Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Snowmen

Two cute snowmen that were out in our yard this morning!  Fun times were had.  The boy actually got into throwing some snow!  :-)  The girl got cold before he did!  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just Enough...

We were blessed with just enough snow a few days ago to be able to go get our first sled and give it a shot!  The videos are from yesterday afternoon when Stephen took Clara out and gave her the first ever rides.  Hil was napping.  However, this morning I got to take them both out and have some fun!  They both enjoy it!  Hil pretty much doesn't want to do anything but sit there and ride around or watch Clara and I play.  The big bulky snow suit might have something to do with that.   He did a good job of keeping the mittens on... surprise, surprise!  He does think Mommy throwing snow is very funny... unless he gets it in the face!  Enjoy!


video
video

I know, it looks like she's headed right into the street... however, there is a good size ditch there to work as a safety block.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Summer Memories

Here are more of those pictures I finally got taken off my camera!  They're old, but thought I would still share some of them!  First two are from our trip to family camp in June.

The rest are from our visit with Grandpa and Grandma M. later in the summer!  They made a long trip out to see us as well as other family along the way.  What a treat!  Enjoy!

Sweet Boy

She Loves Her Daddy

Sittin' with Pop pop

Mom and Dad M. didn't come alone... they brought along this lovely couple who are friends of theirs!

Apple Picking  (We did apple picking and blueberry picking all in one day!)




Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Roles I've Been Given

The other day a little girl draped a sheet over her head and told me she was called "Mary".  Then she changed it to "the bride".  Shortly thereafter she went and got me veil from my wedding day and I helped her put it on.  A few minutes later she showed up at my chair, veil on and holding the sheet around her and said "Hey, hey.  I Raechel (her new Auntie whose wedding Clara was just in)."  She then wanted to know if I would be "Uncle Randy".  I obliged for a little while and we walked around and played wedding.  Didn't know that one of the Mommy jobs was playing groom.  :-)

The next day, she was Mary and I was given the role of "Jophis".  :-)

Another thing I've been requested to play lately is "dragons"!

We love that girl!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Part 2 of Randy and Raechel's Wedding

LOVE THIS ONE!  Flower girl and bride on the big day!  

Couple with the groomsmen.  Picture time after the wedding.  

 Randy and Raechel with Raechel's little sister, Abigail, and Clara and Hil

 Four sisters: Anna, Amy, Melissa and me.  We now have three sisters-in-love as well, so there are really SEVEN of us sisters!!!!  I'd love to have a picture of the seven of us!

What a GREAT uncle!  Fun times during clean-up after the wedding.


Clara and Uncle Caleb!

Aunt Melissa and Hil!  As you can see from the pictures, their uncles and aunts invested soooo much time in Clar and Hil during the short visit!  It meant FUN times for the kidos AND a break for Momma and Daddy!  :-)


The wedding was so lovely and visit with the family, such a wonderful treat!  It went so fast, but pictures and memories are such a blessing!  Thank You, Lord!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finally... Part 1 of R and R's Wedding

After a long wait, we have picture from the camera to share!  As I mentioned before, some sort of a technical problem has developed and we haven't been able to download pictures from the camera to the computer.  We're still haveing the same problem, but I went down the drug store today and used one of the photo kiosks to put a bunch of pictures on photo cds.   So... are you ready for some pictures from the last several months?


We'll start with some that aren't that old, namely, pictures from the end of last month when we traveled to TX for my brother, Randy's wedding to Raechel!  We arrived Tuesday night and Wednesday we met up with the crew.  Randy and Raechel took us to the coffee shop where he surprised her when he came down to TX to ask her to marry him.  After surprising her at the coffee shop, he took her down to the harbor, and that is where he popped the question.  The following pics are from the tour of the harbor area:
Hilkiah and Aunt Anna


 Volleyball lessons from the pros!  Uncle Mark and Uncle Caleb with Clara!




 Now it's Hil's turn.


 The lovely couple of the hour!  Randy and Raechel




 Fun times with Uncle Caleb down at the harbor



 A day or two later, Clara and Aunt Sherry with their "matching shirts"!  Sherry is my brother Mark's lovely bride of almost one year!


Day before the wedding: me and Aunt Margie


The groom-to-be and ring-bearer-to-be.



