Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Playing Together Nicely

Tuesday's Tip - Cooling Pies (What Not to Do)

Saturday I made my first coconut cream pie. I had never made one before and was quite nervous about this one since we were having company over on Easter and they would try this pie. I had the hardest time with the meringue. You see, my electric mixer broke and I had to make it by hand (this was a long process). When I finally finished with it I was so proud of how it looked.

My beautiful coconut cream pie.

So I cooled it slightly on top of the stove and then moved it to the island counter to finish cooling. Well this was a bad idea. You see, I have a two year old that likes to get up on the counter and stand. Needless to say, he stood up there to get a snack from the cabinet and stepped right in my pie.

Pie after Joshua stepped in it.

Fortunately, it was covered with aluminum foil and his foot didn't actually go in the pie itself. So I straightened it up as well as I could and put it in the fridge. Our friends loved coconut cream pie and didn't mind that it was a little mangled. Good thing too, because it tasted great. Next time I'll be more careful.

Moral of the story, or shall I say, Tuesday's Tip would be, don't cool your pie on the counter in front of the snack cabinet when you have a two year old who likes to stand there :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Easter

This Easter was sooo much fun. We invited family and some new friends over and it was a blast. Church and the message were great and time at home afterwards led all the way into the wee hours. The best Easter ever.

I have a very bad habit of getting so wrapped up in enjoying myself that I forget to take pictures. So unfortunately, I didn't get any of our new friends nor of us preparing, eating or fellowshipping. But here are a few of what I did get. Hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Sunday.

Our goofy Easter picture.

The kids colored eggs.

Coloring eggs the night before.

Coloring eggs

Christiana Easter morning
with her chocolate ichthus.

Table full of Easter baskets Sunday morning.

Everyone enjoying their Easter
baskets Sunday morning

Egg Hunt!!!

Fruits of his labor :)

Uncle Mike pushing the kids
on our swing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

It's not about bunnies and hiding eggs. It's not about family and big meals. It's not even about His death. It's about His resurrection. We serve a living God that loves us so much He sent His Son (a part of Himself in human form) so that we may spend eternity with Him. A place created for Him and His angels. He wants to share it with us! It's perfection, it's majesty and we get to spend eternity there. Who could ask for anything more?

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, then I ask you now to accept Him. You don't have to be perfect or have your life all straightened out first. He created you, He knows you and He loves you. All you have to do is admit you're a sinner, believe that Jesus died for you and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

If you've fallen from your Christian walk then just pick yourself up and rededicate your life to Him. He wants to help you through those things that you feel you can't do on your own. You were never meant to do it alone. Make Him Lord of your life again.

May each and everyone of you feel loved this Easter. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." Jn. 15:13

"He is not here, but is risen!" Luke 24:6

Thursday, April 21, 2011

For Real Thursdays - Bible Reading

I have a confession to make. I am 38 years old and have never completely read through the Bible. I mean, I have read all of the Bible here and there throughout my 29 years as a Christian, I have just never read completely through the Bible like with a reading plan. Not because I haven't wanted to, it just seems like every time I start I end up distracted and studying something I came across instead. Then I never get back on track with finishing my reading plan.

My Grandma reads her Bible every night and has read through the Bible numerous times, same is true with my Dad. My Grandma reads straight through from Genesis to Revelation. I jump around too much to keep up with what I've read and what I haven't. The bad thing is that I've even gone to Bible College and still can't claim to have read through the whole Bible.

Anyway, with all that said, I am now trying to read through the Bible in it's entirety. No missing anything, so I can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I have read it all. I am using the one year plan on my iPhone. It mixes things up a little. It allows me to read some of the Old Testament along with a little bit of a Proverb and some New Testament each day. It checks off a box next to the assignment each time I've read something (I really like that). I can keep up with what I'm reading and what I haven't read.

Can't say I've stayed on track daily but it's really easy to get back on track. I just start where I left off and keep going. If I can't do all of a daily reading one day, I just double up the next day.

I'm really looking forward to one day being able to say that I have read ALL of the Bible. It's just one of those goals I've never reached. Hopefully one day, like my Grandma, I can say that I have read through the Bible too many times to count.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Chalkboard Artwork

Some of Kaitlyn's (our 11 yo) random artwork :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Snack Bowls

About two weeks ago we got the kids a special treat for dessert. I stopped by Walmart and picked up individual dessert bowls in the form of these Betty Crocker Warm Delights Minis. Two bowls per container.

They are little individual cakes that only take 30 seconds in the microwave to heat and then we added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and had a special treat. After everyone was finished we stacked the bowls to throw away, but as I looked at them I realized they were the perfect size for snack bowls.

So I threw them on the top shelf of my dishwasher and they came out perfectly clean. I now serve things like Goldfish crackers, grapes, granola, yogurt, etc. in them. I'm so glad I kept them.

Snack bowl next to a regular cereal bowl.

Recycling these bowls, it's my Tuesday's Tip.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Not Me Monday - Driving, Dress-Up and Angry Birds

We are really responsible parents. We would NEVER allow our two year old child to drive.

We would NOT allow our older children to play with our baby like a doll and dress him in all kinds of outfits...
Kyle dressed in a Royal Ranger outfit.

