Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sewing Lessons

Over the last year, we've gotten to know a sweet family from around the corner. They have recently begun homeschooling their two older children, and now love the idea of them having more time on their hands to learn new skills. When their oldest daughter, Erin, heard that Cheyenne and Celeste knew how to sew, she asked if they would teach her! The girls were thrilled! Here are some pics of the first lesson!

Here is Cheyenne teaching Erin the very basics.....threading the machine!

Now Celeste is showing her how to install and thread the bobbin.

Some of the other things the girls covered: Winding the bobbin, how to read a pattern, cutting out a pattern, basic stitching and trouble shooting the machine! Erin wants to make a skirt, so they took her measurements and pinned the pattern. Next week they'll have her cut her pattern and begin sewing it together.

It was so neat watching them work heart smiled!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Picnic in the Park

picnic in Plant Park

Yesterday started out like any other day! We schooled in the morning, did chores, and then I had to take Greg to a valet job over at Southwest Research. Fortunately, it was a short job and he was finished by 2pm.

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to pack a picnic dinner and take the kids to the park! The little ones had been asking, for some time now, to have a picnic and we knew this would be the perfect day to do so! I made grinders (my HUGE sub sandwich with EVERYTHING on it) and then just packed some crackers and a variety of drinks. I loaded up the ice chest while Greg went to pick Cheyenne up from work.

When they got home, we headed for the park.

We walked there to extend our time in the beautiful sunshine! We ate as soon as we arrived. The meal was simple, but yummy! Then, the kids had fun playing and climbing trees. Even Mom joined in on the fun.....I spent some time on the swings where Sophia got a kick out of the "spider"! She laughed and laughed as we swung together! Then some of us formed a train and slid down the twisty slide......what a blast. Greg kept Ethan occupied over at the baby swings. He loves swings! He giggled every time he felt that tickle in his belly! It was a perfect evening!

When we were all worn out, we walked home and enjoyed some fresh baked Banana Bread that Celeste had made before we went to the park. It was still warm and scrumptious!

What a perfect ending to a wonderful day!

This morning, on the other hand, has begun with an explosive, leaking poopy diaper. Wow! Good feeling gone. 

Thank you, Lord, for giving us good days and not-so-good days, for we know each day with our family is a gift from you!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Poll Results

Thank you, sweet ladies, for helping me in my potty training decision! I really appreciated each opinion and perspective. I knew I could count on you for solid advice! So......with the poll resulting in a unanimous "WAIT", that's just what I'll do!

Now I won't even have to think about it until June!  ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Opinion Poll

Potty Training Poll

Okay, so here's what's on my mind.........I think I may be ready to potty train Chloe. As many of you know, I wasn't in any hurry to potty train her because I had been feeling somewhat overwhelmed by "Ethan issues" over these past few months. He wasn't eating food and he was waking up many times during the night. I was pretty much nursing around the clock and I was exhausted all day, every day! So, even the thought of potty training stressed me out! I was perfectly fine with her turning three and not being potty trained!

Well, I'm happy to report that Ethan is finally eating solid food.......three whole meals a day! AND, most importantly, he's sleeping like.......well......a baby! This means that I am finally feeling like a human being again, and feeling like I can handle normal life.

So, why the poll you ask? Well, here's my next dilemma! Our vacation to California is next month.  Part of me wants her to be potty trained before our trip. It's still a month away and it would save us some room (and money) not having to pack diapers for her. But, the other part of me doesn't want the troubles of a newly potty trained child on the trip. You know, frequent stops to take her potty, likely accidents (in other people's homes), long days on the beach with no bathrooms nearby, the list goes on!

What do you all think? Should we potty train her BEFORE the trip and trust that she'll be just fine? Or do we wait until AFTER the trip to potty train, which would be mid June? What would you do? I know all children are different, but maybe some additional insights will push me over the fence either way!

Thank you in advance for your help in this matter! ;-)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

They Grow Up So Fast

Our Oldest and Youngest Babies

Cheyenne was blessed with opportunity to play Fairest Lord Jesus during service last Sunday. This picture was taken while she was practicing. I had no idea a picture was even taken but I'm glad to have it!

Ethan is now 10 1/2 months old and walking everywhere! He also just cut his 7th tooth. Before we know it, he'll be fourteen and we'll wonder where the years went!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Christian Youth

Are Our Christian Teens Set Apart?

