Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Obsessed: To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.
This is how I would describe the relationship I had with my blog. There was the ever present preoccupation of what I would be posting next. The thinking and rehearsing the words, pictures, and stories in my head of what I wanted to share. Reviewing the best way to phrase a sentence or how the posting would look.
I had been feeling God asking me to consider what it would be like to be away from this blog. But I did not relent. I liked this idol, and what it did for me.
I finally bent my will towards Him.
He was calling me back away from my own consuming thoughts, and asking me to fill the space with His thoughts. And so I have been steadily turning my heart back to my home, family, studying Bible. Allowing my thoughts to wonder about what He wants. Doing this has allowed His burning Spirit in me to be heard more often.
The goal now for this blog is to journal of the Lord's faithfulness; and to share with family and friends the updates of our family.
"The Bible teaches us to be consumed with Christ and to faithfully live out His words. The Holy Spirit stirs in us a joy and peace when we are fixated on Jesus, living by faith, and focussed on the life to come."
~Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
Friday, April 11, 2008
Bodacious Blueberry Muffins
1 and 3/4 C flour
1/3 C sugar
2 t baking powder
1 beaten egg
3/4 C milk
1/4 C cooking oil
1 C blueberries
Mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix together beaten egg, milk, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just moistened. Fold in blueberries. Place in prepared muffing pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
*These muffins bring a twinkle to my children's eyes, so I double this recipe to make 18 regular sized muffins and freeze any leftovers, that is if there are any! :)
1/2 cup packed
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. Butter
Combine topping together w/a fork until it resembles a coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle on top, just before baking. This mix can easily be made in advance.
*Special thanks to Amy @ Momadviceblog for this recipe.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Instead, she was brave enough to ask Zondervan Publishers to provide 30 copies, one for every person who commented. They agreed! How cool was that? I was very excited to have actually won something and then to have the book arrive on my doorsteps soon thereafter.
"Cold Tangerines" reads as fresh as it looks, with its glossy, vibrant orange cover.
As I read her stories it was like sitting down to coffee with a good friend as he/she opened up the pages of their life that had been written for them, and the lessons that had been learned along the way. Between the pages there was laughter, tears shed, and head nods in agreement. There were numerous quotes and chapters with green post-it notes that I had tagged just begging to be shared. There were entire sections I wished to simply tear out, and send in the mail to a friend or family member who could really use these words of refreshment.
The writing was deeply honest. Many stories were shared that most of us would never imagine divulging to just anyone, let alone a good friend, but the author does this with amazing faith in her readers, lest she would sit in the seat of judgment from those less willing to be true about themselves. I respected her for that. So often relationships with people are so superficial. When I first meet someone, I quickly grow weary of the customary "foo-fa" of conversation. I really just want to say to them, "Tell me who you really are, what is your story, and what makes you tick?!"
This book is for anyone who has ever experienced love, jealousy, family, death, a new baby, sin, failure, frailty, joy, disappointment, and friendship. It is especially for that aspiring writer who needs boost in the arm and is wondering if the world will ever allow them to share their own words, too someday.
Some of my favorite chapters were: "swimming" (wonderful definitions of friendship), "eggs and baskets" (where the disappointment's in life can be "good" Romans 8:28), and "soup from bones" (how God can make the crumbles of our lives into something glorious). There were simply too many wonderful quotes and stories to share, therefore I can only highly recommend you place this book at the top of your "to read list" and experience the flavors of these stories for yourself.
In closure, this was a wonderful book about the celebrations of life. It made me want to make the most of every day. To turn the stagnant parts of my own life and home into something beautiful - worthy of sharing and an offering to my Lord.
Truly the authors own words best described her book:
"You pray for wonderful, honest, gritty, tender stories to write, but then you have to live through them".
*Please be sure to visit "Shortstop" for additional Book Reviews and later this week for a "Question and Answer Session" with Author, Shawna Niequist.
*Special thanks to Sara at "Shortstop" and Zondervan Publishers for the opportunity to experience "Cold Tangerines".
Thursday, March 20, 2008
For weeks now, in the midst of the dreary weather we've been having, I've been pining for this day.
