Limited time Sale on Tiny Girl!

Sale until next Tuesday, August 5th! 

$11 per skirted bodysuit! (Plus shipping for non-locals.)

Check out Tiny Girl on facebook, or comment/email me to claim one for your very own!

These also make fantastic baby gifts. 🙂

Kid Fun!

For starters, Talia Rain is beginning to think that food is fun.

In other news, we ladies are having meetings to plan and prepare for Community Life Family Co-op 2017 – 2018! I will be heading up a cooking class. This is all quite exciting! We have had a number of families join, and every year we work out more bugs and become more professional. 🙂

Our public library also has Homeschool Hour on Thursday mornings from 9:00 – 10:00. They keep the doors locked and so it’s peaceful, empty, and safe in there! 

(This was actually at home. You can check out boxes of themed items, and this one was on microscopes!)

Abby being very sweet and allowing Enzo to wear her headset. 🙂

We also had a lot of fun taking the kids to the Railroaders Baseball Game the other night! This is a perk of Craig’s Story Pro business. He does social media stories and videos for Ulrich Barns. They needed him there to take pictures of their giveaway, so we had a family’s worth of free tickets and food vouchers!

It was a gorgeous evening.

I’m grateful that color and corn syrup or whatever these are made of, won’t kill my kids. Cuz they saw them, longed for them, and I said…”okay”…

I mean seriously, how do you resist that?

Speaking of resisting…right now Enzo has this thing where he says, “Pleeease?” When he wants something. So sweetly. Oh my. The kid who I needed to stick back into bed this morning because he refused to eat oatmeal or egg in the nest. He wanted a pancake. The kid who took his turn whipping the butter and sugar for the cookies yesterday. He took my hands off the beater. Did it himself…with gusto. 

This kid.

I decided to try out a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe. Using raw sugar. I’m preparing for my cooking class at co-op. And want to teach my kids some skills.

They turned out very dry. And the raw sugar crunchy. 🙁 🙂 But they had fun! 

Just to show you what our “new” and “improved” sectional looks like! I love the white in our living room. The coating is cold. And it doesn’t give much. But it’s still muuuch better than all those crumbles on my floor and the clothes of our unsuspecting visitors who would sit there! I’m thinking, for the winter, I may still want to cover them at least partially with cloth. Hodge podge. Strange. Who cares?!

I did have fun covering some extra bed pillows for the couches, as you really need something there to support your back. I used $1 per yd. fabric I had in my closet from Walmart. So soft! We love it! Our new wall color will be gray. 🙂 

The weather here is gorgeous. Cool. Sunny. We had lots of gentle rain. Last evening after Craig mowed the yard, we played baseball. I love playing baseball. Softball. Whatever. I did trip and go rolling. 🙂 I know. Graceful. But we had fun. 

Be blessed this week!

<3

P.S. Please pray for Texas. Especially Houston area. We may have lovely weather here. But it is costing thousands of people. The flooding is unbelievable. I pray that people will look at the world, nature…and see that God is real. He is God. 

Picture Update

Here is a picture update! I’m just going to run down these and ramble away as we go…

Future computer expert. 🙂

Sweet morning faces!

As a child, I loved the black bottom cupcakes…especially if the cream cheese part had chocolate chips in it! So I tried to make a healthy version. I used the black bean cake recipe. We ended up with delicious cupcakes, but not right. The cream cheese fell to the bottom. By the way, there are plenty of recipes that don’t make it to the blog! It always makes me sad when I go to the work of measuring and recording recipes, and it doesn’t make the cut! I love cooking without a measuring cup! But so it is with the recipe blogger… 🙂 

Morning thoughts.

Ever since I taught at Meadowlark, I dreamed of using these children around the world in my own classroom, with my own kids! This was the day my dream came true!

See, we are doing some house changes. After racking our brains, Craig moved his office out of the small bedroom in our house. He built a wall in our storage shed and turned half of it into an office! Yay! He loves it, as it’s his mancave and he can make it just how he wants it. There is also quiet for his phone calls. 🙂 I love having the small bedroom back! Now it is a school room. 

My desk. I had a lot of fun about three years ago, painting it a distressed black and white. But it needed an update! So as we are trying to do all this without spending a penny (we did get an ac for the shed office!), Craig spray painted the desk (and a few other things–yay!) with left-over outdoor paint he had in the shop from one of his jobs. 🙂 I absolutely love the outcome. I spray painted the hardware with paint I had used for a cake stand for the auction. The result has given me so many happy feelings…

Just a snack in the meantime…

We plan to eventually paint the living room walls gray. So this sort of brushed nickel hardware will fit beautifully!

I have a rule: kids stay away from my desk! And I am a mean mom about it. 🙂 It’s my very, very special place. Beautiful. Clean. Quiet. (haha! Not quiet very often, but…)

So grateful for peppers from our garden!

