this post.

This was amazing!!!
I was at my hubby's company's Christmas party chatting with some ladies and one of them started sharing with us about her mom who has Alzheimer's disease.
She is in a home care facility now and this woman needs to clean out her house. It will be quite the undertaking because she said her mom has not thrown anything away in 60 years or so...
She told us how the house is so full of stuff that is hardly room to walk.
And then she said
"The YARN!!! You would not believe how much yarn my mother has. She would buy it and then forget she'd bought it and then buy some more."

~My eyes were popping out, I'm sure because just the day before that, I had been praying about our group's need for LOTS and lots of yarn!

Then she started describing HOW MUCH yarn and I was really blown away.
Tons of 50 gallon trash bags full of new yarn!!!!!!!!!

~This is where I waved my hand and said "I'll take it! I'm starting a ministry to make sweater hats for missionaries." And everyone just looked at me.
It was wild.
What a God thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She wanted to know where I would keep all that yarn and I drew a blank because I have a small house and my two attics are full...but guess what? When I told my friend who is hosting our group about the 'yarn miracle' she said she has plenty of storage space. And I decided that is yet another miracle. (or at least it seems like it if your house is small and you've always been storage challenged. LOL!)

I imagine that her yarn is the regular kind, and we need the thick kind, but if HE obviously must have sent us this, so there's got to be a way that it can work. We can probably just put two strands together....or maybe three strands.

So, that's the latest news and it was exciting!


December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Fourteen years ago, we met an older gentleman, who would eventually become a very dear friend of ours. He let us know right away, that he was an atheist....
Over the years God intertwined our hearts, lives and families together in a really remarkable way.
This week we heard the wonderful news that this man surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ in a nearby church!!!
We saw him today and we were blessed to hug his neck and hear his story. WOW!!!!
God is awesome!
Many people 'plant' and many people 'water' and God does bring 'the increase' so don't stop praying for those who need Him!
What a glorious Christmas! This one will always be special to me for this very reason.

December 24, 2008

Christmas photo project

We were given one of those digital photo frames recently and we've really enjoyed it.
We put our vacation pictures to CA on it and then we put our Disney pics on it...

Then we had a GREAT idea!
We decided to do a photo theme!
~Christmas through the years!

So, last night, Zach and I took on this project which took about 3 hours. We found as many Christmas photos from past Christmases as we could. The last several years were all in the computer and those were easy to access but the years before the digital camera were another story. Thanks to the wonders of the scanner we were able to get all the past Christmases on it too.

Years were we didn't have children yet (boring!!!)
Years where my hubby and I were much thinner. (LOL)
(and one of us had more hair) ; )
The baby years and the kiddos' first Christmases! Too cute!
The toddler years, where we had child proof trees on table tops...

Years where relatives came to see us and years where it was just us...
Years of spending every Christmas Eve with the V Family, which we still do...

And the presents! I love the pictures with the sea of wrapping paper and the happy little faces. ~No sea of wrapping paper for us this year since half our kiddos are growing up and saving for big items, they asked for money. (boo-hoo!) The end of an era!
And the trees! Oh mercy, have we had some ugly trees over the years. Not all, of course. Some have been gorgeous! I remember one that we got carried away trimming ...
We ended up needing to wire a couple branches back in!!! AHH!
So, after lots of lugging of albums and re-gluing photos back into their scrapbooks, we did it!
And I think it was worth it!

In fact, I know it is...
I got so into watching the photos coming up this morning as I was cooking that I accidentally made egg salad instead of deviled eggs!!!
I was too into looking at how the kids have changed and how my hair looked better last Christmas (LOL) and when I went to fill up the eggs whites..there weren't any since I had mashed the whole kit and caboodle! Too funny! So, all that to say, it was worth it!

My family doesn't think Christmas dinner would be complete without deviled eggs, so back to the kitchen I go! I'd better not watch it this time!
Merry Christmas and may our Great God bless you and yours!