Me and my lovely sister, Amy
Add caption
 Two handsome groomsmen working on the groom's cake: my brother Mark and my dear husband, Stephen


 Finishing touches: Mark




Raechel, the lovely bride!


 Melissa!  My baby sis.


 Flower girl!


Stay tuned for part 2!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chilly Weather Cuteness


Yes, the weather has turned chilly, and with it comes the cuteness of little ones sporting winter hats!  Daddy captured this preciousness on his phone several days ago!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Welcoming Sabina Kaydence!

Friday night we received a phone call from my sister, Melissa, informing us that our brother, David, and his wife, Amity, had welcomed their precious little one into the outside world!  We were so happy to hear the wonderful news!  Our little niece has the beautiful name of Sabina Kaydence and has a lovely head of dark hair!  Welcome to the family little one!  We're so happy you're here!  And Congratulations David and Amity!!!  She's beautiful!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our GF Journey: Report 1

So, the beginning of our Gluten Free journey has been a mixed bag.  After getting home from the wedding we began in earnest.  I went out and bought things I'd never bought before, like Xantham Gum, tapioca starch and potato starch.  I also took things that I HAD used before and started milling them into flour... things such as rice, millet and quinoa.

I've learned that crepes are super duper easy to make gluten free and be very happy with the results.  I've learned that yeast bread is NOT.  Thus far I've tried making yeast bread three times and haven't been thrilled with any of the results.  They actually all turned out quite well... none of them were flops... they were just such a far cry from good old wheat bread.  So, that's been the most discouraging part thus far.  Poor Clara even managed to gag herself on my latest loaf.

One of the most encouraging products so far: totally delicious pumpkin cookies that turned out so GREAT!  My man REALLY liked them, which made my day!  Here's the link if someone wants to give it a shot: http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/dessertsandsweets/r/glutenfreepumpkincookierecipe.htm.  They were extremely yummy.

Tonight we had muffins made with sorgum, quinoa and corn, and was quite happy with them - encouraging!

We've found a GF pasta that is excellent which, if you know us, was pretty much a necessity if this GF thing is going to last for any length of time.  :-)

So, like I say it's been a mixed bag.  Despite the not-so-great yeast breads, I'm feeling ready to keep going!  It's still a fun and interesting experience!  And it helps that the kids and I have not gone totally GF ourselves, just Stephen.  So though all of our baking is GF as well as cooking that he'll be eating, the rest of us still get our gluten here and there.  :-)

And there you have it, report number 1.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart"... Already!

This video is just so precious and amazing!  A little 2 year old reciting all of Psalm 23!  May the Lord richly bless her parents for investing time and effort into helping her learn the most valuable thing in the world, God's Word!

Our precious little ones are capable of so much more then we realize!  There is so much more I could be doing to teach and invest in Clara and Hil... And when I am spending time with them, I need to keep evaluating whether the things we are learning and doing are the BEST, or of just mediocre value.   A big thanks to these parents for this precious reminder!  And, Way To Go Little, Andi!!!  May you learn and love God's Word for your whole life!

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  Psalm 119:105

"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."  Psalm 119:11

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beautiful Fall

video
We've been blessed with some lovely fall days and have been able to get out some and enjoy them!  Yesterday... it was one of our favorite farms where we picked apples, pulled around one of their great wagons and visited the petting zoo once again!  Today it was simply time out of doors, some of which was spent in the leaves... as you can see!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Clara Speaks

The Clara-isms were flowing freely today...

While driving around in the car with Mommy, Clara noticed someone out in their yard "scraping the leaves with a fork."   :-)

This evening, I was putting herbs in capsules (to prepare them for being swallowed :-)) and Clara decided to help me (I was impressed that she actually managed to get some herb into a few capsules and get them put back together).  After the herb fell out of a capsule she'd been filling she exclaimed, with drama in her voice, "Oh dear!  I'm throwing a fit!  How I can do this?!"

At another point this evening I overheard her stating "I think gluten free is a better way."  You know what new phrase she's been hearing quite a bit in the last little while!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bro, Sis and Popcorn

video

Post-Wedding Conversation

We arrived  home safe and sound last night from the TX wedding!  It was a bit of a whirlwind trip... Tuesday to Sunday.  My brother, Randy, married his beautiful bride, Raechel, in a lovely ceremony on Saturday.  I'm blessed to have such a dear new sister!