Thursday night, Shirley (Agape Director) and I had the opportunity to address a group of teens about the very serious topic of abortion. This was a Christian youth group of around forty kids. Upon entering the home, my first encounter was with two angry young ladies who didn't mind saying bad words in my presence. Pressing forward, I entered the home and met with Shirley to discuss the night's agenda. As I glanced around the room, my heart became heavy upon realizing that, had I not known this was a Christian group, I wouldn't have guessed so based on general countenances and attitudes.

As Shirley began speaking, I immediately began praying for wisdom and guidance in this situation. I had to think hard about how I was as a teenager and try and extend grace upon this group. But as I listened to Shirley fight for their attention by speaking louder and louder, I found it difficult to be gracious! I mean, this is supposed to be a Christian group discussing serious topics such as abortion, and the need to have a firm Christian worldview! Shouldn't we expect more from this group of professed christian teens? 

Many of them were carrying on their own conversations, some were snickering, and when the doorbell rang, most of them were more interested in who was at the door rather than what Shirley was saying! I remember thinking to myself, "I would never let my teenager come to a group like this!" Whether a Christian or not, there's still such thing as manners!

As I sat there waiting for my turn, I was trying to think about what I was going to say. I continued praying for God's words to flow through me, because quite frankly, I was too mad to say anything! Before I knew it, the gentleman leading the group asked me to make my way to the front. My heart sped up several hundred beats over what I was about to say!

After a short introduction, I was on! The first words out of my mouth happened to be...

"Do you all take this seriously?"

Most of them said "yes".

I replied, "I don't think so!"  (gulp!)

With utter shock in their eyes, I proceeded to point out their level of disrespect, especially at a Christian gathering! Shirley told me later that you could hear a pin drop while I was speaking to them.

I praised God for giving me the courage to call them on their behavior! Once I had their attention, I shared with them the hurt and consequences which result from abortion, and how many women claim to be pro-life until they are faced with an unwanted pregnancy. I also spoke of the importance of abstinence, and reiterated Shirley's words about being firm in your Christian worldview; not just knowing what you believe, but knowing why you believe it. Shirley did a wonderful job of explaining this and stressing the importance of knowing God's word. Shirley and I also spoke of God's grace, love, and forgiveness!

Although the night started out a little rough, I believe the message was heard. Several kids asked great questions afterwards, and we even had the opportunity to minister to a few. To God be the Glory! I know He works in all situations, no matter the circumstances.

My main reason for writing this was not merely to point out what we spoke of Thursday night, but point out the painful observance that these teens, in my opinion, were not set apart from the world. I think that when we start to expect less of children, and don't require basic levels of respect, their hearts and attitudes reflect our lowered expectations.
Lest you think I'm being too harsh in my opinion of these kids, I'll concede that I was not any better than they as a teen. But, I was taught respect for your elders and to listen when others were talking.  The youth group I attended as a teen would NEVER have tolerated such behavior. And simply being held accountable for our words and actions IN youth group, exhorted us to be mindful of our words and actions outside of youth group!

May we all be wise in our decisions as we work diligently to raise our children in the training and admonition of the Lord!

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fettuccini Alfredo


This is one of our new favorites! Celeste, our 11 year old, made this for us a couple of weeks ago and it was SO good that we've made it a permanent menu meal! Give it'll love it!

Fettuccine Alfredo

18 oz fresh fettuccine (trust me, go fresh!)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream (ohhhh yeah!)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
12 tablespoons butter
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (this really helps to cut through the heaviness of the dish)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and white pepper to taste
(shrimp optional)

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Drain.

Stir two cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about three minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add lemon zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

Serve with crusty garlic bread. Enjoy! Serves 6-8.

Photo Credit

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Jesus Is Risen

We are so blessed to worship a Risen Savior! I am especially thankful to be feeling better after a week's long stomach bug attack! It was great to be a part of a beautiful Resurrection service with my family.

After a hearty lunch, Greg led the kids through the reading and viewing of our Resurrection eggs. They love putting their hands on those tiny reminders of how we came to have a Savior. Then, the kids had fun putting together a craft project that Gramie sent them! Thank you, Gramie!

Have a blessed day and enjoy a big Easter kiss from Ethan!

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