December 18, 2008

Gingerbread mansions

Originally posted on 12/9/07
~We are getting together again this year. I'll let you know if we build or blow up anything! LOL! : )
This past weekend we had the H Family over, which is always great fun. This year we all decorated our own dessert. I made the lollipop cookies that we had at Joy's polka dot birthday party.
~This turned out to be really easy and not very messy.
~Nothing like what we did together last year!

Here's the story:
The H Family are quite an experienced gingerbread making family and they used to do the whole thing from scratch. (lots of work!) This intrigued my hubby who wanted to try an easier version that both our families could do together.
I found this in Martha's magazine and it seemed simple and fun. Ya know, no baking involved. whoo-hoo!

Well, Martha calls these "cottages." It's funny now, to see the word "cottage." Because I didn't notice that last year on the directions and when our two families got together, "Cottages" were NOT what anybody had in mind. I wish I would have known that they were thinking of gingerbread mansions!
And let's just say that graham crackers and frosting did not hold this thing together...

But more on that later.

First of all, it wasn't like our BOYS were all that into the idea of even making gingerbread houses. But the H Family changed their mind about this being a girly endeavor because they said that after New Year's they take their gingerbread houses outside and


How cool is that!? They do it with b-b guns and bottle rockets. Now,that was something that our boys could get into, and so that is how we got them to build them in the first place. : )

Carlos came over that night too and he kept joking under his breath about how 'gay' it was to build gingerbread houses. But the funny part was, that once we got him started building one, he was TOTALLY into it.

It was hilarious.

He wasn't going to have a "cottage" or anything small. It was going to be the biggest and the best. It became one testosterone charged event...at least in the living room where he was. : )

The kids had the best time and they literally sat at the kitchen table and created for two solid hours.

My hubby ended up making a couple of trips to P*blix because we discovered that store brand graham crackers would crumble and that only the name brand ones worked. And our whole house looked like a bakery exploded in it. : )

Then Carlos, who was determined to win our little contest (which we'd roped our neighbor into judging) sent Zachary to the shed to get


Oh mercy! I decided not to worry that I had powdered sugar everywhere and might be about to have dry wall mud on top of all that! ~But, he didn't spill a drop!

With that dry wall mud, he and Zach built their cute, huge mega church:

But we all disqualified them from our contest, since theirs was no longer EDIBLE. : )

Aren't these cute?

I promptly sprayed them all with RAID (after the contest- which I guess made them inedible too) because we live in the insect capital of the United States, and I could just picture having ants and roaches on them before morning.

After New Year's, we had a 'blowing up event' but that doggone Raid had made them too soggy. (my bad) So, all the b-b's just sunk inside the houses and did not give my boys the thrills that they'd expected. The bottle rockets didn't even dent them.

So, if you ever make gingerbread cottages/houses/mansions

and plan to blow them up afterwards,

don't spray them with Raid. And be really careful with the dry wall mud! ; )

December 17, 2008

Disney for Dad's B. day

We have some dear friends who gave us Disney tickets again this year. They are a company perk they have blessed us with for 3 years now. It's so amazing!!!!!!

We like to save the tickets to use in December because we LOVE the Christmas lights displays! We like to go on my hubby's birthday since he is given that day off of work and it's a school day so the crowds are not as large.

~ Let me tell you, it was pretty crowded for a school day and the economy was looking alive and well!

We chose to go to MGM again (now known as Hollywood Studios) because we had such a blast last year.We also did our theme park "economy style" thing again. It's like a game. We go and try to spend as little as possible. This year we spent $12.00 to park and $15.00 for ice-cream bars...and that was it.

Last year we celebrated my hubby's b. day by having milkshakes in the the Sci-Fi Cafe. When the kids asked "Are we going to go to that restaurant that shows the WEIRD black and white movies again?!" We knew we didn't need to repeat that experience. : ) (Sci-Fi wasn't their thing. lol!)
We brought lots of snacks in. (I had little bags labeled "morning snacks" and "dinnertime snacks." I had such fun packing and labeling them because I'm weird like that!) : )
When we left the park to have our picnic lunch in the car, they didn't stamp our hands or time us. -Last year they gave us 20 minutes to get back into the park. This was a lot more relaxing and fun. It felt oh-so-good to sit awhile!
After the park closed, we headed off for the Golden Arches...
Our econo-style saves us at least $120.00 on food. Whoo-hoo!

