Of Saturdays and Houses

Saturday (a week ago) was a bad day. This is very sad, as Saturday comes around only once a week, and I look forward to it for 6 whole days! I love Saturdays. Theoretically, we kick back, do little projects, and hang out together…we–as in Craig and I. The Saturdays where this does not actually happen? Bad. Interesting how you can set yourself up for falling. 🙁 All week long I look forward to the weekend where I will have Craig’s help and input on kid care. I look forward to sitting long on the couch with him and drinking tea indefinitely as we dream about life and hash out the present. 

If I know that on a coming Saturday he will be gone or busy, I try to prepare myself mentally and emotionally. It may or may not work. Haha!

Saturday a week ago, we went and looked at two houses/properties with our realtor, who is also my mentor and friend–Yvonne. See, a year ago we had our place here on the market. We have five acres and a three bedroom house, two of which are quite small. We had dreamed of turning the five acres into a mini farm, growing our own meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts–to name a few. 🙂 Instead, God has taken us in the a business/entrepreneurial direction for now. We are happy with that, but this property then only gives us a reason to pay our neighbor to mow it every summer. 🙂 We do love living “in the country” all while being 5 minutes from the center of town. But we’d love to trade out the 5 acres for a bigger house that better suits our needs!

Now that I have thoroughly explained this to you, I’ll let you in on one last, little secret about all this:

I’m a missionary kid. One side effect for me is that I love moving. I’m not the only one of my siblings who doesn’t really mind moving! About every five years I get this itch…time to move! How exciting and fun would that be?! Haha! Craig is so lucky. He might have married someone who really needs to live in the same place their whole life. Then what would he do? 

Mostly though, I have five kids. And I homeschool. In my heart and mind, I need more space. 🙂 This of course is quite relative. I know people who live in a single wide and have a lot more kids than I do. I also have a friend with three kids who are living in an RV right now! But ahhh…I would love space. Space to make a real schoolroom. Space to spread out the kids’ projects. Space to really organize our sewing, painting, legos, drawing stuff, decorating, baking…

I’d love to have space to give my kids each a real bed to sleep on…not just flimsy mats on the floor. And a decent bathroom that we could actually clean well would not be bad on the side! 

My current kitchen is nice. It was newly renovated before we moved in. I have never had such lovely cabinets or backsplash! The size is nice in that I don’t need to walk far to get to each of my cupboards. But it is small for all the baking and cooking I do. And my pantry is a nice, little walk into the laundry room. Also, our dining room is too small to center our table, so we push it against the wall. The result is that we can’t really all fit around it. 

Our living room is a beautiful size, and with the masonry heater Craig built, it could be a bit of a sad good-bye. The radiant heat coming off of that thing is the gentlest, sweetest warmth in the world. 🙂

By now, if you’re bored, no problem. Skip! I just feel like rambling about this. 🙂

So, my biggest problem is that I have watched every episode of Fixer Upper and besides loving Joanna Gaines herself, I love her style. So much. Farmhouse. Clean, yet a bit rustic. Mixing paint with wood. Iron. Copper. Green plants. Pops of color. And so much more. So I know what I want. Help.

I know that I probably won’t get exactly what I dream of, and that’s fine! But dreaming is fun! So here goes…my dream house and property! Haha! Sit down…it’s crazy…

Once acre outside the city limits. Enough to still have a few animals someday, and a large garden and orchard! Space for Bomani to play ball and ride his bike. Space to look outside and see…country. My soul breathes with a bit o’ country.

The house needs to be two story. At least. My very least favorite house style is low, long, brick houses. I love height! And I love some character. An old farmhouse remade would be perfect. So perfect. I love real hardwood, crown molding, and some authentic wood work. 

While we’re thinking about the outdoors, my dream place would have a play set for the kids as well as a playhouse. For the summer time, a large, blue stock tank from Tractor Supply set into the ground with plumbing…perfect. 🙂 I’d want a cover for it though. It’s big!

