Saturday, January 29, 2011


The other day Hannah was watching Sid the Science Kid on PBS and they were making applesauce and learning about irreversible change. She had wanted to try making some applesauce, but we just didn't have time the other day. So today we decided we would make applesauce and potato pancakes for breakfast.

Hannah was a great helper and we had a lot of fun working together. I peeled the apples and then she used one of her plastic knives and cut them up. After they cooked she got to mash them up and add some cinnamon.

I'm so happy to have such a willing helper in the kitchen!

Breakfast was yummy! Hannah's favorite part was the applesauce. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What we've been up to...

It has been awhile since I've posted much about what we've been doing lately, so thought I would take a few minutes to sit down and catch up.

My wonderful hubby is keeping as busy as ever with all of his different jobs- officiating basketball, assigning referees for leagues, managing dances for an entertainment company, and security work. And then in February he starts work doing executive security, which he is very excited about. All that keeps him hopping most of the time, but we do get to see him a little bit here and there. There are actually a few days out of the week that he is home most of the day, and he is a big help with taking care of the girls. I've even had the chance to get out alone for a few hours once or twice in the past couple of weeks! Yesterday I got to go spend a few hours out taking pictures with my dear friend. I am hoping some of her wonderful photography skills will start rubbing off on me. *grin*
I keep busy with the girls and managing the home. That is seriously a full time job! Even once I put those monkeys to bed, the job doesn't end. One or both of them have been waking up at least once every night for the past week or so. Ugh! I thought they were supposed to sleep through the night by now! And not that I'm blaming the girls, but my morning routine has gotten off track because of all the mid-night waking. It is super hard to get out of bed by 6am and get my day going. But I am trying to slowly get back on track. Just realizing that we are in a season of our life right now that maybe we need to try something different. So for now, I am sleeping in till as late as I can and still be able to make breakfast for James, and then doing my devotions while the girls snuggle with me on the couch or play quietly before we have our breakfast. It's working for now, and I know that this too shall pass. This season won't last forever. And soon I will be back to having my quiet, alone time in the morning....maybe.
I have been able to spend more time with my camera thanks to joining the 365project and have been having lots of fun taking pictures. I also continue to work on my knitting skills and recently joined the women's Bible study at church. So, there is life other than chasing kids, cleaning and cooking...not that I mind those things at all. Because I know that whatever I do is for the Lord...this is how I can best serve my family. Spending time with them, caring and nurturing.
Well, onto the kids! James is excited because it is almost his birthday. In less than two weeks he will no longer be 10! He is having a party at the local roller skating place with 3 of his best buds. He continues to do well in school and enjoys it quite a bit. And now that football is done he is on to basketball. He couldn't play with his team that he has played with in past years because of park and rec boundaries and such, but he seems to like the team he is on even though he is the only 5th grader amongst 6th graders.
Hannah is still Hannah. She is as crazy and strong-willed as ever, but such a joy. She loves to sit and "read" library books and other books from our bookshelves. And she dances all around the house when I put on her Princess music. We are looking forward to getting her signed up for another dance class. She loves to be outside and we are so happy to have some nice sunny days to be able to play.
Ellie is growing up so fast! I can hardly believe it! She is going to be 17 months old on February 1. She runs around the house chasing after Hannah, carrying her Molly dog that she got for Christmas. (Molly dog is a stuffed animal that looks just like Grandma and Grandpa's sheltie whom she adores.) She is starting to say a few more words lately, and is learning more sign language, so she can communicate pretty well. One of her favorite things to do is watch the Signing Time videos we borrow from the library.
So, there you have it. A little glimpse into what has been going on. Nothing much exciting. Just the usual daily stuff. But each new day we wake to is a blessing and we have so much to be thankful for! We have each other and most importantly we have Jesus who we strive to live for each day!
I hope things are well with all of you! Blessings!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grace for the week...

Well, its that time again. Sunday. When I sit back and reflect on God's many blessings in my life and realize just how much love and grace He pours out on me. Each and every day. I still have a long way to go, but the more time I spend being thankful, the more joy I find being poured into my heart. And the more joy in my heart, the better wife and mother I become.

