Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Last week I loaded up the kids for a little trip to the pumpkin patch
for some photos!
I do it every year!!!
Oh how I miss those days when they were so little!!!

 I'm excited to be starting Ashley Ann's photography class this week to figure out how to get all 3 kids in focus in a photo!!!

The count down is on! 
Only 3 days until Halloween!!
Happy Monday friends
And if you are looking for an AMAZING pumpkin dessert for a party this week,
 you must try these
Better than pumpkin pie - I promise!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

7 More Days

What are you going to be for Halloween?
When my daughter tried on her bride costume, my husband had to leave the room...
he started crying!
Oh boy, we're going to be in trouble in about 20 years!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

And the Winner is......

The Winner of the Trader Joe's Care Package is
The Bigg's Family
e-mail me your address and get ready for a care package coming your way in November!

And now some photos of our first homeschool fieldtrip!
Medieval Times - dinner and show. 
It was rather entertaining!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013


Count them
One by One
I've always thought that a grateful heart is something that is cultivated -
we are not naturally born grateful!
I've been challenged to look around for the blessings in my life everyday, not just the good days.
Noticing blessings, saying "thank you" for them, cultivates a grateful heart.
It also deeply connects us to God as He is the giver of all good things.
My husband just hand painted this sign for our son's school auction.
It is a great reminder.
Have a great weekend counting your blessings!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Zucchini Chips

I was given the last zucchini from a friend's garden and found this amazing recipe to make them a temptation for everyone!
Zucchini Chips
non-stick cooking spray
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup milk
2 small zucchini cut in 1/8-inch-thick slices
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Spray a large oven-proof wire rack with non-stick spray and set on a baking sheet.
Whisk together bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a medium bowl.
 Place milk in a separate shallow bowl.
 Dip zucchini slices in milk then in breadcrumb mixture patting the crumbs on. Place slices on wire rack.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden

This little dude who wouldn't eat zucchini if his life depended on it
Loved them!!!
That's sayin' something!
You've got to try them.
They would also be great in dips!
*This is the last week to enter the Trader Joe's give away.
A winner will be selected this Friday
Go here and leave a comment to enter!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Connecting to God

On Wednesday I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women about Connecting to God.
In preparation for this talk, I came up with a list of tips and tricks for
busy moms to connect with God.
1.  keep a little devotional in the bathroom -
 now matter how many crying babies you have, everyone needs to go to the bathroom!  It's a few moments you can read a little something and connect with God!
2.  Jesus Calling is an awesome devotional
Then I quickly realized that this wasn't connecting with God, it was merely scheduling Him into our days where we claim we no longer have time for Him like we used to.
I reflected on my own life of the times I felt most connected to God and 2 things came to mind -
1.  during my journey with anxiety (a time of trial and suffering)
2.  and in my sin
Boom - that's what I needed to talk about.
The sin in our lives can either propel us to the most intimate connection with God through vulnerable confession and humbling forgiveness, or it can be the impassable chasm that separates us from Him for all eternity.
Some of us face trials and suffering in life in much greater depths than others.  But one thing we all experience daily is sin.
It's not even so much about what we say or do as it is the state of our heart and we've all had sinful hearts from the start.
We were born with a sinful nature.
David is known as "a man after God's own heart," he is the writer of the Psalms that we use so often in worship and prayer.  He defeated Goliath as a young boy, he was anointed King over Israel by God and he is a hero of faith.
Yet David was a brilliant sinner.  Not just your everyday, white lie here and there kinda guy.  But a lying, stealing, adulterous, murderous, bad parent kinda guy.  I think he broke all of the 10 Commandments!
Yet we view him as a model and a man deeply connected to God.
The thing about David is that through all of his bad choices, weaknesses and sin, he always humbled himself before God and confessed.  He was honest about his mistakes, owned them, and vulnerably approached God to ask forgiveness. 
In 2 Samuel David confesses that he has sinned by sleeping with Bathsheba and then killing her husband to cover up her pregnancy.
In Psalm 51 David elaborates as he pours out his heart to God
"Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
God forgave David and restored him to a place of deep connection.
God's greatest display of love is that He sent His son to die for us and be the sacrifice that cleanses us from all of our sin.
Deep connection with God comes when we receive that lavish love that comes through confessing our sinful nature and accepting His forgiveness.
Do not be deceived - just because we are not murdering adulterers like David doesn't mean that we are without sin.
"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Your deepest connection with God comes when you daily realize, regardless of your circumstances, that you desperately need a savior.  You need him every moment of every day because without him you are simply breathing, but there is little life in you.
Deep Thoughts!
Happy Weekend

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Say Sorry

It's no secret that this little dude has my heart.
I just want to kiss his little cheekies all day long!
He says some of the most magical things to me.
He often tells me that I'm beautiful and how much he loves me.
He has such a tender heart and always wants to make sure everyone is included!
He is so funny!
He makes me laugh all the time and it a constant source of smiles.
I had a rough morning on Monday.
And by rough I mean I had all 3 kids crying by 8am because Moma lost it!
They weren't obeying Moma at all.  They started chasing each other through the house and screaming while I was in the shower.  No one brushed their teeth.
They spent about 45 minutes at breakfast.  45 minutes!  It's crazy making.
And I came unglued.
I started yelling at them and I knew I was wrong.
I was angry and just needed to get alone and calm down.
As they all filed into the car to go to school, all 3 were whimpering and sniffling.
As we buckled in and I made it clear that no one was to speak, my little dude disobeyed.
"You need to say sorry Moma."
The mix of emotions choked me.
He was so right.  I needed to say sorry in a big way.
Not just to my 3 babies, but to the God who entrusted me with them.
Some of the hardest yet most powerful 3 words to say
I am sorry

Embracing the Camera this week on Instagram
An everyday moment - eating morning cereal
You know Halloween is close when I buy Franken Berry!!
Check out
#embracethecamera on Instagram to see the other Momas getting in a photo :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I've long had the desire to learn the art of making bread.
I've been pinning bread recipes on Pintrist for quite some time and have
 been a little intimidated to try any.
But with our new homeschooling adventure, I thought baking bread would make a great math and science lesson, so we gave it a try.

I was so surprised how easy it was and how beautifully the loaves came out!
Not to mention how they tasted!!!
There is nothing like fresh bread right out of the oven -
covered in melted butter!
I'm sure this will not be our last math / science lesson in the kitchen!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pergola Grand Opening

 My husband as been working on this project most of the summer,
and it is now complete!
Our Pergola
It's like a fun little hideaway in our backyard where
 I'm dreaming about decorations for parties and holidays!
We just invited our neighbors over for the Pergola Grand Opening
and celebrated with a cookout.
After hot dogs were roasted,
we put on a movie for the kids and enjoyed a little adult time around the fire!
Then the kiddos joined us again for s'mores

I'm so excited to enjoy many good laughs and tasty dogs around the fire this Fall.
But I need a little help - what else can we roast on the fire aside from hot dogs and s'mores?
Throw out some of your favorite cookout treats!
Happy Weekend
*if you want to enter the Trader Joe's giveaway, leave a comment here

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Does Joe Know?

I was in Traders and grabbed these new little crisps.
The bag alone screams Fall!
And the little crisps follow - they are a sweet and salty, crispy little snack.
They would be amazing with assorted cheeses, meats and dried fruits on an appetizer plate.

I was surprised that my kids love them too!
So, would you like to try them?
If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby, leave a comment on this post
 and I'll select a winner at random to receive a
Trader Joe's care package
 at the end of the month!


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