We also have long dreamed of creating an outdoor space to entertain friends and hang out. My dream space would have countertops made of concrete, a sink made of concrete, a grill, and a single gas burner on which I would set a cast iron wok. Yay! We would also have comfortable outdoor seating and a firepit. Maybe a pergola with removable canopy for shade if it would be too sunny…

Moving indoors, the front door should open into the main, open area. I see no need for walls in this area. Living, dining, and kitchen can all be one, large, open room. This makes a house feel twice as large! Hardwood a definite priority. No tile or carpet. A fireplace to sort of define the living room…maybe some built-ins for framed pictures and books. The kitchen though…that would be my place. I love cooking. Ahh…the kitchen.

Large, but not too large. You don’t want to walk half a mile to find your cookware. A large island with a small sink and one, large corner would be a butcher block set into the counter on which I could wildly chop all my vegetables. 🙂 I’m not totally 100% on what style of countertop I would like. Maybe concrete. Something that would tie into the rest of the kitchen. Under a window would be the large farmhouse sink. No two-sink thing…just one big, deep sink. Yay! I could wash the big, chunky pots with no problem. 🙂 Plus, they are so cool. 🙂 

There would be plenty of cupboards with a few open shelves to display cool dishes. The range would be large, with two baking chambers. 🙂 And yes…definitely a pot-filler above the stove. The backsplash would be gorgeous and match the kitchen perfectly. There would be a walk-in pantry, with super cool organizing shelves. My spices though, would be in the kitchen. I use spices in cup-sized jars. None of this sprinkling stuff…as in The Hundred Food Journey, I spoon it in!

The dishwasher would be one of those two drawer deals. I saw one for the first time in one of the houses on Saturday that we checked out. The dishwasher was amazing. There would be space somewhere not far from the kitchen for a large freezer. You have no idea how much these kids eat. Or maybe you do. 🙂

Okay, I need to stop with the details. This could be getting boring. Haha! 

But on the bedrooms, the master and the other two or three would need to be upstairs on the same floor. I think I’d go with two smaller rooms yet large enough to house lots of kids each! There would be two sets of bunkbeds built into each room. You walk up these cool steps to enter the bunkbeds. You need to see Fixer Upper to really know what I mean. 😉 

Then there would be an attic room with several dormer windows for natural light. This would be a master style room with a bathroom off it it, cuz it would be a guest suite! You know, for the grandparents… 🙂 

I kinda’ dropped the ball on the first floor plan though. Woe! Besides the large, open room, there would be a school-room, a toy-room, and an office for Craig. The school-room would be large enough to organize all the projects, allow me to keep my sewing machine set up, and also sport countertops and plenty of space to actually do all these projects. There would be a large screen on the wall for school sorts of things. 

The toy room would be small, but have lots of organizing bins for toys. There would be no toys kept at any other location in the house. Except…

There would be a basement. This basement would only be a concrete chamber created for a tornado shelter. But we would also use it in the case of bad weather for all manner of crazy game playing! We would keep all the “house” sorts of basketballs, bouncy balls, and hacky sacks down there. There would be a basketball hoop screwed to the wall. Down there, the kids could do all their crazy, wild games and not break a single thing, except maybe a couple bones. 🙂 

Oh yeah, laundry. Really, I don’t need a huge laundry room. I just need a washer and a dryer upstairs so that there would be no hauling of large kegs of laundry up and down steps. You have no idea how much laundry we wash. Or maybe you do.

There is my dream house for the hundred. 🙂 It’s fun to dream! 

There is also real life, and honestly, properties in the larger DFW area aren’t extremely low in cost. But there is a simple truth to all of this. 

God provides. He provides well. He is good. 

This current house, I do love.

And I’m really gonna’ love the next one. 🙂

About now you’re either wondering why Saturday a week ago was a bad day, or you totally forgot about that *small detail. 🙂

Neither of the properties we looked at were workable. We sat down and talked and decided to revisit the moving thing in half a year to a year. So I gave up moving and studied out how to make this house work well in the meantime. That last sentence took me several days. Haha!

We currently have our schoolroom in the living room.

I’m giving you real-life photos here. 😉

There is a girls room and a boys room. Bomani asks me every night and sometimes a couple times a day why he needs to sleep with only Enzo. I tell him that there was not space in one of those small rooms for five kids! And Talia needed to move to a kids’ room. He still asks me the next night…again. He and Enzo sleep feet-to-head on a twin bed. The girls sleep on mats on the floor that they roll up every morning. I love their room. It’s peaceful and lovely. 🙂

This house actually works really well for us in many ways. And the out-of-doorsyness around here is so perfect for the kids.