Aldi had spring mix greens for a great price, so we ate salads every day sometimes twice a day!

Just some more JOY… 🙂

Uh oh! <3

Talia is starting to beg to taste everything I eat! When she can tell I’m eating, she smacks her lips. It is the darlingest thing! She also loves to crawl around under the table eating crumbs…

We were needing more soap for our daily lives, and as making unscented, uncolored soap is boring, I had fun using up a bit of charcoal!! Can’t wait to use it!

I also loved whoopie pies as a kid! But my try here was a complete fail. Still yummy, but a solid fail. 🙂

When I think I got up early enough to have some time alone… 😉

So! Here is another recent project! Our sectional has been crumbling for years. Finally, so weary of vacuuming couch off the floor, I decided to try and recover it with donated fabric. Hodge podge? Don’t care. Just anything. 🙂 Then, as I was researching, I realized that people paint leather couches! So Craig jumped on board, took them down to the barn, and gave them a layer of Conklin coating. 🙂 I tried including a picture of the finished product, but somehow it refuses to load. So come visit us. 🙂 

The crumbling couch…

Craig’s helper with the couch spraying job!

For a bit, our living room was quite empty!

This guy is a joy. He eats so well. 🙂

And he’s terribly cute. 

My special, bright pink, chevron dress I made out of a t-shirt (and a white tank top) in my closet and a huge skirt from Goodwill. P.S. I am not a bright pink, chevrony person, but I do like it!

Love.

The kids are still doing abcmouse.com. And I am supplementing by practicing reading and dictating writing with them. Recently again, I freaked out that I’m being a terribly mom and not providing proper education for them. Then God said, “This is good.” So I chilled out. 🙂

My last batch of bread. I used up every bit of brown and white flour I had in the house, and added quite a bit of left-over cooked oatmeal. And after rising and kneading, it was so soft I poured it into the bread pans! Many misgivings later, I tried a piece. I had made a fantastic bread completely by accident! (The fantastic part being the accident.) It was chewy and moist inside, with a crust that defied everything American and took you straight to Europe. 

Not everything about that was good, however. As I was slicing it, the knife slipped on the super hard crust and cut my finger…the same finger I had tried cutting the end off several years ago. It was not a superficial cut, as evidenced by the crazy bleeding and the deep pain that still dogs me if I use it too hard. Sigh. Me and knives…

Those shiny, dark eyes…

A mirror? Oh no. Twins.

Brothers will be brothers. 

Dressing up Baby Doll. 🙂

And that is the update for now! Have a blessed weekend!

<3

How Do We Receive?

Paul minces no words…

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by believing what you heard

After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing–if in fact it was for nothing? 

So then, does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law? Or is it by believing what you heard–just like Abraham who believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness?

(Then it speaks of how Jesus came to redeem us from needing to try to follow the law.)

The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Why did I never see this before? I always just ran quickly over the verses that talk about the Holy Spirit. He was something vague and un-understandable in my mind. 

But receiving the Holy Spirit is a big deal! And it’s not an automatic thing that just happens to us at the new birth. It’s a separate experience. And it’s ongoing. And it changes your life. 

A really good read is The Helper by Catherine Marshall. This is an old book…not something new and weird. And it brings to me so much truth about how our lives change when we receive this power. 

(Nothing against new books. Some are amazing! Just…for those of you who may be screaming inside, that this is all new age stuff, etc.)

Another amazing, old book is How to Live Like a King’s Kid by Harold Hill. 

How do we receive?

Often in the New Testament, it happened when someone laid hands on you for you to receive the Holy Spirit. But not always. And today, it’s the same way. 

Some of us, especially those of us who have long believed that this kind of thing is not for today, and is bogus, and is scary…it can be a process to believe. It can be a series of slow steps. It can actually be really hard. 

But here in Galatians, God showed me so clearly this morning that we don’t receive this gift by anything we “do”. No works brings us to this place. It’s by “believing what you have heard”. It’s through faith. 

And God does the giving. He is the Giver. We receive. 

And our lives are changed.

<3

 

 

In Over My Head

I’m not even sure what to write here. 

🙂

So maybe I will keep it short and sweet. 🙂

There are a few things that have been going on in the past year, for us, and I have mostly kept quiet about it. I had my reasons…

I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone.

I don’t want to drive away readers…or friends…

I very much dislike online debates, and don’t want to start one…

And maybe being even more honest…

I don’t want to be thought of as…weird…

************************************************

But that’s all trash. So, never mind those things anymore!

Here’s what happened…

A couple weeks ago, I was baptized in the Alvarado river!

This was something I had been wondering about for a while, and a week before this took place, God said “Yes, do it!” So I did it. 🙂

The peace that came with this was incredible. 

