Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Be Encouraged!

Could you use something encouraging today?

Well, a couple days ago, I was listening to the radio and Joni Erickson Tada's radio show came on. For those of you who may not know, Joni is a lady who, at the age of 17 became a quadriplegic, as the result of a diving accident. She has since, through the work of the Lord Jesus in her life, used her handicap as an incredible platform for ministry. Well, on this particular radio program she was talking about one of the ministries she has started called: Wheels For The World. This ministry travels to various countries providing wheelchairs to people who would otherwise likely never be able own one. Some of these people live on grass mats and crawl around on hands and knees. Well, I had heard of this ministry before, but as I listened a couple days ago, I learned about a really neat aspect of the ministry that I hadn't realized. Many (or perhaps all, I don't know) of the wheelchairs they give away are donated, used chairs. Many of these chairs are then sent to 22 different prison facilities around this country where prisoners VOLUNTEER their time to refurbish the chairs!!! If you'd like to watch a short, great video where they talk to some of the prisoners involved in this ministry, click on this link: Joni and Friends Radio. Once there, you should see the video on the left side of the screen. If it has been removed from the front page... you should be able to search the website. The video is entitled: The Prison That Set Me Free.

Be encouraged!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chin Le Comfort

Upon coming out the the restroom earlier today, I found a little girl who appeared to have found comfort in Mommy's absence:

By the way, if you're wondering at the title, Chin Le is the bear's name! :-)

Baking With A 16 Month Old!

Momma was baking two berry pies yesterday and somebody wanted to watch. Well, along the way, that little someone got her little hand in the flour container and quite thoroughly dusted herself, and the surrounding vicinity.

Click on the pictures to blow them up and more completely appreciate the adorable mess! :-)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clara's Room Just Got Some Fun Additions


"Wanna come in and check out the neat new decorations in my room?"

"These are just 'so me', because I love animals! I have 9 of them around the room!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Question Of The Day

"Is artistic self-expression acceptable at any time and in any place?"

Wall Art

Couch Art

Don't know about the rest of you, but my answer is a resounding "Absolutely Not!!!" And whoever would say otherwise probably hasn't seen graffiti or had a 16 month old. :-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I thought this was sooooooo precious!

Now THAT looks like tomato sauce!!!!!

Ok, now for some promised pictures of my canning project yesterday! As I mentioned in the last post, my friend, Madalyn, emailed me some instructions on how she cans tomatoes and I decided to give some of them a try! Yesterday was the day and I snapped some pictures along the way. If after reading this you think you'd like to give it a try, let me know and I'll send you Madalyn's excellent and detailed instructions! Thanks Madalyn! It turned out beautiful!!!

Before I begin, I must give recognition to my dear assistant, without whom, this project would have been so much easier!!! :-) But I wouldn't trade ya, baby girl!

Some of the tomatoes in the rinse bowl.

More of the tomatoes that have had their ends and some bad spots removed. They are waiting to be briefly bowled to loosen the skins for peeling.

Here are the peeled tomatoes. I chopped them up a bit as I moved them to a pot. Unusally I would just cook them down until I had them how I wanted them and then can them, but here is where Madalyn's method diverged. I cooked them, but fairly briefly.

Then came the blender! I "zapped" the tomatoes several times for a few second at a time. Be very careful not to spray yourself and your kitchen with hot tomatoes! I managed to pull this part of the process off with out any major disasters, but came pretty close, despite Madalyn's warnings! :-)

I then dumped it into a sieve and mushed it through with a spoon, the sieve catching most of the seeds, some pieces of skin that I hadn't got off and chunky pulp.

And here is the BEAUTIFUL result!!!! Now, THAT looks like tomato sauce! Quite different from the chunky sauce with lots of seeds that I was previously making.

And now, guess what I need to do tomorrow! As you can see our pepper plants are still going like gang busters!!! :-/

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


What do you suppose I'm doing today??? :-) I know, you couldn't possibly guess.

