Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mommy's little baker

On a recent very cool morning, while I sipped my lovely coffee beaming with pride, my eldest read out loud in the Bible and the rain drizzled outside, my second in command took to some delectable baking (as I guided, of course!)!

Homeschooling, housework and Bible reading-are all intertwined and connected to parenting. If you have children, you are already homeschooling them whether or not you formally "school" them at home.

I am reading a friend-borrowed book called "The successful Home school Family Handbook" by Dr. Raymond & Dorothy Moore. I've only made it through 6 of it's riveting 46 chapters not because of dis-interest but time. I look forward to getting through ALL of it's informative and encouraging content. It's amazing the influence a child's home and family life has on every aspect of whether or not they will be successful human beings in the outside world. How warmly, openly and lovingly their parents accept and treat them in the home directly affects their future relationships and how they approach other people and situations. How rich their relationships are at home, in essence will determine if the child will grow and mature to live a long, positive, fulfilling life! That makes 'relationships' more important than 'workbooks' to me.
An amazing read for any parent.

Now excuse me while I go and nibble on yet another coconut treat!

Coconut Macaroons
courtesy of fratcook

2/3 cups flour
5 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 t. salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 t. vanilla (or substitute one t. vanilla with almond extract)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir together coconut, flour and salt until well mixed. Stir in milk and vanilla until well mixed. Use a scooper to drop cookies onto prepared cookie sheet. Cookies should be about golf ball size.

Bake for 12-15 minutes in preheated oven, until coconut is toasted. Enjoy the delicious chewy toasty-ness! Bake an additional 5 minutes for a more toasty, firm texture and flavor.

Friday, April 30, 2010


"Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands?"
Job 12:14

"Let my soul beneath her load
Faint not through the o'er wearied flesh;
let me hourly drink afresh
Love and peace from Thee, my God."

In and of my flesh, I am not able...
Through Him, I am.
Easy decision.
Feeding my flesh comes naturally...
leading a super-natural life, requires sacrifice.
We have to coincide with this natural world of flesh.
But it should not rule over us or command our daily thoughts and directions.
It is my joy to sacrifice this life,
for a God and Savior who sacrificed it ALL, once for ALL, and knows ALL.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A huge smile

Can you guess WHO is in this picture, under that green blanket?
And although it is raining and pouring, hailing and snowing, are snuggly 'tent' covered as they peacefully play rock, paper, sicissors over and over again?
And who's mama is actually slightly more worried about her plants than her children? -Isn't that just sad?- {sigh} Any guesses?

If you guessed my crazy beautiful, adventurous children... you answered correctly.
{huge smile}

At home

This Springish, old-fashioned and timeless arrangement of lilac placed just by my laptop, is close to perfection. These sweet smelling flowers are pleasant to have near while I write.
Out(beautiful)doors, my lilac bush is in it's full gorgeous bloom. Along with the Oregon Grape and my tiny Flowering dogwood. Divine sweet and sour, dark and musky aroma's waft my way as I walk out my door into the devilishly thick allergens. --nevertheless eternally grateful for Spring and all it brings--All of the wild Oregonian weeds, sage brush and wild flowers smell as strongly as ever as we have had many warm rainy days mixed with blue sky and sunshine as of late. Outdoor runs through the awakening countryside is heavenly. It always makes me feel pleasantly at home to be among familiar outdoor spring fragrances... even if they do educe an unexpected sneeze!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

pork tenderloin with cucumber-mango salad

I love searching out and trying new recipes!
This one was different, tangy spiced with a sweet Japanese flair.
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 tsp five spice powder(I used basil, clove, black pepper and a little red pepper in it's place)
1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
4 green onions
1 mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small English cucumber chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped(optional)
Preheat oven to 425. In small bowl combine brown sugar, five spice powder and 1/2 t. salt; set 1 tsp. sugar mixture aside. Rub remaining sugar mixture into pork tenderloin. Place tenderloin in foil-lined baking pan.
Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop green onions, mango, cucumber and jalapeno and mix with the reserved brown sugar mixture.
Slice pork and serve with Mango salad.
Serves 4
It's delicious!

Baby visit

I was SO excited to go visit my friend G' at the hospital this gray morning. Anticipation for weeks has now turned to gratitude, amazement and awe. Holding this dear new baby boy was precious and I know miss G' is going to be a wonderful mother, as she is a precious sister in Christ, neighbor and friend.
Congratulations my dear!
Thanks for the sweet baby cuddle moments during our impromptu visit.
I love you!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

little j designs

I never tire of taking pictures of my youngest baby girl. She's just so small, sMilEy and adorable.

