Monday, June 29, 2009

TWA: Favorite Books

The Dressing Room's assignment this week is to make a list of my favorite books. These can be kids books, novels, nonfiction, whatever.

Crazy Love tops my list! The subtitle is Overwhelmed By a Relentless God. That alone leaves me breathless. First-time author Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, regular speaker at Passion conferences and other events, takes his chance to challenge the Church. “This book,” he says, “is written for those who want more Jesus. It is for those who are bored with what American Christianity offers. It is for those who don’t want to plateau, who would rather die before their convictions do.” It is a book that is meant to change the way Christians live their lives.

Dangerous Surrender is another favorite. It was written by Kay Warren, wife to Pastor Rick Warren who wrote The Purpose Driven Life. It’s subtitle is What Happens When You Say Yes to God? I found that this is a paradigm-shaking book with a message that Christians desperately need to hear. Too many of us are living too safely and too easily. This is a brutally honest account of her journey into HIV/AIDS activism. I have such a heart for Africa, where she served so humbly. I actually wrote her a letter after finished reading her book and she wrote me back, hand-written on her stationary.

Here are some of our family favs for the kids:

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (I have this whole book memorized!)

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Where is Baby's Mommy? by Karen Katz ( I have written a blog on this one.)

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

My Big Animal Book by Roger Priddy

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thomas prays for the people he loves.

"Thank you Jesus for Mommy, Daddy, Thomas, Catherine, BeBob, MeMa, Rob, Lisa, Calvin, Nathan, Katrina, Grandaddy, Grandmama, Amy, Matt, Julie, Tyler, Shanda, Rob, Lisa, Calvin, Nathan, Katrina, George, Charlie, Porter and BeBob's salvation. Amen."

* Some got double blessed!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There is NOTHIN' like good help!

My sweet sister, Amy, has been over twice this week and will return tomorrow to help me with the babies. They adore her. Here's what they have been doing...

A blank wall is just begging to be decorated. CODE INK!

We try to restrict Thomas's drawings to paper, but he is not to be stifled by such linear thinking.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TWBA: Does summer have a downside?

This week's blog assignment at the Dressing Room is to write about a part of summer I could do without.

My very least favorite part of summer actually starts in Spring. I usually do this after eating a big lunch- and not on purpose- but it always seems to work out that way. Then I find myself in a dressing room plastered with full legnth fat mirrors and terrible flouresent lighting. Yes, I am referring to the dredded swimsuit tryouts.

I'm sure that the heat will top most lists of what people dred in the summer months. The heat really isn't so bad to me because my mini-van has a great air conditioner that can kick it to 55 degrees within minutes. It does eat up my gas tank at 10 times the rate, but I'm not complaining. It's worth it.

Our Father's Day & Thomas' sleep-a-thon

I feel like I am in La La Land this morning. It's 6:15 and the babies are still asleep. This, by itself is very unusual, but it gets even crazier.

Yesterday was Father's Day and my mom's birthday! We had a bunch of family- and soon to be family- over for a huge meal.

Little Smokies wrapped in center-cut bacon and baked with brown sugar
Salami & Provolone spirals with whole wheat crackers
Orange & honeydew sailboats (an orange wedge w/ a toothpick topped with a honeydew triangle.

Main Meal:
Pineapple soy grilled chicken
Fried okra
Green beans
Hashbrown casserole
Garlic three-cheese toast

Fresh sour cream pound cake with fresh blackberries & raspberries
Fresh whipped cream
Mascarpone brownies with chocolate ganache (this held the birthday candle)
vanilla bean ice cream

Anyways, the kids were delightful! Thomas did insist we re-sing Happy Birthday directly to him with a re-lit candle and all. He had originally thrown himself into the floor when he realized the song had not been for him. I wish I had taken a video of it . The room was filled with hysterial laughing.

So, Thomas missed his normal naptime. He couldn't handle anymore fun when 4 o'clock rolled around and Joe took him upstairs to do the nap routine. He was out in no time.

He slept through dinner, bath, storytime, bedtime, slept, slept and slept until 3 am. I went in his room, put his pajamas on, changed his diaper, read him 3 books while he had a package of peanut butter crackers and some cold juice. He went right back to sleep and is STILL sleeping!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

RC & Moonpie Festival

Only in the deep south can you find an RC Cola and Moonpie Festival! I'm proud to say that it isn't held very close to where we live, but a good 30 minutes away in the sticks.

We did get a little bit lost on the way there and the sweet babies were so patient for the long drive. We forgot to pack Catherine a bottle and she improvised, sucking her shoe, even though she usually prefers her big toe.

Thomas did pretty well, too. We did have to pull our "trump card" and hand over the Gerber gummy treats only 10 short minutes from our destination.

There were cloggers, a 10- mile-run, and loads of craft booths.

We accidentally ran into this balloon artist. Well, ummm, you could hardly call this lady an artist though. This masterpiece was $2.

And what in the world is so hard about twisting a balloon? I thought she was going to pop a blood vessel in her face- or poop in her pants?? What an expression!

And I learned that there is no limit to what can be fried...

Seriously, I can't make this up, folks!

