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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Linky Dinks

I fell asleep early last night and didn't get the post done that I wanted to for today. However, I have come across some really good posts over the last week and wanted to share them with you:

Bethany at Beyond This Moment wrote about her experience at Living Proof Life in Portland in The Spirit showed up... and she wore purple.

Kay at Notes from the Wall wrote about the idea of what it means to be blessed in blessed.

Heather at Especially Heather wrote about her fears and the uncertainty of her future in If you want me to.

Amy of wrote about the importance of comments and what to do if you aren't getting a lot of comments on your blog in Play It Again Momma: The Player Scores & Silence.

Kelly at evilshennanigans shared her Apple Streusel Muffins with us. Resist if you can. I don't think I will.

Have a great day, y'all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mama Braggin' Monday - Speech Meet

Mondays are the day of the week that I shamelessly brag on my kids here on the blog. So, join me if you like. I'd love to see what awesome things your kids are up to.

To see my original post about Mama Braggin' Monday, go here.

Close to Christmas break each year at my daughter's school, we begin getting information about the speech meet that comes up in January. Every child in 1st - 6th grade is expected to memorize a speech and deliver it in front of their classmates, teacher and two judges (parents).

Yes, it sounds a bit intimidating for some children, but it is really done well and with the intention of getting these children ready for public speaking later in their school careers and later in life.

There are different choices for each grade that are selected to be in line with a difficulty that the children can handle. In second grade, the choices are poetry, fable, or scripture (it's a private school obviously). This year, Sarah chose to memorize scripture and the one she chose was Psalm 100.

The day came and she was ready. We had worked on standing still, on voice inflection, on pronunciation and enunciation. She did awesome! In fact, she got the top score in her class for Scripture Memorization, which meant that she would advance to the district meet in March.

To prepare for the district meet, some of the teachers met with the children after school on Wednesdays for a month to let them practice and to coach them on their speeches.

Then came the big day. I rearranged my work schedule so that I could go with her and I'm so glad I did.

After everyone was finished they called all the children up for each grade level in each event and awarded ribbons for "good," "excellent," or "superior." Sarah got a Superior rating and began comparing ribbons with the girl she was standing next to.

Then, out of those who got a Superior rating, they announced the top three scores and awarded bronze, silver, and gold medals. My girl won the bronze.

She was so surprised and excited. And yet, was such a sweet and good sport as she cheered on and encouraged her other friends that may not have scored as well.

And while I was proud of her performance and happy that she was rewarded for something that comes so naturally to her as getting up and giving an animated speech, that's not what I'm most proud of. I think I can honestly say that I am most proud of her memorization of God's Word and how she treated and tried to encourage her friends during the awards.

So here's your chance. Brag away, friends. Our kids need to be bragged on every once in a while. Try to mention Mama Braggin' Mondays on your blog if you get a chance to spread the word.

If you need help in what to do with this Mr. Linky thing, then please click here.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Foodie Friday - My 6 Favorite Kitchen Tools

Today I want to show you some of my favorite kitchen tools... things I would be utterly lost without in my cooking and baking endeavors.

Unfortunately, amidst the uproar over Mom bloggers with their reviews and the FTC wanting to step in, I feel I must disclose that this is not a review post. I am not sponsored by any of the products I will mention.



These are just my opinions and I have not been compensated in any way.

Got it?


Where would I be without my Kitchen Aid stand mixer? I'd be a lot bulkier in my arms and shoulders... I'd also be thinner as I wouldn't bake as much. This guy has served me well for about 10 years. And the color? I can't say enough about the color. We'll just suffice it to say that I like me some cobalt blue in my kitchen.

I don't remember when I discovered using parchment paper for baking, but my cookie baking life has not ever been the same. No more scraping the cookies off the sheet. No more spraying the sheets with non-stick spray, no more burnt cookie bottoms. Just perfect cookies that easily come off the paper. I could not live without this stuff. Seriously.

My batter bowls. I have the large and small ones from Pampered Chef. They are so versatile. I remember when I bought them I thought, "I won't use these." And I didn't very much until I started making brownies. I have learned since that time that they are infinitely useful and have now employed the large one in my sourdough bread making process. I love my heat proof batter bowls!