Stephen, Clara and Hil were all in the wedding.  I wish I could share some pics from the big day... but as I mentioned before we're having downloading problems.

I wanted to share some quick snippets of coversation with Clara from earlier today.



Clara:  "Can we go back to the wedding area?"

Me:  "What do you mean?"

Clara:  "Can we go back to the wedding area?"

I again question what she's referring to.

Clara:  "Where Uncle Caleb is and Uncle Randy married Aunt Raechel."

Ahhhhh!  Heart wrenching to Mommy who would LOVE to be back with all of them too!  I explain that we can't go back there because it's far away and Uncle Caleb and Uncle Randy and everyone aren't even there any more either.

.... more conversation....

Clara: "They go to moonlight first?  They have to go to moonlight first?"

Took me a second or two... but I think moonlight may be a take off on "honeymoon".   I love it!   I think I like "moonlight" better!



Well, the trip was such a treat... and as you can see Clara had a grand time too!  She and Hil greatly enjoyed the love, care and fun times with Uncles, Aunts, Grandparents and new friends! Hopefully, I will manage to work around the picture downloading problem and still share some pics of the  wonderful day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Two Trips and a Journey

I know... long time no post!  Well, I'm finally sitting down to type a bit about our lives of late... provided we still have an audience out there after such a long "absence".

Ok, we'll start with trip number one (referring to the post title:-) ).   A couple weeks ago, I headed off on a business trip... but it wasn't my business trip.  :-)  Stephen's company sent him to beautiful Lake Placid for two days of work related training and he got to take his little family along!  What a treat for me.  We weren't sure up to the very last minute whether or not the kids and I would be going, due to the fact that both C and H were dealing with sickness.  But in the end we decided to go ahead and go for it... and it turned out to be a nice little get away.   The first evening we did a cookout fire, cooking "silver dollars" in the coals and roasting biscuits on unrolled coat hangers.  During the two days Stephen had training, the kids and I visited a couple Olympic venues, including the site of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice".  We also got to ride on a ski lift and then ride an elevator up 26 stories to see what it's like to be on a ski jumping tower! I don't know what kind of person you have to be to strap on skies and actually choose, of your own free will, to swish down that steep slope and take off into the air going, ideally, 60 miles an hour,... but I can tell you one thing, I'm NOT that kind of person!!!  I got some GREAT pictures during those few days, but unfortunately either our camera or the computer is having issues and we  haven't been able to download any from the camera for quite some time now!  I have a few things on my phone... so might share some of that later!

The second trip is an upcoming one!  This week we have the much anticipated excursion to my "little" brother's wedding!  I'm so looking forward to getting to see my dear family!  Lord willing, all my siblings will be there, except for David and him wife, Amity, who are expecting their little Blessing from the Lord about two weeks after the wedding.  They will be missed!   Clara is looking forward to getting to be flower girl and Hil will be make his debut as ring bearer.  And my Stephen is to be handsome groomsman.

The afore mentioned "journey" is of a completely different nature.  Stephen is suspicious that he may have a gluten sensitivity of some sort and is wanting to try going off of gluten for awhile to see what happens.  At first, the idea of starting to cook and bake without gluten was NOT too exciting or appealing to me.  However, I've started warming up to the idea and after thinking more about it, talking to a friend who is also starting to experiment with GF, and watching some videos online, I'm actually getting excited!  I think it will be fun!  I love trying new things in the cooking and baking arenas (mostly because I'm a fan of food :-)... so this should be actually quite enjoyable!   So, we begin a journey of learning about such things as Teff, Xantham Gum, and Amaranth... and how to bake with them!  It may be a short term journey or it may last for a life time... either way it should contain lots of learning, experimenting, failures and, hopefully, lots of success and yummy and nutritious food!  I'm looking forward to really getting started on the adventure once we get back from the wedding.  Expect more posts on this as we head off on our GF experiment!

So there you have it... two trips and a journey.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Together

video
Clara is no longer the only little one who likes to dance around here  Enjoy the sweet performance!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Look Mom! No Hands!"

video
Look closely and you will witness the reason for me suddenly "losing control" of the video!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday's Moments To Remember

It was cold and grey at the park.  However, some rays of sunshine still made their way to my heart.  The first was arriving and finding that hundreds and hundreds of Canadian geese had decided that the small pond and it's surrounding grass would be a good place to gather.  An impressive sight.