I just needed to come to a place of gratefulness, rest, and joy. And when God brings us the next place–yay! 

 

Parenting –Yay!!!

I’m just all kinds of happy right now. I’m seeing a difference in our little home. And I’m so excited because more change is coming. More stability. More learning.

A while ago I blogged about a book I had been recommended: 

 

(Just reminding you, these are always affiliate links. I make a small percentage if you buy anything on Amazon through these links!)

This book started me on a journey to true change in my parenting. I was some sort of weird cross between a drill sergeant and a helicopter mom. Not anymore! That is allllll changing!! Hallelujah!  

I felt like this book (above) was so good in laying groundwork and change in my own life, and even in my own understanding of God’s ways with His children. But I told Craig…I felt like I knew what NOT to do, but not enough of what TO do!

Then I happened upon this book on amazon. I remembered the title from Loving Our Kids on Purpose. This was the book that had set Danny Silk on his own journey of change and helping other parents. So the other week I put money to my words and bought the kindle version…

 

I am 16% into the book, and it has already been so totally worth every penny. Woe. Like it is loaded with practical help. Ideas. And understanding. I am finally really seeing why my way of “carefully training” my children will ultimately set them up for either failure, or if they’re lucky, just struggles in finding their way in the real world. 

A huge, huge deal is this: Kids need to learn, while they are young, to make their own decisions, and then work through the consequences of their decisions. You want to do this while their consequences are not yet expensive, and not yet deadly! Teenagers in this day have decisions to make every day–choices that can take them to death or life. If you made all their decisions for them as a child, then why should they have any idea how to do this well as teenagers?!

These changes we are making are also an enormous load off of me. I am no longer responsible to break up fights. I tell them, “Hey kids! You can work this one out together or I’ll help you break up the fight, but I charge a dollar per each of you.” They do not want my help after that! And they get it done! I have taken money from them, so they know I will follow through if they don’t get it figured out soon. 

The twins have an awfully hard time remembering to say, do a chore like feeding the cat, if I ask them to. That is…until I mention that Bomani or I can do it but we’ll charge them to do their work…

Kids are happy if they get to have some control over their own lives. It’s so healthy. It’s the way God does things. He does not yell constantly at us to keep us on the right track. He gives suggestions. Then he allows us to live, make our choices, and navigate our consequences. He knows that then we will learn a lot! And become wise, healthy adults.

Ah. I’m so excited to keep learning. I need it. 🙂 

Peace on your day!

Leather Baby Shoes: First Year Shoe Bomb!

These baby shoes have revolutionized my first-year-baby-walking world. 

I was having trouble with Talia keeping something on her feet. She would literally walk around outside, barefoot, in February! I have darling crocs for her, but they leave marks on her feet. Other shoes just fall off as she walks, and they tend to throw off her balance. 

Then in church the other week, I was talking with my friend, Kaiti. She has six kids and if I need to know any answer to baby questions, kid questions, homeschool questions…I mean, she probably has a good idea for me. 🙂 She showed me the simple, leather moccasins her one-year-old boy was wearing. I was intrigued! And so I went shopping…on Amazon.

I am so happy with these. So happy! They are flexible and light. They do not throw off her balance. They are durable (real leather), so she can wear them outside as she follows her brothers and sisters all over the yard! They are cute. She can wear them to church. They don’t fall off! 

You can just see the elastic peeking out a bit. This keeps the shoes on the baby’s feet. 

You can wear them with attitude.

Or with a smile. 

Even with a frown. Haha!

 

Here is a picture of the bottom. You can see how simply they are designed. 

I have noticed that her feet do get warm after she wears them for a while. Other than that, I have no complaints.

In fact, I really love them. 🙂 Not to mention that these will be my go-to baby shower gift. I am on my fifth (and maybe last!) baby! Ahh…wasted years… haha!

You can buy all manner of these…most of them in the form of moccasins.

