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

August 30, 2013

School and a holiday

Loving our new school year, but really looking forward to the holiday! Hooray!
Every year before school starts, I look for new recipes for breakfast. (eventually that all wears off and they get instant oatmeal -lol)
Here is the breakfast they liked best so far:
Cooked sausage links, rolled inside of croissant roll dough with cheese and then baked.
Speaking of food -Honey roasted sunflower seeds, where have you been all my life?! They are amazing!

Both of our kids are enjoying running on the treadmill for PE. One has a crazy new app that motivates them with a story that has zombies chasing them while they run. The more/faster they run the better and the more of the story they get to hear. Too funny! -I'm opting to work out minus the zombies, thanks!

Last week, my daughter and I had the chance to represent our favorite curriculum at another convention.(Yay!) Having a homeschooling convention after all the public, private and homeschoolers have already started school, may not have been the best idea. It was held at a nice hotel on the beach, and I'm pretty sure if it was still summer, lots of HS moms would have said to their husbands, "Honey, I really need to go to this conference and get psyched for the new school year" because what mom would not enjoy a weekend at the beach with her other homeschooling girlfriends? Awesome!
All that to say, it was a LONG day that we spent wishing we had more people to talk to.
When it ended, we loaded up the van and then headed to our favorite beach, which happened to be just down the street. Because you can't drive that far and be down the street from your favorite beach, especially after this day, and not go!  (because that was quite a day!)
The water was a glorious sea green and warm and we swam and enjoyed ourselves for a solid 30 minutes until the black clouds of summer rolled in and rained on our dinner picnic. Oh well.
Since then, the beach has been calling my name and I plan on answering this weekend at the soonest possible moment. : )

We also plan to break out the deep fryer that one of our boys bought us for Christmas a couple of years ago. After the first try, we realized that we needed to buy a GALLON of oil to pull off frying anything and well, you feel a little weird buying a whole gallon of oil and knowing that you are going to soak your food in it. ; ) But we plan to get over that and give it another go. We are going to try wings this time. (which are not my thing, because why go to that much work for so little meat? -but the males in the house don't share my viewpoint) It should be an artery-clogging good time! Hope yours is too! ; ) (good time, that is)


August 28, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

"Something always happens when simple faith meets God." 

"Prayer knocks at the door of grace while faith opens it. Prayer contacts God, while faith obtains an audience. Prayer makes a petition, while faith presses through the multitudes to touch the hem of His garment, and receives from His giving hand. Prayer quotes the promise, while faith boldly proclaims the fulfillment of that promise." 

"At the heart of your faith is a person, the person of Jesus Christ, the very Son of the living God...the only limit to His power lies within you as an individual. His is all power and His shall be all glory."

From Kathryn Kuhlman's book: I Believe in Miracles
It details how God's miraculous power moved in the lives of desperate people to save, deliver and heal them! It gave my faith a big shot in the arm. : )


August 27, 2013

Bonding in the back of a bus

Here is where I chronicle the "worst Family Day" ever, which took place before Nathan moved.
 (you know it was bad when it takes a whole month to mention it) ; )

After a nice picnic

and some family photos

I thought it would be fun to take a trolley ride down the coast and end up at our favorite beach. Oh, but I thought wrong!
It turned out that the trolley didn't go as far as our favorite beach, which then required an extremely long ride on a city bus and then the city bus dropped us off in a sketchy part of town where we needed to hop on another trolley to FINALLY reach the favorite beach,
which we all voted unanimously NOT to take. Ever.
Because, oh the agony.

Here's what I learned that day:

-Public transportation isn't fun
-Trolleys don't take debit cards
-Trolleys are miserably hot in July
-Buses have cold A/C
-Trolleys and buses don't seem to keep to their schedules
-What it feels like when a bus driver almost misses his turn while going 50 mph and the wheels start skidding and all the tires squeal
-That buying ice cream in a rough part of town means your bank statement will say that you spend $15 at PJ's Oyster Bar and totally confuse you
We love you, Nate! We'll have a much better Family Day planned when you come home for Christmas! 
But I'm pretty sure someone else should plan it because in recent stats, I'm 0 for 3! ; )


August 26, 2013

When one flies the coop

I'm really thankful for the sweet friends who've messaged me this week and let me know that they were praying for me as I experience my first child "flying the coop." What a blessing those prayers have been. These dear ladies have been through this already and have been so sweet. -I got a kick out of the one who offered to get together to cry with me! (how sweet is that!?) They shared a lot of wisdom about what this process of letting go is like and how we really wouldn't change a thing about what our kids are doing, we are just mourning the end of the season of motherhood we are in...