If you look at any number of recipes on Way More Homemade - The Recipes, you will notice that I list "spatula or spoonula" quite often in the "You will also need" section. In fact, I could probably quit listing it and just tell you now to assume that I am using it because I think these guys might be in the dishwasher close to every time it is run. The spoonulas I use are, again Pampered Chef, and I love how sturdy they are and since they are silicone, they are heat resistant, which is great for cooking scrambled eggs.

Yes, even though this bad boy did me wrong on Valentine's Day this year, he is still one of my faves. I've had these knives at least 10 or 11 years and they are wonderful. They are the classic Henckels with the rivets in the handles. I love the look and feel of a good sturdy knife and these fit the bill. They are nicely weighted and fit my hands well also.

I actually got complemented on my tongs the other day. {blush} These came from Williams-Sonoma a few years ago. My man actually went back to get me some more and couldn't find them anywhere. These are great because they expand by pushing in the little dots that you see there close to the hinge. I use them for everything from serving salad to turning meat on the grill.

And I used most of these tools the other day to make this...

You can get the recipe for these Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies and others on my recipe blog, Way More Homemade - The Recipes.

Stay tuned and next week, I plan to show you some new items I'd like to add or use to replace some older toys in my kitchen.

Until then... make it way more homemade... cuz it's better that way!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where I am (part 2) - Hope and Pruning

"Where I am (part 1) - Security"

From the day we found out this news a few weeks ago, we have been able to say that we are not without hope in this situation. We know that God will provide. We know that He is faithful. We know, without a doubt, that He will take care of us.

And we are already seeing evidence of it.

The truly awesome thing is that Mike had not been happy in his job for quite a while. He was bored out of his mind, and just knew deep down that it was not what he was meant to do. But honestly I think the provider mentality took over and he knew the bills had to get paid. So we took the “safe” path and he stuck with it.

He has long talked about other interests and things he has wanted to pursue. And we have discussed on many occasions how we’d love for him to be able to work on a contract basis from home to allow him to pursue some of those interests. But the risk of quitting his job to do that was too great.

Well, that decision has now been made for us. We now think it’s time to take some steps.

There are so many illustrations I can use here, but the one that is sticking with me the most is the idea of pruning. I began to connect this Biblical principle to our situation after reading this post from Bring the Rain just days after we received the news of the loss of Mike’s job. In that post, Angie included this quote from the book Turn My Mourning into Dancing by Henri Nouwen.

"Pruning means cutting, reshaping, removing what diminishes vitality. When we look at a pruned vineyard, we can hardly believe it will bear fruit. But when the harvest comes, we realize that the pruning allowed the vines to concentrate their energy and produce more grapes. Grateful people learn to celebrate even amid life's hard and harrowing memories because they know that pruning is no mere punishment, but preparation.

When our gratitude for the past is only partial, our hope for the future can likewise never be full. But our submitting to God's pruning work will not ultimately leave us sad, but hopeful for what can happen in us and through us. Harvest time will bring its own blessings...pg19"

I truly believe that God is pruning away that old dead job so that Mike, and our whole family for that matter, can grow, multiply, be fruitful and flourish somewhere else.

And we believe we may have found that “somewhere else.”

And I'll share more about that somewhere else soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WFMW: Sourdough Success

Baking bread has long been an aspiration of mine. One that I felt that I lacked the time and energy to pursue with a job and young children. However, I recently decided that it was high time that I delved into this area of baking.

Right off the bat, I knew that I wanted to make sourdough bread. My mom used to make it when we were growing up but hasn't in years and years. So, I started reading and researching the way I tend to do. Then I jumped right in and made my starter.

What I learned was that this was not the easiest place to start in the realm of bread baking. I had loaf after loaf that I felt were failures due to what was probably a lazy starter. So I used it up to make some pizza crusts and then made a new starter.

I made one set of loaves using a little bit of commercial yeast in the recipe a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty excited about this.

Then, I found a post on the King Arthur Flour Baker's Banter blog that had me inspired to try it again with no commercial yeast help... just my starter, some water, flour, a little sugar and salt.