 

I had purchased these in the rose red color as my first try. They were too big for her, but mostly, I realized that the moccasin style is not my style. The price is great for real leather! And they have their own style of cuteness. I returned them, and used some of my personal fun money to buy the red ones she now has.

 

I love the scallops on the side. I love the Mary Jane style. I love that her feet will be protected this spring. 🙂 

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

<3

Rest.

I find myself at home…sitting on our lovely couch, Enzo’s head on my lap. Baby girl is sleeping. The only sounds I hear are the clock ticking and the fire crackling in the masonry heater. Outside it is grey. The tiny pebbles of hail from an hour ago cover parts of the ground. The rest of the family went to church.

My heart is all sort of…raw and open and crying to God.

The morning was a bit crazy. Okay a lot crazy. We got up too late, I started the pancakes too late. The kids wanted to eat indefinitely. They must all be on a growth spurt. I kept telling them in no uncertain terms (okay, maaaybe yelling) that they need to hurry, or they will get to stay home with me and the babies instead of going to church. They slowly ate, with all sorts of nonsense in-between. I sent Hazel to get dressed. Five minutes later I checked on her. She forgot and was just playing or something…

As they finally neared the “ready” stage, I looked at my house. My kitchen and dining room were trashed. I knew I’d never have any sort of peaceful quiet morning with that. So I kicked my…self in gear and cleaned it up. By then I was crashing things around. My stomach hurt. The stress of the morning had taken it’s toll on all of us.

Dear God, how do I live in a state of constant rest? 

Every day…five kids needing so many things–from me. Emotionally, physically, spiritually…they need so much. I mean, let’s face it–sometimes I can’t even go use the bathroom without at least one of them following me…

And then there’s the pressure. I feel it. I make it. I take it. I know it’s not from You. Cuz the other night…

After I left Aldi, I was feeling this badness. I had just bought bread, bagels, croissants. It’s not my style of healthy-crunchy to feed my kids. It’s called…desperation. It’s called “I bake bread and they eat it in two days. I can’t bake bread every two days”. I felt bad about the money I had spent at Aldi. So much. So much food. Did I do it right…?

Then I heard You. You said…

It’s okay. Relax. Embrace the crazy. Do your best. Listen to MY heart for you. Let go of the pressure. 

I suddenly realized that You said that yes–my life is crazy. I knew in that moment that I didn’t need to try to do more than my own best. I didn’t need to look at others and feel either guilt or pride. 

And this rest thing.

Today, I am gasping for it. Like someone who has been running for hours…days. In a desert. With no water. And no break. 

I’m not talking about needing a vacation. Or even a night out by myself. 

I’m talking about rest. Rest in the very middle of the crazy. Rest deep in my soul, where it does not matter what is going on around me. The kids can all be crying, fighting, hungry, and I still have not accomplished even the minutest task of the day…and there it is: rest. Peace. It’s okay. 

See, I need it for myself. My emotional, spiritual, and physical health needs this. But my kids also need this. They need this–in me. 

Daisy will speak it in clear words…”Mom, when you get like this, I don’t feel loved.” Ah. Pretty clear. Thank you, sweetheart.

On this frozen Sunday morning…just prayin’ for rest.

Sauerkraut: My Favorite Ferment

So maybe that’s not 100% true. I love kefir. So much. Kefir is way more amazing than any of us really realize. The bacteria in kefir is different from the bacteria in yogurt. Yogurt is cool. It has a few benefits. (If you eat it without sugar!) But kefir…it’s beyond incredible. The bacteria in kefir is resilient. It really stays in your gut and makes a difference. I have a friend who has a toddler with cerebral palsy. One issue these kids often deal with is constipation. Nothing my friend tried worked for her daughter…not even prescribed drugs from her doctor…until she tried kefir. Yay! It’s awesome!

But that’s off the subject of this post!

I love sauerkraut. I don’t just crave it like some people do, but I do enjoy it’s bright tang added to my plate. Today I want to share with you just how simple it can be to make this. 

I use purple cabbage. I have this (possible flawed) idea that the brighter the vegetable, the denser the nutrients. 🙂 But I also love the color. Sauerkraut made with green cabbage is just…a pale green. But if  you use purple cabbage, the fermentation deepens and brightens the hue, adding a pop of color to any plate. Daisy loves purple sauerkraut! Color speaks!