Some more rays of warmth cut through the chilly day as I pushed my little Hil on the swing.  I decided to sing him a song with accompanying hand motions.  After I sang one or two he rewarded me with his sweet grin and encouraging round of applause then signed for "more"!  So of course, I sang some more.  More smiling, clapping and signing for "more".  How can a Mommy say no?  On I sang.  And on he clapped and requested encores!

Thank You, Lord, for using my little son to bring sunshine to a grey, cold day!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A few weeks ago....

video
We have a lovely lake near us that offers a super playground, excellent walking, biking road, equipment rentals and even a free tram ride.  The kids and I finally took the tram a little while back... it was a 45 min ride and I wasn't sure if they'd get to bored and squirmy.  There was a 10 min break part way through where they were able to get off and play.  They did great and we had a good time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Precious Little Singer

video
Here's my precious little singer, singing along with an instrumental cd (Jaime Jorge).  She's not singing real words, just making stuff up as she goes along.  :-)  And the microphone is the vacuum cleaner hose.  :-)  Enjoy the boy chiming in at the end!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Am I Neglecting Something?

"Were there not ten cleansed?  But where are the nine?"   Luke 17:17


Food for thought from William MacDonald's book "One Day At A Time":


"The Lord Jesus healed ten lepers but only one returned to thank Him, and that one was a despised Samaritan.

One of the valuable experiences for us in life is to encounter ingratitude, for then we can share in a small degree the heartbreak of God.  When we give generously and do not receive so much as an acknowledgment, we have a greater appreciation of Him who gave His beloved Son for a thankless world.  When we pour out ourselves in tireless service for others, we join the fellowship of the One who took the place of a slave for a race of ingrates.

Unthankfulness is one of the unlovely traits of fallen man.  Paul reminds us that when the pagan world knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful (Rom. 1:21).....

..... Ingratitude permeates all of society.  A radio program called "Job Center of the Air" succeeded in finding jobs for 2500 people.  The emcee later reported that only ten ever took time to thank him.

A dedicated school teacher had poured her life into fifty classes of students.  When she was eighty, she received a letter from one of her former students, telling how much he appreciated her help.  She had taught for fifty years and this was the only letter of appreciation she had ever received.

We said that is is good for us to experience ingratitude because it gives us a pale reflection of what the Lord experiences all the time.  Another reason why is is a valuable experience is that it impresses on us the importance of being thankful ourselves.  Too often our requests to God outweigh our thanksgiving.  We take His blessings too much for granted.  And too often we fail to express our appreciation to one another for hospitality, for instruction, for transportation, for provision, for numberless deeds of kindness.  We actually come to expect these favors almost as if we deserved them.

The study of the ten lepers should be a constant reminder to us that while many have great cause for thanksgiving, few have the heart to acknowledge it.  Shall we be among the few?"

- William MacDonald

This has given me some good food for thought!  So VERY often I'm guilty of ugly ingratitude toward the Lord and the many incredibly loving, kind and generous people He has blessed me by putting in my life!  May I become like the Samaritan in Luke 17... having a heart of thankfulness and taking the time and effort to express it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Overheard recently:

A little girl saying or singing "Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace".  I was blown away and realized she had picked that wonderful passage of Scripture, describing the Lord Jesus, from our "Sing The Word" CD! (www.singtheword.com).  So precious and thrilling to mommy's heart!


Same little girl in her car seat singing "I don't have a friend like the lowly Jesus.  Not, not one.  Not, not one."  A wonderful hymn adorably reworded... and one I had no clue she knew any part of.



Struggling with recently:

Trying to "retrain" a little boy who has become very used to sleeping in Mom and Dad's bed over the last couple months or so and wondering how to deal with his frequent night time waking.  Not fun, but I must remember his precious baby days will soon be passed and I may be missing them before I know it.




Enjoyed recently:

An impromptu twirl around the room with the whole family to the beautiful song by Selah, "Wonderful, Merciful Saviour".

A lunch all together at a local Polish restaurant.

Sampling PG Tips Special Blend Tea, from my Dad's store.  Very good!

Those moments when the cuteness of my precious kidos just hits me so hard!