This has made me really thankful for technology and all the ways we have to stay in contact that I didn't have when I went away to school!
 -The only phones available to us, were the 2 payphones that 50+ girls on our dorm room floor had to share!!! We were all homesick and the lines to use those phones sometimes extended down the hallway. I wanted to be in those lines, but studying in the hallway didn't work for me, so I didn't call home nearly as often as I wanted to.
And speaking of technology, I'm happy to say I have a bit of it now.
-A tablet to Skype the one who flew the coop (hooray!) and to read eBooks while I wait for kiddos at their various practices. (good riddance to my book-light from the dollar store!) ; )

Since there's been so much talk of "coops" lately, that I thought I'd share a few:

 Apparently there are some seriously blessed chickens in the world.



August 23, 2013

The midwives

My hubby enjoyed watching Downton Abbey just as much as I did, which was so much fun!
But if I ever wanted to watch Call the Midwife, then, of course, I was all on my own. ; ) In fact, it was a real room clearer. LOL 
Three of our four babies were born at home, speaking of which, how cute is this onesie?!
For any of you other fans, here are a couple of quotes from one of Jennifer Worth's books that will probably not be depicted on the show, but I'm glad they took place in real life!

Sister Monica Joan to Jenny: "Questions, questions -you wear me out with your questions, Child. Find out for yourself. We all have to in the end. No one can give you faith. It is a gift from God alone. Seek and ye shall find. Read the Gospels. There is no other way. Do not pester me with your everlasting questions. Go with God, Child; just go with God."

(Jenny) "I had been groping for years to understand or at least to come to terms with the meaning of life. These three small words, "Go with God," were for me the beginning of faith. That evening, I started to read the Gospels."  : )

And here's another:

Jenny: "What had impelled Sister Monica Joan to abandon a privileged life for one of hardship, working in the slums of London's Docklands? Was it love of people? I asked her."

"Of course not," she replied sharply. "How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don't even know? Can anyone love filth an squalor or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through His grace come to love His people." ~Sister Monica Joan


August 21, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

Considering some 'let us' verses today!  ; )

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our                                                    faith..." Heb. 12:2

"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Heb. 10:24

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal.6:9

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us," Heb. 12:1

 Have a blessed day!

August 19, 2013

All the "lasts" of last week

It was our last week of summer
-our last week with Nate before he moved
-our last week with our best friends before they moved too
-the boys' last Wednesday night playing together in the youth worship band
-our last 'family night'
-we had 'last sleepovers' and then there was a 'very last sleepover.' ; )

There were lots of 'lasts' and also lots of food and fun.
I tried making the 'Better than Brad Pitt Cake' (lol) and it did not disappoint.
Another night, the kids cored apples and put cinnamon and sugar in the middle then wrapped them in pie dough and cooked them! They were like having your own apple pie, with ice-cream of course.

For one of the sleepovers, the kids tried making this "Chocolate Suicide"

which had cookie dough on the bottom, Oreos, then brownie batter baked on top. Oh my! (the Brad Pitt cake was better)

There was lots of praying, lots packing and driving, driving, driving....
Finally, there were lots and lots of tears! : (

But it is a new day, so on to some firsts...
Like, Andrew's first day of high school! whoo-hoo! And my first day with only two students left in our home-school! (whose got it easy this year? This girl!)
and on to all the other things that God has in store for us in this new season of our lives! : )


August 18, 2013

Saying good bye!

Wishing Nathan well and saying our good-byes as he left for California today. 

These were taken before WAY before we all started absolutely crying our eyes out!!! 

Thanks to Joy for being our photographer, who accidentally missed getting in the photos!

We love you, Nathan!!!!! We are so proud of you and we'll see you on Christmas Eve! xoxoxox


August 15, 2013

Amazing brownies

Our oldest was invited to a Bible study that some of the other employees at work are starting
(how awesome is that?!)
and then it turned into a potluck and they asked him to bring dessert. He could always buy something but he wanted to make it. I suggested he make the brownies he made when he was 5 that won a cooking contest at the library! (it was all soooo very cute!) But he said 'no' -probably to avoid any chance of that story coming out. ; )
Joy suggested he make cheesecake brownies and I suggested he check Pinterest, (which he'd never done before) where he found about a million choices. : ) Gotta love Pinterest!

