Tuesday, May 31, 2011

~Baby Mary is 8 months~

Jesus helped us and we got Mary's 8 month pics taken today!  Enjoy!!
~Here you can finally can see her 2 cute little bottom teeth.~
~Pretty in White!~

~Flirting with her Daddy! =)~
I just found this adorable Piper and Posie sweater and hat set for baby Mary here in Colombia.   
Lord willing in August we are going to work in Argentina for 6 months or so. 
~In these pics...Baby Mary is... ALL READY TO TRAVEL! =)~

~All giggles!~
~Ready for the long ride ahead. =)~

~All packed and ready to Go!~
~Looking Sweet even in a suitcase. =)~
~One EXHAUSTED traveler!~
Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

~Taking time out for our 5 little missionaries...=)~

My heart has been sooo SADDENED with all the destruction of the disasters that have happened recently.  Will you continue to pray with me for those who are suffering all around us?!  People need the Lord and His comfort during these DIFFICULT times!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Our kids have been DYING to ride their bikes...but when we came back to Colombia the tires were all flat, they were needing some maintenance, etc. So, since we are to leave to go to Argentina in August, Lord willing, we decided we had better TAKE THE TIME to walk their bikes to a repair shop and get them ready to RIDE! Kimberly out-grew her bike...so passed it down to Sarah. Sarah passed her bike down to Noah, and Noah passed his bike down to Elijah. At first Noah was not really happy about having a purple and pink bike...but once he saw how fast he could go with that bike...he hasn't said anything more about the color. =D (If we were going to be here longer, we'd probably paint it.) So, once we got their bikes fixed...we took them to a park. God gave us a beautiful day and it only sprinkled on us one time.
~Sarah and Noah were THRILLED to get to ride bikes together again!!~
~Phillip, Elijah (eating a Popsicle) and Me sitting on the merry-GO-round!~
~Kimberly and I shooting basket ball.  Phillip wasn't feeling the best...so he went around taking pictures. =)~
~Sarah, Noah and Elijah love riding on this Merry-go-round!~
~Sweet Baby Mary (I wish you could see her 2 cute bottom teeth. =)~
~Since Elijah is still PEDALING BACKWARDS on his own bike and going NOWHERE...Sarah gives him rides on her bike. =)~
~Kimberly and Phillip practicing softball.~
~A tired Baby Mary at the end of our fun afternoon together!~

Friday, May 27, 2011

~Fun Food Friday...Chocolate rasp. cake & Chicken club pizza~

~I found this yummy recipe on p. 67 of T.O.H. April/May 2009. I love recipes that call for ingredients that you normally have on hands...and this one does!~
~Chewy Chocolate Raspberry cake~
3 cups sugar (I NEVER use 3 cups of sugar in a cake. I only used 1 3/4 cup in mine and we thought it was plenty sweet!)
3/4 lb. melted butter
4 eggs
1 Tab. vanilla extract
1 Tab. almond extract (I only added a TAD for my fam. doesn't care for a lot.)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 cup mini choc. chips
3/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat your oven to 300.
Mix sugar and butter in a mixing bowl on low. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the extracts. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into greased and papered 9" cake pan. Carefully smooth out a thin layer of raspberry jam. Top with choc. chips and half of sliced almonds. Carefully cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle top of cake with the remaining sliced almonds. Bake for 1 hour and 45 min. to 2 hours. (Mine only took an hour...so I would check it after an hour...then keep setting your timer.)
~The other day I found this recipe on Amy's blog. I made it last night and we enjoyed it.
~Chicken Club Pizza~
Pizza crust (ready to bake, or make your own. I made mine.)
1/4 cup Mayo
1/2 c. Ranch dressing
1 1/2 Shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 chopped cooked chicken
Crumbled bacon
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees
Bake pizza crust for 10 minutes
Mix mayo and 1/3 cup dressing and spread on crust.
Top with half the cheese, chicken, remaining cheese and bacon.
Bake 5 minutes or until crust is golden.
Top with lettuce and tomatoes. (I didn't have any lettuce.)
Drizzle with remaining dressing.