A little boy becoming more and more funny and interactive!

A little girl sitting with little brother and informing me that he is "Stephen" and she is "Gracie".  :-)

Same little girl taking food orders with pen and paper in hand and bringing Kiah and I drinks in the form of unopened cans of tomato sauce.

The little boy making pretend eating or drinking sounds from the tomato can given to him by sis.



Thank You, Lord, for Your countless blessings!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moments... From The Last Couple Weeks


Hil at the park







Christa and Clara and a job well done!  :-)  They both enjoyed working on this all together.  This was Clara's first time to work on this kind of puzzle!  There was lots of help from Mom... but the way it was enjoyed makes me want to get more at a similar level.






Grandpa and his VERY faithful little shadow... taking a lunch break at the fair!


Me and the little man.



Me and my babies!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What A Treat!

What a treat this holiday weekend was for our little family!  We got the fun of having Grandma and Grandpa M., along with another dear couple, here visiting!   In the space between Thursday night and Tuesday morning, we managed to pack in a trip to one of our favorite farms for blueberry and apple picking, an excursion to the State Fair, lots of chatting and apple peeling and freezing and BBQing hamburgers!  Grandpa also spoke at the chapel Friday and Sunday.  We all enjoyed the visit and it went so fast!  We sure do miss living near family, but it is such a joy when we get to have these times together!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Talk About Skills!!!!

video

And don't miss the other new post below. It contains a great mother / daughter conversation!

Quite Grown-up

Sunday morning I was packing up some snacks for the kids to have while we were at chapel, when in walked a little girl and we had a conversation that went something like this:

Clara: "What are you doing?"

Me: "Packing snacks for chapel."

C: "I can't want any snacks 'cause I'm the Mommy."

Me: "Oh ok. Well, maybe you could feed them to your baby (doll)."

C: "Ok"

.... a second later...

C: "She can't eat any because she doesn't have any teeth. She can only drink her bottle."




This girl sure brings smiles to her Mommy!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Family is Growing!

Yes, sir-yyee! Summer is a good time to announce when families grow! Gracie and I would love to announce and welcome the newest member of our extended family, Raechel P., who accepted the kind invitation for marriage from the gregarious, fun-loving romantic you all know as, Randy, uncle to Clara and Hil. We approve of this arrangement and look forward to the forthcoming announcements of the matrimonial festivities. Welcome to the family Raechel!

This month's post....Hahahaaaha! Sorry we've been so long.

This is Stephen.

Clara greeted me at the door recently looking like this. And the first thing she said was "I Gracie, this my baby, and (pointing to the real Gracie) this.....this.....this is Momma." Something very cute for the end of the day. Like getting desert before supper.



These are two neighbor girls that we have been getting to know, Sarah (7) and Christa (4), sisters. They came to the Sunday morning meetings this morning and we get along great.



This picture was taken last weekend. The little girl next to Clara is from Rochester, but the other two girls are local with us. We also have just gladly received a new family from Winnipeg, Sam and Hannah. Their daughter, Isabel, is not present. Poor Hil is outnumbered with the ladies!



Sorry we haven't been getting as many posts in. Hopefully that will not always be the case.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Peanut Butter and Honey

Today:

I have this habit of coming up with new nicknames for my kidos. They can be rather random or can have a logical source. Well, one I've used occasionally for Hil is "Peanut-butter man"... not that he likes the stuff... it's just nick name... maybe had something to do with occasionally calling him "Peanut". Well, I had used it at one point today and I heard my little girl say "I ah honey girl." :-)
Peanut-butter and honey... great combination! I think she may have just gotten herself a SWEET new name! :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Things Said By Clara...

"Daddy? You know I love you." -After helping me cut some plywood to fix the changing table while putting on her shoes to help me jump start one of our vehicles.

"I was hiding and then it came down. I was hiding in the closet." -First thing in the morning while cleaning up a freshly made, dirty diaper.

"OK, ok, I the mommy and you the daddy. Bye, See you." -While she has a baby doll in one arm and her purse over her other shoulder, talking over her shoulder as she's walking away.

"I getta hava treat!" -After she found out she was going to get leftover pizza for lunch.

Me at the dinner table- "Eat more food, Clara."
C- "OK, but I hafta finish what's in my mouth."

