Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's the Brady Bunch!

As I said yesterday, I'm helping my sister as she is recovering from surgery. She has a great family with a husband and 5 kids. It's a blended family (hence the Brady Bunch). The kids are ages 12 and under. Mixing in my kids, we had quite a housefull today! They all did great though. The kids mostly played outside--the bottoms of Bethany's feet bear the proof of that. :) Marissa said that the washcloth will never come clean...what a pessimist...or is that a realist? 

My sister is doing very well and is a good patient. She is walking around appropriately, taking her medicine and resting adequately. It was really an easy day. She had me psyched up for heavy duty parenting--rather "aunting" and the kids did wonderful. 

Some things you should know about my sister: 
  • she is extremely giving--she had 4 bags of clothes and goodies waiting on me. Hand-me downs from her kids and her husband plus yard sale finds. 
  • she is the queen of yard sale shopping. She finds the best deals and the best stuff. She gave me a pyrex bowl that is so fun! It's yellow and squarish. When I return home, I'll take a picture of it. 
  • she is tons of fun and has a great laugh.
  • she thoroughly loves my kids and hunny. 
What more could I ask for in a sister? 
It's been my privilege to help her (although honestly I didn't feel like I was doing much today). 

I did make this dish for supper...one of them and one for my grandparents and aunt, whom the girls and I are staying the nights with. It was yummy. 

Ham and Hash Brown Casserole
3 cups of frozen hash browns
1/4 c. butter melted
1 cup diced cooked ham
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Press hash browns in bottom and sides of 9 in. pie pan. Drizzle with melted butter and bake in 400 degree preheated oven for 12 minutes. In bowl, mix ham, onion and cheese. In another bowl whisk eggs and milk. Put ham mixture in pie pan, then add egg mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes in 350 oven. 


Monday, June 23, 2008

Driving adventures

My girls and I are on a vacation of sorts. 

We spent a couple days with a good friend of mine from high school. We had a good time. She lives in a beautiful area full of mountains. 

Now we are spending a couple days with my family. While driving here today, we had an interesting adventure with a bottle of Sprite. The bottle would not come open, so after much twisting and smacking it smartly--it opened. And all I have to say to the driver of the brown jeep, I'm sorry we sprayed your windshield with Sprite. I'm sure glad that Marissa hung onto the bottle or I might be making a different apology from behind bars.  And to set the record straight...it was my doing. I had to hand the bottle off to her quickly so that it didn't spray all the van. 

Okay, enough said. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Momma's Brag Post

Bethany loves to draw and craft. This spring she took an art class and LOVED it. Here is her watercolor painting of the farm. My sister was so kind as to give Bethany sidewalk paint. I'm not sure who had more on them--the sidewalk or Bethany. :)
Lastly, here are my two characters. Bethany dressed Trenton in this suit and her in the dress, so that they could "sing and dance". They had so much fun.
I haven't blogged much about my littles, although they keep giving me blog material! Trenton is potty training and it's hilarious. He's got it down for the most part. But he makes some funny comments--like the first time he went standing up he said,"Wow, mom that was awesome!"

And Bethany is gearing up for a trip we are taking and she has packed so much stuff, I'm not sure she'll be able to fit. She assures me that it is all stuff she 'needs'. She's taking two babies because they are twins...and doll clothes, books, paper, etc. the list goes on.

They are neat kids and growing up fast. I'm trying to enjoy each day with them.

Running Hard after Him

Lately I've been reading some good books. One is called "Satisfy my Thirsty Soul" by Linda Dillow and the other is "A Young Woman after God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George.

A friend of mine recommended the first one. And another friend is working through the second one with Marissa and I. Really neat! Marissa and I had our first get together with my friend. I'm very thankful that I have good friends who invest in the lives of my kids.

Today, we were challenged to make our time with God a priority, meditate on choosing the best--not just the good or better and lastly to commit to giving our day and our lives to God each day. Romans 12:1 says to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

So, my resolve is to make sure I've spent time reading God's word and praying before I jump into my day. If I can make time for other disciplines (like exercising) then I can make my time with God a priority too.

It's neat to see how the other book "Satisfy my thirsty soul" fits into this. This book focuses on giving God the worship He deserves and the worship He wants from us. Worship as a lifestyle. On page 30, Dillow says, "Come learn about worship as a lifestyle. As you understand how to bow your words, work, pain and every area of your life, obedience will become a joy." Did I read that right? Obedience a joy?? Not only does this sound like my two words for 2008, but it also is something I continue to struggle with. God is good to continue to reminding me of what He wants from me.