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!

Clapping... her newest baby achievement.

Along with pulling up to standing on anything and everything!

It's hard to believe that this doll's mama would even dream of letting her grab the screw cap at the base of our toilet, start sucking on it and playing with it, just because that said mama was busy putting on make-up to head out of the door in a hurry. But no way when this baby girl's mama noticed the dilemma, did she then quickly dismiss it from being in the 'crucial to intervene category' as she went back to applying her eyeliner, deciding right then and there that sucking on such a grimy thing would only make her baby less susceptible to getting sick... nah, I wouldn't dream of it... but I sure may have done it!!

Created to be weaved into the fabric of our family, she blends beautifully!

Little darling girl.

This beautiful lace vignette centered with pearls was bought from a wonderful gal named, Jannicka off of her awesome site, little j designs.
Check it out!
She hand makes and sews her jewelry, hair bows, and accessories.

Pretty smile!

We're still working on keeping the headbands on.

Wearing her brother's hand-me downs... no, thankfully it's not the tights.

Thank you, little j designs for darling hair bows,
and thank you Jesus for adorable little girls to put them on.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Lord has completely blessed this time of refining in my life with the richness of His love, gentle touches from our fellow brother's and sister's in Christ, and the opening of my eyes to the realness of His character as I am in earnest, diligently seeking Him alone.
"His grace is enough."
"Awake, my soul. For I was meant to meet my Maker."
"We are His pure bride."
All lines from beautiful songs sung by Phil Wickam, Matt Maher and Leeland.
I was amazed as the Lord made it possible for my husband and I to go to yet another concert this weekend. "A night of Praise". I am so full of gratitude to my Lord!! I have always loved the heart of Leeland's band as well as their music. They truly have a heart for the lost and live their calling out to the best of their ability.
Phil Wickam's music is beautiful, the words captivating and his songs draw the church into a heart of worship and praise.
I am humbled and in awe at how when we step out in faith and obedience, our heavenly Father meets us there wholeheartedly. With arms open wide and a love big enough to fill every nook and cranny of our world's empty and hurting hearts.
What a beautiful day to be living for Jesus and finding my hope and joy in His salvation. Basking in the glow of his glory, majesty and soveriegnty on this earth, and in my life!
Cloaked in His righteous blood, I boldly go to the throne of my Father today seeking more of Him, learning His ways and praising His holy name.
This moment in time I am meant to live a life worthy of the calling, of PRAISE to the Lord!
One life to live.
Finite time to give.
How will you spend it?
On you or Him?

