Friday, August 31, 2007

New Word

"Look Mom!" -
"It's an Appaloosa!"

Yes, my dear daughter who is almost 3 yrs. old shared these words with me.

It took me by surprise.

I guess with all the horse books we have been reading lately, they have started to make an impression on her.

This also reminded me of when I was a little girl. I became so enamored by Appaloosa's when my Uncle took me to a horse ranch and showed me the horse he rode. All I remember is that it was the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. So since then, there has been a special place in my heart for Appaloosa's. And now also in my daughter's.

Morning surprises

This morning, as I opened my living room shades and peered out the window, there was a bright green sign beckoning to me. It was a garage sale sign directing to the sale just across the street from our house. So I put down the freshly poured coffee, got the kiddos dressed & presentable, and left the house without having breakfast. I'm talking priorities, people!

It wasn't a "great" garage sale, but we did find a treasure or two. We picked up a few coloring books, some national geographic type magazines for the kids to look through, a new Bingo Game that had a Cage Set for the balls to turn in, and my favorite find the: "Sammy The Seal" Book by Syd Hoff. I remember this book from when I was a kid. It is simple as can be, but so very intriguing to children.

After breakfast we read "Sammy The Seal" and the kids proceeded to act like seals catching fish. So funny. :) When that was done, we played a game of BINGO. My little boy enjoyed this so much that he wanted to keep playing this game over and over. But mom told him to wait until Daddy got home and we could all play together. He was satisified.

Anybody else remember reading this book as a kid?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Fun at the Park


4 yr old logic

Here is a recent conversation we had in the car with our son:

Dad asks: Where do eggs come from?

J. says: Chickens!

Dad: Where do chickens come from?

J: The Barn!

then Dad asks: Where does milk come from?

J: Cows!

Dad: Where do cows come from?

J: The Barn!

Dad: Who made the cows?

J: God did!

then Dad asks: Where do hamburgers come from?

J: McDonalds!!!

Lots of smiles and stifled giggles from the parents in the front seat of the car. :)
It makes sense - to a toddler.
Although, going to McDonald's is a "big" deal in our family, as we don't go too often. So he remembers these things. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Discovery walks

At least once a week the kids and I, sometimes the dog, will go on a bike ride around the neighborhood. They all really enjoy this time as we always find new things to talk about and discover.

This morning, my son's bike had a flat tire. So we decided to go for a walk instead. Besides, the wee little ones were ancy as could be and mom really needed some fresh air. Here are all of the things we talked about, learned, and did on this walk:

~Held hands
~Brought our elderly neighbor's newspaper to her front door that was left on the sidewalk by the paper boy.
~Talked about our favorite flowers.
~What colors they were?
~Why they looked like that?
~We saw a construction site with workmen, their trucks, and a crane.
~We talked about what the crane was doing.
~How the engine worked?
~Why the men were on the house and what their jobs were?
~Watched earth worms in puddles.
~Saw a big old tree that had a limb break away and had fallen down into the street.
~We found where the break was.
~Talked about how it landed and why it broke?
~How the branches would be cut up with saws.
~Who was going to clean it up?
~Wondered if the tree was okay and whether we should give it a band aid. :)
~Learned about directions: Left, Right, Stop, Go, Run to this post and stop there. Then do it again at the next post.
~We named the colors of the mailboxes.
~Watched & laughed at the squirrels playing in a tree.
~Counted the squirrels.
~Talked about why they eat nuts?
~Threw stones into the irrigation canal.
~Watched a dog fetch a stick in the water.
~Later saw a mommy duck with her ducklings.
~We counted the ducks.
~Noted how the ducklings always follow where their mommy goes.
~Counted all the American Flags.
~Talked about the colors, counted how many stars & stripes were on it, and what the name of the flag was.
~Pointed out airplanes and helicopters.
~Watched, but didn't touch the butterflies resting on the flowers.
~Talked about how they are a caterpillar, go to a cocoon, and then a beautiful butterfly.
~My son's favorite is the Swallowtail, "with the "legs" on the bottom of the wings", he says.

Our walk was full of discoveries. It became a true learning experience for our kiddos. It was such a precious time to see the world through their eyes. :)

Anniversary

My husband and I recently celebrated our 11th Anniversary. This was a pretty important year for us. We have seen God move in amazing ways and we are closer than ever before, because of Him.

