Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This is one of my favorite recipes to pull out for showers, ladies' fellowships, church potlucks, etc. because it is so very yummy and just as easy!
One package Oreo cookies--crushed (I use my Cuisinart)
One 8 oz package cream cheese, softened.
Mix these 2 ingredients together and form them into balls. (My small pampered chef scoop is the perfect size!) and freeze for an hour or so until firm. Then dip each ball into melted chocolate and let the chocolate harden (adding a tablespoon or so of shortening to chocolate chips makes the finished product really shiny and professional looking) I keep them refrigerated since the insides do tend to get gooey after sitting out for a while. It also keeps them out of sight, which is the only way they last around my house!
Hope this helps get me "untagged!"
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
struggle with the same thing?
Other books I am in the middle of reading:
Shepherding a Child's Heart (this is acutally about my 3rd time through the book) by Ted Tripp
A Woman After God's Own Heart, A Mom after God's Own Heart, and Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George
Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow--also my second time through it, but I don't think I ever made it completely through the first time!
Twelve Extraordinary Women in the Bible by John MacArthur
I did start and finish Mardi Colliers book "What do I know about my God?" and it was amazing, too! I have been having a great time using her notebook idea to keep track of what I see about God in my quiet times of devotion. That and my ESV Brent bought for me have really made a huge difference in the quality of my time with the Lord which has in turn increased the quantity of my quality time in the Word. So wait...I take it all back...I've finished 2 books this last year...that's not so bad is it?!?
Anyone else have a good book to recommend I start reading?!? :-) I'm always a sucker for a good book to start! But hey...I did just finish two. I'm kind of inspired to finish some of these others...kind of! :-)
Friday, November 09, 2007
Sarah normally loves to be outside, but sitting in a pile of poky leaves is another story I guess! She was happy and loving life while I was holding her, but the minute I tried to pose her in the leaves she started screaming. It was either the leaves or her brother and sister that were poking her...one never knows these days! :-)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
"Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
My thirty-something birthday had dawned bright and busy. Tucked into a pile of bills and credit card applications I found a card sent from my friend, Janet McHenry. The message inside wished me a “Hoopy Birthday,” and that made me smile, but the picture on the front was what really grabbed my attention. It illustrated everything I’d been feeling that dreary, getting older day.
“That’s me,” I said to my husband, poking at the black and white glossy.
Taken back in the early 1950’s, the photo showed a young woman in Greta Garbo shorts with eight or nine hula hoops swinging madly around her waist. “How does she do that?” I wanted to know.
It had been a frustrating day of too many responsibilities and not enough of me to go around. One by one, I named the Hula-Hoops I had been trying to keep in motion: wife, mother, pastor’s wife, friend, writer, piano instructor, cook, cleaning lady, and the big one—Little League mother. If we weren’t racing to baseball games, we were rushing to church; if I wasn’t folding laundry, I was stealing a few minutes to write.
“That’s me!” I laughed. I made exaggerated motions with my hips, trying to keep my invisible hoops afloat. My eyes darted from the photo to my husband’s concerned face then back again. “That’s me!”
After a few cups of chamomile tea and some chocolate chip sedatives—I mean, cookies—I calmed down and read my friend’s letter while my husband ran our kids to yet another ball game. Chatty and full of humor, Janet shared her hectic schedule and the things the Lord had been teaching her.
I finished the letter, closed the card and looked once more at the girl on the front. There were so many hoops, but she appeared calm. Her upper body seemed to be perfectly still, her arms outstretched slightly, as the hoops raced around her waist in synchronized chaos.
Her face captured me. Looking straight into the camera, she smiled peacefully as though she hadn’t a care in the world.
Then it dawned on me—I saw her secret. “She found a rhythm,” I whispered to myself. “She established her center, and then let everything move around that.”
That’s exactly what I wasn’t doing in my life. All the things I’d been trying to accomplish were important, but I had lost my center. Busy being busy, I’d forgotten to tend to my inner self, the spiritual me. Like a wheel without an axle, I’d careened through life, bouncing off one duty and onto another.
If there was adequate pause, I’d spend some time with the Lord. But lately, more often than not, my busy days had slipped by without a quiet time. And my life was revealing what my spirit had missed.
“Teach me, Lord. Show me the rhythm of life,” I found myself praying.
“Be my center.”