The crocuses are blooming. The daffodils are begging for a beautifully warm day to open themselves from their cocoon, the tulips, and the lilacs are growing in stature as they await for their appointed time. The seed and flower catalogs are arriving in the mail. The seed pods we've purchased are needing to be planted. We are waiting for a nice day to dig up the dirt in the new raised garden beds that my husband built from railroad ties. Of course the weeds have started their ritual of taunting us as they stake their ground in any place they can possibly find fit to grow.
With the arrival of spring, we are quickly ushering in the celebration of Easter. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early previously (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here are the facts:
The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).
Along with Easter, 3 days later we will be celebrating our son's 5th Birthday. I had already been feeling like this year had gone by surprisingly too fast, but when I think back to the day that he was born, it makes these last few years seem like they have gone by even faster! Our plans are to have a party at Carl's Jr. Play Land with some buddies of his. Have some pirate theme cupcakes and open presents. He of course is very excited to be a big boy!
Here's hoping you have a reflective and celebratory Easter weekend!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In a few days, I will be boarding an airplane to Texas.
There I will find my best friend, Mrs. T. with her husband and 6 precious children (one is baking in the oven - due in May). Each year we take turns in taking mini-vacations to each other's homes.
Remember all those times (8 of them) that my hubby went out of town last year?
Turns out, he has earned a free round-trip ticket. I was so blessed when my husband suggested that I use this ticket to go see Mrs. T.
So the planning began. Best to go earlier in the year before it gets too hot there in Texas (I am such a wimp!) or in the fall time.
With only two weeks notice of booking due to the traveling restrictions and black out dates, I have been a busy mommy getting ready for the trip.
Here's what I have been up to:
~Made double batches & put in freezer:
French Toast, Pancakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Homemade Sloppy Joes.
~Made up a menu plan for the next two weeks.
Posted on fridge.
~Grocery shopping done!
~Daily schedule made up for the next two weeks.
Posted on fridge.
~Laundry caught up!
~Arrangements made for meetings.
~Cleaned up kids room (can we say tornado!)
~Organized and cleaned up office desk.
~Worked on & packed "surprises" for Mrs. T's family.
Still to be done:
~Haircut for mommy this afternoon.
~Drop off gift/food for another friend who just had a baby
~Haircuts for rest of family this evening.
~Make homemade maple syrup.
~Organize freezer (maybe)
~Check weather report in TX (heard they have been in the 60's, with a few days in the 80's.
~Pack clothing & toiletries.
~Pack carry on bag. "Let's see, what are the security restrictions, again?"
~Load I-Pod with last Sunday's missed sermon, and maybe an interesting show or two to help with the multiple airport layover's I have.
~Tidy up the house a bit.
~Give Daddy important phone numbers, insurance cards, library cards, and zoo membership cards.
~Give my kiddo's and hubby great big hugs & kisses goodbye. Promising to try and not miss them too much. :(
~Get cash out for the trip.
~Smile when I think of giving a good friend a big hug, going on our "date" to Olive Garden (a tradition), seeing her kid's smiling faces, and being able to talk with each other without the restraints of the computer or telephone.
I'll be sure to catch up with you all when I return and share about how my play date went. :)
Friday, February 15, 2008
yogurt and milk coupons soon, plus other great offers."
Thanks to moneysavingmom.com, where you can find great grocery saving tips each week.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Here is a great article I received today and wanted to pass it along to all of you. Hope this is encouraging and helpful in our roles as parents:
Parenting Tip - February 14, 2008
Anger Confuses Correction
A good correction routine teaches children that they must change. Their current course of action will not work. It's unacceptable and needs adjusting. Unfortunately the clear message that the child has a problem and needs to work on it is sometimes missed because of parental anger. A parent's harshness can confuse the learning process. Instead of thinking, "I'm here taking a Break (a time out near you, where you can see them and hear them...not in their room) because I did something wrong," the child thinks, "I'm here taking a Break because I made Mom mad."
The child's focus changes from correcting what he or she did wrong to avoiding parental anger. A break is meant to bring about a HEART change! It's a time out for the Holy Spirit to work in our child's heart. It's important to remember that your anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them. When you're tempted to respond harshly, be careful to take a moment and think about what you need to teach in the situation. It's easy to react with anger when your kids do the wrong thing but it's more helpful to move into a constructive correction routine.
