Tuesday, August 31, 2010


...is so hard to do when you are two and there is a chocolate cake in the oven!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Summer arrived a couple of days ago! YAY!!! We're enjoying the warmer weather and having fun outside.

The kids had a squirt gun fight, and then they washed the van. Mr. S made himself a little "hot tub". He is just too cute!
Miss J thought that the sprinkler across the street looked much better, so we went over for a little visit.


Should I be surprised that she has so many babies?

*she got all of these babies and strollers etc. out on her own and set up like this

Miss J is playing "house" and "baby" so much more these days. It is so sweet to see her loving and caring for her babies.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Living areas

A couple of blogs I read (life in a shoe and Raising Olives) are doing an "open house", so I thought I'd participate (late) with their living area link up.

This is our living room as you walk in the front door.
The love seat- see the corner off to the right? That is currently a play area for the little girls.


There are blankets and pillows there in the corner, and lots of dolls and strollers (oh, and the bumbo that Miss C still uses). The strollers (and dolls) come out regularly, but the girls love to go back in here to play with the dolls. This area is often turned into a fort as well.

This area over here is a bit messy with all of the school planning I'm doing. Normally all of the papers and books are not there between the rocking chair and basket; it is usually a nice play area for the kids. Rob made the tall book shelf, I love it! The short book shelf holds toys and books for the little kids (with a printer/copier on top), and next to it is the kids' computer.


Here is our piano, and a cute little kid rocking chair (thanks Gram!). Above are the "formal" pictures; our wedding picture and the dedication pictures of all of the babies. Right now the piano is also holding many of my school planning things also. The piano bench is used at the dining room table, so we put a chair here. Looks like Miss J wants us to head upstairs to the play room.This is the playroom. The couch is in here since it is a hide-a-bed; making this room double as the guest room. This room is mostly for the big kids since it has all of the toys with little pieces. This is also where Rob does his discipleship time with a child each morning.


This is the train table that Rob made back when we were stationed in Florida. It is usually folded up like this, but can easily come down when the kids want a table for any of their toys.
The shelves mostly hold games, the bins are for everyones legos. Hmm... I have not been in here in a while, looks like we need to organize those shelves again!

Friday, August 20, 2010

9 months!

Miss C had her 9 month well baby this week. The verdict- she is a happy, healthy, sweet (and tall) baby girl! Oh, and she cut her first tooth yesterday!

She is getting around so well these days, wanting to follow after all of the big kids. She can even climb a couple of stairs. I'm blessed that she mostly stays off of them unless she is wanting to follow someone up; and even then she only checks out the first step or two. She can even get herself down.

Pulling teeth

Mr. M has been so excited that he was getting his first loose tooth, but his permanent tooth was coming in way behind it. He had to have both of his bottom front teeth pulled this week (Miss E had to have this done too).
Don't feel sorry for him. He was a GREAT patient (the dentist said he wished all of his patients were so good!). He got to have ice cream for lunch too! This seems to have become our family tradition when the first tooth comes out.

*Yes, my kids are eating ice cream for lunch, in the living room, watching a show (one of the Duggar shows).


Miss E's birthday party was a small Father/Daughter Tea. This is something special she has wanted to do with some very special friends of hers. She has been so excited about it and we both had a good time planning it and putting everything together for the tea.

Miss E did quite a bit of the work for this party. She made the cup cakes, and we decorated them together. We had a great time together making up all of the tea sandwiches and setting up.

Before sitting down to tea the girls played a little game of pin-the-teabag-on-the-teapot. Miss E had played this at a friend's party a few years ago and wanted to include it at her party. It was a cute fun game.

It was so sweet to see the girls sitting with their dads enjoying the tea. I'm so glad we were able to make this work. I know this was a very special day for Miss E!

*The boys had a good time with a friend too, and got to enjoy some treats as well!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meal planning and a well stocked pantry

I was asked to do a cooking demonstration and a talk on "a well stocked pantry" at church for a woman's fellowship this past week-end. I really felt I should speak on meal planning as well. Since I know my mom and Gram would like to see this (I'm posting my notes/outline), and I'm also wanting this blog to be an encouragement to other moms I thought I'd post it here. I hope it is able to bless someone that reads it.