Right! More canning! Stay tuned. More pictures to follow. I'm trying some new methods that my friend, Madalyn, emailed me about!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swimmin', Eatin', And NOT Sleepin'


Last week, Clara and I started taking some Mommy and Me type swim lessons. It's been fun for both of us. Clara really enjoys water, so getting her to get in and have some fun has not been hard. She's not too crazy about some of the activities, but enjoys others. Her favorite is jumping to Mommy from the side. She loves it! It makes us both happy! :-) When the half hour is up, she's ready to keep going! However, it's a pretty good length of time as she gets cold in the water. I don't have any of her during lessons, due to the fact I'm in there with her the whole time... but maybe we'll get some if Daddy comes to watch sometime. She's so funny to watch charging down the ramp into the water... and then tripping and landing "splash"!

Somebody has been having some rough nights lately, way to many of them have been spent, in part or in whole, in Mommy and Daddy's bed. We're not sure is she's scared or what the deal is. Also, being sick the last couple days probably hasn't helped and she's had some teeth coming in. However, Mommy and Daddy get pretty tired of sleeping in our little, tiny aisles of space, assigned by Her Royal Highness, as she flips, flops and fusses!!! Last night went fairly well. Going to bed on her own was pretty traumatic, but Stephen did a super job of going in there and gently comforting and helping her.

An adorable mess!!! Continuing to do great with her spoon... also managing to stab stuff with a fork. Being able to use a utensil seems like it may be increasing the variety of stuff she is willing to eat. Maybe it's the fun of using the utensil or the fact that she doesn't have to endure the texture on her fingers!

Such A Girl!!!! :-)

Purse look familiar Aunt Anna? She had to try it out!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Pro

The last couple months, Clara has been quite fascinated with trying to use her own utensils! She's on her way to being a pro! Here she is a few days ago with her bowl of yogurt, which she managed fairly well. :-)

In other development areas, she is still signing away, which is really cute. Today, it sounded like she said "Amen" the end of bed-time prayer! Also, one of the things we've been having her sign is "All done", so naturally, she's also been hearing us say it all the time as we've been teaching her to sign and trying to communicate. Well, the other day she quite distinctly said "Aaaaah Du" as she was waiting to be let down from her chair after doing the sign and hearing us keep saying it. Stephen and I were both proud as can be. :-) It's kind of funny how very proud you can be over such seemingly small things... when it's your child! :-)

And someone has also been clearly demonstrating that she is a sinner... like everyone else, as she throws fits (including, among other things, kicking, back arching and very noisy vocal demonstrations) and clearly demands the her will be carried out. Not quite so proud of that. Pray that we'll have wisdom in training our lovable little rascal in the way she should go!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Quiet Evening

Yesterday evening was suppose to be a busy one, with Clara and I going to "Mommy and Me" type swim lessons at 4:45, followed by a interview at 6:00 with the lady we are thinking to have as our midwife.

Well, the midwife had a mom in labor, and was thinking that, come evening, the labor would probably intensify, so she called me and arranged to come by my house in the morning instead. It's looking like we're going to pick her as the midwife!

Then, later on Clara and I headed off to lessons, only to find they had been canceled, due to not enough people signing up. So, we've been moved to the Monday / Wednesday lessons.

So we ended up with a quiet evening at home. Here are a few shots from our night.

Clara likes the lawn mower, and if she knows Daddy is outside doing something like mowing, she wants to be out there too! She can make a nuisance of herself though, by walking in front of the mower and getting in the way.

Once again, getting in the way! :-)

The lovely Moon flowers in the back yard. I like how the flash made them glisten!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Obviously, she's the granddaughter of both of her grandpas as well as being her father's daughter, and, as we've seen recently, the cousin of Gigi!!! :-)

Not in focus... but still cute.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mimic, mimic, mimic....

Joking is going on at the table about what to have for dessert.
The decision is made.
Daddy thumps the table and says "Done."
Mommy thumps the table and says "Done."
Daddy and Mommy hear a third little thump on the table and a little voice say "Du".

Clara sees someone spit on the ground.
Shortly there after, she's going "p", "p", "p".

Mommy lets out a burp. :-/
Very quickly she hears interesting noses coming from the little lady.
Uhh, ohh, Mommy. You blew it!

