Sunday, October 28, 2012

~The tale of two potty chairs.~

But FIRST....Congratulations to my Dear nephew Keith who married Natalie Keaton on Saturday.  He's the first of my nephews/nieces to get married and it made my heart SADDER THAN SAD that we couldn't be at their wedding.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And SECOND...Thanks for praying for our first ever pot-luck dinner.  Today was Sunday #4 in our Pastor Appreciation month and Jesus really helped.  I'll post pics soon.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(I know My Mary will shoot me one day when she's 18 and sees THIS POST in my blog book.  Hee! Hee!)
It looks like Mary may be ready to be potty trained.  So, the other night, I was out with our girls for the evening and decided to buy Mary a little pink potty chair (and a pack of M&M's to give her one each time she goes. =) 
When got back home we saw a large store bag sitting in our living room.  Evidently Phillip had gone shopping with Noah and Elijah while we were gone.
Sarah opened the bag to take a look inside and I asked her, "Sarah, what's in that bag?"  Then I said, "Don't tell me that Daddy had the same idea and bought Mary a potty chair while we were gone?"
She replied, "Yep! He did!"
But, since the potty chair I bought only cost around $4.00 new, and since we have 2 bathrooms, we decided to keep them both.
Elijah and Mary are great friends and are "partners in crime!"  =D
Elijah has been potty trained for quite some time now, but He was wanting a potty chair since Mary is getting one.  =)
So, he is THRILLED that we have 2 potty chairs.
He's convinced that JESUS saw his desire and sent HIM a PINK POTTY CHAIR!  =)
Now, here's where YOU come in.
~Do you have any quick tips that helped you potty train your kids?
~I'd love for you to leave me a comment.
It's Not like I haven't potty trained 4 other toddlers, but I'm always looking for new tips that I might not have known then. =)  
It's not going to be an easy job since we live in a house with FOUR FLOORS, that has 38 stairs, and CARPET everywhere.   I think I'll get nothing else done this week but that.  =)
Your PRAYERS are appreciated!  Smile! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

~Fun Food Friday...Pumpkin Dessert~

I'm sure many of you have heard of this dessert, could have the recipe, and probably have made it.  But, just in case there are a few out there that haven't heard of it, I decided to post it.  I made this again yesterday, and Phillip, Kimberly and I LOVE it!  This is YUM on a plate!  =)
 ~Pumpkin Dessert~
By Bea on
"This is a nice change from Pumpkin pie at your next holiday get together. Serve with whipped cream."

1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg

1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup milk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice.

1/4 cup butter, chillled
1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. Set aside 1 cup of cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix with melted butter and 1 egg and mix until well blended; spread mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, 3 eggs, and pumpkin pie spice; mix well and pour this mixture over the cake mix mixture in the baking dish.
4. In a small bowl with a pastry blender, or in a food processor, combine chilled butter, and white sugar with reserved cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
5. Bake 45 to 50 mins. until top is golden.
And as always...ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