Leaving our small group meeting the other day, we heard the words, "Congratulations on your anniversary". I thought to myself, "Yeah, this is something to celebrate." There was that sense of accomplishment when you have worked hard at something. And the blessing of seeing the fruits of your labor can be seen soon thereafter. We have much to be thankful for. :)

For the actual day of our anniversary, August 10th, we went to dinner and the movies. A sweet woman from our group gifted us with free childcare for our two children that night. We went to McGrath's Seafood House. For an appetizer we had coconut shrimp. The main entree's were Red Snapper with a crab cake topping and lobster sauce drizzled on top, for me ,and then my husband had the Louisiana Catfish. Both of them tasted just wonderful. Not to mention the Clam Chowder!

We then went to see a movie at the Edward Cinemas. Our first movie alone as a couple in 5 years (I know - we need to fix this. We usually rent movies). The movie we watched was "Borne Ultimatum." It was great! - action packed, fast cameras, and good intrigue. A must see for those of you who are fans of the previous 2 Borne movies.

Happy Anniversary My Beloved!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In the Crisper

I love fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the garden. So when when my husband brought home a bag of garden extras from a coworker - I was excited! There were yellow squash, fresh green beans, green bell pepper, zucchini, and cucumber.

After having these in the veggie drawer for a little while, the first 3 veggies were threatening to go bad if they weren't used right away. We hated to have that happen, so I did a recipe search on the internet and found this recipe for a "Farmer's Garden Stir Fry". This recipe was just right for using up all the veggies, plus some more in the veggie tray: carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and white sweet corn. My husband also likes peanut sauce on his Asian Stir Fry's. So all in all it was a perfect match. :)

Farmer's Garden Stir Fry

In the far east, peanuts are commonly used to add intense flavor to vegetables and noodles. These will look like big helpings, but your family will probably be able to eat the whole dish in one sitting. You can use any leftovers in fried rice, adding fresh ginger and garlic to the vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice

Sauce

  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, cut on the diagonal, or frozen beans
  • 1 small yellow squash sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, adding salt. Add rice, stir once, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 18 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.

To make sauce: Trim and discard roots and any wilted green tops from green onions. Chop them and combine in a small bowl with soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, sugar and red peppers. Stir to blend liquid with peanut butter. Set aside.

To make vegetables: Heat oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven or wok. When it is quite hot, add green beans and stir-fry for 3 minutes for fresh, 2 minutes for frozen. Add yellow squash, zucchini and green peppers and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Add sauce and cook, stirring, until vegetables are coated and heated through, or until they reach the texture you like.

Serves 3 or 4 over rice.


Sesame Seed Sauce for Vegetables

Serve this on the side or on top of cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, winter squash, sweet potatoes or zucchini. I especially like it with green vegetables: broccoli, green beans and sautéed fresh spinach.

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (any kind)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Toast sesame seeds in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir them frequently, removing the pan from the heat for several seconds if they seem to be cooking unevenly. When they are golden and smell toasty, remove from the heat.

Combine sugar, vinegar and soy sauce in a jar or dish. Stir to dissolve sugar and stir in sesame seeds.

Makes about 1/3 cup.


Recipes from: Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook

Monday, August 20, 2007

Seed update



These mixed colored marigolds have brought so much enjoyment this spring, during the summer, and most likely into the fall.


They were originally from 2 year old seeds left in the garage from the house we recently moved into a year ago.

The kids and I, had such a fun time planting them from seed into egg crates and then watching them grow (see this post). We've had many fun conversations about flowers and what is needed to help them grow. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing them just outside the kitchen window every day.

When the flowers shrivel up, you can pull the seeds and save for another planting. Which I plan on doing. A whole lot more next year!

Can you do this?

Roll your tongue, that is.
I can't.
But my little girl is so proud of herself as she learned to roll her tongue with no problem tonight. Her and her daddy have been practicing. So cute. Although, she will have to wait till daddy gets home from his trip to show off her latest accomplishment. :)

Where's your Momma?

Yesterday, my son was looking out our front window just watching the activities of the neighborhood. He then asked me, "Mom. What's that boy doing?"

So I checked it out. What I saw was a toddler in the middle of the street. I quickly put my shoes on and ran out to him. We live on a busy street with lots of blind spots. This is also the same street that our dog got hit by a car a month or so a go. So he was in danger.