I was driving to PA two weeks ago and broke down along side the road. A spark plug had vibrated out. While limping to a parts store with one spark plug out I hear "Maybe it's broken, Daddy, maybe the engine is broken."

Then my Helper wanted to assist in fixing the vehicle, but it was to boring just holding parts. So she resorted to running around the car shouting orders and acting out a whole action scene for an upcoming movie. I wish I had the video of it all. At one point, I am under the hood and she is in the driver's seat turning nobs and switches and yells around the open door, "Push the red button, Daddy, the RED BUTTON!"

"Daddy, come here and lay down. Lay down. OK, good. I the doctor from California."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Callin' Big Sis

Earlier today we were walking out in the apartment parking lot. Clara was way ahead of Kiah and I. I had called out to her a few times. After a bit I heard a little voice next to me call out something that sounded like "Ce-la!" I suddenly realized what he might have been trying to say so I tried calling out "Clara" a few more times The little man once more called out and it once again sounded like an attempt at big sis' name (Te-la or Ce-la)! Awwwww!!!! Made this Momma happy!

At 14 months Hil says "Mama", "Da", and the occasional something that sounds like an attempt at "Bye-bye" (Ba-ba) and "Hi". And he will occasionally mimic something we just said. Then there are the many sweet baby sounds... we must enjoy them before they are gone!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Precious Moments And Things We've Lately Enjoyed!

Picture this...

... a sweet, bare-footed girl, dressed in a white and blue dress, peacefully swinging at the play ground. Her sweet blonde hair in a little ponytail. The sandals had been shed shortly after arriving at our area elementary school playground. Then this dear little picture opens her mouth and adds to the cuteness by saying:

"I have no shoes. I'm just swinging. Just relaxing."

Oh, we love that girl and the cute things that pop out of that mouth!!!

I was swinging next to her with Hilkiah on my lap. I glanced down at one point and saw Hilkiah signing "more". He just recently started using that sign and his first time was while Stephen was pushing him on a swing about a week ago, so I think he may relate it to swinging. I don't know that he really understands what it means... but it's awefully cute! The only other sign he uses is "all done". He just puts his little arms straight up in the air and often says "Ahhhhhhh!" along with it!

Another cute Clara moment from recently relates to a recommendation I'd like to make to all you Mommies and Daddies out there. The other day CB (as we've taken to calling her lately) was jabbering away. I likely wasn't paying the closest attention. But suddenly I heard her say something about "skunk and reptiles" REPTILES???!!! Had that just come out of her mouth? Skunks we've definitely seen in books and pointed out and talked about. But the word reptiles isn't something you hear us saying as we look through an animal book. It's sooooo fun to hear them pop out with new vocabulary word... even when they don't full understand what they're talking about.

I'm quite sure I know where she picked up the word. She's been watching a great video over and over and over called "Flight and Spike" It's an excellent creation science video sold Biblical Discipleship. We picked it up recently at a convention we were at, and have we ever been glad we did! Both of the kids really enjoy watching it and we are love the excellent truths that are taught. Some of the animals covered in the film are Dinosaurs, Owls and Porcupines (or "pine-cones" as Clara calls them).

Another great resource for we recently came across is musical CDs put out by Sing The Word. Years ago, a very musically talented family started making quality recordings of Scripture put to music and they now have a collection of 7 different cds that they have done! We purchased two of them recently and have been soooo happy with them! They've done an excellent job with their recordings and they are such an enjoyable and beautiful way to store up God's Word in our heart and the hearts of our children! Some of the cds are aimed at younger children with shorter verses and simple songs while other cds have longer passages of Scripture. We got the two for the youngest ages... but even though younger ones are the target age group even Mommy really enjoys listening!

So, those are a couple new things that we've appreciated lately. If any of you reading this have recommendations for resources you've enjoyed using in the bringing up of your kidos... please pass them on to us!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's been forever since I last posted! Been quite the negligent blogger of late... thanks in part to the fact that we are having some problem that isn't allowing us to download videos and pictures from our phones. Maybe that will help me use more WORDS in blogging... instead of primarily pictures and videos! So far, it's just meant that I haven't posted! :-/

I had to share a cute story from today. Out of the blue Clara says to me "I be the Mary. You be Jophis (Joseph)." And she proceeded to put her blanket on her head like pictures of Mary and we wrapped a stuffed animal in a blanket. Later on we both dressed up with blankets and headbands on our heads, like Mary. So precious to see her learning, connecting, and understanding more about the BEST Book in the world!