We were looking for the grilled corn cobs, but found this instead:

It was a wonderful, HOT HOT HOT day!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Martha Stewart does not live here

Those who have known me for any legnth of time know that I am no June Cleaver. I do have high heels and a few nice dresses, but I only wear them to weddings, if then. I can't keep up with laundry, Joe has put himself on dish duty (thanks, Honey!), and the rest of the house gets a lick and a promise, unless people are coming to visit. Then the marathon begins. (Everyone is welcome to come visit, but we need 48 hours notice. Thanks muchly.)

Generally, if I have an hour or so of free time, I'm napping, cooking or working on a creative project. I subscribe to the Busy Mother of Two in Diapers School of Thought on Dusting - "If God put that dust there, who am I to move it?"

At any rate, I have some questions. I'm pretty sure I have enough readers that several of you could answer any one of these, and probably some of you can answer all of them.

1. How do you wash pillows without making them all lumpy?

2. How do you stay caught up on laundry when your kids can't be left alone for any legnth of time- at all- ever. So, my cleaning day really starts after 7, after bedtime, after dinner, after clean-up, after I'm too exhausted to hold my eyes open any longer.

3. How many times a day do you pick up the same tornado aftermath of toys?

4. How do you dust fake plants?

5. What is the best carpet stain remover?

That's all I have for tonight. It's 8:30 and my eyes are heavy.

Flour Power

I found this game last year but I think its roots go much farther back because I have heard people say that they played it as a child. It's kind of a low-tech version of Break the Ice.

Get a tall plastic container (one of those 1 quart freezer containers works well) and pack it full of all-purpose flour. Press the flour into the container so that it's really blocked in there then put an plate over the top before inverting things and unmolding the flour tower.

Lay a large button on top of the flour tower then take turns slicing away at the tower with butter knives to see who will be the first person to make the button fall from the top. Though I couldn't find much on rules, I found one very fun suggestion that the person who drops the button has to pull it out of the pile of flour using only their teeth. Hmmmm . . .

With teeth or without it's a fun game and easy to play over and over.

White Chocolate Fruit Tart

White Chocolate Fruit Tart

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (10 ounce) package vanilla or white chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, undrained
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour; mix well. Press into an ungreased 11-in. tart pan with removable bottom or 12-in. pizza pan with sides. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice; set juice aside. Arrange the pineapple, strawberries, oranges and kiwi over filling.
For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool; brush over fruit. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

TWA: Perfect Summer Day

This weeks assignment at The Dressing Room is to write about the perfect summer day.

My idea of a perfect summer day would start off with breakfast on my back patio with Joe, early, before the kids wake up. We would have Strawberry & Apple Chimichangas with warm maple syrup.

1 whole wheat tortilla
1 Tbs. raw peanut butter
3-4 sliced strawberries
1/3 apple peeled and diced
pumpkin pie spice

Lay tortilla out and place fruit in the center. Sprinkle sugar and pumpkin pie spice over the fruit and gently toss to coat. Spread peanut butter around the outter edge and fold up into a square. Lightly butter the outside andfry over med. heat in a skillet for 5 minutes per side. Serve with warm maple syrup.

I would also have an espresso with cremina (whipped early espresso and sugar)or a good black cup of coffee.

Just as we finish breakfast, the babies wake up in wonderful mood and join us outside to have a bit of breakfast and play on the swingset.

The air is a little cool, but the sun is starting to poke through.

We just enjoy each other all day, being with each other and laughing in amazement at how precious and hilarious our babies are!

On the perfect summer day, the kids would nap and the same time and Joe and I would crawl into our clean sheets and get a good, long 2 hour nap. The rest of the day would be spent working on a project around the house while the kids play.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bath & Body Works sale and EXTRA 20% off!

Big Bath & Body Work sale

Plus 20% off $25 or more coupon here!

Birth Verse

Joe's is April 22nd.

Proverbs 4:22 NIV
for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.

Sarah's is Jan. 30th.

1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Thomas' is Nov. 1st.

Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Catherine's is May 12th.

Matthew 5:12 NIV
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Look yours up here.

AIDS crisis

I want to let you know about the World Vision Experience: AIDS, a free exhibit that will open your eyes to the AIDS crisis. This amazing walk-through village takes you on a virtual journey to Africa, where you'll walk in the steps of a child affected by the AIDS crisis. The interactive exhibit features a stirring audio tour combined with captivating photography that will transport you to the heart of Africa. You'll gain a completely new perspective on the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time: AIDS.
I encourage you to visit the website, for more information and to reserve a FREE ticket today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

pictures of Thomas

Thomas spotted this bunny outside last night. He was standing at the window beside the front door saying, "a bunny!" It was so cute!

Give me an "A"

Crayons. Thomas spent a lot of time just with crayons. In addition to his free hand art, he did a few coloring and writing pages. I love watching how he carefully makes little marks, some amazingly similar to a capital “A” shape, and then scribbles like crazy, covering his careful little marks.

Bell Angel Craft:
Worm in the apple. The point is to stick a finger through the hole and wiggle it like a worm.

Paying it foward

Random acts of kindness have turned into little gifts for you. A great opportunity to get something handmade just for you and pay it forward. I would especially like the opportunity to create for people I've never met (but I'll make stuff for the people I love too!!)

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.

2. What I create will be just for you, with love.

3. It'll be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5. I reserve the right to do something strange.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to blog.

7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own blog to pay this forward.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Photos take outside of Linebaugh Public Library
Chloe and Jessica are our sweet friends!



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