So here's the schedule that is based on this post that worked for me:
7 a.m. Remove starter from refrigerator.
8 a.m. Feed starter with 1 cup flour & 1/2 cup room temperature water.
6 p.m. Combine 1 cup starter with 1 1/2 cups water and 3 cups flour.
10 p.m. Refrigerate.
9 a.m. Add 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp. sugar, and 2 tsp. salt. and knead for a sweet forever.
2 p.m. Shape loaves.
6 p.m. Bake at 350 - 400 F for 30 minutes or so.
7 p.m. Enjoy!

This is what worked for me. For more Works for me Wednesday posts, go visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family. She's starting to bake bread, also.

Where I am (Part 1) - Security

My world has been shaken yet again. To the core, it seems.

You can say all the right things like, “God is in control,” or “Depend on Him,” all you want. Believe me, these are things I already know and have known with each trial He has brought me through. I can testify that God is faithful and that he WILL NOT fail.

And yet I have been struggling. It seems that a world-quake has come and left my seemingly perfect little life in shambles.

We have become one of the many families lying amongst the carnage of a failing economy. Mike lost his job. His last day was Friday the 17th.

We have known about this for a couple of weeks now. We were very fortunate because normally in his business, the day they tell you is your last day. But since he is the only one in the area that does his job, they asked him to stick around for a couple of weeks to button things up.

As the uncertainty of the future has set in more and more, I have found myself wrapping my arms around my man and longing for him to wrap his arms around me and make me feel secure once again.

I don’t think this is a wrong response per-se. In fact, it has been a bit of a gift, drawing us closer together as a couple. But, how much more do I need to be seeking God’s loving arms for security?

And believe me…. I AM!

I receive daily devotional thought emails from someone. They are taken from a book entitled Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. They are all written from Jesus' perspective to the reader. So, it's almost like I get a little email from God on a daily basis. And they have hit home so often here lately. For instance, last Wednesday, this was in my email inbox:

"TRUST ME, and don't be afraid. Many things feel out of control. Your routines are not running smoothly. You tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable. Let Me lead you to the Rock that is higher than you and your circumstances. Take refuge in the shelter of My wings, where you are absolutely secure.

When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new. I lead you on from glory to glory, making you fit for My kingdom. Say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust Me, and don't be afraid.

Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord , the Lord, is my strength and my song;he has become my salvation.

Psalm 61:2-4: 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge,a strong tower against the foe. 4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

This is not the end of this story. God is working in some amazing ways. I will be posting more later on this week.

P.S. If you know us "IRL" (in real life), you need to know that we are shielding our children from as much of this as possible. Sarah knows some, but not everything. Please respect our wishes and do not discuss this with our children. I also ask that you not bring this up and spread this information around. We are not talking much about it with most people (like general people at church and stuff). Again, please respect our wishes in this area. I really don't want to have to answer a ton of questions about it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mama Braggin' Monday - Trio

Welcome to Mama Braggin' Monday. To see my original post about Mama Braggin' Monday, go here.

Basically what it boils down to is that Mondays from now on will be the day of the week that I shamelessly brag on my kids here on the blog. Now, understand that I reserve the right to totally brag on my kids any ol' day of the week. But, I have found that a bunch of things have been falling by the wayside as I forget to post them. No more. I will be looking for ways to brag on them now.

So, join me if you like. I'd love to see what awesome things your kids are up to.


Each grade at Sarah's school does a musical program at some point during the school year. As it turned out, Sarah's 2nd grade program this year fell on her birthday.

In all honesty I was pretty bummed because we couldn't take her out to eat on her birthday and I felt like the day was just ruined. I would have skipped the whole program, except that I wouldn't have ever done that.

And, as it turned out, Sarah had a little bit of a special part in the program.

This was their first experience in trying to blend in an ensemble and overall I think they did well. You may or may not remember that she had a solo in our church children's choir musical at Christmas (go here to see it) so singing in front of groups is not a brand new experience for her. But it is still just one of the sweetest things for me to hear my sweet daughter singing for her Jesus.