~A card shower, with Goodies, instead of cash. =) ~

I may not be a kid anymore...but I am at heart. =D
Gifts are my LOVE LANGUAGE!  I LOVE getting gifts, treats, notes, (YOUR COMMENTS, =) etc.  I normally try to MAKE SURE that my family KNOWS when it's my birthday.  =D 
So, I well remember the SPECIAL things that our AZ church family did for our family when Phillip pastored the Gospel Center church there.  They did all kinds of Neat things.  One year they helped me pay off my keyboard. Another year they reached out and gave gifts to our children, gave us a NICE food pounding, and they sent us away as a family to a VERY NEAT log cabin in woodsy Payson, AZ, etc.  SUCH FUN memories!!!  These things they did for us...made me feel so LOVED and made me want to give more than 100% to God and our church family. =)
So, that is what inspired us to WANT to do something SPECIAL all this month to show our own Pastor Jimmy, Sis. Farly, and girls how much we love and appreciate them!
This past Sunday was Sunday #3...and the people were to bring a card expressing their love and appreciation and some chocs. or a treat if they wanted to. 
 ~Since Pastor Jimmy and family LOVE my apple pie, I decided to make them one and put a cross and 2 churches on the top. =) ~
 ~On Sunday morning, I placed 2 of my baskets on a table near where I was playing the piano and each card and goody that arrived for our Pastor, wife, and family made me WANT TO SQUEAL WITH HAPPINESS!  =D (I took this pic before service started, so things had just started coming in.)~
 ~Several kids made cards for Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly during S.S.  (Our kids had made cards at home, so they weren't in this picture.) ~
~Since this was a "gringo idea" (Gringo meaning was our idea =) ...I was SO HAPPY that the church responded so WELL. Nice cards and yummy goodies made for a... HAPPY Pastor Jimmy, wife, and family. =)~
 ~Bro. Jaime from our church made this and I thought it was so beautiful.  That's a real flower he dried to put on there.  He wrote parts of Ps. 119, and at the bottom expressed their appreciation.  =) ~
 ~2 Choc. candy bars peeking out of a cute signed paper bag from Sis. Farly's sister and family. =) ~
 Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly have done LOTS for us (go-away dinners, birthday dinner, etc.) so we were EXCITED to have the church focus on honoring Pastor Jimmy, Sis. Farly and their family. 
But, 4 different dear families included Phillip and I.  We were so surprised and thought it was very SWEET of them!
 ~Bro. Edgar and Sis. Joanna gave us a NICE note from them, and yummy chocolates!~
 ~Sis. Zulma gave us each some yummy chocolates.  And Sis. Miriam gave us some candied choc. almonds, but I failed to get a picture of her with us.  And as you'll read below Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly had us over for a special dinner.~
 ~I thought this was so CUTE...Nataly and Gaby couldn't WAIT to peek into the baskets and see what Goodies had come in.   They are dear girls and we love them tons. 
Please pray that God will use these 2 precious girls for HIM! =) 
Jesus gave us a good Lord's day, and there was a great response to honoring our pastor, wife and family which THRILLED Phillip and I. ~
 Sis. Farly called me later on Sunday and THANKED us for all that we had done for them.  They then invited us for one of her YUMMY dinners this past Tuesday to show us appreciation.  =)
I must have been too tired to get pictures yesterday, for I don't even have one.  =( 
But, it was a Delicious meal and we had such a nice visit with Pastor Jimmy, Sis. Farly, and girls. =)
Please keep praying for our pot-luck dinner that is to be this Sunday, Lord willing.  Everyone seems excited about it, and is helping bring in food.  =)

Monday, October 22, 2012

~Brighten the corner where you are!~

A Happy Monday evening to you. I was thinking here recently that it's easy for we as wives and mothers to wonder how we are ministering to God when it seems all we get done is washing the same ol' laundry, dishes, and floors.  But the devil wants us to forget that our MINISTRY IS our husband, children, and home!
~Phillip snapped this picture of me recently as I was setting the table for breakfast.~
 ~Mary and her "fountain Do" as Aunt Laura calls it.  =) ~
 1Co 7:34  says: There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 
~A Yummy Pumpkin Custard pie with a praline topping that I made for my family today.~
Trying to keep our house tidy, making meals, keeping our family's clothes clean, and being a good Wife and Mommy is exactly where GOD has placed me to minister!  I'm to Bloom Where I am planted. =)
So, blogging Sister...fellow Wife and Mommy...keep encouraged, go bake something fall-ish, and know you have a VERY IMPORTANT MINISTRY RIGHT. WHERE. YOU. ARE =)

Friday, October 19, 2012

~Fun Food Friday...Swiss Mocha Mix~

Fall is in the air.  Days are more chilly and I thought I'd share a fun recipe I found in my "Healthy Meals for Less" cookbook by Jonni McCoy.  (A gift to me from Melanie Smith and her family =)
~Swiss Mocha Mix~
Makes 17 mixes
Prep time: 5 mins.
(I like to double it, so it lasts longer.)
1/2 cup instant coffee powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup powdered milk
2 T. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
(I added about a tsp. of cinnamon)
Put all of the ingredients in a blender, cover, and blend until powdery.  This should take about 15 seconds or less.
Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
To use: Add 2 T. of mix to 2/3 cup hot water and stir.

