30 March 2012

The joy of paint

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28 March 2012

The Truant

This is for that one person reading this today that might need a new and reconciled beginning.

What does God do with a truant who plays hooky from her Heavenly Father? What are the options?  One thing is sure: He doesn’t pamper her. He knows she needs to stretch her spiritual muscles.

He doesn’t shout, “Get up, foolish child!”  She’s so covered with mud she can’t move. He doesn’t condemn her, because His promise is, “There is therefore now no condemnation.”

In the end, He does what He always does for any half-demolished child of His: He unlocks her handcuffed spirit with His key of infinite love.  He checks her fluctuating heart with its spiritual irregularity.  He gives her a fleeting glimpse of things as they could be.  He accepts her confession.  He thoroughly cleanses her, then he holds her close to his tender heart.  He restores her joy and empowers her to obey. 

Suddenly she knows with great gladness that her one safe fortress is the center of her Father’s will. 

At least so it is with one truant child: me.   

Have you ever had days where you felt half-demolished?  I have.  And it’s always due to my selfish and controlling nature.  On days like this, I can take a simple situation and turn it from bad to miserable.  And like a tornado, I have the potential to tear down everything in my path.  I’m so grateful that our Heavenly Father doesn’t parent this way.  He disciplines us with a tender love.  Unlike human love, His love never demands or shouts.  I love everything about this devotion I read this morning. 

“He restores her joy and empowers her to obey.”  What a beautiful example of His Perfect love! 

As we seek to love and discipline our own children, may we be reminded of the full measure of grace, inexhaustibly given to us.

If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. ~1 John 1:9-10

26 March 2012

Family Photos






My favorite photo: Mom looks gorgeous and dad is actually, smiling!































Love this one, too!

We were finally able to get our schedules together and head up to the mountains to take our family photos a couple of weeks ago.  This photo session was a Mother’s Day gift to my mom, last year. 

Oh well, better late than never, right? 

I’m so pleased with the way they turned out.  Katie always does an amazing job! 

Mom and dad are away having fun in Vegas right now but I just know they’re going to LOVE these photos when they see them.

My mom finally has the “family picture” she’s been wanting for a while now and we are so thankful to have captured this precious moment in our lives. 

25 March 2012

Swallow’s Day Parade

Inspired by the the book, Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi, we set off towards the coast to the Swallow’s Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano. 

The Swallow’s Day Parade celebrates the legend of the return of the swallows (las golondrinas) from their winter home in South America to San Juan Capistrano,CA each year.

We enjoyed the morning with our friends, the White’s and then later, met up with the Rehard’s.  

After the parade, we picnicked at a beautiful park where the kids got to play in a creek, get muddy and climb trees.  We stayed for dinner with the Rehard’s and then went back to their home for a visit before finally getting home, way past our bedtime. 

It was such a fantastic and fun day!  We enjoyed every minute of it!

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Getting on the school bus, which served as the shuttle bus.


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My parade going buddy, Hailey (and Ivan).


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The men catch up while the girls anxiously wait for the parade to begin.


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The Rehard’s came to meet us at the parade!


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Adorable Colonial dress up!

22 March 2012


Our lovely little ladies!


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Started the morning with some sisterly love.


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We snapped some photos before we left for bible study.  I’m actually in love with all the crazy light in this photo.


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It was such a warm day, we came home and had a light lunch in the backyard. 


I served them using my fancy tea cups and they said they felt so special!  Like God’s Princess!


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Even Daddy came home for lunch!

We kept it pretty simple today.  I brought mini-cupcakes to bible study this morning so the homeschool class sang “Happy Birthday” to the girls and enjoyed the cupcakes during snack time.  The girls said they had never heard that many people sing “Happy Birthday” to them and it sounded so gentle and beautiful. 

Then we came home for lunch, before taking a little afternoon nap. 

Sounds like a perfect birthday to me.


I can’t believe you’re SIX, just like that. 

We praise and thank God for creating you and for allowing us the AMAZING GIFT of being your parents! 

We are so proud of you and we love you beyond words.


Mom & Dad

21 March 2012

Where are you leading your children?

When it comes to home educating my children…

“What if my kids aren’t up to par?” And worse yet, “What if I mess them all up?”

These were two questions that swirled around in my mind the first two years we homeschooled.  

In this third year, I’m grateful to have tasted the freedom that comes when surrendering everything to the Lord.

Confession #1:  We haven’t followed a curriculum all year.   

Confession #2:  We don’t even do “school” everyday. 

I’ve learned to let go of comparing my children to everyone else’s.  Our children are unique masterpieces, designed by God to do amazing things, for Him.  Besides, homeschooling is the perfect place to cultivate a confident and unique individual, not a clone of every other student their age. 