I use two heads of cabbage. I do not weigh my cabbage. I am not a careful cook. 🙂 I use my ninja food processor, placing chunks of cabbage inside, and processing it until it’s the texture I want! You can have chopped cabbage, finely grated cabbage…your pick! 

I place my processed cabbage into a large, stainless steel bowl. I add salt. I wouldn’t go over a fourth cup of salt for this amount. But you do need at least two tablespoons. After you make it a few times, you know how salty you like the finished product. I don’t like mine super salty, so I’ll go with about 3 tablespoons. To be honest, I just taste it as I work it in.

Which brings me to another “myth”. I don’t believe you need to pound and work your cabbage/salt mixture to bring out the juices! I mix it well with a big spoon or my hands. Then I let it set for a couple hours. After that, there is juice! But I don’t need a lot of juice. Guess why!

Enter: Fido Jars.

Seriously. I tried all sorts of things. I used to fill a baggy with water and place that in the top of the jar to try and keep out air. But it’s not tight. Not fool-proof. Then I invested in those gadgets that you put on top of a mason jar. Not fool proof. But then…I read about Fido Jars.

These are a special jar that does exactly what we need: no air can enter the jar, but it allows the gasses to “burp” out as they need to! This means that your jar will not explode. It also means that your sauerkraut will have only the right kind of bacteria going on in there. 

I am in a group on facebook called Fido Fermentation. Because of what I have learned, I stick with only this brand of these style of jars. I’m sure other brands do work, but we know this brand is tried and true. 

A couple things I have learned along the way…

When processing your cabbage, do take plenty of outside leaves off. Wash it. Dry it a bit. You want as little bad bacteria as possible that could inhibit the good bacteria taking off. Make sure your jar and bowl is very clean. I had about one jar in my entire career that went bad. It’s easy to see…it ends up brownish, not bright purple/red. 

Here is a link to these amazing jars! 

 

While the link asks for $14.99, after you click on it, the real price is $12.99. Just so ya know.

Enjoy! 

A Morning Out

Craig surprised me last night when he told me that he wants to give me half a day off! See, he studied half the day on Saturday, which means that I didn’t get my normal day off. 🙂 My normal day off (Saturday) doesn’t mean I leave and do nothing all day! It means that I am not solely in charge of our lovely hundred kids. It means I get a break…a huge break, by having Craig there. My entire body, soul, and spirit prepares for this day. It believes in this day. It (at least thinks!) needs this day. So when it doesn’t happen, it seems like no matter how hard I try to prepare myself for “not having the break”, I somehow and somewhere and sometime…melt down. Not always! But…too often. 🙁 🙂 That’s not why Craig gave me today off though. He gave me off today because he is amazing and caring and sensitive. And because when he is home with the kids for a couple hours, he sort of loses some of his cool. Haha! So he knows that being home with them all week, I need a break. He’s smart and kind. 

So here I am…

Recharge. Decompress. Sort some things out. Pray. Read. Drink coffee. 

So good.

Just a few of the thoughts running through my head as I do these things…

Am I filled with the Holy Spirit in the way Jesus really meant when He left? Or do I have a form of godliness but I’m denying the power of the Holy Spirit in my life? In my world?

How…how do I positively deal with the constant teasing of my oldest child to my twin girls? I’ve changed so much (in my mothering), but not enough…I need more change. More wisdom. Help. I need help.

I may not have more babies. I am maxed out. No more babies…

Yes…the New Testament and the whole Bible were given to us to bring us to the Father’s heart. I’m also so grateful that the New Testament is here to give us good direction on how to do this! How to live well! How to follow God’s heart. 

How can the kids and I thrive? During the wintertime? 

I wonder if there is anything in the fridge for Craig to eat for lunch. Oops.

What is bondage and deception and what is truth? Wisdom…Father…

I’m hungry. Time to pack my heavy bag up and go. 🙂

Okay, so maybe some of that was Too Much Information. Haha!

Have a blessed week! 

Ah, but she is sooo cute! 