So, the day that I was so bummed about and that I thought was completely ruined ended up being one of the sweetest days ever. Not everyone gets to hear their child sing in a trio or ensemble on their birthday.

I totally went from bummed to beaming.

Now, it's your turn. Brag on your child(ren) on your blog then link it up here. I can't wait to see what all our children are doing. I know we're proud of them. Let's show it!

Be sure to post your name / blog name in the top box and post the permalink for your post in the bottom box. If you need help with navigating how to use the Mr. Linky, please click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Forget!!!

Don't forget Mama Braggin' Monday begins tomorrow. I'll be here shamelessly bragging on at least one of my kids every Monday. Feel free to join me!

How to participate in a Mr. Linky / Blog Carnival

The first time I heard of a Mr. Linky I was totally lost. A "Mr. WHAT?" I asked myself. The thought of it was totally intimidating. But, once I saw it in action and did it once, it was no big deal.

Basically, you see two text entry boxes.

The top one, is what the other blog readers will see in the list. This is where you will want to put your name / blog name / title of your post... whatever you want the other blog readers who will see the list of posts on the carnival's host site to see.

This is a great opportunity to build recognition of your blog name and to draw new readers by a good post title. Use it wisely and don't get too wordy, but think of how you might draw a reader into your topic. Also be consistent across all blog carnivals in how you type your name. For instance, I am just about always Donna @ WayMoreHomemade when I link into a carnival. It builds name recognition to sign it the same every time.

The bottom box is where you will post your link. Most blog carnival hosts will ask you to post a permalink. "What is a permalink?" you ask. Well, click here to read a little, then come back and well discuss some more about it. Go ahead... I'll wait.

{cue theme from "Jeopardy"}

Ok. Time's up.

Now that you know what a permalink is, let's discuss how to get it. In my experience, the easiest way for me to find the permalink is to click directly on the blog post's title. The address now showing in your browse bar at the top of your browser should be the permalink. In blogger, you can also go to your "Edit Posts" tab and click on "View" for the particular post you want to see. Again, the address in your browser will be the permalink.

All you have to do now that you have the permalink in your browser, is to highlight it, copy, and then past it into the bottom box of the Mr. Linky.

Now, here's your chance to practice. I have put up a Mr. Linky on this post. Feel free to link up and practice using it. If this is abused and there is spam being posts, I'll take it down immediately. But I'd love to be able to leave it up for people to have a safe place to practice.

Here's to enjoying your next blog carnival!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fitness Friday - Two Hundred Twenty Five

This is a Fitness Friday post that I wrote several weeks ago for the Wii Mommies Blog Swap. I decided today to re-run it over here. Enjoy.


Two hundred twenty-five

I was at my Fun, Fit & Fabulous exercise class this evening and realized I had never really told you about the format of the class. I have mentioned it before but never really told you about it.

The class is free and is done at my friend’s church and led by a certified fitness instructor. The class is so great, and so is our instructor. She pushes you, but is not pushy. She challenges you but is not obnoxious. I never thought I’d say this about an exercise class of all things, but I really do like it.

One thing I like is our format, which is a format that we all might take a lesson from. We rotate through particular exercise programs for a week at a time. In other words, we do a week of toning, then a week of aerobics, a week of yoga, a week of step aerobics, etc. You get the idea, right?

I didn’t really get why we did it that way until I read this article.

The first thing listed about why your workout may not be working is that our muscles adapt and then we plateau. So, I'm thinking that the way we change our routine every week in our class keeps our muscles fresh and challenged.

I think we could all implement this concept in our own workouts whether we are at home doing our own thing, using the Wii Fit, or going to the gym. Specifically on the Wii Fit, I can see doing something like what we do in our Fun, Fit & Fabulous class. Try doing just aerobics for your allotted time each day for a week. Then do just strength exercises the next week, followed by just yoga and rotate week by week. I think it would allow you the practice to master the exercises while also changing things up for your muscles.

This week in class we’ve been doing 55 minutes of aerobics followed by 5 minutes of abs. My body has been challenged this week as it’s been a while since we’ve done the aerobics rotation. Oh, and by the way, do you know how many abdominal crunches of various kinds you can do in five minutes?