As I came up to him, he was riding a tricycle with only a shirt on, no pants or a diaper, filthy from head to toe and a bit confused looking. He looked to be maybe 2 years old. As I steered him away from the road, I asked him where his Momma was? He said, "Sleeping". The only other words he could say was his name and unintelligible baby talk.

I did not recognize this boy as a neighbor kid, so the assumption was that he came from the apartment complex down across from our house. Because my kids were still in the house, I could not go searching for the mom.

So I then brought him into our house, and left his tricycle outside on our porch as an indicator that he was there. I called the police to report finding a lost child. Then I proceeded to quickly put a diaper on him, give him some water, and washed the dirt from his legs and arms. My heart was breaking for this boy. All I wanted to do was hold him and keep him safe from this situation, but it was not my place. :( He happily played with my children until the police showed up and started the door to door search.

Finally, his grandma came as she and his parents were looking for him once they discovered he was missing. The story goes that mom is a single parent who works the night shift and was trying to catch up on some sleep. This type of incident was not the first time, as she was going to court the very next day for a previous incident. I felt bad for her, but still there definitely seems to be a problem that needs to be addressed. My first thought was I could babysit for her, so someone could be caring for him at all times. Although I didn't think she would appreciate that as I was the one that had to call the police.

Just a real bummer. But so thankful he wasn't hurt from being in the street. I couldn't imagine and don't ever want to experience the panic of loosing a precious child.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Taste Test

Many of our favorite foods have milk products in them--ice cream, yogurt, cheese, and any bakery product with butter in it. The picture to the right is a typical U.S. Holstein cow. At her peak, she will produce 12 gallons of milk per day--that's 172 eight ounce glasses per day.

*************************************************************************************

We finally did it.
We went to other side...
We purchased Organic Milk.

Certified Organic Milk means we are supposed to be assured that the cows are fed only naturally grown corn and grain, and graze on pastures that are free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. As well as the cows are not given growth hormones or antibiotics. So the result is that organic milk should be healthier for us than "regular" milk. That is if all the testing is "up to par". Another positive, is the long expiration date. The half gallons we purchased on August 5th, are set to expire on Sept. 17th.

Unfortunately, it hasn't yet passed the taste test. Even the Fat Free milk they offer is still thick on the tongue. Not like the "regular" milk that you can guzzle down as a nice refreshing drink. For us drinking organic milk has been small glasses, with 2 meals a day, and sometimes adding chocolate syrup. The kids don't seem to mind the taste, but Dad & Mom sure notice the difference.

Then there is the price. Organic cost much more than the "regular" milk. You get less for your money. Also, the price matching between different stores ranges greatly. For example:
Last week this milk was very expensive at Fred Meyer's, so we purchased it at Costco. Then this week, Fred Meyer's had the best price in town. They were also offering Catalina Strips at the register that gave additional discounts on milk.

Our initial review is that Organic milk is "okay". It may just be something we sacrifice in our food budget to allow us to purchase it. Or we may go back to the "regular" milk and pray over our food!! The jury is still out. :)

Has anyone else done "the switch"?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The views

A few more sights from the trip...
(I thought these had been posted?)


A mountain lake
















































A favorite...



















A view from Mt. Constitution

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Family...















Here is a picture of the guys just after they had hiked up
Mt. Constitution.

Their entire journey on Orcas Island turned out to be 50 miles
of bicycling and hiking.

Here's looking to next year!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bike Trip

Here are pictures from my husband's biking camp/tour with his Dad and brothers to Orcas Island, Washington.

Truck loaded with 4 bikes, a trailer, and supplies.

The guys. A road trip to Washington, a ferry ride to Orcas Island, then a bike ride to the camping site.



































More pictures to come...

Orcas Island

The Ferry

















This mama seagull was giving the guys an evil red eye. One of her babies that is brown, is sitting on a rope to the bottom right of the stack near the black post.





























Each morning the deer walked graciously through the campgrounds.














Seemed to be an old boat out in the water.














Here is my hubby getting the fires going. He 's so good at that. ;)














John's brother provided the 4 man tent. It was so helpful to have the gear stored just outside the tent.

What not to do...

