Friday, August 26, 2011


We had our little annual End of Summer Splash yesterday and it was a blast.  Thankfully it was one of our warmest days, so no one hesitated to get wet!
Of course there were my favorite Dollar Store ruffles, zucchini bread for the Momas (my garden is still overflowing with zucs!), and my children painted the dollar frames from Michael's to hold summer photos of their friends.  Super simple and allowed the children to own the party and have an afternoon of art!
We had a water fight, water balloon toss, sprinkler fun, and ended the afternoon in the pool (how cute is this little dude and his Moma?  I call him Nacho because he does crazy wrestling moves like Nacho Libre!)
We had a pot-luck lunch - it was hard for me to ask everyone to bring something (why?) but it made it so much easier on me and the food was super yummy!!  One of my girl friends made the drinks: blackberry mint lemonade and strawberry limeade - soooo delicious!  I made some cupcakes and copied an idea I saw to put the little gummy bears in gummy lifesavers - how fun is that?
A wonderful time was had by all!
I'm taking a little blogging break for a week as this is my final week before my girls start kindergarten! 
I'll be back September 2nd with some thoughts and that zucchini bread recipe.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Embrace "Best Summer"

So, truth is, I was doing a little experimenting in our backyard with my new camera.  I've been reading the manual like a good girl and I wanted to try some things out...  and when I looked at the pictures, I found me some Embrace the Camera Shots!!   
 Yes, I know this is out of focus and laying down probably isn't my most flattering angle, but that little girl in the middle - man is she beautiful!
 And this little lady isn't too bad either!  She's always up for a cuddle and stealing my camera...
So she took this shot.  And, "Best Summer 2011" - what does that mean?  I think I was meaning, "This has been the BEST summer ever," but that wouldn't fit on the chalkboard!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Last night I did something that I rarely do. Except for parties and special circumstances, I’m pretty strict about keeping the children’s bedtime. Which just happens to be 7pm (remember, my children are 5 and 2). Which means the “night night” routine starts right after dinner. But not last night. We invited our friends to stay for dinner after they brought the children back from a play date. After dinner I asked the children, “what would you think if we all jumped in the pool RIGHT NOW?” They all screamed and ran to get on their suits. I even did a cannonball to get the party started and the kids swam right past their bedtime. It was a blast. I was thinking that if we did this every night, it would not have been such a special surprise. Just as much as I loved surprising the children last night, I know God loves to surprise us.  I remember praying with a friend once and asking God to surprise him in that day. After I said, “amen,” he said that he had enough going on in his life and didn’t want any surprises. I thought that was sad. I think that God delights in surprising us and showing us things and blessing us in ways we never thought possible. Are you open to being surprised by God? Are you so focused on your schedule and routine that the unexpected is not welcome? Remember, if it happened everyday, it wouldn’t be a surprise! But God just might have something special to bless you with today in the midst of your everyday routine.

P.S. my children still woke up at 6:15 am regardless of the late night swim.
So we will be in bed at 7pm tonight!

Monday, August 22, 2011


“Mommy,” she says in her best whisper.  “Mommy, can I color?”  It’s 5:59am and although I’m clearly sleeping, she is not!  She wakes up with her wheels spinning.  She’s ready to create something.  My children are always creating.  From painting pictures and coloring to building “ant city” in our backyard with leaves and lizard houses with grass and sticks.  They don’t simply look at the world for what it is and sit back and observe what someone else has made.  They see the world as raw materials and they’re ready to dive in and create.  I marvel at their busy imagination and their desire to make things.  It’s beautiful.  God has uniquely made each of us to create something to express to the world who we are, and when we do, we are revealing a deeper artist – The Artist.  There is no need to be hindered by the little voice that says, “I’m not crafty.”  “I can’t sew.”  “I am not creative.”  You’ve been created in the image of the ultimate creator, so by very nature, you are creative!  Be inspired by your children and create something with them to show the beauty of God through art.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Intimidating Vision

Remember that conference I went to last week that I mentioned on Monday?  Well, one speaker said something that I can't get out of my head,

"If your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you,
most likely it's insulting to God."
-Steven Furtick
speaking about Audacious Faith

more to come about this thought and challenging thoughts from the Global Leadership Summit

*What's your favorite summer dish?  I'm looking for some new ideas for "What's For Dinner"!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Embrace BLoonies

