Monday, August 31, 2009

What Our School Looks Like...

The kids dragged their pillows and blankets into the living room. Then I heard Christopher shout, "Hey guys I'm at school!!"

I heard him and asked. "You're at school?"

He said,"Yes, it's like a BIG sleepover here!" LOL

Well, our school isn't really what I would call a sleepover!! But I hope it's fun like a sleepover would be!!!

I LOVE learning what other families use and how they structure their day and some of their fun ideas:) So this week I thought I'd share some of what our school DOES "look" like, just incase you like those sorts of things too:)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I [heart] faces - Before and After with Paci

Nothing like a paci... and Hannah Grace is a "paci girl"!!

Check out more Before and After at I [heart] Faces!

***Whoops!!! I've been looking through some other posts at I [Heart] faces.... I totally missed the directions... where was my brain??? Sorry!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Little Fish

The kids have gotten to be little fish this summer. With swimming more at Grammie's house this summer and then spending time everyday at Grandma's development's pool, they have really started to show progress....

Could you hear what Aunt Jaclyn bribed Lydia with to get her to go off of the diving board????

Jaclyn bribed her with the chance to hold Hannah Grace!! LOL... and that little girl got out of the water as soon as she had jumped off the diving board and asked to hold Hannah Grace..... she'd rather hold Hannah Grace than swim!

And while you may be tired of pictures of Lydia and Hannah Grace... Lydia will never be tired of holding her little cousin!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pictures of Our Birthday Day-trip

Well my little family did bring me to see my parents, sister and niece Monday. We had a full day from beach, taking pictures, getting my haircut, swimming, eating, Rita's and driving home!! We had a great time celebrating my 30th (is it possible???) birthday!!

My little beach BUG playing on the beach playground! Whoever thought of building a playground at the beach was a genius:)

We hoped to get some beach pictures of Hannah.... it was really too bright, so we made/found shade and tried to get a few pictures of her.

Here are our sweet girls. All cute sitting together on the beach rocking chair:)

My Beach Boys!

We did some more Hannah pics at the house after Hannah had a full belly and a good nap:) She's precious!

We all enjoyed a meal in Mom and Dad's "make-shift" kitchen. I'd go into why they have a "make-shift" kitchen, but in days they will be back into the main part of the house!! Anyway, thought we'd take a pic of our last meal in the "upstairs kitchen".
Before we embarked on the trip back home we had my cupcakes and Rita's Italian Ice at Ritas!! Lydia had been asking for cupcakes ALL DAY.... so she helped herself right away:) And they sang Happy Birthday to me... how embarrassing!

We had a GREAT time. Thank you to my sweet family for getting out of bed soo early and keeping in the van on the way home. And thanks to Brian for his flexibility... letting me sneak away a couple of times with Mom and Jaclyn. Thanks to Jaclyn for the "trim" LOL and for coming along with us and feeding my product dependency (haha haa). Mom and Dad, thanks for a great day and a yummy dinner:)

And thanks to my extended family for the cards, calls and birthday wishes!!

The Beard Decision

A couple of days ago, we asked for your opinions on the beard.... I think Brian was a little surprised by all the comments... so thanks:)
He lasted through church and then all day visiting with my folks on Monday. As we were leaving the beard conversation came up. My dad said EXACTLY what I thought he'd say and then my sister piped in...... LOL, ahhaaaa, LOL... so funny!!!

Before I share her opinion, I need to share one of the notable conversations of the day. We were talking about when Brian first came to meet my family when we started dating. We reminded my sister of what she said the 1st time she met Brian!!! She said, "Yep, your just as nerdy as someone should be who would be dating my sister." LOL... this time she immediately said she was young and didn't realize how rude it was.... I was just glad that I had WARNED him about her before their 1st meeting:)

OK, so that is what my sister thought of him then..... well this is what she said about the beard, "This is the most I've ever been attracted to your husband. I'd venture to say that he is almost 'sexy'... like Matthew McConaughey."
She went on about how clean shaven he kept the beard and that it highlighted his "chiseled chin". But I think we were still in tears over the 1st sentence of her opinion!!
Well I'm not sure what Brian based his beard decision on... maybe as a way to ward off his sister-in-law! The beard came off Tuesday morning :( I was a little disappointed... I had started to get use to it and I did like it on him!!! Although, his smooth face is very nice, too:)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WFMW - Delicious (and Healthy?) Banana-Blueberry Bread

This is one of my FAVORITE milk-free, egg-free, peanut-free recipes we have. I make it ALL the time and even give it away with my allergy changes:) Best yet the recipe claims to be Low Fat and then I don't add regular milk or egg... so it's Extra Low Fat and cholesterol friendly:)