For example, Dad yells, "I've had it! I called you five times and you didn't come, so I'm not taking you to the party!" The child gets a mixed message. Is missing the party the consequence for not coming when called, or is it the consequence for making Dad angry?
Children who grow up with explosive parents learn to focus more on pleasing people than on living with convictions about right and wrong. They may learn to make changes in life, but not because they're determined to do what's right. Rather, they make changes to avoid upsetting people; they become people pleasers or just plain sneaky. Kids then believe that what they did was okay as long as Mom or Dad didn't find out. As long as no one gets angry, then there's no problem.
When you make a mistake and correct in anger, it's important to come back to your child and talk about it afterwards. Clarify what was wrong, why the consequence was given, and apologize for your harshness.
For more on correcting children, read chapter four in the book, "Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids,” by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. For more information about building a strong and effective correction routine in your family consider the Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs. These manuals are used for in-depth training of parents both for individual study and also for mentoring others. You can learn more at www.biblicalparenting.org.
My husband gave me a hanging rose heart wreath and heart fridge magnets with sayings on them. We are also looking forward to dinner with pizza for the kids and Chinese food for the parents. Also hoping for an early bedtime for the kids so that we can just hang out.
We are not going out on the town tonight as we have been "catching sneezes", if you know what I mean. :(
Here's part of a devotion I came across this morning. It is so appropriate for this "Happy Heart Day!"
The ultimate example of love:
"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to you own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!
~Philippians 2:1-11 NIV
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
This quilt is so beautiful and easy to make! We had so much fun learning how to do this and it is something that could be a family heirloom for years to come. I will have to share pictures of what I did at a later time. Being that this quilt is for a someone special who reads this blog.
The log cabin represents the home. It was designed back in pioneer days and is one of the most popular quilting patterns.
We chose 7 different fabrics. One fabric is for the center squares of each block of the quilt. It represents the center of the home. In pioneer days they would use red as the center, since it represents love.
There are 3 “light” fabric choices and 3 “dark” fabric choices. The 3 light fabrics are all on one side of each quilt square, and there are 3 darks on the other side of each quilt square, that surround the center square. Compare the “light side” to our salvation and intimacy with Christ, weddings, babies, family and friends. The “dark side” of the blocks represents the trials and adversities of life. The “dark” moments of life help to draw us to the Lord and to grow us in our maturity. The “dark” moments in life help us realize how wonderful the “light” moments really are!
Having this opportunity to work on a quilt was so refreshing. It has been almost 5 years since the last time the sewing machine was dragged out for such a project. For a momma of little ones, it is very satisfying to work on something where completion is in sight.
I was also very thankful for my husband as he cared for the children all day. The kids had a great time enjoying their daddy. They first played a game of Chutes & Ladders, got the car washed, went to Toys R'Us to peruse the aisles, visited Cabela's to view the large fish tank of trout and then play a bit in the tents, and lastly stopped in at Carl's Juniors for lunch and climbing the play structure.
When mommy arrived home the kids were fast asleep. I soon followed their example. After nap time, we went to the Dollar Movie Theater and saw "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything", a Veggie Tales Movie. Very cute. Of course the big, bad pirate and the cheese curd's with teeth were scary for the kiddo's.
So we had a fun, full day of family fun. Treasuring these moments...
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I sure have. :)
If so, then I hope you would take a moment to read this letter sent out by our mentor from the Keepers of the Home Group, Lori Gammon:
You will not experience the fullness of God until you have experienced him in deep, deep trials and hardships and suffering! No hole is so deep that our God is not deeper still! Corrie Ten Boom shared this long ago! God does not send the one without the other. God does not send suffering, without sending an overflow of comfort for us. BUT, we need to look to him and fix our eyes upon him and our thoughts upon him in the MIDST of trials and suffering to receive the outpouring of his grace, love, and comfort! We can wrongly choose to become bitter and resentful in the midst of the trials and doubt the goodness and faithfulness and love of God OR we can choose to believe his Word and believe his character and FIRMLY KNOW and be CONVINCED that God is who he says he is and that he will do what he says he will do....and RECEIVE the outpouring of his love, grace and comfort that he desires to give us! We need only turn to him, humble ourselves before him and reach out and RECEIVE his comfort!