 

 

A Post for Moms

I have probably written part of this before in another post…maybe multiple times. But today again, this is stirring in my soul, along with other things. So I’m going to sit down and just write…

I have a lot of mom friends–as in, friends who are moms. Right now, in this post, I’m thinking of moms with young kids. I have friends who have two little kids. I have friends who have seven little kids. Some of them homeschool these seven kids. Others don’t. 

I am talking to all of us today…those with one baby and those with three babies and two toddlers. Makes no difference. All of us are on my heart…

Today I want to free you.

There is a lot of guilt going on. I cringe every time I see it again. Hear it. Watch it. 

I’m a mom, and I’m normal. If I am on social media at all, or even if I’m not, but I go to church…I very quickly pick up the “good mom” stuff. I watch my friend take her kids to the park every couple weeks. I do well to get mine to church every Sunday. HOW does she do it? Another mom keeps her house immaculate and takes cleaning jobs on the side. I wait until my bathroom is driving me insane. Then I growl at the world and scrub it. I hate cleaning! I don’t preserve food, unless you count the sauerkraut. My homeschooling process is not something I advertise. 

There is a lot of guilt out there. 

A lot of pressure that we put on ourselves. 

A lot of feeling like we need to do better. Always.

Today I want to free you.

It’s fine to put your happy pictures on facebook. You don’t need to feel guilty that you aren’t carefully documenting the worst times as well. 

It’s good to take an hour off every afternoon if that is what you need. You are important. Put that movie on for the kids. Make a pot of tea. Do whatever rests your soul and body.

(I need more than one hour. Ha!)

Social media and watching a movie or show is just fine. In this day and age, it’s a great way for a housebound mom to “get out a bit” and see what’s happening outside of her special world. That special world can close in on us. It can be a breath of fresh air to see what your single friend in California is up to! A TV show can give you a break from being a mom for just an hour, and it can also open your eyes to more of the world. 

I’m going to elaborate a bit more on this.

There is a LOT of guilting about this. Trust me on it. A lot. Every January 1st, there are all manner of new year’s resolutions about digital media and social sites. “This year, I am going to spend more time with my children and less time on facebook!” “I am going to limit screen time for myself and my kids to one hour a week!” And it goes on…and on.

I have a facebook friend who simply posted something like this: Going off facebook…bye for now.

That’s really all we need to know! We know why she is missing, and we’re fine with that. No guilting. No explaining. Just lettin’ us know why we won’t be seeing her. I salute her.

I also salute every lovely mother who makes a resolution to spend more time with her kids or on her housework, and less time on the computer/phone. Cool! I love that!

But that is for you. That is what you need. Thus, it is awesome that you are doing it!

Each of us knows what is going on in our own life. I believe that we know what we need. We know when we are going overboard. We know when we need to change something. God shows us. He is very faithful always!

It can be helpful to read these articles, blog posts, facebook posts, books, etc., on how to become more engaged in our childrens’ lives. It can be good to read a warning. The other day I read about how kids are changing because of parents who are hooked to their phone. I’m not going to argue that we should never read or write warnings.

But this blog post is not that. There’s more of that out there than we can begin to take in. 

This blog post is to set you free. 

The article you just read about how all this digital stuff is ruining kids’ brains and relationships…

Let it go. YOU know how you are doing. God brings gentle words to us to better our lives. He does not pile on guilt. That isn’t from Him.

Moms, I want to tell you something:

You are doing well. What you are doing is hard. The crazy you live in every day? It would take down about any man out there. (Shhh, don’t tell them I said that.) 

We love what we do. We are living our dreams! 

But that doesn’t take away the crazy. The hard. The I am going to disappear under this pile of work…help! The…I can’t take one more kid yelling, “mooo-000m!”

Here is a bit of what’s happening for me.

I realized through a novel I’m reading right now, something that has become a problem in my own life. (‘Member? God brings gentle change…) It just kinda’ grew on me. 

I am running from my big three kids. The babies I can do. I can sit and snuggle them for an hour! But the big three with their issues and energy and needs? I turn tail and run. They are kinda’ growing up on their own. Not really. But in a way. In my own way, I stay away. I train them. I feed them. I teach them. But I’m quite sure I do not have the emotional energy to really engage their hearts. To get into all three of their lives in a very intimate way. To pull out everything awesome that lurks in who they are. To really hear what they are saying…all day long. 

