Sunday, March 27, 2011

growing things: a way to bring on spring time!

Above: our "Growing Table" complete with crystal garden, seed potatoes, cat grass and dinosaurs.

Below: Creations by Sam, his "bird" sorry the picture is dark. The last picture I am very excited about, they are Crazy Crayons. we made them by reusing our old crayons, melting them down into new ones!! These will be found during the treasure hunt at Julia's bday!! :) aren't they pretty??

Friday, March 25, 2011

Easter Decorations....the crafting has only just begun.

breakfast with my big girl.

many a morning is spent making breakfast, cleaning dishes, reading my Bible, and drinking my coffee with my big girl. Some days I'm in and out of the kitchen a lot, other days i sit with her the whole time. I like mornings. I love the sun rising over vince and linda's house, making the sky blue and the clouds pink. *sigh* morning is such a fresh, happy time. All things are new.

That's all I have for today. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A special Birthday Trip.

As a family, we are building some traditions and year to year they change and grow towards the goal of God honoring family fun. :)

For birthday's we try to have a Family Day, everyone gets the day off: of school or work. Birthday Boy/Girl gets to choose a favorite place to go; waterpark, zoo, playground, forest, bike ride, beach, etc. The plans can be simple and inexpensive, or perhaps a little more extravagant than we usually get to be! :) Such would this trip be!!

we had a lot of fun in the water park, the wave pool and the crazy slides! We ate in a rain forest, next to three noisy elephants, we walked to the largest waterfall my children have ever seen, we ate cake for breakfast in our hotel room, we laughed at the kids as they sat - fascinated - by the window on the 22nd floor of our hotel watching the tiny cars, people and buildings below. (Mercy really thought they were toys, "i want to go down and play with my little blue truck!")

We brought in the fourth year of Sam in a very happy way. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Springs' Defeat.

As per my last post "Spring marches on", the battle lines have shifted against said "Spring". Winter has sent us a hard blow once again, it's tactics brutal and swift. Our thoughts yesterday were full of bulbs coming up through long dormant earth, shorts to wear in the coming warmth, grass that was brown and turning green, birds filling our feeders and singing merrily. Today, we awoke to find dense, wet, ice covered snow. three or four inches of it. School is canceled again ( i think it's a record, 7 snow days!), birds have been sent Emergency rations ( while their feeders and the seed scattered over our yard is covered ) , and the kids are asleep, instead of up getting ready for the day. *yawn*

It's pretty. But our road looks just terrible!! I hope they clear it soon so i can feel better about my drive to the grocery store today... otherwise i'll just have to drive in that mess. Ik. slush, frozen slush.

However, if one looks up; to the trees, the fences, the root tops, the snow is beautiful. Similar to a fairy land with three inches of white fluff covering every branch (precariously) and every surface available. Frozen white cake attached to everything around us. :) haha.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Marches Spring

A sign of spring in our yard: many birds flocking to our little apple tree, finding the treats we left for them! All three of the kids will watch from the window --now and again, trying to figure out the name of each bird who visits. Julia will announce occasionally with excitement, as she looks up from our Nature book : "ooooh, that is the black capped chickadee!! " or "No sam, a blue birds' wingspan is too big to fit into our bird house." or some other hilarious thing for a 6, 4, and 2 year old to be discussing. I love these moments, when my children seem to be growing a distinct personality in relation to their siblings and the world... so cute.

opa took some time to build bird homes with J and S last week. :) they are AWESOME. Now one is painted blue, and one is painted red.
Thank you Opa!!!! :) I love when my kids get to spend special time with their Grandparents!! :)

We had a wonderful St. patty's day dinner with friends last week, and this was the dessert i made for the occassion! "Grasshopper Parfaits" which i turned into "Grasshopper trifles" with the addition of some fresh baked chocolate cake. YUM!! :)

Dave and i were blessed with 24 hours to ourselves last week... THANKS to Oma and Opa... it was lovely to be together for a day to just do as we pleased. This is what breakfast looks like at 10 in the morning.... YUM!! Eggs Benedict made by my Love and I!! :) we spent the morning walking to do errands... i mean WALKING, we covered around 7 km probably. It was terrific! 7 km doesn't sound like much, now that i write it down... but it is MUCH farther than we would have gone in 2.5 hours had we the kids in tow!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top of the Mornin' to Ya

Saint Patrick: a bold and true messenger for God, bringing the gospel and God's love to people who hated him. Patrick's life was full of danger, troubles and sorrow - like many of us, some of that pain he brought onto himself, but much of it was due to his passion for Jesus Christ.