*** Yes, I did the whole demo/talk with Miss C on my back. She went to sleep at some point. Miss E was a GREAT help to me when the unexpected came up and Miss J needed some extra help.

Meal planning and a well stocked pantry

- Being a military family we tend to have military type sayings around our house; one of them is

"Failing to plan is planning to fail"

Meal times can be rough. We're all getting hungry and just want to eat. Kids can be edgy and seem to be in need of extra attention while we're trying to figure out what to make. OR we find ourselves grazing on junk only to realize we should be making dinner (but what?).

Obviously there are many merits to any mom planning meals, let alone a mom of 6, but I think EVERY woman should have a meal plan.

-Many don't plan for various reasons

"I'm not a planner"

"There are only 1 or 2 of us"

"I don't know where to start"

-Lets start by looking at the word of God

I know, you're thinking "what does the Bible say about meal planning?" Not much specifically, but many principals can and should be applied to running our homes, including our kitchens.

-God is a God of order, not chaos

One of the first things God shows us in Genesis is that He does things in an orderly fashion with creation, building one day at a time.

He also had a "back -up plan"- He knew Adam and Eve would need it- We need back up plans too!

-Proverbs 31 woman

She did A LOT! Who can find such a woman?

She gets up while it is still night, provides food for her family and servants, buys land, sells & shoppes wisely, spins wool and flax, serves others in need, provides clothing for herself and family, keeps lamps filled so they will not go out in the night, she is wise and happy and is not idle. And those are just some examples of what she does!

With all that she was doing, do you think she was just winging it? Or maybe she had some sort of plan, even if it was just in her head, from repetition, and good training.

*Of note*** She had help! She had servants! We often see that and think we don't have that help, so we can't do all of that. You do have help! You have things she did not! You have electricity, washer/dryer, stores, cars, fridge/freezer, crockpot, kids, and more! Use them! Lets be good stewards of what God has given us! Lets also remember that God had given us our homes to run, and our responsibilities need to be fulfilled there before we are venturing out for other obligations.

-Don't be a slave to your plan

Sometimes we can let our plans hold us captive and let it rule us. That feeling can often get in the way of wanting to make a plan.

Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course; but the LORD determines his steps.

Use your plan to help you do what God has planned for you. Your plan needs to work for you, if something comes up look at your plan. See what you can change around to make things work. Think ahead. Plan simple meals or crock pot meals for those busy days you know are coming up.

Meal planning examples

There are many ways to plan meals and can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Make it work for you.

Week at a time

Month at a time

List of meals that you have everything available to make

-I use a calendar that Miss E makes for me every year. I tend to go between week at a time and month at a time planning. Though when my freezer is stocked I'll often have a list of what is in there. Whatever works at the time, depending on what we've got going on.

Being prepared thinking ahead

Matthew 25 1-13 is the parable of the 10 virgins. The 5 prepared with extra oil go with the Bride groom when he comes later than expected. 5 have to go back for more oil and are shut out. We know this is speaking to end times when Jesus comes back, and being prepared for that. We can apply it to our homes as well though. We need to be prepared, we need to be able to serve our families and others. What good works do we miss out on because we are not prepared?

A well stocked pantry will help you.....

when your plans fall through (you have extra to fall back on)

When you have guests (you are able to serve, and can supplement your planned meal)

Save money (stock up on sales, and avoid extra trips out)

When life gets too crazy to plan or go shopping (you can pull something together from your panty)

improvise (or not have to)

Since part of planning and being prepared in the kitchen requires that you be fairly comfortable IN your kitchen I wanted to touch on Titus 2; 2-5

It speaks to having the older women teaching the younger women to be keepers of the home (among other things), and that includes the kitchen. So often though, we shoo our daughters and young women out of the kitchen. We need to be brining them in to the kitchen and giving them responsibilities in there daily.

We are loosing the arts and skills in the kitchen (as well as the whole home). Young women these days are not comfortable in the kitchen (or general home making skills). They don't know how to improvise, make substitutions, or "play" with recipes. These skills of providing food and running orderly homes play a big role in blessing our husbands/families in obedience to God.

Obviously I did not get into details about meal planing and a well stocked pantry. These things will be put into practice in different way in each home. Can I answer any questions though?