And As Always...ENJOY!! =)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

~Shopping, Shoes, SALES, Sweethearts, and Savings...Smiley face!~

~I L-O-V-E shopping at Goodwill!! (Or any other nice, clean, organized, and cheap thrift/consignment store. =) When we go back to Ohio we are blessed to have several Goodwills close by to where our home is...which have 50% off sales nearly every Saturday! =D (And these Goodwills have good prices before their sales.)  Another thing that I L.O.V. E. is shoes!  When I go into a thrift store...normally the first place I head is the shoe aisle...for I'm sure that there is an adorable pair of shoes awaiting me.  =)  Like these pictured here...Leather. brand new. $3.00. Sweet!  =) I love going thrift store shopping with family and friends...but I get all nervous if any of them wear the same shoe size as me, for what if they find that C-U-T-E pair of shoes first.  Hee! Hee!~
When I am in the States...I try stock up for our family in shoes and clothing at thrift stores.   Sometimes if I have to be in a mall when I'm in the USA...I like to see what colors and conservative styles are in...and then go and find them at the thrift store for $1.50-$3.00.  What better way to be a steward of God's money?! =)  If someone were to look in my closet they would see it full of good name brands (not that I have to have name brands...but they normally are better quality and LAST longer) and might wonder how I can afford such with our salary.  But I can explain... they all came from...
"My Sister's Closet"....(and other thrift stores like Goodwill! =)
We haven't found any thrift stores to shop at when we are back in Colombia so we buy enough clothes at the USA thrift stores for a year or so and bring them back with us. So when it comes to holidays on the mission field...we don't normally get new clothes.  We just wear something "new to us" that we have saved from our "stock-up at Goodwill."  =)
One thing that is interesting about Bogota is that it has 2 seasons...2 rainy seasons each year and 2 dry seasons.  One of my Colombian friends told me that the people from Bogota are known for dressing in darker colors all year because of the colder wet weather.  (So...when you see us still wearing our wintery clothes when it's spring/summer there...we haven't gone goofy. =)
This past Easter I was needing another purse.  I fell in love with this nice but inexpensive purse when I saw it at a market here.  My man was a SWEETHEART ...and bought it for me. =) ~
~I love the fun feminine bow on the side. =)~
Are there any of you who LOVE shopping at thrift stores too?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

~Pardon the house, but enjoy the food. =)~

 ~Mocha Mousse~
 Stir 1 T. chilled strong coffee into 2 cups prepared chocolate pudding.  Beat 3/4 cup heavy cream with 1 T. sugar.  (or use 3/4 cup (6 oz.) prepared coolwhip).  Fold into Mocha pudding.  Top with coolwhip and choc. shavings or mini choc. chips if desired.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Here is another quote from the book HomeSchooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit that I wanted to share with you.
"Many Homeschooling moms were raised in homes where their mothers were home all day while the children went away to school. If our moms wanted to, they had six or more hours a day to devote to housecleaning, laundry, and organizing.  So...we may compare our homes to what we remember our mothers' homes were like. While it certainly is possible to keep a neat and tidy home while homeschooling, it won't be the same standard of cleanliness that it would if we spent four hours a day on it.  Moreover, there is a greater opportunity for mess and clutter to accumulate when the children are HOME all day, rather than away at school for seven hours." By Teri Maxwell...mother of 8, homeschooling since 1985!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We are all different from each other.  I have friends who vacuum every day...maybe more than once a day.  I have another fun-loving friend who would rather do anything but clean her house.  She has teasingly told us that if we hear that she died, to please go and burn her house so no one will see it.  =)  We all have different priorities.  If a friend of mine who vacuums everyday were to have us over...she would probably spend most of the day cleaning her house and then right before we came she would pull out some classy already prepared snacks from Sams and serve them.  =)  If I were to have her and her family over...I would bake and cook fun recipes all day and then right before they came...I'd quickly "company clean"!  (Surface clean.) =) 
Although I admire my friend's immaculate house (and she always makes us feel special when we come by)... I am not one that does deep cleaning every day.   Our kids know that they can have fun times playing with their toys...as long as they clean up their mess when they are done!!  In our house I like to keep things picked up, and tidy.  Before we go to bed I like to have the living room and dinning room straightened, (including cleaning the floors) and at least the dishes in the sink and counters wiped off.  (I don't like to leave dirty dishes at night, but with a nursing baby I don't always get them done. =)   That way if unexpected guests arrive in the morning, my house looks presentable.
Whether someone has a messy house, an immaculate house or one like my "picked up" house...what we must remember is that our family is our FIRST priority after God!
I like to live thinking, "WHAT will my children remember when they are grown?"  What will stand out to them from living in our home?    Will they remember the time that I took to be with them and do something special together, or will they remember that I was more concerned about less important things?   We only have a few short years to have our children in our homes.  I know that 18 or so years sounds like a long time...but it FLIES!  I cannot believe that in a few months my Kimberly will be14!!
As you know I LOVE to bake!  I THRILL on finding a new recipe, copying it down and running to the kitchen to make it!  What we Mommies thrive on...normally our girls do to!  My girls love to bake things with me...and now are baking things on their own!! =)  My family LOVES it when I bake something.  Not only do I love to bake...but baking a treat helps our hearts not to be sooo lonely for our family, friends, country, and culture! 
So, if you come to my house...you will probably find some yummy treat on the table...but if it drops...you probably won't want to eat it off my floors. =)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