I was baptized when I was in my lower teens. But this was a time of deep fear for me. I remember standing at my baptism, terrified lest I even think something bad, and thus damn myself. It was a time of working hard to be “good enough” for God. It was a difficult slice of my life. 

This recent baptism was a time of “Out with the old, and in with the new!” It was showing the entire spiritual world that I am serious about this! It was being baptized into Jesus Christ, and his death. His life. 

God didn’t clarify if my childhood baptism was “not legit” or anything like that. He just said, “Do it!” 

And it was a blessed day for all of us!

There are three kinds of baptism spoken about in the New Testament. John’s baptism. Baptism into Jesus Christ. And Holy Spirit baptism.

We believe that Holy Spirit baptism is not something automatically happening at the new birth. The apostles would very quickly check with new believers, whether or not they had received the Holy Spirit, or been baptized in the Spirit.

I realize that there are a lot of negative emotions that come for some of us, when we think of this. We want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But the devil counterfeits a lot of God’s good things. The people out there who are faking Holy Spirit baptism, healing, prophecy, tongues…they are counterfeit. But we are going 100% into the real deal. 

Spirit Move speaks my heart so well…

I feel it in my bones, You’re about to move
I feel it in the wind, You’re about to ride in
You said that You would pour Your spirit out
You said that You would fall on sons and daughtersSo like the rain, come and drench us in love
Let Your glory rush in like a floodWe are fixed on this one thing
To know Your goodness and see Your glory
We’re transformed by this one thing
To know Your presence and see Your beautyI can see it now, Your kingdom come
I can hear it now, the sounds of heaven
You said that if we ask, we’ll receive
We are asking for the greater measure

So like the rain, come and drench us in love
Let Your power rush in like a flood

We are fixed on this one thing
To know Your goodness and see Your glory
We’re transformed by this one thing
To know Your presence and see Your beauty

Come and blow on through
Spirit move, we’re ready for You to
Come and blow on through
Come and do what only You can do

We are fixed on this one thing
To know Your goodness and see Your glory
We’re transformed by this one thing
To know Your presence and see Your beauty

 
So there you have it. This is what has been going on for us in the past year. It has intensified in the past couple months, with the teaching we are receiving in our discipleship class at church. We are so grateful and so blessed. And so excited!
 
Peace to you.
 
<3

 

Titus & Brenna’s Wedding

There is a reason I haven’t posted about this yet! See, Craig moved his CLM office out to our storage shed! He built a wall and is using half of the shed as an office. This means I get my third bedroom back in the house! I have had a lot of fun turning into a school-room. But more about that later!

The sad part is that with the main computer out in the shed, I will not get to blog photos as often. I have too many babies and kids to be able just to go out whenever I wish. 🙂 But here is the post about our trip east and the wedding!

This was one trip I could not afford to forget anything. 🙂 I packed like it was my last trip!

We were going to try and take enough food for at least a few days. 🙂

Aaaand we are off!

We were so grateful for the lovely, large van our friends gave us to use!

Talia did so well. 

And then we arrived! We had fun at Tim & Gina’s house, and with the grandparents and Shanes!

Dad with my baby girl.

Our aunts and uncles from Canada came and spent some time with us on Saturday! That was very special.

The flower girls at the rehearsal. 🙂

The wedding was what we had been working toward for months! 🙂 It was beautiful. Worship to God. Incredibly special. <3

And then we got up the next day and drove home. 

We enjoyed some nice hotels using points!

And that is the end of the big trip east. 

So happy to have Brenna in our family!

<3

Berry Coffee Cake

I love baking with fruit! My very favorite desserts include some sort of fruit. Sadly, when the craving hit yesterday, I only had a lemon or two in my fridge, and frozen cranberries in my freezer. So I said, “I can do this! I can bake with cranberries!”

It’s yummy ~ a very moist cake. But being honest with you, we are much more “blueberry” or “raspberry” people. 🙂 And Craig thinks this would be amazing with cherries. So take your pick! I’m guessing it would work great with any fruit!