Note to self: If you want a richer drink, add a large marshmallow, or heat up half milk and half water! =)
 It's easy, fast, and my family and I really enjoy it.
 ~Yummy Swiss Mocha mix~
Last F.F.Friday post, I posted a loaf bread recipe.  One day, I decided to make a "Pepperidge Farm" Cinnamon Raisin Swirl loaf using this recipe.   (Later I realized that P F puts the raisins in their dough and just rolls up the cinnamon sugar, which would give you a more tight roll in your bread. =)
(Just roll out a portion of the dough, butter it, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and roll it up jelly roll style. Place it in your greased pan and let rise and bake like normal. (NOTE: YOU MAY NEED TO LET BAKE A TAD LONGER!!)  When baked brush top with melted butter.)~
~ My family loved it and we ate every crumb in one setting.~
 ~We are in the rainy season here in Bogota, so nearly every day it has been raining.  I LOVE it when it rains in the afternoon and I can be inside, drinking something warm and feeling cozy, while watching the wet world outside.  But, this morning it was a clearer day, so I told Phillip that our kids NEEDED to get out of the house and get some exercise.  We took them to the park for an hour or more.  I decided to borrow Kimberly's skates and skate with Sarah.  We had fun skating around and talking together!
~Some fun, fresh air, and family time.~
 ~Little Mary decided that this could be a "free ride" and rode in between Sarah and I as we skated.  =) ~
 ~Since I was busy skating, I didn't get any pics of the boys and Phillip like I normally do. Sarah or someone took this picture of little Mary on the swing.  (Sarah made her a "watch" with an orange ponytail holder, and a pink hair bow. =) ~
 ~And our Kimberly swinging.~
 It was a fun time at the park and we all enjoyed the beautiful sunny day God gave us, time together, and the exercise.  =)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

~Dear Children's/youth Worker...

This is a THANK YOU letter...written from MY Heart... as a Mother of 5 children!
~Thank you for realizing that you are NOT a "babysitting service," you are FORMING little lives during that hour or more that you have them. 
~Thank you for realizing that Children can and DO make life-changing decisions to serve Jesus in Sunday school/Jr. church/youth meetings.
Our Kimberly prayed and gave her heart to Jesus when she was 3 in the children's service during our camp.  WE SAW A HUGE CHANGE IN HER ATTITUDE!  She was a different girl from that day on.  It was unbelieveable!
~Thank you for realizing that when a child gives themselves to God, they have their entire life before them to give to Him.
 D. L. Moody once said, "2 and 1/2 souls were saved last night."  Someone else remarked, "2 adults and one child?"
"No," said Moody, "It was two children and an adult. The children have their whole lives to live for Christ, while the adult has come with half of his life."
~Our Kimberly, Sarah, Noah, Elijah, and Mary.~
~Thank you for realizing that the music you use will probably be the music IN THE MAIN CHURCH tomorrow!  Thank you for being CAREFUL to use music that will glorify God and not man!
~Thank you for realizing that our children/youth do not have to be entertained to pieces.  Thank you for Giving them some meat (God's Word, Godly Examples) to chew on,  and not just jokes, and froth.
(A young lady I know recently got up and left in the middle of a Holiness youth meeting, VERY Disappointed that the minister was just joking the entire time.  The next day she was VERY happy that another minister earnestly urged the young people to seek GOD and there was a SERIOUS time of youth praying and giving their hearts to God!)
~Thank you for realizing that life is all about PREPARING for HEAVEN.  One never knows when will be the last time that they get to minister to that child/young person.  (Death is NO respecter of age/persons.)
~Thank you for realizing that God is using YOU to change the lives of our children.  Our prayer is that you Spend MUCH TIME WITH AND STAY CLOSE TO HIM, so that you can keep re-charged.
Thank you,