A word of wisdom:
One should not reach into a drawer of knives and pull their hand out. It can cause a long cut along your thumb from a boning knife. :(
No emergency here, just a little awkward having a bandage on my thumb and trying to type. I should have known better. :)

Pinto Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

1 package (9 ounces) tortilla chips
2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce, sour cream and salsa, optional

Directions:

~Crush tortilla chips and sprinkle into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
~In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce and taco seasoning.
~Pour over chips. Sprinkle with cheese.
~Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 18-25 minutes or until heated through.
~Serve with lettuce, sour cream, and salsa.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

"Into marvelous light I'm running..."

Sunday Worship Music - "Marvelous Light" by Charlie Hall

Saturday, August 4, 2007

"Stinkin Thinkin!" - Part 4 with Chart


HANDY LITTLE CHART

Wrong, unbiblical thinking vs. God's truth from his Word:

You say:

"It's impossible"

God says:

All things are possible

(Luke 18:27)

You say:

"I'm too tired"

God says:

I will give you rest

(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say:

"Nobody really loves me"

God says:

I love you

John 3:1 6 &

John 3:34 )

You say:

"I can't go on"

God says:

My grace is sufficient

(II Corinthians 12:9
Psalm 91:15)

You say:

"I can't figure things out"

God says:

I will direct your steps

(Proverbs 3:5- 6)

You say:

"I can't do it"

God says:

You can do all things

(Philippians 4:13)

You say:

"I'm not able"

God says:

I am able

(II Corinthians9:8)

You say:
"It's not worth it"

God says:

It will be worth it

(Roman 8:28 )

You say:

"I can't forgive myself"

God says:

I Forgive you

I John 1:9 &

Romans 8:1

You say:

"I can't manage"

God says:

I will supply all your needs

(Philippians 4:19)

You say:

"I'm afraid"

God says:

I have not given you a spirit of fear

(II Timothy 1:7)

You say:

"I'm always worried and frustrated"

God says:

Cast all your cares on ME

(I Peter 5:7)

You say:

"I'm not smart enough"

God says:

I give you wisdom

(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say:

"I feel all alone"

God says:

I will never leave you or forsake you

(Hebrews 13:5)


This chart is tucked inside my daily devotional journal. Consider placing a copy of it where you would frequently see it, such as: the Bible, kitchen (for me), bathroom, computer, car, work, near calendar, etc. It is so easy for these thoughts to come up that it is good to have a handy reference to help deal with them as soon as possible. Then we can move on to more important things...

I have had to re-read these notes many times! Remembering to think on what is TRUE" and engraving these precepts on my heart.

Hope you have enjoyed this series on "Stinkin Thinkin!. :)

"Stinkin Thinkin!" - Part 3

(Post continued...)


In the next posting I will show a chart that I think will really help and encourage you, as it was for me.


"Thinking on what is TRUE"...


"I know that years ago a chart very similar to this one helped me SOOOO much! Each time I was tempted to think, ponder, and roll around in that wrong thinking...I could go to this chart and expose the wrong, untrue thought and choose to replace it with the right, biblical thought from God's Word.


This dramatically began to change my life! And it helped me to fear less, worry less, and trust more! I began to have much more peace and rest in my heart. This is the "quiet peaceable spirit" that God is talking about which is of GREAT worth in his sight in 1 Peter 3 when he talks with women. We can have that peace and rest as we learn to take our wrong, sinful thoughts captive. And replace it with God's truth. Each time the wrong thinking or fear "bubbles" up in our thoughts and heart, we need to turn to the Lord and to his truth.


If that means every 5 min. at times...then it means every 5 min. If we turn to Jesus each time we feel that “bubbling” of fear and worry come, or each time we feel discouraged and hopeless then the Lord will be so very faithful to give us grace, and mercy, help and hope! As we turn to him and look to him, we are reminded of where our help truly comes from. We remember how very dependent we are upon him. And as we CHOOSE to trust the Lord, and walk out his leading in our lives…we will begin to see how pleasant his way is!


Proverbs 2:10-11 says “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”


As we spend time EVERY day getting to know God and his character we will come to know that we can trust him and love him and we will be learning how VERY much he loves us! His love will become a reality in our lives as we die to self and live for Christ. James 1:22-25


As we spend time every day in His Word and praying and looking to him often...we will begin to allow the Lord to write his truth upon our hearts and minds and as we abide (drawing closer and closer to Jesus) we will begin to experience the fruits of his Spirit in our lives....love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:22


If you don't feel you have joy in your life, or self-control...spend more time with Jesus and in His Word…not as something rote we do, just to check it off our list or just to gain knowledge…but instead, as part of our desire to have an intimate relationship with Christ. I guarantee it will make a HUGE difference in your heart and life...especially as you begin to count it important to remember his truth and to obey it, by his grace and through his understanding.