Enjoy. 🙂

Berry Coffee Cake
THM S
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3453 calories
298 g
1238 g
238 g
65 g
115 g
2386 g
1632 g
149 g
4 g
101 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
2386g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3453
Calories from Fat 2075
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 238g
366%
Saturated Fat 115g
573%
Trans Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 20g
Monounsaturated Fat 81g
Cholesterol 1238mg
413%
Sodium 1632mg
68%
Total Carbohydrates 298g
99%
Dietary Fiber 45g
182%
Sugars 149g
Protein 65g
Vitamin A
203%
Vitamin C
1228%
Calcium
141%
Iron
51%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 c. frozen cranberries
  2. 1/4 c. water
  3. 1 tsp. stevia (Bolivian)
  4. 1 pkg. cream cheese
  5. 1/2 c. butter
  6. 1 tsp. stevia
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1/2 tsp. powdered vanilla (1 tsp. regular vanilla)
  9. 10 drops orange EO
  10. 1/4 tsp. salt
  11. 1 c. almond flour
  12. 1/4 c. coconut flour
  13. 2 tsp. baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cranberries, water, and 1 tsp. stevia in a kettle and simmer until you hear the cranberries pop. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place cream cheese into a basin of hot water until it is warmer than room temperature.
  4. Whip the cream cheese, butter, and 1 tsp. stevia until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  7. Spray a 9" spring-form pan.
  8. Spread a little more than half the batter into the pan.
  9. Blend your cranberry mixture in a blender.
  10. Pour it (or dollop--it's thick!) onto the mixture in the pan. If you want the look, then take a butter knife and twist it around a bit. Otherwise it will look layered.
  11. Spread the remaining batter on top.
  12. Bake for 35 minutes.
Notes
  1. About any other kind of berries would work as well! Blueberries, raspberries, cherries...etc. For blueberries, I would add only 1/2 tsp. of stevia to the berry mix, as they are not nearly as tart as cranberries. Also, I use the orange EO only with cranberries.
beta
calories
3453
fat
238g
protein
65g
carbs
298g
more
Wildflowerdays http://wildflowerdays.com/

Green Fries

I love these. I can eat an entire pan by myself. And please…do eat with your fingers! 🙂

Green Fries
THM S
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68 calories
0 g
20 g
8 g
0 g
5 g
10 g
156 g
0 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
10g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 5g
24%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 20mg
7%
Sodium 156mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 0g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
0%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Bag of frozen, long green beans. (Haricot Vert style)
  2. 2 T. butter
  3. Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large, flat pan with parchment paper.
  3. Pour frozen green beans onto pan until there is an even layer.
  4. Place into oven.
  5. About 5-10 minutes later, check them. If they are hot, add the butter.
  6. Stir until they are coated with butter.
  7. Return to the oven until they are caramelized. Add salt.
beta
calories
68
fat
8g
protein
0g
carbs
0g
more
Wildflowerdays http://wildflowerdays.com/

Kenyan Kale

I call it Kenyan Kale.

Because I learned to love this delicacy sitting in the mud houses being served by some of the most beautiful ladies I have met…

My friends in Kenya.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my history, I spent about six years in Kenya, Africa, with my parents as missionaries. I’m one of those…TCKs.

One food, among many, that I still love from my life there, is sukumu wiki…

Kenyan Kale.

Enjoy!

Kenyan Kale
THM S
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127 calories
13 g
20 g
8 g
2 g
5 g
176 g
306 g
6 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
176g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 127
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 5g
25%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 20mg
7%
Sodium 306mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
14%
Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
43%
Vitamin C
30%
Calcium
4%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large bunch of chopped kale
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 1 small tomato
  4. 2 T. butter or refined coconut oil
  5. 1 tsp. paprika
  6. 1 tsp. coriander
  7. 1 tsp. onion powder
  8. 1/8 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Remove kale leaves from the stems. (Important! It's no fun biting into a hard piece of stem! The stem reaches almost the entire length of the plant.)
  2. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Chop onion and tomato.
  4. Heat butter or coconut oil in a large pan. (I use my cast iron kettle.)
  5. Saute onion and tomato.
  6. Add spices and salt.
  7. Add kale and cook until tender.
Adapted from My Friends in Kenya
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calories
127
fat
8g
protein
2g
carbs
13g
more
Adapted from My Friends in Kenya
Wildflowerdays http://wildflowerdays.com/

Crusty Zucchini Wedges

These are so worth making.

They might take you 15 minutes. Or just 5. (Depending on how many kids need you every second minute…)

We made a meal out of Crusty Zucchini Wedges, deviled eggs, and strawberry milk. Yum!

Enjoy!

Crusty Zucchini Wedges
THM S
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1463 calories
94 g
473 g
88 g
83 g
33 g
1022 g
3166 g
18 g
0 g
50 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1022g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1463
Calories from Fat 757
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 88g
135%
Saturated Fat 33g
165%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 11g
Monounsaturated Fat 39g
Cholesterol 473mg
158%
Sodium 3166mg
132%
Total Carbohydrates 94g
31%
Dietary Fiber 7g
26%
Sugars 18g
Protein 83g
Vitamin A
61%
Vitamin C
193%
Calcium
198%
Iron
39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 large zucchini
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 c. parmesan cheese (green can kind)
  4. 1 c. almond flour
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut zucchini into sticks. I made mine about 3 inches long.
  2. Whisk eggs in a small bowl.
  3. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  4. Dip each stick into the egg, then roll it in the flour mixture.
  5. Place on a large pan.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, or until crispy and golden.
beta
calories
1463
fat
88g
protein
83g
carbs
94g
more
Wildflowerdays http://wildflowerdays.com/