Josiah used a pair of Kyle's pants
to pretend he had a beard.

And we would NOT allow Joshua to play "Angry Birds" before naptime because that would be unconstructive play time.
No we would NEVER allow our kids to do such things ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dogwood Trees

Dogwood trees are my favorite flowering tree. I've loved them ever since I was a child growing up in NC. We had one that grew behind my grandmother's house and I always knew spring had arrived when it bloomed. When we lived in Vermont for 5 years I missed the dogwoods so much. I'm so glad to be back down south where the dogwoods are again.

My kids know that dogwoods are my favorite and they recently found a dogwood tree up by our garden area. So now I keep getting sweet gifts of dogwood flowers. They're brought to me from sweet kids with big smiles.

I display them in a pottery dish on our dining room table. Hope you enjoy them too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

For Real Thursdays

Many people who know our family think we have a "perfect" family. My kids have been told that they have a "perfect" family and they don't usually know how to respond. First of all, there's no such thing as a "perfect" family. We are blessed because we are together and there are plenty of brothers and sisters to play with and we all like each other and get along (for the most part).

I know how people feel. I grew up in a divorced home, and always looked at everyone else who still had Mom's and Dad's living together in a happy home as having a "perfect" family. So I understand the comments when people look at us and say these things. They are compliments to me because I work so hard to try and give my children the home environment I always desired as a child. However, a happy, healthy home environment doesn't just happen naturally. It takes hard work, but I am willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make this happen.

What kind of sacrifices??? Well, we live on one income. I don't have a job outside home where I get compensated for my hard work with a salary. I don't receive praise from an employer when I do things well. I don't wear fancy clothes or drive fancy cars. I have the tough job of disciplining my children because I love them and some days that's all I get accomplished. I wear spit up, nose mucus, leftover food and mud from outside on my clothes most of the time and don't change because I know that the moment I do they will soon be soiled as well. My house is not always neat and orderly because it is very much LIVED in. I don't get much adult conversation. Nor do I get much ME time.

I have come to learn that having children who are obedient and well behaved takes HARD work. That I have to become selfless as a mother and wife and put the welfare of others before my own. That I have to use lots of patience and self-control to keep from tying my kids down and locking them in their rooms some days. That prayer time is required. That repeating myself is a daily task. And that reading books about how to save money and be a better wife and mother are daily reading assignments.

All that aside, I have to admit that I LOVE being home. I don't mind wearing hand-me-downs and doing things the "hard way" to save money (ex. making bread, laundry detergent, gardening, etc). I love educating my children at home (even on the tough days). I'm thankful to God for using my children to refine me. No, it's not easy, but the sloppy kisses, the sweet little hugs and the small voices that say "I love you, Mommy" make it all worthwhile.

So thanks for the compliments. I do consider myself blessed. But keep in mind, that my family is just as "perfect" as yours.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Picnic At Home

Last week when the weather was warm and the days were beautiful, we had a picnic. I know that most of the time when people think of picnics they picture going to a park or something, but we had one at home. Since we are down to one vehicle and my husband had it for work we just set up outside in our yard. It was a gorgeous day for a picnic and I'm so glad we took advantage of it.

So next time you want to have a picnic, don't feel like you have to pack everything up and go out somewhere. Just go out your front (or back) door and enjoy one close to home. The clean-up is sooo much easier :)

Sitting in the front yard
Micah, Kaitlyn, Josiah and Christiana
Josiah, Christiana and Matthew
Kaitlyn and Micah
Of course, Joshua was more interested with
playing in the dirt under our front porch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming Soon - For Real Thursdays

So I've been thinking lately and feel lead to start a "For Real Thursdays" post on (of course) Thursdays. My husband says I only post the good stuff and sometimes give the impression that our family is perfect (when in fact we are not). In these posts, I will share with you the not so picture perfect truths of the trials and difficulties we face in our family and how God leads us to deal with them.

I think that too many times we all manage to put on pretty faces and leave impressions that we have it all together when in fact we don't. Tommy Nelson said in his Song of Solomon teaching that if we could all be real at church about our marriages and work together to minister, support and encourage each other, we could have revival going on in our churches.

I think it's important to be real and show others that we are not perfect, nor do we have perfect families. We just take one day at a time and with God's grace teach our children to the best of our God given ability. I think it's important to lift each other up and encourage each other and share with others how we deal with conflict in our homes. How can we do this if we're not honest about what God has taught us and shown us through trial and error in our own homes?

So, I'm dedicating Thursdays to being real with the ups and downs we go through in our home. May you be encouraged in your families to seek God in all things as well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - I Want to Play

Josiah and Matthew playing checkers
at Cracker Barrel while Joshua watches.

Joshua watching and learning

Josiah trying to keep Joshua's
hands off his side of the board.

Joshua decided that he
would help Matthew instead.
(Matthew didn't mind)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Simple Swing

The weather is getting better and we are now seeing warmer days. So what is something new you can give your kids do to outside? Well, we added a simple swing to a large tree and the kids want nothing more than to be outside swinging now. It doesn't take much and brings hours of joyful outside play.

Just find a random thick board
and drill a hole in the middle.

A nice sturdy branch and good strong rope.

And "Ta Da." A rope swing.

And yes, the other day,
I even got in on the fun :)