Life is filled with Hula-hoops. We all have responsibilities, important things that need our attention. If we’re not careful, however, our hearts and our minds can be consumed with the task of keeping them in the air. Rather than centering ourselves in Christ and letting the other elements of our lives take their rightful place around that center, we end up shifting our attention from one important to-do item to another, frantically trying to keep them all in motion.
It’s easy to forget that while there is a time to work, there is also a time to worship—and it’s the worship, the time we spend with God, that provides the serene center to a busy, complex life."
(Taken from "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver pp 99-100 Waterbrook Press)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Yesterday Daniel came home after school, and I was checking his homework. I came to his handwriting paper that he had finished at school and quickly realized he'd be doing the entire thing over. He knew it wasn't acceptable--not even close, but was obviously less than thrilled by the prospect of doing the entire thing over. I took it as more of a character lesson about working carefully and doing your best more than actually being concerned that each letter be perfect (I mean come on...I do have a heart after all!) So after a few miutes of grumbling and then a few minutes of "correcting the grumbling" Daniel started in on the assigment--for the second time. I've always worked with him on his handwriting, but he's just never "got it" before. But something clicked this time. Perhaps it's a maturing thing, and he's just got more coordination and fine motor skill all of a sudden, or perhaps it was me standing over his shoulder...both can be pretty effective...but the light bulb came on (my favorite thing to see as a teacher--that moment when the kids "get it" and their face just lights up!) We were both literally beaming when we realized that Daniel figured out how to slant his letters and make them neatly, too! I know it sounds silly, but it's a big deal to both of us! He was so proud of himself. I jokingly said it was good enough to put on the blog...and Daniel loved the idea...so here it is...Daniel has made huge strides in his handwriting--even slanting! Yahoo!!! So does this mean his IQ has suddenly dropped many points because he writes neatly? hmmmmm...
Okay...for all you teachers out there, I know it's not perfect, but trust me...the light bulb has come on and pushed us light years ahead of his handwriting before! Seeing the look of accomplishment and pride in his work made the effort worth it all...like Mastercard...priceless!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Daniel is such an 8 year old boy...I keep telling myself, "He's only 8, He's only 8" So I was in the garage putzing around Saturday afternoon--it was gorgeous outside--about 65 and sunny--we're enjoying those kind of days knowing full well they are numbered! And I hear Daniel say, "Mom, we've got a problem, but don't come out here!" So of course I went in the house and ignored him...no, that's what I wanted to do, but knew better! Not sure what he was thinking, but I heard him continue pounding with something--even after he told me there was a problem (He's only 8, He's only 8!) I went outside only to find him with the 2 foot long (or thereabouts) croquet post hammered into the ground so that only about 6 inches were above the ground. "I got a little carried away..." (he's only 8, he's only8) I explained in no uncertain terms that his father would not see the humor in the situation and he'd better do his best to get it out of the ground before Daddy realized what he had done. So what's he do? He starts digging with his fingers thinking he can dig the foot and a half down to get the stick out. I just walked away muttering "He's only 8, He's only 8!" I came back with the camera--I figured if he's crazy enough to hammer the post all the way into the ground, he can stand for me to take a picture of it and put it on the blog! (I ended up having mercy on him and somehow managed to wriggle it back and forth enough to get it to come out) Don't go thinking it's all cute and what not--to quote my friend Carissa when people tell her how cute her kids are..."It's kept them alive!"
Mr. Tim's a Senior Missions major.
Miss Lydia's a transfer student--technically she's a sophomore, but this is her first semester at Northland. We missed having our other 2 with us--Miss Nikki and Miss Julie.
Campus Kids at Northland is a big deal! Each of the students are assigned to a staff family, and the staff family acts as a family for them while they are away from home. We only have 5 campus kids since we live off campus (Those families on campus can have upwards of 12!) But Daniel and Hannah have taken a real shining to our campus kids. We had them over for dinner the other night and the kids enjoyed some good old fashioned wrestling and looking Waldo--it's what we always seem to end up doing with our campus kids. 2 of our girls weren't able to make it since they were in a block class, so we'll have to get together again soon!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Brent and Daniel are so much alike. I think if Daniel could choose to do one thing for his birthday, it would be to spend time with his Daddy either playing video games or on the computer! I'm thankful for a husband that sees the value of a daddy spending time with his children...and not just playing video games (although they both seem to enjoy it no matter how old they get!)
We always let our children choose their birthday dinner...and with a little coaxing from me they usually choose to eat out. This year Daniel chose to eat at Dairy Queen...they like to get the free Dilly Bars with their kids meals. I do have to add a side note here that Daniel won't be eating off the kids' menu for too much longer...there are meals he out eats me and Brent! His birthday was on a Wednesday so we were able to eat out before we headed over to church.