146. New life budding on the bare branches...reminder of the new life we have through Christ.
147. Beautiful, bright green moss everywhere (and I DO mean EVERYWHERE! Ha!)
148. Forgiveness
149. A visit to the naturopath doctor
150. Some things to take to hopefully help me feel better

151. Spending a few hours out alone to wander the aisles of the craft store and read a book over a warm plate of noodles
152. Indonesian peanut saute noodles from Noodles & Company
153. Having a hubby who loves to spend time with our kids
154. The library
155. Books

156. Having a book to read that's so good you can hardly put it down
157. Warm apple crisp
158. Sharing that apple crisp with others
159. Watching as my littlest one learns more sign language...precious!
160. Having a little helper in the kitchen

161. Toliet paper (well...aren't YOU thankful for toliet paper???)
162. Late nights chatting in bed with my hubby...we always seem to find so much to talk about when we should be going to sleep!
163. Inspiring blogs to read
164. The freedom to have my own blog
165. My 10 wonderful blog followers!

166. My children have lots of toys to play with...
167. And lots of clothes to wear...most of which were handed down to us. What a blessing!
168. Getting to go out on a date with my hubby
169. For having someone who we can trust to take care of our kids while we're out
170. Spending family time together at OMSI (thanks again for the membership, Mama! xoxoxo)

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."
1 Chronicles 29:13

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Give thanks!

Looking back on the week, I continue to have so much to be thankful for...

121. Warm stew from the crockpot after church
122. Sharing that stew with friends
123. A hubby who works so hard
124. Jobs for my hubby that he loves to do!
125. I get to stay home with my girls...all day, EVERY day!

126. Warm weather
127. A break in the rain
128. Being able to take a walk and enjoy some fresh air every day
129. Sun breaking through the clouds
130. Working outside in the yard

131. Getting a compost bin started
132. Coloring with my Hannah girl
133. Hugs and kisses from Ellie...she is such a little lover
134. Bedtime stories
135. Reading a good good I can't put it down and end up staying up way too late!

136. Having more fun with my camera
137. Going out to lunch to eat Korean food for the first time...YUM!
138. Gentle rain to water the earth
139. Snuggling back under the covers and sleeping a little longer on a Sunday morning
140. Being able to read my Bible everyday

141. Getting to see my hubby in a suit for the first time!
142. Starting a yoga challenge, with friends to keep me accountable
143. Feeling energized after yoga
144. A nap on the couch
145. Laughing with my dad

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Colossians 2:6-7

Friday, January 14, 2011

Frugal Friday: Baking Soda

Baking soda is very affordable and very useful in so many different ways. Of course, we all know about using baking soda in...well, baking. But did you know you can use it in place of shampoo? Or for facial exfoliating?
Here are some of the ways I use baking soda in our home.

1. Cleaning: Baking soda works very effectively as a cleaning agent. I use it to scrub pots and pans in the kitchen and to make my sink shine. In the bathroom, I use it to scrub the grime out of the bathtub. In the natural cleaning book, Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan, there are recipes for making scrubs using baking soda and essential oils and other things. I have made a batch or two but, then when it runs out I never take time to make more so just sprinkle on some plain baking soda. That just works best for me right now. I do enjoy the recipes though and it is fun to have a nicely scented baking soda scrub.

2. Facial scrub: Use a little baking soda and enough water to make a paste. Gentle rub on your face and rinse with warm water. Do this a couple of times a week to keep your skin looking fresh. I have done this for a while now and love the way my skin feels afterward.

3. Shampoo: This is one that I just tried for the first time last week. I was kind of skeptical, but thought I would give it a try. (You can read about it over at It works amazingly well. Be warned it does not work at all like shampoo. No rich lather or anything. But it does clean your hair. I follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse that leaves my hair feeling soft and silky. The vinegar smell seems to go away after it dries.

4. Toothpaste: Wet your toothbrush and dip into a dish of baking soda. I also like to add a drop of tea tree oil. My mouth feels so fresh and clean after brushing with this method. I don't use this everyday because it seems like I read somewhere that you shouldn't use baking soda everyday on your teeth (???). I need to do some more reading to find out about that and if it's true.

5. Deodorant: Using a mixture of coconut oil, cornstarch and baking soda makes a cheap, effective deodorant.(Another thing that I read about at One of my favorite blogs!)

