A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Sunday, August 28, 2011

7 1/2 months

Joanna pulling up!

Timothy loves taking a bath with Joanna.

Bath time alone! She is the cutest!!

All smiles! She is a very happy and good baby!

Time is going by so fast that I didn't get to post at 7 months so here is 7 1/2 months! Joanna is growing so much! She has two teeth on the bottom that she cut since 7 months. Joanna began being mobile around 5 months old but now she is full fledge crawling!! Did I mention crawling everywhere? I can not put her down without having to close all the bathroom doors and make sure there is nothing in her way! In the past 2 weeks she has also discovered she can pull up. Yes, that is right she is pulling up now and loves it! She thinks she is as BIG as the other kiddos around here. Joanna has started baby food, but to be honest I don't think she is eating it because she is hungry. Bryan and I believe that she likes eating more out of wanting to be BIG like everyone else. Too funny! The kids LOVE her to pieces! Sarah and the little boys fight over who is going to play with her and get her attention. :) I could just eat her up myself! So anyway wanted to update on Joanna because I have no time to scrapbook. This has become my scrapbook, way much faster to blog than sit down and scrapbook! Hope you all have a great day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Praising the Lord!

Just wanted everyone to know that Isaac is so much better! Thank you so much for your prayers, I knew that I could count on you guys to pray for him and us! As of right now the rest of us are well! Isaac is not 100% but much closer than he was at the beginning of the week. I am praising the Lord for seeing us through this.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More helpers!

It was Sarah's turn at the lawn mower.

She got really hot but hung in there and did a great job!!

Team work!

With a little help from big brother....

Timothy got his lawn mower going and was able to help out too! :)

Isaac is still not feeling well today, but I am praising God that as of right now the rest of us are well! I wanted to share about Sarah taking her turn at the lawn mower. She did do a really good job. It was so funny because you could tell she was in her own little world and loving it! I even could hear her singing to herself. I just love the little girl in her! Timothy loves his little lawn mower. He wants to cut the grass all the time! As you can see in the pictures that Elijah had to "work" on it a little. Those two are the cutest peas in a pod! Please continue to pray for Isaac to feel better quick and a hedge of protection around the rest of us! Thanks!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Party Time and not feeling so good!

We celebrated Isaac's birthday with friends on Saturday night. There ended up being about 30 people here. There was a ton of kids and alot of fellowship! Everything went really well and the boys had fun playing football. We also asked that instead of gifts for him that they bring gifts to go in the toy store at our church for families in need at Christmas. There were some really cool boy gifts! A few of the parents and siblings stayed and the fellowship was so sweet. Thanks to all those who helped me out with lending a hand in scooping ice cream, holding Joanna, helping fix hotdogs, etc. You ladies were great and such a blessing!! :) Happy Birthday to my big boy, I just can't believe you are 10!!

Isaac asked one of his friends to spend the night Saturday night. After we had gotten the kids in bed this friend got sick and we had to call his mom. Sunday after church Isaac began saying he was sick, so we thought that maybe he had caught what his friend had. Isaac's friend had a virus and was better on Monday morning. Isaac has run a fever for two days and is not any better. Bryan took him to the doctor this morning and he has strep! Argh!! Now we have to wait and see if any of the others get it. I have lysoled everything and anything trying to keep the rest of us from getting sick. :( See the card on Isaac's chest? While he was asleep Sarah made him a card and put it there for him when he woke up. She has such a mothering heart. She wants to wait on him hand and foot when he is sick. That just warms my heart. I know that the older she gets she will be able to help me care for the children when they are sick. My prayer is that Isaac will feel better quick and that the rest of us will miss this yucky thing!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

He is 10!!

Isaac loves chips and slasa!

Birthday dessert...that everyone got to enjoy! Thanks Isaac for sharing! :)

These kids LOVED the dessert!

Doesn't that look delicious? It was!!!!

He loves reese cups!

A new book to read!

Baseball cards!

The birthday cake!

It is so hard to believe that Isaac is 10 today! The past few days I have been thinking back and it is amazing how time flies! If only I could go back 10 years and know then what I know now. Isaac is a very special boy! He is our oldest and most days he loves being the BIG brother! He is a loving child and can just melt your heart! He loves to play board games and loves learning something new. Isaac's best subject in school is Math and he says he wants to be a Math teacher one day and coach football. Isaac has been doing a devotion for his football team and I am so proud of him!! Yesterday we took him to eat at the restaurant of his choice and we really had a great time! Then this morning he opened presents. Sarah insisted on buying him something with her money, she got him some baseball cards and some reese cups! My parents sent him a birthday package that he opened also. They had sent him a Tim Tebow book and a BIG pack of baseball cards. Isaac's friends are coming this afternoon for some yard football and a party! I wanted to do him a football cake this year and I thought I would include a picture of the cake. All the kids said "that's the best cake you have ever done, mommy" and I have to agree! :) I hope to post pictures of the party tomorrow. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It is that time of year

Isaac is the one in the red shirt on the left!