I highly recommend listening to the Adventure's in Odyssey retelling of Saint Patrick's story. In their album "Day's to remember", it is a two part series. "Patrick; a heart afire".

I believe you can hear a different telling of the story here (I will add that i have not heard this version, if you are concerned about content, you will have to preview it yourself - and let me know if you do! :) okay? ) : At Story Nory

All I did: make dough in the morning. Set it to chill. Help roll the first two balls ( it is always the most difficult to roll at first, until the dough gets used to being pressed down ). Put full trays into and out of the oven.

The Kids : rolled, cut, peeled off the wax paper or table, put them on the trays, painted them with sugar-glaze once they were cooled.

I was super impressed with their independence on this project. THEY ARE GROWING UP!! :) wow. i was excited to see them succeed in this task. (disclaimer: mercy ONLY did the painting job!! haha) OOOOH, it was SOOOO fun!! we listened to the entire story of St. P as we did this job.... i love audio stories!! :)

Sugar glaze: again, i find myself baking with no icing sugar in the house, so i mixed a bit of green food coloring with plain old' white sugar and a drop of water. This makes the mix spreadable, yet sticky enough to hold to the cookie. And you can't get much more "Child-Friendly" than icing with a paintbrush, even the littlest ones can do it! :)

SO, wear GREEN on thursday, and remember that as Christians we are all called to love others with God's great love, even if it takes us to places we don't want to be, or around people that hate us. God's love is greater than these fears and limitations.

Friday, March 11, 2011


They say, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade". I say, "if God sends more snow, make an igloo!"

We would have gladly made igloos, snowmen, snow horses, and the like all winter long ( and trust me, winter has been VERY VERY VERY LONG), but today was the first time in 5 months that it is warm enough to have good packing snow. Wild, but true. So, we piled outside and began snow blocking!! These are the best toys ever made! What a great Christmas gift they turned out to be. It only took us a full year and a bit to be able to use them! (Last year we did not have good packing snow either: too cold this year, not enough snow last year)

I shouldn't have combined cooking and cleaning day into one, but I don't listen to my reasonable side some days. Cooking day was long today: new recipes and a somewhat dull mind today made it so. And then, to top it off, the cleanliness of my house ( read: "lack of") finally got to me and I ended up on all fours scrubbing cupboards and kitchen floors. I tried to tell myself that "Spring Cleaning" might just convince the warmer season to come sooner that it seems to be presently, but i don't think it helped. Although, i suppose Spring IS three hours closer after all that work was completed!!!

yumYUMyum. Stir fries, sloppy joes, a roast, a pot of soup, pizza toppings, yum.

dance party!! (i know, i know, those pictures didn't really need a caption)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

When trekking, or tea-ing...

...we can thank God for freedom to wander, the luxury to cook whatever, whenever, however, the health to enjoy these moments together, and the creativity He gave us to come up with these fun ideas!! :)

Sam wanted a tea party. (real tea of course, lemon zinger, one of the best!)

I suggested we make cakes for it.

He liked that idea.

we ran out of icing sugar, but vanilla pudding mix makes nice icing too.

We licked spoons, and smooshed muffin tops into sprinkles.

Sam delivered an invitation to his sister.

She accepted. :)

Candle was lit. China was set.

And then we read, "You can do it Sam", which is incredibly cute. (and all about a mom and son making cakes for their friends!! Dave's Aunt is a Librarian, and she gets us these beautiful books!!)

A walk in the woods when the coughing was at bay for a few hours. Mercy is still pretty throaty in her coughing now, and was up into the wee hours of the morning with aching ears last night, but we push on. :)

Isn't this little critter cute??? He was shy though, and wouldn't let me get a closer look!

Rainfall Warning.

I was picturing a very different scene when i read the weather report yesterday.


Although i must say, it was a wonderful thing to have our precipitation fall in a more frozen and fluffy format due to the flooding in our basement ( poor Jenny! ). The rain was a little too much for our frozen snow covered earth to handle. Reports of flooding were increasing, and so I am thankful for more fluff. There is sadness in my heart as I must - once again - strap on the gloves, the scarf, the hat... grasp the handle of our well used snow shovel and clear our very long side walk. *Ah* But i need a good cardio workout to start off my day, right? Praise the Lord for a father in law with a blade on his truck, at least i shouldn't have to be out for hours clearing our double wide driveway! :)