But God said, “I gave them to you. Three in the space of two years. I have what you need. You have what you need!”

Ah. Okay. 🙂

I have some work to do. Heart work. But it’s okay! I’m excited! There is no guilt. No bearing of a heavy load. There is simply gratefulness to God for showing me this. And that He is going to take my hand and walk me through it. 

You got this moms! 

<3

 

Just What We’ve Been Up To

Ya gotta’ love those little squinchy faces. <3 🙂 

A non trim apple crisp. 🙂 For the kids, but ya know the parents eat it too! I lost enough weight while I was sick that now I’m having a lot of fun eating some “crossovers”. 🙂 

Cooking tip of the day: add a bit of turmeric to your eggs while making your frittata or quiche. It will turn it into a golden, delicious wedge of sunshine!

It helps to open your own mouth while feeding others. Always. 🙂 <3

Texas in January can be absolutely gorgeous. Especially when it is 72 degrees and sunny like today! 

My husband being a professional photographer and videographer has its perks. 

Kefir. They say a glass of the stuff has more probiotics in it than a whole bottle of capsules! I have a friend with a little girl who has cerebral palsy. Her baby girl had such problems with constipation. Nothing the doctor prescribed helped. Probiotic pills did not help. Kefir totally does the job. Yay! The stuff is amazing and costs you whatever you pay for milk. My kids love it. I blend it with water, a bit of cream, a few frozen strawberries, stevia, and maybe some vanilla. Yum. 

Serious business, boys.

God created us to eat with our eyes. Then He packed nutrients into the most colorful veggies!

My boy who loooves sports. 🙂 

We got the kids Rescue Hero figures for Christmas. They love the Rescue Hero shows and so these were a hit! The twins play with them every day for hours and hours. And hours. 🙂 It is a very nice show, found on youtube. The figures are not made anymore so I had to buy off of ebay. 

Daisy writing her book on seals. 

Bomani wants to buy lacrosse equipment. So he is working for me. 🙂 I love it. 

Okay that got a little full. Haha!

Good morning!

The Story Pro at work. 

Beth, I use this teapot you gave me about every day. Love it. 🙂 <3

My sister Dorcas gave the most darling little pant and cap set for Christmas! (Her sister-in-law makes them.) Talia caused people to swoon in church on Sunday…

Of course mama swoons on a regular basis. 

She desperately needs bright, red shoes to finish out the fashion show. (Mom runs to town…)

Just my day out going to Costco, my favorite grocery store on the planet!! 

Having a baby in the house is addictive. Help. 

Bomani was invited on an afternoon out with his friends. So we had a tea party. 🙂 

When I told my girlies that this was my mom’s china, Daisy asked me, “Was your mom a lovely woman?” I said, “Yes!” She replied with, “…my mom is not too bad either!” Haha! <3

A few of my helpers. 

He was very careful about his job. 🙂 

Homeschooling the big three ain’t that hard. These two are the ones who keep me hopping!

Have a blessed weekend! 

 

What If?

We see that God’s Word, the Bible that we have in our hands today, was preserved through the generations. We know it is inspired. It changes lives. 

Why was and is it so important to God?

Here is a thought:

What if God is giving us His written Story~ not as a book of rules and how-to-live-right, but rather a gift to bring us to His heart? 

What if it is more important to God to have a close, real relationship with us, than that we follow every “rule” and do this all “right”? 

For those of us who have lived by rules all our lives, we may be afraid of a life of no rules. 

In the Old Testament, God placed boundaries, rules, and laws. There were punishments for breaking them.

When Jesus came, He brought a new way. He writes these things in our hearts. And He brought relationship. 

But even in the Old Testament time, there was freedom. God, God Himself, placed that tree right smack dab in the middle of the garden. 

“Choose,” He said. “I want to have you next to My heart because you chose to, not because you have to.”

What if He does not give us the Bible, the written story, as a rule handbook? What if the written story is here to show us the Father’s heart? …to bring us to the Father’s heart? 

<3

2018 Child Change!

Not so much changing out the children as changing out how I live with them. I’m now reading this book through for the second time! It’s so worth reading. So much. Even for my own heart…

Enjoy!