Yep, you guessed it.


At least.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1st and 15th Scripture Memory

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

I am memorizing this verse here in the 2nd half of April thanks to a Twitter friend who quoted it to me yesterday. I am in a season of trouble right now, the details of which I cannot share at this point. I will soon, but just can't right now. But I am drawing such strength today from this verse.

It ties into this song that was sung at our church on Sunday as several members shared their “Cardboard Testimonies.”


(Desperation Band)

Seated above,
Enthroned in the Father’s love,
Destined to die,
Poured out for all mankind,

God’s only Son,
Perfect and spotless one.
He never sinned,
But suffered as if He did.

All authority,
Every victory

Savior, worthy of honor and glory
Worthy of all of our praise
You overcame.
Jesus, awesome in power forever
Awesome and great is your name
You overcame.

Power in hand,
Speaking the Father’s plan,
Sending us out,
Light in this broken land.

All authority,
Every victory

Savior, worthy of honor and glory
Worthy of all of our praise
You overcame.
Jesus, awesome in power forever
Awesome and great is your name
You overcame.

We will overcome
By the blood of the Lamb
And the word of our testimony.
Everyone overcome.

I am claiming the victory today in my situation by the authority of Jesus Christ because He has overcome! It my story, my testimony and it will be... to HIS GLORY! The victory is HIS!

You can find out more about the 1st and 15th Scripture Memory Team here.
You can see the rest of the scriptures I’m memorizing this year here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WFMW: Kitchen Tips - Clean Up

Imagine going from one cooking project to another; maybe you are cooking dinner or better yet, for a dinner party. You’ve cooked a main dish, sides, dessert, maybe even baked some bread. You finally finish and look at your kitchen.


I do it all the time. In fact, I am utterly incapable of cooking at all without messing up what seems to be every dish available.

But never fear - MY MAN is here.

I am incredibly fortunate to have a husband that cleans up for me after I cook. It’s kind of been our deal even since we were dating in college. I cook, he cleans up.

Yes, I’ll throw the occasional dish into the dishwasher. And maybe sometimes I’ll put one or two away. {gasp} But most of the time, it’s him doing the straightening up of the kitchen after dinner.

It’s even to the point now where he’s picky about how the dishwasher is loaded. If I’m going to put dishes into it, I’d better have enough to fill it and run it, because if he comes behind me to finish up, he’ll be almost emptying the whole thing just to move stuff around to how he likes it.

It’s really kind of cute.

So that’s what REALLY works for me… I cook – he cleans.

What a man! And ladies, he's all mine!

For more Works for Me posts, visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mama Braggin' Monday

Get ready y'all.

I really want to start a new weekly post that we're just going to call "Mama Braggin' Monday."

We all do it. We love to do it. But it's likely that we may not do it enough. Sometimes we need to make and effort to find ways to brag on our kids.

Maybe it's something they accomplished. Maybe they were just being too darn cute for words and all you have is a picture. Maybe they just obeyed the first time or finally exhibited that they "got" a concept you've been trying to teach for a sweet forever.

Brag on 'em, mamas. Tell us about it.

Write your post any time... it doesn't have to be on a Monday. But come here on Mondays and post your link to the Mr. Linky that will be provided.

You can even link up an older brag post if you'd like. It's always good to look back and remember things you've been able to brag on your kids about (especially those days when you don't WANT to brag on 'em).

I only ask that you please mention Mama Braggin' Monday on your post.

I'm thinking a button may be coming soon. We'll see.

So that's it. Be ready next Monday for some Mama Braggin'.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lead Me to the Cross - Reflections for Good Friday

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday in commemoration of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It has become a day to begin what is now known as “Holy Week” among Christians. Not that every week shouldn’t be holy as unto the Lord, but it is known as such world wide among Christians none-the-less.

Over the last several years, our church has begun a tradition of having some kind of special presentation by the Worship and Creative Arts Ministry on Palm Sunday in anticipation of Holy Week and Easter the following week. The presentation has ranged from an all-out “Passion” type production, to a simpler skit depicting a man on “trial” for his sins.

