Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Right now, I am listening to Faith just crack up at what she is watching - "Cinderella 2." Hearing the kids laugh so hard is a treat, and Steve and I are laughing just listening to her! I think genuine kid laughter is one of my favorite sounds! It is so contagious! Tonight, as I sit and type at the end of the day, I am glad for the laughter tonight and so many nights!

While this picture is not from today, it makes me laugh!  Shane, with a backpack on, helping to clean!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Healthy Treat

I try to have my kids eat healthy foods, but without being totally crazy and deprive them of treats here and there.  When I found these Energy Bites on Pinterest, I just had to try them!  The kids loved them!  And I thought they were very good too! 

There is no baking involved, so they can be made quickly.  And Faith even helped me!  I also loved that you can add extra things to the recipe - I added dried cranberries!  So today I am thankful for the moments when healthy things taste good, and that my kids love eating them!!

Here is the recipe!

No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Discoveries!

I love learning new things! Whether big or small, significant or just fun, the expansion of the mind is a wonderful thing!  This past week, I learned a few new cool things that I just can't not pass on! 

At MOPS this week, it was our Favorite Things meeting.  It is based on what Oprah used to do in giving away to her audience her favorite things.  But instead of new cars, trips across the world, or Burberry scarfs, we bring our favorite "mom" things that are $5 or less!  We are, after all, on a different financial level than Oprah!  What I always love about this annual meeting is that I learn about new products!  This year, a mom brought Downy Wrinkle Release Spray!  All you do is spray a wrinkled article of clothing, shake it, and viola!  The wrinkles are gone!  Because who has time to iron?! 

Yesterday at the birthday party, a mom who has become a friend after seeing her at a number of different parties as we have a number of mutual friends, introduced me to a cool new app for the iPhone!  It is called Pic Frame, and this is what you can do with it...

Boarders and words can be added to any picture!

Pictures can be made into a collage!

Yet another example!  Cool, huh?  I have had fun playing around with it!  I love that other people share their vast knowledge with me!  Today, I am thankful for friends, especially friends that share their valuable, or at least fun, knowledge with me!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fun Birthday Parties!

The kids love to go to birthday parties!  After all, what is not to like?  A chance to play with friends, eat kid food, and of course there always seems to be cake!!  Today we went to the party of their friend Audrey from our church.  The kids had a blast!!  And as a mom, it is always fun to catch up with other mom friends as well as have the kids exert quite a bit of energy!

Lunch time fun! 

Both kids spent most of their non-eating time in the Bounce house!  What a fun morning!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cool Science Expiraments!

It's Thursday today, which means we did a science experiment in Kindergarten!  Earlier in the week we were learning about the five senses.  So, our experiments today had to do with taste!  First, we discovered how different flavors (sweet and bitter) tasted stronger at different parts of our tongues.  Then, we discovered that while blindfolded and holding our noses, it was tough to decipher what food we were eating.  And finally, Faith's favorite experiment of the day - changing the color of foods!

Here Faith is eating bright green applesauce!  She also had some purple vanilla yogurt.  It is amazing how excited young kids can get about something like this!  Both kids ate way more of their purple yogurt than they normally do for lunch!  Learning and eating can be so fun!  I am thankful for fun science experiments that enhance Faith's learning and create such excitement for her!

While Faith was at Kindermusik this afternoon, Shane and I had so fun outside.  He enjoyed petting the cat, Coco.  It is always a treat to spend time with each of the kids individually.  They love having our full attention, and it is nice to focus just on one!  Today I had time alone with each of the kids and it was just so nice!  And I am grateful for those opportunities as well today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mustache Night!

It was another fun night for the kids at Awana!  Tonight was mustache night.  Faith was super excited, while Shane had no desire to participate!  What can I say- our kids a such opposites! 

But Shane was pretty excited about the crazy looking face he pulled for this picture!  From mustache night, to crazy hair night, to backwards night, I love that Awana is so much fun and that the kids are always so enthusiastic about going!  It really is the one activity that each week they are super excited to attend!  While they enjoy their other activities, they never complain about Awana or mention wanting to stay home.  And to think that they are going to and hearing Bible stories and learning Bible verses, that is pretty great that they love going!  Tonight I am thankful for Awana...and mustache night!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Costco is so great!

Faith used to famously say that "Target has everything we need!"  While I can't exactly claim that for Costco, it is pretty amazing how much I can accomplish with a single stop at Costco!  Not only did we shop this morning, but we also were able to fill the car up with gas, go through the car wash and eat lunch!  What a productive morning!

Not too bad for a single stop.  And the food prices are amazing!  This is only the second time we have lunched it at Costco, but the kids would like to do so at every visit!  Getting all these things done at one stop is every mom of young children's dream!  While it may seem a bit crazy, I am thankful today for Costco and how it can simplify a day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Growing up!

My kids are growing up!  I know, shocking! But sometimes they just seem to grow faster than others!  This past weekend has been a "they are growing up so fast!!" kind of weekend!  And while I will admit that sometimes this makes me a bit sad (like thinking that there will come a day when they wont want to sit on my lap anymore!!), tonight I am choosing to look at it as the wonderful thing that it is!!