~Give us this day our Daily Bread!~

When I was reflecting on the "leaning tower of garlic toast" that I had taken to the table to eat with our dinner I was reminded of 3 things.
First: God is FAITHFUL and provides for our needs (and many of our wants.=)
Second:   God has blessed Phillip and I with 5 precious children! (And with kids who are GROWING...I'm SURE that the STACK OF TOAST will only grow LARGER with time. ;-)
Third:   A neat answer to prayer that my parents shared with me...from before I was born.
This is how I remember my Moma telling me the story.  My Moma grew up in a home which may not have been "well-to-do" but Granddaddy made sufficient to take care of his family well.  My Moma married my Daddy at the age of 18 and they started their own home.  Shortly thereafter God called Daddy to be a teacher in a Christian school.  (He ended up teaching and helping to found SEVERAL Christian schools in different States.)  As you know...Christian School teachers aren't known for "raking in the dough".  On one occasion my Grandparents were coming to visit my parents.  Daddy had just asked Moma if they were doing ok, for he wanted to send their last $10.00 for that month to some missionaries.  Moma didn't realize that they were out of bread when she said that she thought they could send the offering.  Later she discovered that they had no bread and barely any flour and no money to buy either!  She did NOT want her parents (who weren't the type that had to "pray in things") to come and see them in need!  So Moma told Daddy about their need, and they gathered my 2 brothers and my sister Laura who was a baby then into the living room for prayer.  The kids were so young that they weren't going burden them with WHAT the need was...rather just going to pray in words that GOD would understand...telling Him about their need.  My Daddy started out..."Our Father...not intending  to pray The Lord's Prayer...but just using that as an introduction to His prayer.  But they had recently been teaching The Lord's Prayer to their 3 small children and so my brother Lincoln (probably 5 or so) piped up and said, "Which art in He-ben, Hallowed be DY Name".  Daddy and Moma joined Lincoln in His prayer...KNOWING that in that Prayer were the words, "Give Us This Day OUR DAILY BREAD."  After their time of prayer, Moma went back into the kitchen and made some bread out of the tad of remaining flour, oatmeal, and whatever else she could find.     It was enough to make up a loaf of bread to serve my Grandparents when they got there.  When Granddaddy and Grandmother arrived...my Moma was SHOCKED to see what was in their hands.   They came in bearing a paper bag FULL OF...YOU GUESSED IT...Bread!!  They had NEVER brought bread before to Daddy and Moma's house!!
What is your "Daily Bread Need" today?...GOD IS ABLE!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