I promised my sweet mother-in-law that I'd post it soon. So Works for Me Wednesday this week seemed like a good opportunity:)

Let me first make a HUGE disclaimer.... the recipe I am sharing is from a Betty Croker cookbook that I have doctored and tweaked to fit the food allergy needs of my family... so on we go:)

Banana-Blueberry Bread

1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of Light Blue Bonnet margarine (allergy friendly), softened
1 tsp of baking powder
3 medium sized mashed bananas
1/2 cup soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
1 cup of fresh or frozen (drained in needed) blueberries

1. Heat oven to 350 and spray loaf pan(s) with non-stick spray (sometimes I have enough batter to make some muffins for the kids to snack on).

2. Mix sugar and margarine then add baking powder. Next comes all the wet ingredients and finally the dry:) Gently fold in blueberries.

3. Put the batter in the pans. Then I sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top of the batter.

4. Bake 8 inch loaves about 1 hour, and 9-inch loaf about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Use the toothpick method to check to be sure it's done... egg-free things cook faster for me. Cool 10 minutes before trying to remove it from the pan.

5. Cool completely before slicing, 2 hours.... LOL... wish we did this! But it's good hot:) It does slice better when it's cool! It can stay at room temperature 4 days and in the frig 10 days... never lasts that long here:)

almost WW - The Birthday Pic by Chris

Monday was my birthday and I was able to spend it with my family, parents, sister (and my little niece (pics to come). Anyway, during some drawing time today, Chris illustrated our birthday party.... as only Christopher can do...

I LOVE how creative he is with his drawings... they seem soo random and silly, yet he has thought them out enough to include details.... like the balloons, a birthday cake and EYEBROWS...LOL!!

He's such a crazy kid... wildly running around the house chasing his sisters making them scream to draw these fun pictures for us:)

More Wordless Wednesday fun at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom!

Take my Picture...

so you can put it on the BLOG!!!

LOL... my kids are finally understanding.... the reason I take pictures is to post them on the blog...LOL!!

Not to capture and treasure our sweet memories. Or to compare how much they grow during the year. Or to send to family members!!

NO... their Mommy takes pictures to BLOG:)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I heart faces - Week 33 - Nostalgia

This weeks theme is Nostalgia over at I {heart} faces! At first I was clueless about what to share and then it was there!One of the places we were able to visit while on vacation holds many memories for our family.

*Gran-Grandma used to walk and let her boys play on the canons and in the square.

*Grandaddy, Grandma and Gran-Grandma used to bring their boys(and grandsons) to play on the cannons when they were young.

*Brian and I once visited the park and cannons when we were fist engaged. It was the first time I met my future Gran-Grandma. We snapped a pic of ourselves when we were up there.

*Uncle Scott proposed to Aunt Bea in the same square last year.

And now we got to take OUR kids to play on the cannons, run around the square, picnic on the benches and then take OUR picture on the cannon!!!

Great to be a part of our family "history" and the kids had a blast too:)

***THANK YOU to my Mother-in-law (AKA Grandma) for our wonderful stay and for taking this picture!! You did a great job:) And thanks to Grandaddy for all the fun!!

Should It Stay or Go???

During many weeklong vacations, Brian attempts to grow a beard. He'll get it coming in and then decide to shave it off. Well this week was the exception.... he grew a beard and DIDN'T shave it off!! And this morning he went off to church with his "new" look. (Here he is working this afternoon.)

He got some reactions.... some good, some not... lol!! I think someone confessed that at one time they wouldn't have voted to have a pastor with a beard. And one just shook his head and said, "Don't tell me."

My favorite comment was our neighbor. I flat out asked her what she thought and she said, "It doesn't bother me either way, I'm just glad I don't have to kiss him!" LOL... so funny!

For a comparision, here's one of my favorite pre-beard pics of Brian. I was playing with the camera and this was the expression I got after he's just made a really goofy face that I didn't get:)

Since we all like sharing what we think, what do you think?
Should it stay or should it go??

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Final Summer Vacation!