Remember these? 
The super toxic goo that you put on the end of a straw and blow a bubble / balloon? 
I LOVED these as a kid!  I was thrilled to find them this year.
Embrace the toxic love and B-loonie!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Word From Beth

Today I'm sharing a little word from Beth Moore.  I hope you're encouraged and challenged!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

  We take our first breath of terrestrial air in total shock.  Christ alone is unchanged and will remain unchanged for all of eternity. 
  We, on the other hand, are in constant, hair-raising, stomach-turning flux.  As the old saying goes, nothing stays the same but change.
  The truth is, God uses change to change us.  He doesn't use it to destroy us or to distract us but to coax us to the next level of character, experience, compassion, and destiny.
-Thanks Beth!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Intentional Family

I walked into the auditorium with butterflies like I had in my insecurities as a college freshman, walking into the cafeteria alone for the first time.  I feared that someone would ask me what I did for a living or what brought me to the conference.  Truth is, I’m a stay at home mom with little to no business going to a Global Leadership Conference for 2 days.  But I saw it advertised a few months back and my heart skipped a beat – I really wanted to go.  Finding childcare for 2 full days and the cost of the conference quickly shot down that dream until I received a personal invitation to attend the conference.  I knew this was something that God provided for me and I quickly said yes.  Last Thursday and Friday were 2 of the most life giving, challenging, revealing, inspiring days I’ve spent in years.  Much of the language used addressed CEOs, corporations, organizations, church leaders… and I continued to feel like, “why am I here?”  Until I began to translate their lectures into, “family, mother, household…”  At that moment God gave me a vision to be as intentional with my family as a CEO is with their corporation.  To have vision, a strategy, “employee” training, “workplace” behavior guidelines, and an overall intentional approach to doing family.  My wheels didn’t stop spinning for the rest of the conference!  So, starting in the Fall I’m going to start a new series on my blog called Intentional Family.  I’m going to take the principles I’ve learned from the Global Leadership Summit and apply them to family life.  I’m really excited about this and hope that you’ll join me on this journey to being Intentional with our Families.  (more details to come)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yummy Summer

I'm at a 2 day conference that is rocking my world!  So this will be a short post, but I can't wait to share with you the amazing things I'm learning over the next few weeks.
I do want to thank everyone that linked up for the Yummy Summer series.  Here are the linked up posts if you missed them.  Have a great weekend!
The Muncies

Team Hassler
Yummy Summer
Music in the Park
Dashboard Cookies

Capturing Motherhood

The Jaffe Family
Frogs Finally Found
Reader of the Week
First Day of Summer

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Embrace SFO

As I mentioned here, I dropped off my little ladies at Grammie Camp last week.  But before I left them, we made a visit to The City By The Bay.
 The City didn't disappoint with it's typical fog!
 We walked out on the bridge and my Dad and I were surprised to say that it was our first time walking on the Golden Gate eventhough we've lived up there for over 36 years!
 A nice squishy hug from Papa after lunch in Sausalito, where the sun came out!
 Yes, I was there too - so this is a legal ETC post!
And who joined us for ice cream before we left the city? 
Uncle Kenny! 
If you're ever in San Francisco, you must visit Humphry Slocombe for ice cream.  Flavors like Jesus Juice (wine and Cocoa Cola), Elvis - The Fat Years (banana, peanut butter, bacon)... it's amazing!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10 on 10

A challenge to take a photo an hour, for 10 hours, on the 10th of the month.  A little look into the everyday life!  Here is 10 on 10 August

1.  My new favorite morning spot to read
2.  Little Dude's cereal
3.  Checking the progress of my tomatoes
4.  Sky High - a new adventure for me and Little Dude (a HUGE warehouse of trampolines!)
5.  After an hour I embraced being barefooted in a public place
6.  In n Out for lunch
7.  Tackling this mess while the Little Dude sleeps
8.  a quick snack - shhhhh, don't tell
9.  how is he already awake?
10. oh well, let's go swimming!
ten on ten button small

Mouthful of Sand

I’ve been enjoying the love of one child this week. It’s really fun to get to focus my attention on one child and in this case, do all things boy! At the beach, the little dude loved covering his trucks and himself in sand. He’s 2 ½ and we’ve been going to the beach his whole little life, but the other day he did something he knows better than to do – he bent down, mouth open, and took a big bite out of the sand! As he gagged I asked, “why did you do that buddy?” I could understand if he were still a baby, babies always seem to put sand in their mouth until they realize how horrible it tastes and feels and they quickly learn not to do that anymore! But this was intentional, not experimental.