Monday, October 15, 2012

~Pastor Appreciation Month!~

Thank you for praying for Phillip while he helped preach that weekend revival in Medellin.  Jesus really helped.  Phillip arrived home safely this morning!
While in Medellin...They were able to purchase and pass out a lot of Bibles from offerings that our Christian Nation Church Jr. church sent. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Phillip and I have tried to be careful not to "Americanize" the churches here.   However, this month we thought it fitting to explain to the church here in Bogota about how many churches in the USA use the month of October to appreciate their pastors. We came up with a simple plan for each Sunday this month for the Bogota church to show Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly, Nataly, and Gaby how much we LOVE AND APPRECIATE THEM!!!!
Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly are such a DEAR couple and love Jesus with their whole heart!
~I couldn't go the first Sunday (explanation below).  So, here you can see that Kimberly played the piano some that Sunday morning since I wasn't there. (That made this Mommy's heart happy...for that's what we are training our girls to use their talents for Jesus! =)
~Phillip explaining to the church people about Pastor Appreciation.~
~Sunday #1 we announced that everyone would bring food to give them a pounding. (Un mercado).  I was getting ready to go to church with my family that Sunday, when we heard Elijah coughing rather hoarsly, which means that we have to TAKE CARE OF HIM, keep him quiet, and give him lots of natural things to help him not go into an asthma attack. 
So, I stayed home with him and Mary and Phillip took the rest.  (I would have LOVED to have been there to arrange this pounding in baskets, etc. and make it look really nice, but I couldn't be there.)~
~You have never met 2 dearer people!  Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly are a great reflection of Jesus and have the Biggest servants hearts!!  They love and PRAY lots for their church people.
We were very HAPPY that the church responded well and gave Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly and family a really NICE pounding!! ~
~Sunday #2 was yesterday.  We had Friend Sunday.  There was a good crowd and Kimberly made a double batch of oatmeal raisin cookies to pass out after church.~
~I gave Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly a loaf of my homemade cinnamon raisin bread.  (The muffins in the pink container went to a dear elderly lady at church.)
~Lil' Mary, Sarah, Elijah, Noah, and Nicolas heading to church.~
~I snapped this picture from the piano.  Dear Sis. Farly holding both our Mary and our Elijah during church since Mommy was up front (and Daddy was in Medellin!  =) ~
~Kimberly passing out her YUMMY cookies at the door. Everyone loved them. =) ~
~Pastor Jimmy taking his turn passing out cookies.  =) ~
Sunday #3 Everyone is to bring a card and some candy or chocolates to show their appreciation to Pastor Jimmy, Sis. Farly, and family.
Sunday #4 We are attempting to do a "pot-luck" dinner after service that Sunday to appreciate our pastor and family.  However, they are not used to having pot-lucks here.   So, I plan on making the meat, salad, and cakes for around 70 people, and the other ladies are going to bring in cooked rice, cooked potatoes, and drinks.  I emphasized that the most important thing is FOR THE LADIES TO COME TO CHURCH on time, and not miss church or come late because they were cooking.  =)  So, PLEASE help me pray that it turns out great, and that there is PLENTY of food.
How we Thank the Lord for Pastor Jimmy and Sis. Farly and their Godly lives.  Sis. Farly keeps that church very CLEAN!  They both are giving 100% to Jesus and to help their students in Paraiso and their church people to live a Holy life and get to Heaven.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

~Welcome to my "Pumpkin patch" =) ~

THANK YOU for joining me (and my caring husband has joined me too =) in praying that my magazines would arrive safely!!!
Because you prayed...Jesus sent me in my Aug. Better Homes and Gardens magazine last week!!! YEA!  (That was the first BHG magazine that I've received here in Colombia since April 2011!!!)
Today, I was talking to my Best Friend Jesus and I asked Him if He could PLEASE send me 2 more magazines this weekend while my sweetheart (my earthly Best Friend) is away.
(Phillip is in Medellin helping preach a revival at our church there. Please pray for this effort!)
 An hour later...I went through the office where we get our mail...and the guard said,
"You have 2 magazines, do you want them now?"
I SQUEALED with delight (much to the embarrassment of my older children, I'm sure =) and said, "YES!!"
~So, in just 2 weeks Jesus has sent me in the Aug., Sept., and Oct. issues of Better Homes and Gardens. YEA!!  God is GOOD...ALL THE TIME!!~
Last time I was in the USA, I learned about making pumpkins out of  a T.P. {Toilet Paper} roll.
Living in South America...I cannot just go to a Pumpkin farm, or a grocery store, to get pumpkins, and I can't run to Hobby Lobby to get Fall decor to use to I LOVE the T.P. pumpkins! =D
~I used a half-empty roll to make this pumpkin smaller.~
 ~Now, I'm sure many of you know how to do this, but I thought I'd share how I make mine, in case there is someone out there who doesn't know. =)   In just 4 or 5 easy FAST steps, you can have a cute pumpkin.
1. I just use a piece of material that is about 18 x 22.  (This piece was a long and skinny piece, so I cut it off and sewed it together, to make it about that size. =)
2. One lady I read after lays a piece of newspaper on top of her material to make a more "puffy" pumpkin.  She tucks in the newspaper first, then follows with the material.
I don't have newspaper, so I wrap 2 plastic bags around the outside of the T.P. roll to make it look more round and not the shape of the T.P. roll.
3. Then I tuck in my shorter edges and follow by tucking in the corners.  Every pumpkin will turn out different, so you can just mess with it, until you get the "pumpkin-y shape" you want. Please don't worry about it not being perfect.  Have you ever seen the variety of shapes and sizes of pumpkins in a field?  =)
4. For a stem you can use a smaller stick, a thick stick, a brown paper bag twisted to make a stem, or roll material to make a stem.
5. If you want to tie a bow, you'll need about 12"-15" of ribbon.~