This year’s presentation was completely new and different yet again and was called a Multi-sensory Worship Service. Our time of corporate worship was filled with sights and sounds as it was very multi-media oriented paired with monologues from Biblical characters and songs presented by the choir. And yet it was participatory and also included the senses of touch and smell as we were given several items that are symbolic of Christ’s journey through His trial, scourging, crucifixion, and burial.

Today, on this Good Friday, I want to share those symbolic items with you along with my reflections on each.

Proclamation of Condemnation

Symbolic of the type of decree that Pilate would have signed for Jesus’ execution, we were given a Proclamation of Condemnation. For it is by the law that we are condemned as we are unable in and of our own effort to perfectly follow the law. By the law, we are under God’s wrath because all of us have sinned. And the consequences of sin… is death.

Wooden Cross

A small wooden cross. Clean and smooth. So unlike the scene at Golgotha where the ground and rough wooden beams were drenched and stained with the blood of many crucifixions. The cross. A symbol now that many just wear as a piece of pretty jewelry. Not the pretty and sterilized thing that is depicted by a cross that one can wear around their neck, it was a truly ugly and horrifying place for those who witnessed crucifixion.

Rusty Spike/Nail

The spikes that were driven into His hands/wrists and feet were big and heavy, much like our sins that were placed on Him that day. On Sunday, we had a video of a trauma surgeon who described the many traumas that Jesus’ body would have endured throughout the scourging and crucifixion. He described where the spikes would have been driven through His wrists and what that meant in terms of severing or pinching certain major nerves. Breathe in… excruciating pain. Breathe out… excruciating pain.

Linen Cloth

The pieces of linen that we received had been treated with spikenard, one of the herbal treatments used in burial cloths of that time. Mary, Jesus mother, would have been personally involved in preparing the spices and cloths for His burial. The monologue that was given as Mary was so moving as she spoke of her son… the one she kissed goodnight a thousand times… the one who brought her flowers from the garden… her precious son. What mother couldn’t relate to that? The sweet aroma of the spikenard then was the smell of death to most. But thinking of those linen cloths and how they were folded neatly on the day of His resurrection, signifying that He would come again… to us, that sweet aroma is VICTORY!

Today, friends. Remember the sacrifice. Think about the suffering. Contemplate what Jesus Christ endured for you. Don’t rush past the cross to the resurrection. Christ’s time there deserves our attention and meditation.

Take time this Good Friday to reflect on these things.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why I celebrate Passover

About 8 or 9 years ago, our church invited a Jewish-become-Christian speaker to come and speak about Passover from a Christian perspective on the Thursday before Easter. This would have been the night that Christ would have celebrated the Passover with his followers in that upper room with the feet washing and where the passing of the bread and cup in remembrance of Him all began.

That night was the first time many of the connections between Christ and the Passover had been made for me. How the Passover lamb's blood that was shed and covered the doorposts of the Israelite people's homes that fateful night in Egypt was a shadow and was symbolic of Christ's blood shed for us, covering our sins and keeping us from the wrath that we deserve. This connection had never occurred to me before that night.

Also, at that Thursday evening, we celebrated the Lord's Supper. Instead of using our sterile little plastic cups that we pass around in our pretty little tray, we received small olive wood cups that were ordered from the Holy Land. By putting our... um... grape juice (yes, I'm Baptist... get over it) in these wooden cups, two things happened. 1) The wood lent a bitter taste to the juice reminding us of Christ's bitter sacrifice. 2) The juice stained the inside of the cup, also reminding us of the juice's symbolic nature of the blood Christ shed.

So, on that Thursday evening before Easter, however many years ago it was, I decided that from then on, we would celebrate our own Passover in our home. By no means a Passover Seder, but we would have lamb for dinner on that Thursday before Easter. And we would talk with our children about the Passover and what it means to us as people who believe that Christ is our Passover lamb.

So, this evening we will enjoy one of our favorite lamb dishes that is Tuscan inspired (claiming freedom in Christ to have lamb that is dressed up and not served with bitter herbs). And as we look toward Good Friday tomorrow and Easter on Sunday, we will stop and remember God's provision for the children of Israel through the lamb's blood that first Passover... and His merciful, grace-filled provision for us through Christ, our Passover Lamb.