I know it was so hard for me to understand so much of what I read in God’s Word in the beginning...but as I tried to concentrate and focus on the things I did understand that I read in God's Word and as I tried to apply those things...the Lord allowed my understanding and wisdom to grow and grow over the 24 years I’ve been reading it each day. I still have far to go…but I’m sooo thankful for what the Lord has done in my life and I have been sooo blessed to have God’s Word in my heart and mind to act as a sort of “filter” that everything I’ve read, heard and seen is filtered through his truth.


The more you read, the more you will begin to understand more and more of God’s Word and you will have more and more “light” or wisdom and discernment from what you're reading.


Like a Polaroid picture coming slowly into focus, so it is with God's Word and with his principles...we grow in our understanding if we don't quit or grow weary and give up and quit reading. We need to persevere and continue to spend time with Jesus each day praying and reading his Word, and he will continue to reveal Himself and his truth to us."


(Chart to follow in next post...)

*from Linda - Keeper's of the Home Group

Friday, August 3, 2007

"Stinkin Thinkin!" - Part 2

(Posting continued...)


"Thinking on what is TRUE"...


We need to learn how to fight the battle, and to take captive our thoughts. The more we fight, the better we get at it! It is a real, true battle! And battles are not pretty!


Often in the beginning we will feel beat up and plagued with our wrong thinking and this wrong thinking so affects our attitudes and our actions and this causes a lot of drama and undesirable consequences in our lives. If we continue to allow ourselves to think on what is NOT true…we will become more and more depressed and discouraged, frustrated, hopeless etc.


Allowing ourselves to think and react to the wrong thinking, begins a “domino” effect upon our lives:

~our emotions are affected

~our joy is affected

~our energy is affected

~our maturity is affected

~our marriage is affected

~our children are affected by it

~and so are our other relationships


Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy us and our relationship with the Lord. One of his best tools is to just get us to focus on what is not true. To become so entrenched in our wrong, sinful thinking. Because he knows how this can so disable us and make us ineffective and unproductive in Christ!


More postings to follow...

:)

"Stinkin Thinkin!" Part 1

Hello Everyone...

In these next 4 postings, I will be sharing a chart that one of the mom's in our mentoring group emailed to me and what she had to share on "Thinking on what is TRUE". When wrong thoughts muddle our thoughts and effect our lives. One of my greatest struggles in my life has been with WRONG thinking...some women call it "stinkin thinkin!" This chart and notes have been teaching me to think on what is right, true, and biblical. I hope that it helps and encourages each of you:


As a man thinks...so he is, the Bible says.


What we think SO affects our actions and attitudes! If I think “I can’t do this!” Then I am setting myself up to fail. I will become more and more discouraged. I am choosing to put my hope in…me. And not in the Lord. Often when I am frustrated I am choosing to look too far ahead and this is not reality. We cannot possibly see ALL that the Lord will continue to do in us and in our lives and family…doing today what God shows me and leads me to do, will GREATLY help tomorrow to be much better!


So, instead of allowing the wrong, unbiblical thought of “I can’t do this!” to take me captive….

~I can choose to allow God’s grace to be sufficient.

~I can remember that ALL things are possible with God.

~I can choose to rest in God and put my faith in hope in HIM and ALL he can do!

~I can remember that he WILL direct my steps as I faithfully look to him.


That while WE’RE not able…
~GOD is able to do ALL things!

~That laying down our will to do God’s WILL be worth it!

~That HIS will is what we would always want if we had all the facts.

~That God will supply ALL our needs.

~That he will give us wisdom.

~And that He will never leave us or forsake us.


When I take the time to think on what is really true…it gives me hope, and it helps me to choose to put my faith in God, instead of fearing and worrying (which do nothing and bring no good). Faith and perseverance is profitable and produces in us spiritual maturity.


So...if we can allow the Lord and his Word to change our thoughts, and to transform our thinking with real truth…HIS truth, from his Word, we will begin to think on what is right, good and true! As we look to the Holy Spirit for understanding as we read we will gain understanding...


More postings to follow...

:)