30 May 2011

Memorial Day

We had a nice and relaxing holiday weekend… 

just what we needed.

We also spent time in the pool…

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Time with our friends…

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Nope, she’s not having any fun at all.

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We even enjoyed a slice of Freedom Fruit Pizza!

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Running away from Morgan and the hose…

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A heartfelt THANK YOU to all our military, past and present.  Your service is appreciated, honored, and remembered.

Happy Memorial Day!

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29 May 2011

Single Serving Summer Fruit Trifles

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These are simple and absolutely adorable!
I saw this idea on my friend, Aubrey’s blog
This summer time treat combines two of my favorites- mason jars and summer berries.
Of course, it can doctored up any which way you please.  I thought about using peaches and blueberries, too.  Yummy!   
Don’t you just love the simple beauty of a mason jar? 
In my house, I’ve practically replaced all the juice cups, vases, and containers I have to various sized mason jars.  I love all the uses I have for them. 
And since my family adores angel food cake and berries (who doesn’t, right?), this was something I just had to make.  So stinkin’ cute! 
Finding beauty in the little things makes me… happy!

28 May 2011

Graduation

The girls are ready!

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Here comes Shawn!

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Shawn and his band performing, “The Last Goodbye.”

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Rock star.

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The proud family.

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Congrats, Shawn!

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Fun with uncles!

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Their first grandchild.

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Brother & Sister.                           Gracie- the future graduate.

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Other highlights include… 

lots of backyard play time.

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Fun with Coco…

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… and joining Christina for lunch at her school.

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We spent the last couple of days in Bakersfield with our family and enjoyed every minute of it!  Our oldest nephew, Shawn graduated from high school this week.  It’s crazy how fast time flies.  What happened to that cute little ring bearer in our wedding?  Fast forward 10 years and he’s now a handsome and talented young man with so much going for him. 

Shawn has worked so hard during his high school years- not only academically, but also excelling socially, as well as actively pursuing his music career. 

We are amazed at all of his accomplishments!  More importantly, we are so proud of the young man he has become in Christ. 

We know God has great plans for him and we look forward to many more celebrations in the future!

25 May 2011

Cheerleaders

What’s it like to have your own cheerleading squad follow you around the house and cheer for you??

Uh, pretty awesome, I’d say. 

My girls always bless me by say things like, “I’m so happy you’re my mom” and “You’re the best mom in the world.”  Even though I know I’m not, I’m so thankful that God often uses my children to encourage me and make me feel special!

Just for the record, it was daddy who taught them this cheer. Ha!

Queen Mum

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How wonderful to wake up to my very own coronation! 

My princesses made me these crowns this morning and insisted on taking my picture, too!   Smile     

At least I got to take a shower first!

24 May 2011

Favorite Books

Halfwat Herbert

From the author of Crazy Love, Francis Chan has written a children’s book. 

Halfway Herbert never completes anything. Homework remains half done, his room stays only partly clean, and dinner is never finished. Halfway Herbert somehow gets by. But when he tells a half-truth, he learns the importance of honesty and of following God with all his heart.

We have a rule in our house: You take it out, you put it back.  With the help of this book, the girls learned very quickly what it means to do something halfway. 

They didn’t want to be known as a “Halfway Herbert, but instead, as a “Whole way Herbert!” 

A great lesson for the young (and not so young, too)!

*On my new and improved blog, I’ll be featuring different books we’re enjoying in my homeschooling section.                   

Coming soon…

Extreme Makeover

It’s time for a blog makeover.  The last time I re-designed my blog was back in September of ‘08. 

Hey, that’s a long time ago! 

I can hardly believe I’ve kept this blog going now for 5 years.  Obviously, I enjoy blogging.  In many ways, it satisfies my various passions.  Through the years, my blog has become an extension of me.  It reflects bits and pieces of our life and captures not only the big moments but also the simple, everyday moments that I want to treasure.

Although I don’t know how “extreme” it will be (I don’t think I do anything too extreme).  I hope to have different sections where I can more easily categorize and elaborate on my posts.   

A new look and feel is always FUN!

22 May 2011

mud pies

The girls had a blast making mud pies yesterday. 

And I’m not talking about the decadent chocolate and ice cream dessert that you can actually eat! 

Oh, to be a kid! 

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“Joy over mud… joy over mud… joy over mud… joy over mud…” 

I choose JOY!

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By the way, this is totally unrelated but obviously the world did not come to an end yesterday.  The bible warns us about false prophets.  Jesus himself said, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” -Mark 13:32. 

It could be today.  It could be tomorrow.  It could be 50 or 100 years from now.  The point is: It will happen and undoubtedly, we are one day closer to Jesus’ glorious return.  Folks have been trying to predict the exact Day of Judgment for centuries now.  However, no one but God the Father knows when that will be, not even His Son.

Don’t let anybody tell you different.

Live today.  Love deeply.  Cherish the moment. 

Make mud pies. Smile

20 May 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Honey Muffins

Who says you have to wait ‘til Thanksgiving to make anything pumpkin?
The girls and I love pumpkin.  We’ve been out of muffins for a couple of weeks now so it was the perfect time to try out this recipe I got from my friend, Lani.
(My attempt to get all the ingredients in the picture).

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Basically, it’s pumpkin puree, wheat flour, applesauce, honey, baking soda,
egg whites, and spices.
My little ballerinas in the kitchen make me smile. Smile
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*Think pumpkin pie meets gingerbread cookie.  Yummy! 
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Plus, the whole house smells all comfy and holiday-ish! 
So moist, so healthy, and oh so good!

Spiced Pumpkin Honey Muffins
1/2 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup honey
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I didn’t have this so I skipped it).
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, egg whites, applesauce and honey until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix white whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

19 May 2011

A special gift!