Happy Birthday Miss E!

Miss E turned 10 this week! Where does the time go? How do I have a 10 year old? She is such a joy and a blessing to our whole family. I'm enjoying watching her become a young woman, following after the Lord, learning to run a home, and serving her family.

She is still a kid though, as shown by her food choices! For breakfast she wanted pink foods- homemade doughnuts (with pink frosting), bacon, and strawberries.

She went to work with Rob so that she could get her ID (a big deal for a military kid). They shared Spaghetti Oh's for lunch.

Her cake will wait until the father/daughter tea we are doing next week. She is excited to share the day with a friend or two (maybe three?) and their dads.

Kool-aid play dough

Miss E blessed us by making up several batches of kool-aid play dough this week! The colors are nice, and the kids LOVE the smells as they play with them!

I just put out small handfulls of each color, the rest is stored in bags in the refrigerator. This has provided hours of fun for all of the kids, and will be such a blessing later too! I'll pull a bit of this out with a small bin of toys for the little ones to play with during circle time; once we start school up again.
Thank you Miss E! You are such a blessing to me!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Black Bear Diner

Miss E noticed that our local "Black Bear Diner" has kids-eat-free-Tuesdays (when the kids bring their stuffed animals with them).
Yep, they gave all of the kids free meals. Even Miss C had mac & cheese and smiley fries. They
all got balloons too! It was a fun family evening and I enjoyed taking the evening off from cooking!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Snacking outside the box

Coming up with yummy, healthy, not-out-of-the-box snacks can be hard sometimes. This week corn was on sale at Safeway and I bought a bunch. I realized that though this is usually saved for dinner it would make a wonderful snack, and so it has!

Now I need some more ideas like that. Hmmm....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sweet potatoes, not so sweet?

Poor Miss C seems to have an allergy to sweet potatoes/yams, with a rather nasty reaction. Yuck! It took a couple of times for me to realize it was a reaction to a food, and to figure out what it was. Poor girl.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We celebrated our 12th anniversary this week-end! The last 12 years have been filled with joy and lots of learning and growing. God has been so good to us in so many ways. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful husband loving me and leading our family!

Miss E was so excited about our anniversary coming up that she made plans for us and her brothers were more than happy to get in on the action too! They treated us to dinner, at the "H" Diner! Yep, our chef was Miss E and our waiters were Mr. R and Mr. M.

The food and service was great.
There was a baby at the next table that was a bit fussy (and its parents did nothing about it, how rude!), but the waiters managed to quiet her and all was well. ;)
*Yes, they DID plan and take care of it all! Miss E made up menues and shopped for the food (she followed me with her list and put things in the cart). She planned baked brie as an appetizer. Sausage, rolls and salad for dinner and cookies for dessert! She also did most of the cooking, with some help. The boys helped her with the set-up and really did wait on us. They took care of our every need. What sweet children! They are such a blessing.

Scottish games

Rob has been wanting to take the family to see the Scottish games for a while, so this year we made sure we knew when they were happening and to make it there! We had such a good time at this activity. We had intended to just spend a couple of hours there checking things out, but instead we were there for over six hours!
Our first stop was to visit the Clan booths that were set up. We got some history lessons at a couple of booths, particularly the MacLeod booth.

The St Andrew's Noble Order of Royal Scots guild, with swords, armor, a queen (and her court), stocks, and an alchemist in the reenactment area, was a HUGE hit with our family!


Our family was presented to "Mary Queen of Scots," and we were each presented with a favor (instead of being historically-correctly executed).


The alchemist showed the kids some ways to test for poison and how different powders burn in various colors. The gun powder was a hit too! This was a great science lesson.


I loved seeing the women spinning wool.


Mr. M got a "drubbing" in the stocks!

What a brave woman to let all of these kids handle her swords!


The men put on a great show with the sword fight as well as a lesson on swords and fighting.

Of course we had to try the food. The steak and mushroom pie was great; we passed on the haggis.


On to the games in the afternoon! The kids had really been looking forward to seeing this. The caber toss and the weight over the bar competitions were fun to watch.
I think we could have stayed longer, but the little ones were getting tired (not to mention Mommy!), and some cheeks were turning pink so it was time to go home.