And voila! The perfect dessert for people who work here:
was found! -Espresso-cheesecake brownies!!!! : )

But then the Bible study had to be cancelled
and shucks, darn, WE became the recipients of the this awesomeness! Whoo-hoo!

Here is the recipe! (no edible cigars with ours though, but I'm sure you can guess where the espresso balls can be purchased should you want to put them on top) : )

Best thing I've put in my mouth in a long while!
(and I don't even like coffee!)


August 14, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

"I have no problems at all. Not a single one! God,
on the other hand, has a whole lot because I've given all of mine to Him." ~Johnny Jernagin

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

Amen! : )

Have a blessed day!


August 13, 2013

Praise and thanks!

We are care-giving for my hubby's brother and occasionally he has seizures. Sometimes 911 has to be called. The latest one had him staying a couple days in the hospital.
Only two of these frightening incidences have happened while he was actually staying at our house, but today makes number three.
I was on the tread mill with my iPod and glanced over and saw him going down in the doorway! I screamed and Andrew and I ran over to him. He was incoherent and shaking and we were so thankful to find that Joy 'just happened' to already be standing behind him was guiding him into a near by chair!!! (whoo-hoo! Isn't God good?!) 
I don't know why it took me so long to remember to pray, but when we did, God answered! The seizure ended after the 'Amen' and all of a sudden he smiled! What a relief! Best smile ever!!!!
So thankful for our God 'who hears us when we call.' The words to this song, keep coming to mind:

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the hold world in your hands
I'm hold on to your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

                                                    (Chris Tomlin's Whom shall I fear)


August 9, 2013

The latest

-There's been lots of cleaning and packing!
The boys' cleaned out their room and made "Mount Nathan" which included everything he owns so that he could decide what is going with him to CA and what is staying here in our attic.

-There's been lots of painting!
Joy and I painted 3 rooms on our house in the past week and half. She was so sweet to help me! For some reason, care-givng, school starting and a child leaving home meant I felt the need to paint! (weird, I know) So glad it is done!

-There's been the usual college registration which always equals drama.
Red tape with financial aid, some kind of mistake and a deadline are probably why I have some of these gray hairs I try to color. It happens every year...

-There's been this sweet blessing

from Zac, who says he appreciates all I do. Awwww!!!

-There's been care-giving.
My hubby's brother is settled back into our house now and is staying for the next 3 months.  Our kiddos have been a tremendous help in this effort setting up everything he needs!

-There's a family game night tonight and a girls night out
More Farkle and poker (with matchsticks) for the fam and I'm taking out my best friend who is moving away next week. : (

That's about it. Nate leaves in 8 days and school starts for us in 9 days. Here's hoping we are ready for both!

August 7, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

Today I read in Proverbs 12 and James 3 and this caused me to ask myself:

Do I have a "blessing" tongue, a tongue that speaks life?
A tongue that has "good words," 
words that release people from anxiety
 and make them "glad." 

I want a 'tongue' like that!

"There is one that speaks like the piercings of a sword, 
But the tongue of the wise promotes health." 

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." 

Does our tongue "bless our God and Father" and "curse men, who've been made in the likeness of God?"
"These things ought not be so."


Tongue taming time,

August 4, 2013

My empty nest therapy

Our first child is flying the coop in 14 days! : (
Sometimes I randomly cry about it for about a minute and then go on with life. Our nest is far from empty, of course, but it is still sooo hard and I'm going to miss him soooo much!

Here's what I've been doing for 'therapy':

1. This song!  It makes everything all better!

2. Buying frames and hanging photos of our kids!
Its been fun to pick out my favorite senior pictures, grad pictures and baby pictures and put them up. -At this rate, by the time our 4th one leaves, it just might look like a photography studio or a shrine around here. ; )
And here's my secret strategy to save money: The frames on the walls in high traffic areas were on clearance at Ross. The ones that are high up on the shelves are from the Dollar Store. Shhh!

3. Long talks and prayer times with my hubby. I'm so grateful for the fabulous dad he is and that this is just as hard for him as it is for me.

4. Throwing a going away party!

This included 30 teenagers, chocolate mustaches, water balloon volleyball, regular volleyball  and a whole lot of pizzas!

5. And my favorite: Hearing my hubby say: "Nate, the best way to get your mom through this is for us to do whatever it takes to buy you a plane ticket home for Christmas, so find out when you can come and let us know."
Hooray!!!! Now that's some good "therapy!" : )
Love, love, love that man!

Looking forward to Christmas now!