~I love it that you can be creative and use scraps of material (no matter the color), and any type of stem and you get some FUN pumpkins!~

 ~My 3 fun pumpkins in my dinning room. ~
 ~Then I decided that I wanted one in our bedroom.  So I used the aqua and brown material that I pieced together (to match our bedroom colors), and made this fun pumpkin.  I love the knarly stem. =) ~
~My Phillip (who is an artist, so notices details in our home) thinks it's cute too; However, I think he's getting worried that if I keep making them, we'll run out of T.P. =) ~
I hope you feel inspired to go to your scrap box, and choose some material, and make you up a T.P. pumpkin.  I'd LOVE to hear about it if you do.  =)

Monday, October 8, 2012

~Miracle Monday...Just in Time!~

I have been trying since yesterday to get this post on, but am just now getting it posted.   (Thankfully, I'm safe...for it's still Monday. =)
~Can't find any pics from our time in Cost Rica, but this pic was taken at the Creation Museum in Kentucky in 2008 when Elijah was a new baby.~  
In May 2005 our whole family said the very first of MANY...SAD HARD goodbyes to our family, friends, and church people, and headed to study Spanish for a year in San Jose, Costa Rica!  Kimberly was 7, Sarah 4, and Noah 16 months.   Our first four months we lived with a lady, paid her for our room and board and she watched our 3 kids while we were in Spanish school in the mornings. Our dwelling for those 4 months was one bedroom and a 1/2 bath...for the 5 of us.  =)  Talk about culture shock. 
God later opened up a really nice house for us to rent RIGHT ACROSS from our Spanish school.  We were able to rent that house for our last 4 months in Costa Rica.
Along about Christmas time our DEAR Christian Nation Church Jr. Church sent us a box or TWO of goodies to us in Costa Rica.  Wonderful Christmas gifts/candies/baking goods, etc.  It was SO FUN to receive and helped our hearts so MUCH since this was our FIRST OF MANY Christmases we would spend outside of our beloved USA. 
My in-laws also sent a box around that same time.  I'm not for sure if it was for Christmas or for the kids' birthdays in December and January.  However, the box NEVER CAME!  We waited, checked the post office, and PRAYED for that box of toys and goodies to arrive from Grandpa and Grandma in AZ.  But January came, and no box.  February came, no box! March came, no box.  April came, and STILL. NO. BOX! 
The problem was that we would soon finish Spanish school and were to LEAVE Costa Rica in May. 
Our kids were so SAD and praying that God would PLEASE help that box to get to us before we left. 
The day came that we were to fly back home to the USA.  That last day was filled with nearly 1,000 things to do ;-), packing, weighing, sorting, giving away things, cleaning the house we had rented, saying goodbyes, etc.
Phillip decided that he'd better run to the post office and check ONE MORE TIME for that box for our kids.  Wouldn't you know, JESUS HAD THAT BOX THERE!!!! 
Phillip ran back home, and 1 hour later we were heading to the airport to fly away. 
Our kids and us sang Jesus' praises and THANKED HIM for caring enough to help their box of toys and goodies arrive JUST IN TIME! =D
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