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A special package came all the way from Seoul, Korea last week.  Grace and Faith’s foster family sent them beautiful new hanboks, as well as some other goodies. 

Through the magic of technology, we’ve been able to keep in touch over the years.  I know how much they’ve enjoyed watching the girls grow up through the pictures I post here, as well as the ones we send every year.

We are incredibly blessed and touched by their thoughtful generosity.   

Such pretty detail…

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           THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.  We love you!

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17 May 2011

Garlic-Herb Sandwich Spread

This one’s for all you mayo lovers out there… a “kicked-up” version of your favorite sandwich condiment.
I used rosemary, oregano and basil.  You can use any fresh herbs you have.
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Add the zest and juice of half a lemon.
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Mince 1 large garlic clove and add to processor.
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Chop fresh herbs as well…
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You can use this spread on sandwiches, burgers, wraps or paninis. 
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Although I’m not a huge fan of mayo, I do like how this spread “dresses things up a bit.”  It takes an ordinary condiment and makes it sorta gourmet.  I store mine in a small tupperware container and it keeps great in the fridge.  In fact, make it the day before and let the flavors marry for maximum punch. 
An easy and tasty addition to your summer condiment choices! 
Garlic-Herb Sandwich Spread or “Magic Mayo” from Our Best Bites. 1 1/2 C mayo
1 large clove garlic
1/2 T lemon juice
zest from 1/2 lemon (1/4-1/2 t)
1/2 t fresh rosemary
1/2 T fresh oregano
1T fresh basil

16 May 2011

Speak Truth

truth 3Community Bible Study ends this week and our summer break begins.  We started back in September of last year and I've managed to make it to all but 2 of the 30 weeks.  More than any other church program, I feel the dedicated children’s teachers are truly there to help guide Faith and Grace’s heart toward Christ. Since this is what we strive to do at home, in many ways, CBS has been a valued compliment to our family.

Perhaps the thing I enjoy most...
We actually study the books in the bible.  In other words, it’s not a study that was written by Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, or the like. There’s no doubt these are all gifted bible teachers and authors.  They site scripture, share meaningful stories, and include valuable biblical insight.  These women (and many more) have helped me immensensly in my walk of faith. However, there's something quite awesome and intimate about studying the books of the bible directly- discovering how God speaks to each one of us through the truth of his Perfect Word.

After all, Truth is light.  Truth is power.  Jesus is The Truth.  And The Truth shall set us free. ~John 8:32

Every time I open my bible, complete a lesson, show up for class, participate by sharing, or simply listen to the heart of other women in my group, I'm allowing God to speak truth into me.

In today’s deceptive world, how else can we combat the father of lies?  How else can we know the true nature of God and what He desires for us?  How else can we be reminded about the majesty and power of God, His tender grace, and His unrelenting love? 

By being in God's Word, we not only build strength and character, we experience an increase in joy, we become more grateful, more humble, and more confident in Him.  And today, perhaps more than ever before, we need the truth in order to drown out the "noise" of everyday life. 

Well, I do anyway.

Honestly,  I wish I were better about opening up my bible on my own, but I'm not… not yet.  I like having a structured time and place.  I also enjoy the fellowship and accountability that CBS has provided. 

By studying God’s Word regularly, it has helped me to become more purposeful, focused, and simplified.  Oh, how I love that. 

I need that.

Don't you? 

Sing the Word from A to Z

Sing the Word 2As summer begins, I was thinking it was time to put together a list of scriptures for the girls to memorize, just like I did last year.  However, I’ve decided that this summer, we’re going to SING our way through scriptures instead!  Sing the Word from A to Z is part of our Sonlight K curriculum.  We’ve been listening to it for the last few days and it’s been wonderful!  So wonderful that I had to share. 

I’ve played this for the girls in the car and also at home, when they’re painting or drawing, as background music. 

It’s amazing to hear how fast they pick things up through music.    

There are 26 verses/songs, each beginning with a letter of the alphabet.  Every song is set to a different musical style and incorporates a wide range of musical instruments, mixed with children's and adult voices.  The tunes are catchy and easy to memorize. 

In fact, you’ll find yourself singing and humming the songs, even when your kids aren’t around. Smile 

The CD is produced by the Harrow Family.   Steve and Anna Harrow are homeschooling parents and musicians.  They have 4 children (all of whom sing on their CDs).  The Harrows’ vision is three-fold:

1.  The bible is the focus of their work.  Unlike other songs you might have heard that are based on scripture, every song on all 6 of the Harrows’ CDs comes straight from the Word of God.

2.  They believe it is a responsibility and a privilege to teach God’s Word and to help children memorize scripture. 

3.  They believe that music is the best way to do this.  According to the Harrow’s, “We enjoy and use sounds from a variety of cultures and musical eras:  a Baroque string orchestra, a rhythmically intense Salsa band, an Irish jig, an Israeli hora.  Children love to experience this wonderful spectrum of music which reflects the richness of God’s creation.  As the Word tells us, He has called every tribe and every tongue to Praise Him!”

Good stuff!

14 May 2011

CBS Spring Program

The girls had their year-end Spring Program at CBS on Thursday.  Both Faith and Grace love to perform and really enjoy being on stage. 

It was such a sweet morning- a blessing to my heart!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

–John 14:6

11 May 2011

Savoring the moment

Babysitting the boys this morning…

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Cubby playing under his tent…

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Without prompting, the girls just started doing dishes after making some blueberry muffins.  Love it!  Little homemakers in training. Smile

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But even more than baking, they LOVE to play in the dirt! 

An afternoon must!

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These are the moments I savor…

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Simple, yet significant days…

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And when it’s warm like today, it’s always FUN to COOL OFF!!

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I have the BEST job in the world.  Thank you, Jesus!

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