Anyway, here's some fun pictures. We invited Carlos, my hubby's best friend.

As you can see, he's tons of fun ....

and makes us all laugh!

The 4-D Toy Story ride was awesome! You get to shoot moving targets!

We all love Tower of Terror. Nathan has us riding it on video. He unlike me, doesn't feel the need to hold on for dear life on that ride and so he could tape it with his Flip video. It's funny to watch. All you hear are grown men screaming...(I guess they drowned out all the women screaming,.....of which I am always one!) We also love the Rock-n-Roll roller coaster. Great fun!

If we did have to pay our way in the park, then we would feel like the Fantasmic Show was totally worth the price of the tickets!

It's a must see!

And our favorite part is the Million Dancing Lights display and singing carols while walking down the streets with fake snow falling on our heads. Its so Christmasy! And fake snow is as good as it gets here! : )

Merry Christmas!


December 15, 2008


This gave me a laugh when I woke up in the morning!

Apparently, my hubby had the sniffles last night and we are out of Kleenex.
He says I have "a very creative and resourseful husband." LOL!
But, I don't think this arrangement goes well with our decor so it will have to go! ; )

December 13, 2008

Blessed by Joy

I just have to give some honor where honor is due today.
My daughter has blessed me so much this week.

You see she has to live with me, a type-A
mom who is living at a pace that is way too fast and has way too much in it.
I've been stressed and grumpy. I've done really dumb things like seriously obsess over whether or not the reindeer cookies really look like reindeer and act like the world is ending when some of them fly off the plate on the way to a Christmas party. There are times when I am not too fun to live with.

My sweet girl is not a bit reactionary. She doesn't worry about things being perfect either. She always just looks at the positive side and MOVES ON. (her 'glass is always half full' unlike mine) ; )
It's great! She's A LOT like her wonderful, kind, gentle and laid back DAD. People often tell me that "she lives up to her name."
I think she does!

One time this week, she was dying to talk back to me after I unfairly scolded her and this verse popped into her mind and she obeyed it: "A harsh word stirs up anger but a soft answer turns away wrath."
She chose to say something positive to me instead! ~Wow! Praise the Lord.

May God bless you, Joy. You give the Lord and your dad and I great joy!


December 11, 2008

The sweater hat ministry is on its way!

I'm just in awe!
The Lord is really putting this hat ministry group together! It's so exciting. I could hardly sleep the other night because I was so excited about everything! (-I'm weird like that!) : )

The group is going to be apart of the small groups ministry of our church. We'll meet twice a month for 12 weeks (8 times) starting in January.
The heart of the leadership at our church is that the small groups be evangelistic in nature and held in homes so that people who wouldn't come to a church would feel comfortable coming to someone's house. I was a little stumped when I found out that we couldn't hold it at the building because we live a good distance away and asking people to drive that far would be hard.
Then my friend who lives very close to the church volunteered her lovely home!!! I am so grateful!

Yesterday, I went to Michael's and I found that they have the Knifty Knitter on sale for
50% OFF!!!! I think I stood in shock in the aisle for several minutes! : )
What a blessing!
So, I was able to by several sets to get our group started! Isn't God good?
(if you've thought about buying one, you might check and see if they are still on sale. $6.00 is an incredible price!)

Now, the group needs a name.
Right now, we are thinking of Hats of Hope. -Everything else seems to be rather corny. Let me know if you have any suggestions! I'd love to hear them.

I received another email today from a missionary in Uganda who could use some hats for the pigmys living in the mountains...
The pictures of the children in need....
Oh my goodness! They made me want to sit down and knit my heart out! Wow!
I can't wait for our group to get started!