And by His strength, I can do it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Teaching about Presidential Elections

Marissa is studying Presidential Elections over the summer. I'm also going to do a smaller study of elections with Bethany. I am looking forward to learning myself--there are parts of the election process that I do not understand, nor remember learning about. Sorry, Mr. Michael.

Here are some websites I've found that have good information.

This blog post has some good insights about Teaching Kids about the Presidential Elections.
This site has a free Presidential Lapbook.

Well, this is what I have found for now. My plan now is to organize the information and books into a logical sequence, then plan out day to day what we will study.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nature's Fury

After I posted this serene story about the shade and it's deeper meaning in my life, and my sweet friend, Naomi, left a sweet comment....I can barely bring myself to share the violence that took place there. Yesterday evening, Marissa went outside to find bird head and feathers scattered all around. It was pretty awful. Thankfully, my hunny went out when he got home and cleaned it all up. And, I'm so thankful that the kids stayed inside in the afternoon which is apparently when the crime took place. Marissa said that was God's doing because the kids practically live outside when the weather is good.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Day Ideas

As Father's Day quickly approaches, I found these neat ideas.

Just call me Jamin! has a great post on Father's Day Lapbooks.

This site has a whole list of Father's day activities, worksheets, games, crafts, etc.

Let me know of good ideas you have for the special father in your life!


We all enjoy the cool shade of a tree on a hot summer day. I was out playing with the kids this morning and pushing Trenton on the tree swing. As I was out there reaping the benefits of the tree, I thought of how my time with God is like that shade.

As I spend time in God's Word, I'm calmed, cooled and refreshed for the "heat" of what comes next in my day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Little Drummer Boy

Our little guy shows great musical interest and ability. He was thrilled to watch a friend play the drums and even more thrilled when that friend let him play. We were at our friends' house for their boys' 16 birthday party and in their garage they have a drum set and an electrical guitar. There were also some sort of speakers because I'm sure they could hear us in the next county. :)

Trenton had so much fun. He really gets into it.

Aside from the music, we had a wonderful time. We've been friends with this family for over 10 years. We've watched their boys (they have 3 altogether) grow up...in all aspects. They also homeschool and have been an encouragement to me. Trenton enjoys hanging out with them, in fact our whole family does.

This evening, I'm thanking God for good friendships.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Weigh-in Day

Oh me, oh my, my weigh-in day at Curves. (Just a quick side note: I love Curves. I love the 30 minute work-outs, I love the circuit training--resistance training and cardio, I love that my body is not quite so achy, I love the accountability--I paid my money--you can be sure I'm going to be there.)

I've lost a total of 3.5 pounds and 5 inches. :)

Pretty good, seeing how I still indulge in the occasional hot fudge sundae from United Dairy Farmers.

I am trying to get better at keeping track of my eating and limiting sweets. Looks very easy when I type it. Harder to live it.

Here's to livin' healthy and being a bigger loser next month.

Sweet Strawberry Sweetness

Yesterday my girls went strawberry picking with a friend. I stayed home and napped the little guy (yeah, I'm a wimp when it comes to 90 degree heat and high humidty!) But thankfully they braved the heat. The reward was sweet strawberries. Lots and lots of them. The u-pick strawberries were only $1.29 a pound!

This morning I made 10 8-oz jars of freezer jam. Yummy! This winter we are going to enjoy the strawberry sweetness so much.

I'm going to try to go once more next week. I'd like to freeze some strawberries whole for smoothies. And of course, we are enjoying them straight out of the colander.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sitting in Worship Service

Our 6 year old, Bethany is sitting with us in the Sunday Morning Worship Service. Last fall, my hunny and I attended a seminar about this very topic. The speaker was informative and had some good ideas for helping children learn to worship God and give back to Him during the service. She had an article published called Worship Wiggle Busters (Christian Parenting Today, Nov/Dec 2000). You can read the article online here.

I'm in the midst of making Bethany a notebook--part of it is her prayer notebook and the other part will be her church/sermon notebook. Her prayer notebook has the week divided up and she prays for different things each day. I've included pictures of family, friends, pastors, US leaders, etc. as well as pictures for things we are thankful for so that as she prays she can direct her focus. I'm also trying to figure out a way to put pictures of different attributes of God, so that she can express her praise and worship to God for who He is.

The sermon/church part of the notebook will have a place for her to draw words in the sermon that she understands and as she learns to read and write, she will also begin to write words and sentences.

Some other books that you may find helpful on this topic:
Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman
The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

I also remember hearing Elisabeth Elliot recommend practicing at home by listening to a sermon CD or on the radio. Have your kids sit with you on the couch, listening as they would during a sermon.

I'm going to get busy on Bethany's notebook, so I can show it to her before Sunday. What a fun way to prepare to worship the Lord together with our church family.