Daniel loves legos. When we were looking around familyfun.com for what kind of cake he wanted me to make for his birthday, he loved the lego cake immediately! I also made him a snake cake for his friends at church. I baked and decorated cakes all morning long (enter sigh here with a hand dramatically swiping the perspiration from said brow) but it was worth it to see how much the cake actually looked like a real lego block! Familyfun.com is an amazing website for birthday cakes, party ideas, and family crafts. The explanations about how to make super cute cakes is a great help!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Dr. Olson just sent out an email to all the staff here at Northland encouraging us to be faithful in our prayer lives. He talked about how God delights in us coming to him. I was reminded of a great picture of this that made it all real to me. You'll have to excuse the emotional musings of a mother...
When I was in the hospital room after I had given birth to Sarah, I was waiting for our children to come and see her for the first time. I knew they were on their way and had been eagerly waiting for them to make their appearance and meet Sarah for the first time after nine months' wait and anticipation. I'll never forget that twinge of excitement I felt as I heard them timidly knock on my hospital room door because I was going to be able to show them such an exciting thing that I knew would please them so much! The awe and wonder they had on their faces as they made their way ever so quietly over to my bed where I was holding their tiny baby sister is forever burned in my mind. I wanted to so much for them to sit and talk with me and let them see this amazing gift I had to share with them. That time together was priceless...I wouldn't trade it for anything! The way we looked at her little toes together and the intrigue they displayed over her umbilical cord and their gigles of delight at Sarah grasping onto their fingers...Daniel and Hannah both were wanting to soak it all in with such an unusually hushed excitement.
What a tiny picture of what our prayer time with the Lord could be like! He is waiting for us to come to Him...when He hears us drawing near to Him the Bible teaches that He draws near to us. He delights in sitting and talking with us and wants to show us amazing things that we have no clue about. That sweet time of fellowship is something we should look forward to, just like Daniel and Hannah were looking forward to coming in and fellowshipping with Baby Sarah for the first time. He wants to sit with us and share things with us that He knows will please us and encourage us. He's sitting there waiting for us to peak our heads into the room and come before His throne. He's waiting for that little knock and to hear us say, Lord...can I come in...I have something I want to talk with you about; I want to see what special things You have to show me today. We can display such wonder over his character and attributes, and sit in hushed tones as we wonder in awe over His majesty and unmatched glory.
I'm a word picture kind of girl...the next time I go to the Lord for my personal time with Him. I'll be picturing myself knocking on the door and hearing the Lord say, "Yes...come in! I have been waiting for you...I have something wonderful I want to share with you!" And I will walk over to His bed and curl up next to Him and talk with Him and let Him show me what He has for me to learn about Himself. I'll sit in wonder and awe at how mighty He is and hopefully leave His presence with a renewed sense and desire to change whatever He pointed to in my life and become more like His precious Son than I ever thought possible! How thankful I am that we have a relationship with our heavenly Father who delights in spending time us and doing things for us as only a Parent could!
Friday, September 21, 2007
(You can catch the blog off to the right here--it's Erin Neiner's blog...it's worth the time to read it and pray for her family!)
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
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Daniel's starting 3rd grade. We've homeschooled up to this point so I'm a bit concerned about the transition to a traditional classroom. He seems to have survived the first week of school without getting in trouble. He was even disappointed that he didn't get to go to school on Labor Day--didn't bother to tell him how disappointed I was, too, that they didn't get to to go to school!
When I expressed remorse at my little girl growing up and leaving me for kindergarten, Hannah consoled me with, "It's okay, Mommy, we can still play together in the afternoon. I'll only be gone for the mornings!"
Yes...I know this pic is blurry...just imagine that it's how I saw it--through my tears--both of joy and sadness! :-)
We had sucha fun time picking out back packs! We had to open up every single option and see what it looked like on the inside before Hannah chose this princess one. The deciding factor was that this one came with a lunch bag that velcros onto the backpack for her snack for snack time! I'd like to think there might be an ounce of her daddy's practicality in her, but I'm pretty sure she's got most of my "It's all about how it looks over function" in her! Daniel however is most like Brent and chose his based on how much he could get in it and how durable it would be. His big decision was finding a good color--he is his Daddy's boy for sure!