I’ve learned to let go of the many pre-conceived expectations I had about education.  This year, I let the Lord lead our curriculum and His answer was clear.  We are to spend the majority of our time and effort, pursuing the heart, will, and character of God. 

And you know what?  He has been faithful!  Studying the bible with my children has become one of the most intimate and meaningful parts of our day.  And in the process, the Lord has graciously shown me that we are indeed reading, writing, and learning arithmetic, all along the way. 

I don’t know what curriculum I’ll be doing next year but I do know what the most important part of my children’s schooling will be. 

Below is a terrific post from Raising Arrows.  Thank you, Amy!  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The word EDUCATION means “to lead.” That begs the question…


Where are you leading your children? As a homeschool parent taking on the responsibility of educating your children at home, you have to know where you are going and why.

The public schools lead toward a standardized uniformity with their standardized tests, standardized curriculum, and standardized scope and sequence charts. They are looking to give every child the exact same education…the exact same leading.

But where they are leading, I do not want my children to follow.

I don’t want my children standardized.

I also don’t intend to raise super-geniuses. I’m not homeschooling because I think I can do a better job academically for my children. Even though I do believe I am providing superior academics because I am able to tailor each lesson to each individual child, I am not “leading” them toward this end.

So, where am I leading?

Read the rest of her post here.

Bird’s Nests

Happy First Day of Spring! 
We made these adorable treats yesterday.  Most of them will be shared at our bible study brunch tomorrow and a few will be enjoyed at home. 
This required no baking so it was right up my alley!
Birds’ Nests
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, for greasing the muffin pan
6 ounces (1/2 bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces (1/2 bag) of butterscotch chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces (1/2 of a large bag) of chow mein noodles
36 mini Cadbury eggs
1. Generously grease the wells of a muffin pan with the butter (this will help later when you are taking out the chilled nests).
2. In a large microwave-proof bowl, heat the chocolate and butterscotch chips in 30 second intervals until thoroughly melted, stirring after each increment.**It only took me two 30-second intervals.
3. Once melted, add the peanut butter to the chocolate/butterscotch mixture, mixing well until smooth and completely combined.
4. Carefully add the chow mein noodles, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until completely coated.
5. Using a large spoon, mold the mixture into the wells of your muffin tin, indenting the tops slightly with the back of the spoon.
6. Chill the nests until hardened, about 1 hour or so.
7. Once chilled, gently remove the nests from the muffin tin.***I used a butter knife as a lever to pop them out-this seemed to work.
8. Place three eggs (or colored jelly beans!) on the tops of each nest.
***I used a mini-muffin tin (they were the perfect size, in my opinion).  I could only fit 2 eggs on top but still, super cute.
via The Curvy Carrot

20 March 2012

first fruits


Last week, the girls told me that there were some pebbles growing in my garden.  I went out to see these “pebbles,”  and I was pleasantly surprised that they were, in fact, tomatoes! 

You might think that growing this garden has been a piece of cake (especially since I didn’t start from seeds).  However, I failed to check if the drip system worked properly before I planted (rookie maneuver).  Therefore, I’ve been tending to this garden of mine, the old fashioned way-  by daily hand watering. 

Today, the girls are excited about snipping some herbs for me.  Basil and cilantro is what I use most right now.  And they can’t wait until I ask them to pick some veggies from the garden. 

As far as I can tell, everything seems to be doing OK (except for maybe one watermelon vine).

Regardless, I am encouraged!        

"For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches."   ~Romans 11:16

18 March 2012

Birthday Party

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Rain or shine, it’s a party!


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This is the banner I made with the fabric I posted about a few weeks ago.  It was super easy and I love how it can be used for many different occasions. 


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Our old neighbor, Mr. Mark (the Chicken Shark) stopped by in the morning.  So sweet.


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Karah’s gift to the girls was her talent for face painting.  A big hit at the party!


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We asked Kamiren, one of the worship leaders from church, to come and teach the kids some of her moves.


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A girl’s gotta dance!


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Even Grandma and Aunt Mary got their faces painted.  I love it.  Happy St. Patty’s!


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Seriously, SIX??


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After 80+ degree weather all week long, we had a cold spell enter on party day.  Thankfully, the rain and wind held off until the last party guest left.  It was perfect timing.  In fact, we are still praising the Lord!

The party almost didn’t happen- not because of the weather, but because I was sick in bed with the flu the day before.  We prayed and prayed and miraculously, I felt practically normal the morning of the party.  I am so thankful to my mother-in-law for watching the girls all day for me on Friday.  I’m also grateful that I decided to ask my parents to bring most of the party food this year (yummy Korean BBQ).  Otherwise, my goal was to keep things SIMPLE. 

The girls enjoyed every minute of it… their first piƱata, the dancing, the face paint, and just being with their friends and family.

Thanks to all who came from near and far.  We love you all!

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