We just got back from our final summer vacation:) We spent most of the week with Grandma and Grandaddy at their home:) It was a very nice and relaxing trip... while did see some sights, visit Gran-Grandma and get a bit of shopping in... there were plenty of naps, hours in the swimming pool and bike riding:) Not to mention yummy meals, reading books with Grandma and rumors of a pretty wild game of hide-n-seek with GrandaddY:)

While I'd LOVE to be creative in how to share some of my favorite pictures and memories... I'll just post them and call it a "great" TRIP:)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Totally Lovin' Anna's Hair & Locks of Love

I have LOVED Anna's new haircut!!! It's been sooooo easy to care for, even when we blowdry and flat iron it:)While I wish I was MORE creative in doing different styles, I have enjoyed trying some things I wish looked right in my own hair;)

This was one that worked soo well Sunday morning... I thought it was soo cute:) And Anna did too:)

Anna's Lock of Love donation was sent in last week. While Anna will tell you that she donated her hair to Locks of Love for "a little girl"... I don't think she has any concept of the sickness that some of these children recipents face. But I am thankful that Anna was willing to "help" someone else.

A church member mentioned a song by Randy Owen called "Braid My Hair"... I found it on A family documented their own child's struggle with cancer and then used this song to make a slideshow...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday : Easy Sunday Dinner

I've always wondered what other families with young children go home to eat after Sunday church services.... I guess many go out or to their parents' house. But what do the rest of us do??

While Brian was a youth minister, we had a family invite us over to eat during service... just "out-of-the-blue"!! They had 4 children and I thought, "How in the world can they have a meal planned and ready for extra company?" But they did and we've adopted it (most Sunday lunches)!

On the phone with a friend this week and then having a church member call Sunday after church to jokingly invite himself for lunch... I thought I'd share this simple meal that can be quickly stretched for company:)

BREAKFAST!!!! LOL... nothing new, or different. I honestly won't have thought to serve breakfast for LUNCH, especially a Sunday Dinner:) But it's sooo easy to make some biscuits, scramble some eggs (for those that can eat them), cook some breakfast meat, make a fruit salad (from fruit in the frig) and EAT!!

The kids (and us) look forward to making biscuits and eating breakfast. They are always soo excited to help make the biscuits and set the table with a large variety of jams:)

I like not having to come up with another meal idea and being in the kitchen Saturday night and in the morning before church. I also like that we can throw an extra egg or two or make another batch of biscuits to share when we have company:)

Daddy was soo proud of his dough creation:) LOL... he loves to eat the little biscuits right from the oven... the kids and I like the dough!!

Yummmy... they came out PERFECT for everyone!!! Daddy pulled all the biscuits out of the oven at the same time so the last batch was lighter (and almost gooey in the middle) and the other batch was brown:)
Learn all sort of new things that work at Works for Me Wednesday !

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why... In Everything?

So we changed the title of my blog from "Fruit of the Womb" to "In Everything" some time last week. I have wanted to share for some time WHY I wanted to have it changed.

I've shared that before that we've been trying to have another child. Every time I looked at the blog title it was a constant reminder. Now, I know that verse means "fruit from the womb"... being the 3 sweet, busy little blessings I get to care for everyday.... but over the last few weeks I have realized that my desire to have more children had become a VERY misplaced goal! And that I need to change my goals (and be surrounded by things that encourage this change).

My focus should be on the Lord Jesus Christ. I should be daily striving to know Him more, to serve Him more, to worship Him more, to teach my children about the Lord, to care for my family, to encourage my friends and family in their own walks.... I should be UPWARD and then OUTWARD focused!!

One way I can ward against being INWARD focused (discontent, complaining, frustrated) is to be THANKFUL to the Lord in every situation. Um, I don't expect this to be easy.... but having the simple Ephesians 4:20 verse hidden in my heart helps. I have found myself taking a deep breathe, thinking, "In everything give thanks" and praying Help me Lord to be thankful and have the right heart.

One kind of silly situation this week was when I broke one of our bowls (from our dining dish set). I'm sure I initially felt a little frustrated but then I remembered the verse and prayed "Thank you Lord for the other 7 bowls from this set and that we've only broken one in 7 years!!" LOL

Thankfulness gives us perspective of the bigger picture. We have sooo many simple "creature comforts" that we totally take for granted. We're inward focused and don't even consider thanking God for what He already given us. We complain way too often about things that can't be remedied with our words and we miss simple opportunities to thank God.

I WANT to thank God in everything! I want to be focused on Him and reaching out to serve. It is my prayer that I become more like Him by intentionally trying to be UPWARD focused and thankful.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I heart Faces - Bubbles

When I saw that this week's challenge was BUBBLES, I started hunting for this picture!! It's easily my favorite bubble pictures with the kids:) I love how clear the bubbles are AND Anna grinning behind the bubbles... so much fun:)

I thought we look it a couple of months ago.... um, no.... try a YEAR ago!!! Yep, this was Sept 1 of last year!!! WHOA!!