Time for football! Last year was Isaac's first year playing football and he really enjoyed it. This year he is playing again and it is for a different team. He is excited about playing and is doing really well. He did get hurt at practice last week but it turned out to just be a strained back muscle. Yes, I was scared! :( He plays his first game this Saturday. A few of the boys at church are on his team and he loves that! Wanted to share a few pics of my football player! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Green Beans

The kids and I went to pick green beans one morning. Someone in the church had said they had a ton of green beans and that we could come and pick some if we would like. So I thought this would be a good thing for the kids and I to do. We headed out early (around 8 a.m.) trying to beat the heat. Joanna fell asleep on the way so I parked in the shade and let her nap while we all hauled out of the van to do some picking! We were not there 5 minutes and Timothy is hollering "It's hot momma!" and "Hold me momma". I am trying my best to distract him and change the subject. :) My big kids really got right in there and picked as much as they could. Isaac did really well and I thought I was even going to have to leave him. :) We stayed probably about 45 minutes until the heat got too much and we loaded up. Let me mention that I forgot to check shoes as we climbed back into the van and needless to say we got a "little" mud in the van. Argh!! We have a small garden at our house with tomatoes and squash and the kids have LOVED keeping an eye out for those veggies that need picking. I have mentioned to Bryan that next year we might need to do a little bit of a bigger garden. It is so exciting to see our children enjoy things like this, something they can learn from. We have enjoyed eating those tomatoes and squash....but the green beans did not go over so well. The kids (mostly Isaac) did the snapping of the beans and I don't think we did a very good job of destringing them. I am sure I did not cook them just right either. Oh well, try again another time.

Do you have a garden? What do you like fresh from the garden? Any neat and delicious recipes?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Praying together!

Thank you to those who took the survey that I had on the side of my blog. The results were a couple who pray together often and then most of you said you pray with your spouse seldom. I want to start with sharing some personal testimony.

Bryan and I have always been consistent in praying together. That consistent means there are times that we have a regular time of prayer together and then there are seasons when we pray together but not on a regular base. We do stop and pray together if there is something going on in our lives, we pray with the children each night at bedtime after we have done family worship, we pray together over decisions that have to be made, and then we pray together just to spend time with our heavenly Father together. We recently have been in a season where it has not been a regular time of prayer together.

Recently I was reading a book about Traditons and how important they are to our children. The first of the book talks about your average and regular traditions that I am sure we all have atleast one we are doing. Then she brings up prayer. How in the world does this fit in to traditions? I would have never thought of prayer being a tradition. The writer points out that the most important and life impacting tradition we can pass on to our children is praying together as a couple. WOW! I had never thought about that. If our children know, hear or see us praying together they will take that into their marriages. They will see prayer as an important part of a marriage and family. When we pray together as a couple we are telling our children that marraige is important and our relationship with God is important. What better gift to give our children than a firm marriage (their parents) and for them to know that we love each other but even more we love and trust God!

I went straight to Bryan and shared with him these things I had gleaned from reading this book. His heart leaped and we decided that we would do better at trying to have regular times of prayer even when we are in a season when it is a little more challenging to make that time. During our 15 years of marriage we have had some really great times of prayer and seen God do great things. May I challenge you to take some time, even if it is just 20-30 minutes a day, and pray with your spouse. Think of it as investing in your marriage, children and eternity!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes....yummy!

Wanted to share what I made for Sarah's birthday when we celebrated with the grandparents.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 box of devil foods cake mix
1 box of chocolate pudding
1 cup of chocolate chips

Bake using the directions on the back of the cake mix box. Just add the box of pudding and instead of water use milk. I also added a cup of chocolate chips.

1 cup of butter
1 package of cream cheese (8oz)
2 tsp clear vanilla extract
6 Tbsp of milk
1 package of powdered sugar (16 oz)

Cream the butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, on low speed. Add milk and beat on medium until light and fluffy. You may want to add more milk if too thick or add more sugar if too runny. Just use your judgement, that is what I had to do. The cream cheese gives it a little cream cheese flavor but not too much. :)
This recipe is what I made and had enough to ice a sheet cake and 24 cupcakes.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Day of School

Joanna sitting in her high chair waiting to learn....how to eat baby food! :)

Sarah looking at her "new" stuff for the new school year.