Anyway, these are just a few ways you can use baking soda. If you have other ways that you use baking soda I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Today is the day. I've been planning on making some sort of a compost system ever since we moved into our house (which was about 2 1/2 years ago!), and it just keeps getting pushed aside. But not anymore! I now have a nice compost barrel in the back yard. Yippee!
I have looked at all the different plans and ways to do composting both online and in the composting book I have (The Rodale Book of Composting). I think that may have been part of the problem. There were just so many ways to do it. So many ideas. What were our needs? How much space do we have? Do we want a 3-bin system? Or a tumbler? Wood? Or cement blocks? Ack!

Finally, the other day, I was skimming through the book again and happened upon the Garbage Can Composter. Why hadn't I seen this before? To be honest, I am sure I have, but in my perfectionism probably overlooked it thinking, "If we are going to compost we are going to do it RIGHT! We need to build bins! A garbage can is too...simple."
Well, yes, a garbage can composter is very simple. But guess what? It still makes compost! And simple, it turns out, is just what I needed. I needed that first small step to cross the thresh hold into the composting world. I finally realized that if I was ever going to have a composter that I needed to start somewhere.
So, today was the day. I picked up the drill and made holes all over my lovely new garbage can. Then dumped in a little bit of soil, some yucky kitchen scraps and some leaves. And hopefully in a few months we'll have some rich, black gold for our garden if all goes well. And if not, I am sure there will still be something we can learn from it all and try again.

My lovely garbage can composter!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Photos and gratitude list continued

(January 8th)

I thought I would combine posting my photos for this week with sharing some more of my gratitude list. So here it continues...

101. A wonderful Christmas spent with family
102. The wonderful gift of Jesus!
103. Joy and delight on my children's faces
104. Spending New Year's day with friends that are like family

(January 7th)

105. Fresh starts, new beginnings
106. The promise of a new year
107. New opportunities
108. New friends

(January 6th)

109. New things to learn
110. My wonderful hubby who works so hard to take care of us

(January 5th)

111. A happy, warm home
112. Comfy shoes
113. Frost on the windows
114. Sunshiney days in between days of rain

(January 4th)

115. Learning more about my camera
116. Getting a good deal at the store
117. Green tea ginger ale
118. Curling up in bed with a good book before going to sleep at night
119. Getting out for a run...invigorating!
120. A new week to discover more of God's abundant blessings!

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye THANKFUL." Colossians 3:15

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

(January 3rd)

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful, blessed Christmas season, and that you've had a great start to the new year! We had a wonderful time with Matt's family. We spent about a day and a half with them over Christmas and had such a great time celebrating Jesus together and enjoying some relaxing family time.
I just still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that it is 2011. Where did 2010 go? At any rate, though, it is exciting to be starting a new year. I don't really make resolutions because well, they usually go out the window after the first week or so. But I am working this week on setting some goals...realistic goals...and also just evaluating my life and how I can be more my spiritual walk, as a wife, as a mother, and just as me! There is so much I want to accomplish but over the years I have been terrible about actually making a plan about how to actually accomplish those things.
One of the things that I have been wanting to do for years is to learn photography. It is now becoming more of a reality now that I got my new camera a few months ago. But just because I have the camera doesn't mean I am instantly going to gain all this knowledge about photography. I came across a neat website a few weeks ago about taking a picture every day for an entire year as sort of a visual journal of your year but also as a way to improve your photography skills. I thought what better way to make myself really get to know my camera than by using it everyday! So I am setting the goal of taking one picture (or more, of course) a day for the year 2011. It sounds kind of overwhelming a little bit when you think of 365 days, but......that is why I am posting on here. As a way to keep me accountable. Now you know, and all my Facebook friends know, so I will be much more likely to stick with it to have some accountability. I won't be posting every day on my blog (time with my family is more important than always being online), but I will try to post pictures at least once a week, so you can see that, indeed, I am taking a picture everyday. And if you notice that I am slacking, please don't hesistate to say something. Really. :)
So, with that I give you the first few pictures from this year. I am signing off for now to go accomplish some other things. My time limit is up for blogging tonight.
Thank you to each of you for reading my blog and thank you for keeping me accountable on this! You are awesome! Praying the rest of your first week of 2011 is blessed!

(January 2nd)

(January 1st- Happy New Year!)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6