On Saturday Shane discovered how to swing on his own!  I was in shock!  It is a wonderful thing, especially for the boy who loves to swing!, and it is exciting that he can do so without the constant need for a parent to push him!!

More swinging!  The boy just has to keep up with that big sister of his!

Another major moment - one that has been building for a little while now - is that Faith is all out reading now!  She is amazing!  And it was so cute yesterday as the two kids sat together on the couch and Faith read books to Shane!  She is very blessed with a quick ability to learn! 

I am so thankful for my two amazing kids, and I am grateful that they are each growing and developing!  What a gift it is to have them, and to have them meet milestones and develop as they should!  Since I know I sometimes take that for granted, tonight I will celebrate it!

Friday, February 17, 2012


As a busy mom, sometimes it can be a challenge to fit in the things that I need to do.  And sometimes it is easy to let go of the things that we think we don't have time for - like Bible study!  But yet it is so important to have a community of fellow believers with whom to study, talk, receive encouragement, and just be around!!  Enter Mom-Time!  My good friend Julie discovered this great book and Bible study written by Lisa Whelchel (Blair from the Facts of Life!).  It is a Bible study designed for busy moms!!!  Perfect!  There is no homework, just show up and discuss that topic for the week.  It also includes the four Fs - food, fun, fellowship, and faith.

Over the past few years, my friend Julie has hosted a number of these mom-time Bible studies.  She started another one last night, and I realized once again how much I NEED this!  For me, it is not enough just to read my Bible daily, go to church weekly, but I need to be studying the Word as well with a group!  I am thankful that Julie has this desire too and is so willing to host one of these studies!  And as part of the four Fs, I did mention fun, which it is!!  Each study is designed for an hour of learning (and eating dessert!!), and then an hour to play a game!  It is just a fun way to get together with other women.  I am looking forward to the next few weeks of my Mom-Time Bible study!  And I am so grateful for mom-time!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A little rest!

Some days call for a little rest!  In our house, today was one of those days.  It has been a little crazy around here as the end of last week we had to get ready to go camping, then we went camping, then we had the clean up from camping, and Valentine's Day to top it all off!  I was more than ready for a little break in the action!  Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to take a day to wear comfy clothes, get little things accomplished around the house, and even read a chapter in a book this afternoon!  While these type of days seem to be few and far between, they are so needed!!  To cap off our relaxing day, the kids and I are going to have a pajama pancake party for dinner!  A great ending to a nice day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day from our home to yours!!  Since my main Valentine is working, I am glad to have two little ones to do special things with for the day!  And what a day we have had!!  It has been filled with parties, valentines, and lots of treats for the kids!! 

The kids love to make cookies for the different holidays, so we could not let Valentine's Day go by without  making some!!  We did this yesterday afternoon as today was so action packed!


After Shane had a party at preschool at which he made his own pizza, we headed to the park to have a party with some of our home school friends!  The first game was a sack race!  The kids loved participating in this game!  Faith said it was the best part of her day!

It is way more fun to climb up the slide than just slide down!

The next game was hot potato!  Faith made it all the way to the end of the game!  It was cute to watch the kids play!!

Time to pass out the valentine cards!  Even with all the kids there, it was pretty organized chaos!!

Finally home and having fun looking at all the fun, creative, cute valentine cards from friends!

I am so thankful for all the love that fills my life!  And the ultimate love..."We love because He first loved us."  1 John 4:19

Monday, February 13, 2012

Camping Adventure

We spent this past weekend in the middle of the desert!  And yes, it was on purpose!!  Friends of ours invited us again to join them for a camping trip in the desert.  Once we found out we were able to rent the same motor home as we did last year, we were in for the adventure!! 

The kids love riding in the motor home!  And they actually sit so well and are great passengers!! They also think it is very exciting to not have to sit in car seats!

Shane the rock collector!

Faith and Chloe just hangin' out!  These two had lots of fun together.

Once again, we did quite a bit of hiking.  The kids would want to go climb the "mountain" again right after climbing down!  And they were a bit more adventurous this year as they liked to climb the rocky parts!

Made it to the top!!

The view of our campsite from the top of the hill we climbed!

This year Faith rode a quad!  As you can see, it was very controlled with Steve hanging on to the end, making sure she didn't go too fast or too crazy!  She loved it!! 

Looking good on the quad, Faith!!

 We had a very nice time, as it is always fun to be with friends and do something out of the ordinary!  It did make me very thankful for electricity (we had lights in the motor home, but we had to use them sparingly!) that I don't have to think too much about using and space!  I am so grateful for a kitchen that has counter space!  And a spacious bathroom with the opportunity to shower too are not to be unappreciated!!  But that is part of the adventure of it all!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Post Office Field Trip

This morning Faith and I had the opportunity to visit the local post office on a field trip!  Since Faith has been saying for over a year now that she would like to be a mail carrier when she grows up, I thought she would be extra excited about this field trip!!  And I was amazed at how much we learned about all the steps our mail goes through to make it to our homes!