~Fun Food Friday...Some Simple Solutions~

Regarding my previous post below...please know that I have tried to be faithful to have my devotions for YEARS.  I just trying to say that I've noticed that when I try to get up a little earlier to spend some time with God BEFORE my day starts, Things go more smoothly than when I wait until my day is nearly done to have my quiet time.  =)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Your kids are StaRveD and you need to make a meal FAST...but you don't know what to make for the MEAt? Try this...(and tell your family that they are eating a Colombian meal today!)  Here it is VERY POPULAR to just fry some hamburger (chop it FINE while frying), dissolve a beef bullion cube in a little water, stir it into the fried hamburger...and there is your meat!  I realize you probably won't be serving Rice or fried Plantain (like a banana) like is pictured on this plate, but add some macaroni and cheese (or a potato of some kind), a salad, and another veggie and your meal is ready!  I would have never thought of serving chopped fried hamburger by itself but the Colombians do it all the time (you can pay more for this meal in a restaurant here) and we've grown to enjoy it!  (I mix my cooked rice with the hamburger while I'm eating...and it's yummy that way too!)  I hope that this idea helps you when you're in a pinch.  =)
I saw this idea on Better Homes and Gardens the other day!  Bake brownies...and then add some fun toppers.  The one I tried was spread a THIN layer of peanut butter over your brownies, then sprinkle some chopped salted peanuts (I used chopped mixed nuts) and some choc. chips on top.  My husband is not into choc. but LOVED this!  You can serve it with icecream if you want.  Another topping idea was caramel, nuts, and choc. chips.  (She used peanut butter, Reeses cups, and peanuts, but I don't have that option.)  We really enjoyed these.  They are RICH, but the salted nuts help cut down on some of the richness.  
And as Always...ENJOY!~
~This is a dear couple in our church...Edgar (holding our Elijah and Mary) and Joanna.  They have wanted and PRAYED for a baby for a long time...and God has granted their request.  She is due to have their baby girl in July/Aug.  =)  Please pray that God will continue to bless and encourage this couple in Him! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

~For you, Lady Blogger, Homeschooling Mother,...~

Last summer Phillip bought a book for our family called, Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell. She is a mother of 8 children and has been homeschooling since 1985. =D
I want to share some quotes in her book that have inspired me.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." (Psalm 5:3)

"Today I was thinking about why my days have been so bad lately. I realized that I have not been having my quiet time with the Lord in the morning. I have been lying in bed justifying that I need the sleep more than that I need the time alone. Then I realized, if I'm faithful to get up in the morning and spend time with Him, He will provide strength for me throughout the day (in a way that an extra hour of sleep never could)." Kelly in TX.

"Our need is for the empowering that comes through intimacy with the ONE who called us to the task of home educating." Teri Maxwell

"I wasn't drawing near to Him, and I had conceded that all of my homeschooling friends had the same problem that I had. We were just burned out and overburdened. I now have scheduled 'tea time with the Lord' in my day, first thing." Marilyn
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In the last few months with all the mold issues we have faced, I have been more tired than ever. In our research we found out that one of the side effects of mold is tiredness. Not to mention that when Elijah and Mary are sick and up several times a night, one doesn't really feel like JUMPING OUT OF BED BRIGHT AND EARLY! ;)    Here recently I have been asking God to help me to set my alarm and get out of bed at a decent time (Regardless of how much sleep I got) so I can spend some quiet MOMENTS with Him...in prayer and Bible reading. (And then I can take a short nap in the afternoon if time allows.)  I give Him my day and all that it holds...and ask HIM to help me be the wife/Mommy I should be and to show forth HIS SPIRIT today! God has been helping me, and I'm so happy.   My days have been going so much smoother.  Now...believe me...with 5 children my time may not always be "QUIET" but God sees my efforts of trying to carve out time to be with Him, and He will bless!
Dear lady Blogger, Homeschooling Mother,...May you be able to have your 'tea time with the Lord' in the mornings as you long for also! =)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