Sunday, April 25, 2010


is one word I would use to describe a Friday evening we had recently. Although, *heavenly* may be more suitable a label for these past few days. Beautiful, engaging, special, memorable, awe inspiring, gorgeous, breathtaking, lovely, mesmerizing, serene, thankful and blessed; all feelings and emotions felt by me that Friday! One of those special times when you wish time would stop or at least slow down! Where you're 'feelin' the love', surrounded by loved ones, friends of sound mind who are united with you in actions and purpose. We were fortunate to be able to attend a Symphony concert in which my husband's friend David plays first violin, while my mom watched our 5 kids. I would liken that evening to a cool refreshing drink after a long scorching day.
Music speaks to me. It moves me. God uses it to change me. Music breathes life into my weary soul and like clay in the hands of a potter, my outlook on life begins to take positive shape again, with divine purpose as I worship and praise the name of the Lord! Desire reappears as I am molded into a vessel more useful once again, newly inspired, with a sense of His permeating joy filling my being. I have always loved music, particularly playing an instrument. Growing up, it was an outlet for my feelings, my frustrations, my victories, along with writing. For quite a time, I have been oddly sidetracked and have withdrawn in ways from these dear loves of mine. I'm not sure why! This past week has been one of utter unrest for me physically, mentally and spiritually. The overwhelming presence of unrest and fear have been consuming my heart and mind. I've been reeling from the pressure of it, paralyzed as it gripped my very soul! I've been sleepless, crying and without energy, desire or inspiration. The urge to submit to depression and curl up in defeat has been knocking at my door, and I have cracked that door open, unwittingly giving in. Running 4 days on a total of 13 hours of restless sleep will do that to a person!!
Recently, with these emotional ups and downs I've been having and the apparent depth of unrest in my life, I felt called to step back from the things that have been taking up my time, the things I would lose sleep over or turn to bright & early in the morning and those things that ruled a lot of my day. I needed to take a step back, pray, take stock, re-prioritize. I decided to take a "break" from face book in particular as well as a couple of other 'things' I would catch myself finding joy in, because it did have several holds on my life and heart and has been indeed holding me back from fulfilling the daily purposes divinely given me. I was taking good care of my family, getting needs met, chores done, doing okay but I was being fed too much worldly food, and not enough of the life sustaining food from my Heavenly Father and it was catching up with me. Instead of continually being socially driven and finding contentment in being a part-of or staking my sense of "belonging" in things of this world, I am instead to find my worth and joy in Him and my relationship with Him. I know I am called to lift my feelings and energy, the cries of my heart, the prayers that well up from within, the melodies that pour forth from my soul onto the keys of my piano, the words and poems that steadily go into my journal up to the throne of my God. Instead of looking to be fed by other's opinions, advice, or even loving words, I needed to come back once again to my Heavenly Father first and foremost, making time spent with Him, in His presence, my priority, letting HIS important words be ALL that I seek... at least for a time. I'm sure I will once again face book, but thankfully, I know I will never be the same. There are SO many other accomplishments I have yet to finish, a higher calling to complete. Thank you, Lord for transformation and the growth and maturity you call us to! I am not going to get comfortable in this life but be constantly growing, though painful at times, improving and moving forward in my walk with Him! And though one thing may be a distraction for one person, it may very well be an other's calling!! That is the beauty of God using each of our various strengths and diversities as well as our weaknesses in the perfect place and to work together for His perfect and sovereign plan.... the plan that He ordained for me from the beginning of time, to carry out daily as I stay grounded in Him.
I have purposed to read more, making sure sweet quiet time comes first, along with prayer. Lots of prayer! As I want to have ALL of my emotional needs met by Him alone. I'm going back to my first loves, writing and playing the piano. I plan to continue pouring the thoughts of my heart out onto paper and into melodies, which are some of the true gifts God has given me to use for Him! Things that speak life to my heart, create longing for Him, praise Him and glory in His ways, are not worldly chatter or being sidetracked by meaningless charades.
I am humbled and truly blessed to know that my Heavenly Father cares enough for me to remind me that I am not called to be normal, average or anything that resembles the goals and triumphs of this world. I am called to go far beyond that and through His empowering Holy Spirit, gracious blood and loving sovereignty, without a doubt, I will.

The Lord's loving kindness is beyond my comprehension, and I am so in love with Him!

After coming to these conclusions, making decisions and accepting this calling on my life, I am wonderfully full and grateful. And although not all of the unwanted circumstances are gone or taken care of, I am full of thankfulness, hope and joy. Inner Rest.

My husband and I were invited to go to a friend's symphony concert recently and it was just one of those life experiences that blows you away. Not because the evening was amazing perfection(although it was close to me!), but the timing sure was. And David, such a sweet gentleman-God used him to bless mine and my husband's heart deeply.
The music was beautiful, as they poured their hard work, dedication and love of music into this concert but the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and the friends they are and always will be is even more beautiful. It was a touching life event, and the evening struck a harmonious chord in my heart. Bringing me to once again, grab hold of the hope and true rest that we have already been given, and that the Lord freely gives to us, His children.

Here is my main man along with his running buddy, and friend, David! These two are amazingly enough, very distant relatives! And the only way they know this, is because David grew up across the street from my Main man's grandparents in a city 7 hours away from where we live now! His grandpa loves geneology and knows his family tree very well and when David's parents compared family lines with Brandon's grandparents, they were astonished to find where the two families had split off. How crazy small is this world sometimes that both David and my Main man now have moved to the same area, and are friends!?
My husband really enjoys and admires this guy so he must be pretty special!

I had the pleasure of sitting next to my friend, Katie who is amazing in her own musical talents. We hadn't planned it but were very excited to have run into each other at the concert and enjoyed friendly and delightful company throughout the evening. What a sweetie this beautiful girl is! Love her!

My main man and I! This is a man who has loved, protected, prayed for, held up, wiped tears and supported me always but even more so through this past week and all of it's emotional and physical hardships.
What blessings from above, God loves to rain down on us!!
And all of it, I know I do not deserve.
But O, thankfully, that is the way of His overwhelming grace.