Sarah and Timothy looking at our Science book we will be doing this year.

Isaac looking at his things for school.

Timothy smiling his sweet little smile! :)

Elijah checking out his school books for this year!

Just wanted to share what Elijah did the first day of K4! I was really impressed with that coloring!

We started school yesterday and had a pretty good day! On the first day of school I give the kids their stuff and let them have a moment to look through it and see what all we will be doing. They love it! I also put together a school box for each child that contains pencils, scissors, crayons, and whatever else they will need for the year. I asked Isaac and Sarah what their favorite part of yesterday was and they both said "Getting our new stuff and looking through it!". I really did not realize how this small act was so fun for them. Confirmation that we will be doing this every year. I really want to sit down and write out our goals for this coming year and then I will share those with you. So here we are on day #2 of this school year and we are going to enjoy the journey!! Hope you all had a great 1st day of school!

P.S. If you haven't had a chance to take the survey on the side of the blog, would you please do that. I am going to post at the end of the week on Praying with our spouses! Thanks!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

School Starts

Yes, school will start for the most of us, next week! So hard to believe that it is that time again. I wanted to share somethings that are heavy on my heart this morning. First of all let me express that God has called our family to homeschool and just because He has called us to do this doesn't mean that He calls everyone! We feel that in the center of God's will is right where every family needs to be and God's will for us may not necessarily be His will for you. Like every other area of our lives we should seek His face and let Him make the decision for our families. So after MUCH prayer, homeschooling is the path He has chosen for our family.

No! It is not an easy path, we have our share of bumps and bruises. Just this week I had that moment of thought (which was straight from Satan himself) "Am I truly in His will?". The answer is a LOUD and CLEAR....YES!!!!!!! I know that God has promised that if I am following Him that there will be rewards. I just want those rewards NOW! I will be reminding myself often that the rewards may come in days, months or even years. I feel in my heart that God has called us to homeschool because this is the best way I can disciple my children for His glory! Just as Jesus was with His disciples, teaching them, I am with my children. Those days that are challenging are days of opportunity to allow my children to see Jesus at work in my life. If they were somewhere else and I was somewhere else we wouldn't have as many opportunities for this training, teaching and loving them to Jesus. We are not homeschooling so that our children can be smarter, more advanced, or because we think we are better than someone else, we are homeschooling for the glory of God and for us to have a greater impact on our children's hearts. Sarah just turned 8 and Isaac will be 10 this month, our time with them is getting shorter and I feel the urgency to make the most of the years to come. I know that over the past years I have failed in many ways but my race is not over. I must get up, look to Jesus, keep my focus on the Lord and finish my race so that I can pass my baton on to my children. As school starts Monday I pray that each of us, no matter what kind of schooling, will stay focused on raising our children to love the Lord our God with all their hearts, with all their souls, with all their minds, and with all their strength (Matthew 22:37).

P.S. If you haven't taken the survey on the side bar of the blog, would you please take a moment to do that....Thanks!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Survey

I want to ask you all a question....How often do you and your spouse pray together? I am putting a survey on the side bar of my blog for you to answer on. I am really curious about this and want to know. Since you will not be known would you please be honest. In one week I will post again with the results and a little insight I have gained about this area of our spiritual lives. If you would like you may leave a comment about your prayer time together, maybe how God has worked greatly in your times of prayer or a prayer that He has answered in response to your times of prayer....glorify God! Thanks for taking the time to answer the survey! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Skillet

So maybe this doesn't look good but it is really delicious!

18 Chicken nuggets (cooked by directions on bag)
1 can broccoli cheese soup (I use cream of chicken)
2 cups of minute white rice uncooked
2 cups of frozen broccoli cuts (I use 1 cup broccoli and 1 cup shoe peg corn)
1 cup of water
1 cup of whole milk (I use 2%)
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Bake chicken nuggets. Spray large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, milk, water and soup to skillet. Bring mixture to a boil; add rice and stir. Cover, reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Top rice mixture with hot chicken nuggets and sprinkle with cheese. Place skillet in oven 1-2 minutes or until cheese melts.

This is an easy meal and kid friendly! We really love this meal, even the kiddos!! :)

*I got this recipe from the back of a bag of chicken nuggets from Banquet.