I better run.
It is someone very special's birthday today!!!


December 8, 2008

What I'm excited about:

First of all, I'm thrilled to say that my father-in-law's wife is doing better! Thank you so much for praying for her!

The next thing I'm excited about is a project where Joy and I can do some knitting for Jesus! What fun!
~My hubby had this excellent idea: He thought we should find a ministry that could use these sweater hats that I'm enjoying knitting lately. I contacted the God's Share Program and I found out that there are missionaries who could really use sweater hats! Hooray!

So, I'm thinking about starting a group for girls and having a knitting circle. (Is that right? A sewing bee and a knitting circle?)
I'm excited and I think it will be so much fun!

Joy used the Knifty Knitter today to make an infant hat for our friends who just had a baby boy and it only took her about 30 minutes and it was her very first time to ever use it. She really enjoyed it and made the cutest little hat.
I love that it is so easy and fun to do. I think girls as young as 6 or 7 can do it. Loom knitting is SO much easier than knitting with needles.

With one set we can make 4 hats. (one for an infant, a child and two adult sizes) I just need to buy more of the purple picks and I found out that those are pretty cheap.
So, with three Knifty Knitter sets we can make 12 hats at once in about an hour or so which would be really great!
I think I'll just need to have everyone bring their own yarn.
(We can make two or three hats a skein depending on the size...) Maybe we can get a craft store to give us a discount on yarn... Wouldn't that be great?!

There are missionaries in South Dakota and in a couple of countries in South Africa who would be so glad to receive these! Isn't that exciting?!

I'll let you know how it goes...

~And 'hello' and hugs to my inspiring aunt who has a ministry crocheting blankets for hospice patients. How awesome is that?! ~Glad I'm not the only one in the family with a
yarn obsession. ; )


December 5, 2008

Our crafty craze!

I finished the blanket for the Little Rebecca who is on the way.

The puffy flowers were fun to make. It can't really be called a quilt I guess, since it didn't involve any quilting or even binding. -Talk about quick! I did have to learn the surgeons knot which you had to make every few inches...Good thing I have a Ranger in the house who has his knot merit! : )
Joy is knitting this scarf for her friend for Christmas! Isn't it cute?!

It's so much fun to hear her say "Mom, let's knit together."
It's so fun to chat and knit.
My kiddos have informed me that I have a yarn obsession. : )
I guess that's better for my waistline than a chocolate obsession would be!

I was really excited to be given the Knifty Knitter as a gift recently!

I'm happy to say that loom knitting is SO EASY and fun. (even for children)
The directions it comes with are microscopic and do not give near enough details on how to do it, if you ask me. But thanks to the wonders of the web, I found videos with very detailed instructions, which saved the day.

I'm into knitting "beanies" right now.
I like knitting with needles better but this is fun and if you are looking for a craft with instant gratification (I love that kind) than this is it. It only takes an hour or two to make a hat!

Unfortunately, the first one I made had this cute brim that turned out to be way too girly for the male I made it for...
and this grey color just wasn't girly enough for the girl of the family.
Oh well.
Then I tried again and I ran out of yarn and ended up with one LITTLE hat!

~But my kiddos were full of suggestions of cute little baby boys at church that we could give this to..

I'm going to try again! My youngest guy wants a blue beanie with no brim! I'll see what I can do...
~It's a good thing its so chilly here or I don't think it would be too fun to be making scarves and sweater hats!

December 3, 2008

Earnestly praying...

In 2006 my sweet father-in-law married Anita after being a widower for 3 years. We were all so happy for him. She is wonderful lady!

Here is a picture of them at their wedding!
They were the cutest and giddiest newlyweds I'd ever seen. They've been happily traveling, gardening and enjoying themselves for the last couple of years...

Then the other day Anita went in for routine outpatient surgery and something went wrong. Today she is in ICU with internal bleeding...
It's our earnest prayer that she will be healed and her life extended. They've said 'her age is against her.' Will you please join us in praying for this lovely woman who makes our dad so happy?