So if today is especially difficult or hard....look up and remember that this thing, this circumstance, this situation...has come so that you would not rely upon yourself...but instead that you would yield to God and to choose to set your hope on Christ who is seeking to continue to work in you and set you apart and to work out his good pleasing will in your life, redeeming you and sanctifying you and transforming you....in order to bless you and do good to you and draw you ever closer to Him! Allow him to comfort you as only He can! "
Hope this has been a blessing and a source of encouragement!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
"A day hemmed in prayer seldom unravels". ~ Author Unknown
From time to time, I've placed various postings on my kitchen window sill that have special meaning to me. It could be a favorite scripture, a lovely thank you note, a concept for life, reminders, or quotes like the ones above.
Are there postings that you look at for daily encouragement?
Our dear neighbor will be having knee surgery at noon today. Last Sunday, she turned 97 years old. She is in good health, but she has been in extreme pain because of the knee problems. Following this knee replacement there will be a week of rehabilitation. Would you please remember Vergie in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks so much!
Monday, January 28, 2008
We are certainly pleased to have much more snow than last year. It really reminds us of our last home in Montana where you'd have to wait until April/May (if you were lucky) for the snow and ice to thaw out just enough to see the ground below.
Another exciting tidbit about our town is that we may be getting an Aquarium. Seems so odd to have one of these when there isn't even an ocean nearby. If this venue becomes a reality, then this would be a great place to have the kids visit during the winter seasons. We had a zoo pass this year, but we just might get an aquarium pass for the next year, instead. The tickets are half price right now, but the doors aren't scheduled to open until 2009. Here's the website for more information: Boise aquarium
Hope you are enjoying Winter?
I say, "Spring come early!"
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
3 months old in these pictures.
They both look so "grown up" with their feet reaching to the
end of the couch and hanging over a little bit. They grow up so quickly.
Their feet touching the ground.
Mine don't even do that on most couches. ;)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Starting from Thanksgiving - this year seemed to be one of our favorites. It was made special with a visit from my husband's parents from Oregon. The kids were so excited and so were we.
Preparation for this Thanksgiving feast was so much fun.
My mother-in-law worked right along side me in the kitchen as we prepared a meal with all the fixings for 4 adults and 2 kids. :) As it should be - we had many leftovers. Mom shared her recipes for creamed peas and mashed potatoes, then I shared my recipes for the Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing, Gravy, and a Holiday Yam Dish.
The next thing I knew, she was offering to teach me how to make Homemade rolls and Cinnamon Rolls (my husband had a smile on his face!) I don't think I will ever forget the special time of fellowship and meal preparation we had together. She got me over the fear of using yeast and getting my hands in dough with flying colors! What was even more meaningful was that this roll recipe was first taught to her by own Grandmother. It is not one that has been recorded on paper, but remains in her memory. So as mom, prepared the rolls and taught me the techniques, I was carefully/frantically recording the different steps and measurements. I look forward to some day passing this recipe to my own daughter.
Since then, I have made another batch of Cinnamon Rolls. The entire process went very well, although next time I will use much more cinnamon & sugar. Mom says, "It should be flowing out of the rolls ". Mmm...
Here are some rolls that I made for my husbands work.
Next thing you know, my husband returned home from work a couple hours early, helped finish packing the car, and then the guys received these yummy treasures when we returned from our trip:
Had to show you these happy faces of the kids mixing colors of frosting for Christmas Sugar cookies. They really enjoyed the entire process and the mess. Sprinkles and candy bits!
We made our way to Oregon with only one road closure due to inclement weather and a truck accident. Then the next day, my sister got married. Here is a picture of her in her sweet and beautiful wedding dress. The shoulder straps were so romantic.
Just like the two of them.
After a week of visiting dear Oregon, we then returned back to our "home" in Idaho despite another road closure and more inclement weather. New Year's was a quiet night at home with hubby, staying up and watching a movie till' midnight, and then watching 10 minutes of network T.V. parties.
Looking forward to another full year!
The brain as I begin journaling after a 2 month hiatus.
The cobwebs on this blog.
As I think of the fellow bloggers out there.
They're still there. :)
To be here.