All the kids thought it was pretty cool to be able to go in the back room of the post office!  Here is one of the mail carriers sorting mail as she prepares to put it on her truck.

Our tour guide asked for a child who knew their address, and she picked Faith!!  So the whole group went along to find out where our family's mailbox at the post office is located!  She is pointing to it in this picture!

And our mail carrier was there, making all the preparations for his deliveries today.

In our progression of following how mail gets to our houses, we traveled out to a mail truck to see the mail there.

We found an empty truck, and all the kids were able to climb inside!! 

Faith at the wheel of the mail truck!  When I asked her afterwards if she still wanted to be a mail carrier, she said that she would rather be a mom like me!

The entire group of kids in front of a truck!

Once again, I am thankful for these great opportunities to take interesting and informative field trips with Faith!  It is so wonderful to belong to such a great homeschool group that has a mom in charge of just setting up the field trips!  Amazing!! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A little Sunshine!

Today was truly the sunshine after the rain!!  Yesterday in Southern California it was wet, gray, cold, and pretty ugly!!  And if there could be a more opposite day, it was today! Today was crystal clear, sunny, and in the low 70's! Nothing makes me appreciate our "normally" good weather than a little weather!  While I know we need the rain desperately, I sure love the sunshine!  Today I am thankful for nice weather, and for the opportunity to appreciate it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Have you heard of it?  If not, it seems to be the latest craze in online obsessions among women!  For those of you not in the know, it is basically an online pin board.  A way for you to save all your (the other people's!) fabulous ideas in one, electronic spot!  There are recipes, home decorating ideas, clothing combinations, words of inspiration, party ideas, and much much more!  What is neat, is one is able to see a picture of something, and then when clicking on the picture of lets say some type of amazing looking dessert, you are taken to the recipe and instructions of pictured dessert!  Genius!! 

As you can tell, I am a huge fan.  Being one who is not gifted in the area of creativity, it is a wonderful resource!  Plus, I have added to my repertoire of crock pot recipes, which is always a good thing! 

This is a picture of something you might see on Pinterest if you were searching for something to bake!  Pretty cool, huh?!

Today I am thankful for the creativity of others, and their willingness to share it with those such as myself who have about zero creativity!  And of course for Pinterest!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Great Weekend!

I slacked in my daily postings!!  It is not from a lack of gratitude, but from battling a cold (not so fun) and a lack of computer time, which isn't such a bad thing!  This past Saturday, Steve and I attended a Firefighters for Christ Marriage Seminar.  Not knowing exactly what to expect, I must say that it was better than anticipated!  It was very well run and organized, and there were some great speakers.  And while I am thankful for all those things, what I am really thankful for is my husband, and also that he likes to go to these events.  We have also attended two Weekend to Remember marriage events, which also were outstanding.  But back to Steve...I am so thankful for the man he is, the husband he is, and the father he is.  While of course not perfect, I greatly appreciate his diligent work at work and around our house, the leadership he provides for our family, the opportunity for me stay home with the kids, his strong commitment to God, that he still regularly takes me out on dates, and his thoughtfulness.  I really could go on and on as he is an extraordinary man, and I am humbled to be his wife and grateful that I am loved by him! 

Oh, the picture is of everyone who attended the seminar!  It was the first one, but they plan to do them annually! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Haircut Day!

Haircut day for the kids has finally arrived at our house!  And boy did they ever need them! Especially Shane man!  Here are their before pictures...

A little all-over-the-place!!

Totally crazy and was not too thrilled that his mother wanted to take his picture!

Much, much better!!  Even though it is a little hard to see in the picture, they are both much improved!!  I am thankful today for a great place to take the kids for their haircuts.  Ever since Faith was just over one years old, we have been going to a local kids shop not far from our house.  Dawn, the owner and stylist, does such a great job!  The kids absolutely love to get their haircut, which makes me glad that is one battle I do not need to fight!  And of course she does a great job with their hair too!! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Something To Look forward To!

Every now and then, we all need something to look forward to!  For me, having date night coming up or a night out with friends does wonders!!  Sometimes I feel like our days tend to blend together, and I need to give the kids something small, yet fun to look forward to!  The past couple of days haven't been too exciting around here as Shane was sick with a cold (yes, again!!!), and Faith had a mild cold as well.  With Steve at work today, I knew we needed something fun to spark our day!  So, I told the kids in the morning that tonight we were going to have a little party!!

We would be able to watch Duke basketball on television (yes, this is exciting for the kids and I as we all love Duke, plus we don't get to see too many of the games!!), and they could help me make something special and fun for dinner!

Pizza English muffins!  They are excited to have the opportunity to make their own pizzas, and it gave us all something to point to the whole day.  I am thankful today for the opportunity to do little, fun things with the kids!  And I am thankful that something as simple as basketball and pizza makes us all happy and excited!  Let's Go Duke!!