Each of the people getting baptized had to share their salvation testimony with the group of people gathered. It was a special thing to see our little boy, who used to be so shy and quiet (quite a long time ago now, it seems!), so boldly speak of his decision to follow Christ.
One of the neat things our church does is allow the dads to baptize their children or anyone who has discipled the person getting baptized. It was special for Brent to be able to baptize Daniel as his earthly father and spiritual brother. Here Brent and Daniel are watching other people get baptized. They had to go so far out to get deep enough so this is the best picture I could get!
Daniel is ready for Brent to "bury him in the likeness of His death..." Notice the speed boat in the background? One of the downsides of baptizing at a public lake on one of the last nice weekends of the summer!
We praise the Lord for our children. It is our sincere desire and prayer for them to live for the Lord with every ounce of their being from as early of an age as possible. It's quite a sobering thing to realize that they are growing up and our time to train them Biblically is ticking away.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
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Sarah loves eating her baby food...even the green beans! She gets so excited she literally attacks the spoon sometimes. Her little arms getting to flailing and her legs get to kicking--it's really something to see. Yesterday I was feeding her in the living room (by the AC--its was in the 90's here) and she was sending the applesauce everywhere--literally! She knocked my hand with a spoonful of applesauce, and the applesauce went flying over her head and onto the carpet behind her. By the time I was done feeding her, my leg was covered and I had managed to get it on MY shirt in 2 different places. She's definitely going to be taking after Hannah who still can't eat without getting it all over herself!
I went and got Daniel to video us...hence the video moving all over and the cute comments he "whispered" at the end!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Hannah has the same mothering instincts, but unfortunately for her, Hannah has my athletic ability, too. Brent tries to help her out, but she just doesn't get it. Daniel was even trying to encourage her last night, but some things were just not meant to be...
When Daniel realized how well Hannah did if Brent helped her, he starting playing all helpless so Brent would help him, too. Daniel does just fine...I think he just wanted his fair share of attention. By the end of the third game, Daniel and I were ganging up on Brent, but he still managed to blow us away at "Stinger" all three times. We even tried to change the rules (a trick I'm known for in my last futile attempts at winning) but he got us everytime...it's no fun when we play with grown-ups...next time Daniel, Hannah, and I are playing by ourselves...maybe then I'll have a chance...but I'm not holding my breath!
Just a fun shot I took the other night...has absolutely nothing to do with croquet, but I couldn't resist this face!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Hannah loves to read books to Sarah. I bought a bunch of those touch and feel books when Hannah was a baby, and now I'm so glad I kept them! It's a favorite thing of Hannah's to sit and read books to Sarah. As you can see, Sarah doesn't seem to mind either! By the way...Hannah's latest thing is to "read in her mind" She almost has Daniel convinced that she can really read--she just can't say the words!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, I'd gained some weight and I didn't feel so hot.
My doctor said eating right doesn't have to be complicated and it would solve my physical problems. He said just think in colors; fill your plate with bright colors; greens, yellows, reds, etc.
I went right home and ate an entire bowl of M&M's and sure enough, I felt better immediately. I never knew eating right could be so easy.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I was playing around with my filters in my photo editor today and came up with this one. I think I'm going to get it printed in an 8 x 10 and frame it in a black frame with a big white mat! I'm loving the way it turned out! The pic is from this Sunday before we left for church.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Down by the camper is one of Daniel and Hannah's favorite spots at Grandma and Grandpa Griffins. They have picnics and weiner roasts. They get to sleep in the camper on special occasions. One night during their visit, Grandma and Hannah went down and had a sleepover in the camper. They stayed up until midnight watching movies...just the girls!
So when they needed a place to keep their riding lawn mower, true to Grandma and Grandpa fashion, they built the kids a clubhouse! Oh yeah, the lawn mower is underneath the clubhouse, but the top is for the kids to play in...and it has a great slide!
Sarah loved Grandpa Griffin, that's for sure!!!
Not sure who she's talking to here...maybe me...but more likely it's Great Grandma Griffin..."Can I come down and play at your house?!?"
Hannah lost her first tooth while she was at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was so loose for so long. Grandpa even tried to use the pliers, but to no avail. It eventually became so loose that Grandma was able to pull it. Tooth #2 is now loose, and Hannah is much braver now that she knows more about how it will feel when it comes out.
Grandpa on the roof retrieving a frisbee...enough said!!!
Grandpa had a birthday while the kids were visiting. Daniel went to the cousins' house and Hannah LOVED having all the attention for herself! 58?!? Grandpa's really getting old, isn't he!!!