Check out more Bubbles pictures at I heart Faces this week:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

The CHEESY Experiment

Brian and I have commented many times that one of the hardest things about food allergies is the unknown. We still have soo many questions about the kids allgeries that just can not be answered!!

I POSED a question to our allergist a couple of months ago when I brought Anna concerning Lydia and Christopher. You see since we suspect they have allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts we have totally kept them from comsuming those things. TOTALLY... the allergist was totally impressed :)

But I'm starting to wonder if Christopher's allergies include peanuts and if Lydia's allergies include milk and peanuts. I feel like testing them won't really tell us because their bodies have NEVER been exposed.... although sometimes allergies work that way and sometimes they don't.

They suggested to me to try some "problem foods" at home... mixed into other foods in VERY, VERY small quanities... only the foods that they have NOT reacted to and that do not cause an external rash.

So a week ago I opened a pack of shredded cheese and Brian and I thought... "let's see what Lydia does with a small bit of cheese"... we put in on the table and honestly expected her to refuse the "new" food, like she always does for a "new" food. But this was CHEESE... and she picked it up an ate IT!!!

Brian and I were amazed that she ate it soo quickly and worried what kind of reaction she would have. But Lydia was sooo excited by the fact that she could eat CHEESE!!!

She happily ate the cheese... showed us it was GONE and then asked for more!!!

We are being cautious, we have been giving her just a shred or two of cheese when we have it out... shred or two... it is such a minute amount! But Lydia asks for it and we have seen NO REACTIONS... none, no rash, no sore throat, or upset tummy. So last night when she asked for some I gave her more... nothing again!!

Anyway, not sure what our next step is. BUt it's exciting to think that one of our children might not be sooo sensitive to milk!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I want to....

learn my letters!"

Oh, one of the sweetest things I have heard said lately. I LOVE teaching the kids at home, but I want to do it right.... not too fast, not too early and not too slow. But when they ASK to be taught it's easy to know the right time:)

So during our morning schoolwork time, I have been spending a few minutes with Lydia going over a handful of letters.... vowels first and then working through the rest of the alphabet. And everyday while Anna is working on her reading Lydia asks to do her letters:)

MOst days I work with Lydia with just the index cards with the letters written on them and magnetic letters.... very simple. It is also sooo sweet to see Anna working with Lydia on her letters. Anna helps her match the letters to the cards and asks Lydia the name of the letter and what sounds it makes.

Here is a cute, short video I took of Lydia and I working. YOu'll see we still have a LONG way to go:) But she's interested and loves to "do her work"!

Choose to Praise

A couple of months ago in the car alone... I broke down. I had a hard task before me, one that I had thought I was "over". But in those tears and frustration I realized I only started the journey and many hard days and times were ahead.

So back to the teary car trip by myself, dreading the stop I had to make, I had the radio on.... and it wasn't kiddie songs this time:) I was listening to a Christian radio station and at that moment the PERFECT song "for me at that time" came on. I cried through the rest of the trip, but I had some of the truth of the song with me (but forgetting the name or artist).

For MONTHS now I everytime I turned on the radio I hoped the song would come on again.... and it did this afternoon while I made lunch. Here it is from YouTube.....

I found comfort the first time I heard it... I kept with me that I would make it through the storm, not because who I was (or what emotional condition I was in) but who God is. Applying the truth one of my favorite set of verses in Psalm 121 which is embedded in the song!

Interestingly, when I heard it today (now numerous times on youtube) I have kept with me that in difficult (or emotional) times I need to make a conscience choice to praise God through the storm instead of throw myself a pitiful "pity party". I know what God requires of me and I know the blessings and peace He alone can provide through "the storms" of life.

Let me also throw this out there... it's been on my heart a while. After mentioning some of my own struggles, I have been confronted over and over with others' more challenging, heartwrenching and stressful "storms" than my own. Looking around I see soo much more heartache and sickness than my little "storm" could ever muster....

So I am choosing to praise God for who He is, even in the little "storm" in my own life. And I am praying for the sweet saints that I personally know who are facing much greater "storms" in their own lives. May we praise God together and ask for His comfort and healing!

WW: Baby, It's HOT Outside!!!

It's been sooo hot these last few days!! We were very thankful to visit with some church friends today and play in their pool... oh, it was soo nice:)
But on Monday, we found another way to stay cool.... the HOSE!!!
(Found a rainbow)

Then they sprayed Daddy's car.......

When Daddy got out it was HIS turn!!

And he got all the little Tykes on Bikes!!!