~God is With us (and with you too!!)~

We had just left family, friends, and our home country...and had moved with our 3 small children to Colombia. We had only met one older Colombian lady here, and no one else. Before arriving in Colombia Phillip felt like God had given him a promise that people that we didn't know would help us when we couldn't help ourselves. 2 weeks after arriving in Colombia we went shopping for a keyboard for our church. After running our legs off from store to store...with no SUCCESS...someone told us about a certain avenue which is mainly music stores. On Saturday afternoon we went to that avenue and walked into a store. The man who helped us asked us if we were Christians and told us that he was the son and son-in-law of pastors. He helped us to get the keyboard we needed and helped us load it into the taxi. The next day he called and told us that he could hardly sleep that night...for he had us Americans on his mind. He and his wife came and visited us and asked how they could help us! They helped us get a license to be here, and their brother rented our first home in his name since we couldn't rent it in ours without a Colombia visa. (We paid the rent of course!=)  Their names are Carlos and Gloria.  That encounter was CHANCE God-appointed, for without them...we would not have been able to stay and be missionaries in Colombia!  They have been our precious Colombian friends ever since that day in July 2006!
~We got to have Carlos and Gloria and their 2 children over for dinner this past Sunday!  Here are their kids: Donna Sofia and Joel Phillip (named after my Phillip =), and our Noah enjoying their Sunday dinner.~
~Carlos, Gloria, Kimberly, Sarah, Elijah, Phillip and I enjoying our dinner too.    Phillip feels honored for Carlos and Gloria look at him as their "pastor" and always have some Biblical question to ask him when we are together.  We always have a great visit with them.~
~On Saturday my sweetheart surprised me by bringing these beautiful sunflowers home to me. =)~
We are Thankful to God for HIS! CARING! PROTECTION!! over baby Mary.  Carlos saw her little pink "Bumbo" seat and wondered what it was for.  So I picked Mary up from another part of the room and sat her in that seat.  2 seconds later I went to hand Kimberly a cup of HOT coffee.  Noah (Who had been laying on the floor talking to baby Mary) and who had NO CLUE that there was a cup of hot coffee above his head, JUMPED UP...knocking the cup of hot coffee out of my hands and it spilled all over the walls, and floor RIGHT beside baby Mary!  Praise God she just got a few splashes and didn't get burnt!! 
God is Awesome...even when we don't see His hand of protection!

Monday, May 16, 2011

~Elijah's birthday party~

~The girls and I thought this was so cute when we saw Mary sleeping with her arms crossed like this. =) (Sarah had put her to sleep rubbing her hair, so that is why it looks the way it does. =)~
~Elijah's birthday gifts.~
~Elijah is our "Curious George".  I often call him "George" for at times HE makes Curious George look like an amuteur.  Hee! Hee! So, I decided to use a Curious George theme for Elijah's birthday!  I had fun making this cute but simple monkey cake.  (Frost one layer of cake with choc. icing and place choc. rice krispies about an 1 1/2" around the edge of the top of the cake (leaving middle of cake without cereal for FACE) and all around the sides of the cake for his "fur".   Use about 1 cup of white frosting mixed with some Peanut Butter for face. (With a mixer I mixed about 1/4 cup of Peanut Butter with COOLWHIP and it was DELICIOUS!!)  Place this in a ziplock bag, cut a rather large hole and squeeze it out to make round face. (Smooth with knife.) Place 2 Hershey Kisses upside down for eyes, use some choc. frosting and pipe on for nose and mouth.  Cut a choc. cookie in half for ears, peel a banana and place on top for his "hat". =)  Enjoy!~
~We were all SAD for Elijah started getting sick on Friday...the day before his birthday.  But Praise the Lord he was feeling some better by the time we celebrated his birthday Saturday evening.  (As you can tell he still wasn't himself yet.)~
~His Curious George monkey table~
~We had planned a grill out on our patio, but then it was cold and sprinkling, so Phillip just grilled our hamburgers, toasted the hamburger buns on the grill, and we ate inside.  We enjoyed our delicious American style hamburgers, freshly squeezed lime-ade (made by Kimberly), my potato salad, chips and Ranch dip (Which is a treat for us), and then Monkey cake and icecream.=)~
~Mary wore her "Monkey" jammies for the occassion. =)~
~Our family...minus Phillip who was taking the picture.~
~Our sweet Elijah with his monkey cake.~
~We bought a volcano candle and Elijah loved it.~
~Elijah with his gifts...minus the red jumping thing, (we're saving that until he is better.  When he gets too active he coughs more.)
~Mommy and her "little" Elijah. (I was praying that Mary would be a girl...for I wanted another little girl, and because I wanted Elijah to stay my "baby boy". =)
~Kimberly and Sarah got blocks for Elijah.  They were a big hit.  Elijah loves them! Here Noah, Sarah, and Phillip are playing blocks with Elijah.~
~Another gift to Elijah is this nice bike which Noah outgrew and passed down to him. (Now...if he can only learn how to pedal front ways.  This bike doesn't have pedal brakes, but is like a 10-speed and so the pedals go backwards...so he just sits there and pedals backwards and GOES NO WHERE! =)~
~Noah made this cute birthday card on your left and Sarah made the fun Curious George birthday card on your right.~
Elijah enjoyed his birthday so much he's already talking about having another one. =D~

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