In prayer meeting last night:
Gentleman behind us starts sneezing.
Stephen starts sneezing.
Some rather noisy, fake cough/sneeze sounds start emitting from the girl.

Life can be rather humorous around here, to say the least. And what an incredible responsibility God has given us, to train up, and set an example for this little soul that is so eagerly soaking up everything!

"Hair-Do Of The Day" Award :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All In A Day's Shopping Trip.

Off to the grocery store it was, this morning, for Miss Clara and I. I made up a rough menu for the week and a list and we took off.

I was about to load the little munchkin into a grocery cart when she starts letting it be known that she wants something. Apparently, a regular old grocery cart wasn't going to cut it. So, we grabbed the one with the race car on front. That worked fairly well, until she got tired of Mom's frequent long stops and decided it would be fun to climb out of the race car.

While waiting to check out, we were witnesses to what appeared to be a bold faced robbery. A guy walked calmly out the door with a cart full of beer. The girl at the cash register says "Sir, did you pay for that?"
Man replies, "yeah", without even stopping and proceeds to walk calmly out the door.
The girl looked around for a manager to alert to the situation, but didn't appear to see one readily available and proceeded with her work. She says she's not going to jump over the counter and try to stop people like that, and that it's because of people like that, that we pay so much for groceries. She called one of the bagger guys over and told him what had happened and asked him to kind of hang around to help prevent something else like that from happening. His response was something self-sacrificing like "So, what you're saying is that I should risk my life for the store."

Well, on a more positive (or should I say, more sugary) note Miss Clara enjoyed her first lolly-pop today, thanks to the kind lady behind the deli counter. She saw that I was holding Clara (due to the fact that she wasn't staying in the afore mentioned race car) and offered her a lolly-pop to encourage the little rascal to stay put in the seat. After getting home, the sweet was still being enjoyed and I took some shots. I know, they are all practically the same thing, but being the goofy Mom, I thought they were all cute and put them all up!

Friday, September 4, 2009

This, That, And The Other...

Now for a little smattering of news from around here.

Happy Labor Day to ya' all! We are expecting some friends we haven't seen in a long time to come for a visit this weekend. That should be great! And you can pray that a good time would be had by all!!!

I should be around 8 weeks right now. I haven't experienced any real morning sickness yet, for which I'm very grateful! I've had some brief waves of slight nausea, but wasn't even sure if the pregnancy was the source. We are looking seriously at attempting a home birth once again and are scheduled to have an interview with a local midwife this coming Tuesday. Pray that we'll have wisdom! The Lord Jesus knows which route would be the best.

Somebody found a little corner all her own today.

Clara has been blossoming lately in her communication abilities. When she was still quite young we started trying to teach her to sign, but I gave up too soon. Then a few months ago we picked it back up and in the last week or so, it finally seemed to "click" for Clara. She started willingly making the signs for "more", "drink" and "food", and very occasionally "all done". Since then, she seems to be pretty much settling on "food" as her all-purpose, favorite, "There's something I want" word. I remember one of the first days after it clicked, we were out to eat and we were having her sign for something she wanted. She looked so tickled pink over her ability to sign that it looked like she momentarily forgot about what she had been wanting! :-)

Another neat thing she's done lately is mimicking the sounds that letters make. We were sitting on the ground with her foam letters, numbers and animals the other day and I started telling her some of the names and sounds. Well, see started copying the sounds for "d", "t" and "b". Of course she then tried to apply them to anything and everything, but it still made the Momma happy!

One of the new fun things around here lately has been Daddy pretending to be a horse. He has to go pretty slow because Miss Clara doesn't yet have much of a concept of holding on tight.

I've been on a serious "new recipe" kick lately. Here's Clara attempting to consume one of my creations...

Before moving to this area, one of Stephen's and my favorite places to eat was a little "mom and pap" Vietnamese Restaurant, and one of our favorite things to eat there were their fabulous spring rolls. We get them almost every time we went. Well, I had long thought of giving making them a try and finally did the other day. Stephen was my research assistant and found me a good peanut sauce recipe on the internet and we were both pleased with the results!