We've been going to a farm I previously shared about quite a bit lately! Asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries have all been in season and ohhhhh what a treat those have been! We've enjoyed other special things at the farm too like a jump house, the animals, ice cream and apple cider slushies! We did the u-pick option on the strawberries. I felt rather stressed worrying about the kids damaging plants and berries and Clara picking ones that weren't the greatest. I can get too worried about so many things! It was neat to have had the experience, though since then I've been going the route of the already-picked ones!

And there is a recipe I'd like to share for strawberries! We tried this one the other day and, ohhhhhh, it was so yummy as well as being very simple! They are Strawberry 'n' Cream Tarts and they were light and delicious! I definitely want to do these again! I made the crusts with a simple recipe of graham cracker, sugar and butter, which I pressed into muffin pans and refrigerated. Give them a shot... they're delicious!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Farm!


I'm really excited about this local farm! It's about 10 to 15 minutes from us and in season they have quite a few different crops which you can buy in their store or roll up your sleeves and pick yourself! The crops include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, a large variety of apples and more! They also have a few animals that the kids can pet and hand feed. We visited today for the first time and the kidos were both pretty excited about the animals. Clara however, was not content to touch them through the fence and feed them. She desperately wanted to go INSIDE the fence and specifically wanted to HOLD a chicken! On another visit I might try to see if either of those is an option.

video video video

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The "Squirm" and the Sand Bag

video video


We got to go out for a while and enjoy the lovely outdoors. The weather was great with a breeze! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for beautiful mornings, sweet and inquisitive children, the opportunity to stay home with them and watch them learn, grow, and play. What a gift!

video

Monday, May 30, 2011

Clara-isms

Yesterday a little girl started begging for "Chocolate Tea"... known to the rest of us as hot chocolate! :-)



A week or so ago, the same little girl and I were sharing some food out of the same bowl. I was waiting for her to take a bite with her fork, and then she decided to wait for me, and said "Go for it." :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Passing On A Blessing...

Stephen and I have really been enjoying the daily devotional book "One Day At A Time", by William MacDonald.

Today's verse and thoughts particularly stood out to me and I'd like to share part of it with you. I found it a blessing, encouragement, and convicting.

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18

"The Bible teaches that we become like what we worship. That important insight is found in today's text. Let's break it down this way:
But we all- that is, all true believers;

with open or unveiled face- sin causes a veil between our faces and the Lord. When we confess and forsake the sin, we have an open or unveiled face;

beholding as in a glass- the glass or mirror is the Word of God, in which we behold

the glory of the Lord - meaning His moral excellence. In the Bible we gaze upon the perfection of His character, the beauty of all His works and ways;

are changed into the same image - we become like Him. We are changed by beholding. The more we are occupied with Him, he more like Him we become. This change is

from glory to glory - from one degree of glory to another. The change does not take place all at once. It is a process that continues as long as we behold Him. The transformation of our character is effected

even as by the Spirit of the Lord-the Holy Spirit produces likeness to Christ in all those who gaze by faith upon the Savior as He is revealed in the Bible.

....I do know that reverent occupation with the Son of God produces moral resemblance to Him.

The way to holiness is through gazing upon the Lord Jesus. It is not ordinarily possible to think of Christ and of sin at the same time. During those moments when we are taken up with Him, we are most free from sin. Our goal then should be to increase the percentage of our time when we are beholding Him."

~William MacDonald

I tend to ask the Lord Jesus to cleanse me and make me what He wants me to be... and then rush on with my day, my thoughts, my activities, etc., instead of focusing on Him as I go about the responsibilities He has given me.

What or Who are my thoughts full of today? What or Who am I showing that I truly worship by my choices in thought, action and word?

Help me Lord Jesus to make you the center of all my life!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Outdoors-Man and the Daisy Princess

We tried out a new park today. It was beautifully surrounded by a woodsy area and was so lush and green. The playground didn't have much to offer, but I think the kids had as much or more fun playing with sticks, leaves, etc. They make the best toys!!! Clara kept wanting to go plunging into the woodsy area to explore. Maybe we'll bring Daddy back there sometime and she can do some of that!