And that's why I celebrate Passover.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My princess, my silly girl, on her 8th birthday.
For more Wordless Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

I don't think I could feed these either.

Several years ago, my man received as a gift these suspending shelf things for storage in the garage. They are WONDERFUL!

They secure into the beams inside your ceiling and there's a little thing-a-ma-giggy that you stick in and turn to raise or lower them.

Did you like my oh-so-technical description, there?

The car parks right underneath them and they are great for getting some of those bigger & bulkier items out of the way that may not fit on an ordinary shelf.

So, what my man and I learned is that we have some birds nesting in one of ours. It's really rather ingenious. Completely sheltered from the elements. Warm enough, yet cool enough. Low visibility for predators. Quite the perfect spot.

You can see the nest right up in between the two blue things and above the white thing. (Yeah, they're great for organization, but I have no idea what's up there.)

Oh and behind the trash bags from Costco and a spool of wire for who knows what purpose.

And I got brave enough the other day to look inside...

So, I guess I'm going to be an AUNTIE!!!

But, what do you suppose I do if this happens?

It would be disastrous as baby birds would have a harder time getting food from me than my own children did.

Go visit Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife for more "What I Learned" posts. Join us and share your own story of what you've learned.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Woman Inspired Conference

If you need me this week, this is where I'll be...

Oh, and at work, and playing taxi driver, and thinking up an Easter menu, and....

Day out with guess who...

Thomas the Tank Engine, of course.

The Day Out with Thomas event is mostly free. To actually ride the train pulled by the Thomas engine is quite expensive and in the several times we have been to this event we have never done it. There are many other things to do, though.

Nathan knew exactly where to go. After a quick slide and a little jump about in the bounce house, he drug us over to the tent with all the train tables set up.

Sarah quickly came to realize that there wasn't much for her to do. She and I went for a little walk while daddy stayed with Nathan to play a bit longer and we found a shop housing some resident glass blowers. We eventually had time to come back and watch them and it really was quite fascinating.

But the main event of the day was getting to see Thomas up close. I heard him pull back into the station from a trip and knew we had a limited amount of time before he would leave again.

My mission if I chose to accept it: Gather my family from the far reaches of the carnival and get a photo. Quick.

Once I finally got everyone assembled after several frustrated phone calls (you know the ones - "WHY did you go there? You should have read my mind and gone here." etc...) we all finally gathered to get a peek at Thomas up close.

We were hoping to avoid the line for getting pictures made. But I could not get him to turn around for a picture to save my life. That sweet boy would not stop looking at the cheeky blue #1 engine.

So after 15 attempts with pictures that look similar to the one above, we gave in and went to stand in line. We stood there and politely let the "picture people" take a family photo of us that we never intended to purchase. But the little man got to see Thomas up close and touch him. After that, he was more than happy to pose for a picture with his sister.

After that we were able to go back and look at the model train exhibit which very well may have fascinated dad as much or more than son. I can't be certain.

We spent a Day Out with Thomas.

And we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Foodie Friday - Temporarily Known as Dessert Friday

Join me over at Stop and Smell the Chocolates where I am guest posting today for her Chocolate/Dessert Friday weekly post. Here's an excerpt...

... Now, I love my sister’s traditional bread pudding that she started making while they lived in Baton Rouge years ago. It’s one of those dishes that we just expect her to make for family get-togethers now. And I had within the last year or so tasted a Mascarpone Bread Pudding at Carino’s Italian Grill and nearly passed out it was so good. But Chocolate Bread Pudding??? Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me. The thought was just too heavenly. ...

Intrigued? Read more at Stop and Smell the Chocolates. And link up a chocolate or dessert post over there while you're at it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

On being three

The other night my daughter started a conversation over dinner about who in the family is the oldest child, the youngest, who is the oldest in the family, etc.

I looked over at my little man and asked, "So, Nathan, what are you?"

"I'm the 3-est!"

Oh my... yes, son, you definitely are the 3-est one of the family.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

1st and 15th Scripture Memory

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90:14 (NIV)

Go here for more information about the 1st and 15th Scripture Memory Team.