This morning I was reading from Proverbs 10:19-21 –
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.”
I immediately thought of that mouthful of sand. In my life there is a secret longing to gossip about some people. I don’t know why it’s so attractive – I know better. Yet all too often I intentionally bend down, mouth open, and indulge in something so tasteless and gritty. Why? Why do I say such foolish things? Why do I gravitate towards conversations that include some juicy details about other people? It’s sin. It’s of little value. It’s death. It’s a mouthful of sand. Do you struggle with this too?
I thought it only appropriate to post my French Sand Tart recipe today! >
*check back later today for my 10 on 10 post

Monday, August 8, 2011

Reasonable Expectations

I was just about to board a plane with my 2 daughters last week and we ran in for a quick bite to eat before the plane took off.  My fortune said, “Keep your expectations reasonable.”  (Not much of a fortune, more like a saying!)  I laughed as I read this.  It was very simple, yet completely profound to me.  Most of the time when I am frustrated with my children, annoyed at their behavior, impatient with their lack of understanding, it is because my expectations are way too high for 5 and 2 year olds.  Telling me to “lower my expectations” feels like someone saying “settle for less, be mediocre, don’t care so much.”  But when it comes to children, lowering my expectations is exactly what I need to do – or Keep my expectations reasonable.  I have found that when my expectations for my children are age appropriate, I enjoy them so much more and am less frustrated that they don’t operate on my level.  Perhaps a little truth that we need to adopt in more areas of life – keep dreaming, keep striving, pursue excellence, all the while keeping our expectations reasonable.  In the same way that we should expect 5 year olds to behave like 5 year olds (for that is what they are!)  we also can expect much of our God who is Creator of the universe!  How often do we have low expectations of God because we lack faith, vision or understanding of who He really is?  Having reasonable expectations of God probably means expecting a lot more than our limited minds allow.  He is able to accomplish exceeding more than we can think or imagine!  Keep your expectations reasonable!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Simple Things

As an adult I wouldn't dream of laying down at the splash pad!  But for my son it was a simple pleasure - laying down on the fountain with a truck!  It is the simple things in life that make it so special.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Not All Stalkers Are Bad

Last night my daughters and I flew up north to get the girls settled in for Grammie Camp which starts on Sunday.  My folks love to host the littles for a week and spoil them rotten!  And while in my hometown, I met up with some of my girlfriends that I grew up with for lunch.  We used to be some serious Christian Artist stalkers back in the day – Steven Curtis Champman, DC Talk, Rich Mullens… you name ‘em, we’ve stalked ‘em!  I’m pretty proud of our stalker moves that got us back stage, in sound checks, and in uninvited “meet & greets.”  But the sisters topped them all today as Molly shared about her recent Holy Land trip.  While in Israel, she overheard that Steven Curtis Chapman was also in the Holy Lands.  She e-mailed her sister back home to find out where exactly his tour was and with some serious stalker moves, Emily got his complete itinerary and sent it off to her sister.  And who just happened to “run into” SC2 in Israel?  Yep, Molly did!  She even got a photo to prove it!!  Those girls have some serious skills.  We talked, laughed, caught up and I can honestly say that I felt more like myself today than I have in a long time.  We have so many shared experiences together that our reminiscing could last forever.  But best of all, these girls are Jesus stalkers and that holds us closer than any past memory.  See, not all stalkers as bad!  They pursue Jesus like they did SC2 in Israel – no holding back!  And that is pretty awesome.  Happy Weekend and go stalk Jesus - he's worth the pursuit!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Embrace the Fair

This week we Embraced the Fair!  A summer tradition for us to indulge in our fried food cravings and risk our children's lives on some carnie rides!!
 We started off in line for a deep fried Klondike Bar - but they said the wait was 15 minutes!  Who has 15 minutes to spare at the fair?  Not us! (and just looking at the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich sign made me throw-up in my mouth).
 So we moved onto mini doughnuts - after all, it was only 10am

We threw the kids on some rides because we don't love them THAT much!! 
(Don't worry, they all made it off alive)
We had some fabulous fried dill pickles
And I loved the BBQ corn with all the toppings!!
Go embrace the camera and get yourself in a shot!


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