Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Zech has been a man of few words so far in life, so my stories are not very often about him. At the beginning of the month, Titus' car died, and I have become the official family taxi driver.

Last week we were arriving back at home, and Zech got really excited saying, "Daddy's car!" To him that meant that Titus was home from work. If the car is there, his dad is not far from it.

I explained to Zech, that no, Daddy is not home from work, his car is broken.

Zech is still at the age where everything he responds to is done in the form of a question, so he says, "Daddy's car broken?" I told him "yeah, unfortunately it is. Remember, we drove daddy to work."

A little bit later Zech and I went somewhere and as we were coming home again he asked, "Daddy's car broken?" I agreed with him, "yeah, it's still broke."

And with a big smile he matter of factly says, "Daddy fix it." I love to see my husband through the eyes of his children. Daddy is their hero, and Daddy can do anything!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chili Verde

It's been awhile since I shared a recipe, so I thought it was time for a family favorite of ours. We've been eating this for years, in fact it was a recipe of my mom's from when I was growing up. I believe it came from a period of time that my mom was into once a month cooking. You would spend one day making several recipes and then freeze them for a later date.

My kids love this, and specially request it on occasion. It's a kind of spicy burrito made with chicken. Beware when you make it, your house will be filled with the smell of spices and it holds particularly well to your clothes.

Chili Verde
3 chicken breasts
2 15oz. cans pinto beans
4oz. can chopped green chilies
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. red cayenne pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
3 chicken bullion cubes
3 cups water
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla shells

Cut chicken in cubes and fry. Add beans, chilies, water & seasonings. I usually simmer this for about 1 hour, until all the water is cooked off. Serve hot on tortillas, top with Monterey Jack cheese.

chili Verde recipe
It's very easy to make, and tastes wonderful!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ariel's 9th Birthday

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was holding my baby girl for the very first time. How am I supposed to believe it was already nine years ago? It seems impossible.

I remember going in for the sonogram and finding out I was having a baby girl, exactly like I wanted. I bought her a pair of pink jelly shoes and hung them up in my car so I could see them everyday.

I remember holding her for the first time in amazement. It felt unreal that she was truly my little girl, and my little mermaid.

I remember getting excited about her first real smile, and her first bite of real food as all the family gathered around her.

I remember cracking up over her first few steps she took. We're certain she was jealous over all the attention that we were giving to the new dog.

I remember the first time she said, "mama" and held her hands up to me.

I can remember the shock I had at hearing what we thought was her first bad word she said, "Shet", only later to realize she was talking about her favorite movie "Shrek".

I remember how excited I was to tell her she was going to be a big sister, and seeing her give the baby a kiss for the first time.

I remember her first swimming lesson, and her getting out of the pool, running away from the teacher towards the deep end. She had no fear.

I remember getting her hair cut for the first time. She's always had such beautiful blonde hair.

I remember the first trip we took to the ER with her when her temperature was too high, and we were so worried about her.

I remember bringing her back to the ER another time when she needed staples in her head. She was so brave, and I tried not to cry so that she wouldn't cry either.

I remember the first time she got in big trouble with a teacher at church and I realized my little girl wasn't always the perfect angel.

I remember the first time I brought her to the dentist and how scared I was when they said I couldn't go back with her.

I remember her getting tubes in her ears and how long that half hour was as I sat in the waiting room.

I remember having to let go of her when I drove her to school that first day of kindergarten. I cried every day for a month but always tried to hide my tears so she would be excited to go back.

I remember the excited look on her face as she read the certificate that she was getting her very own bird.

I remember her reading me the first story she could all by herself. She's always been so smart.

I remember getting the phone call saying she won second prize in a writing contest and how proud I was of her.

I remember crying with her in her room as I told her Valentine flew away. Then I remember a week later as the tears we cried were from joy because someone had found our bird.

I remember the first time she had to choose a pair of glasses and how excited she was as she tried on all the pretty colored frames.

I remember the conversation with her teacher at school who said she was so smart, and should be tested for gifted. I remember how proud I was when she passed the test with almost a perfect score.

I remember all the times she's been a caring big sister to her little brothers, and the time she spends reading and teaching them school.

I remember how excited she was when she came home from camp and yelled out the bus window, "I got baptized in the Holy Spirit!" I couldn't contain my tears of happiness.

I remember the prayers she prays, and the faith she has in knowing that Jesus is going to answer them.

I remember all her kisses and hugs she loves to give each night before going to bed.

I remember the birthday parties we've had and how much planning and love has gone into each and every one of them.

I remember the day she was born, and how I thought my heart would burst with love for her. I look back on that day now, and I see that I hardly even knew how to love her. My love has grown so strong, and so wide that it would fill the earth several times over. I can't believe she's already nine years old...

We have done many exciting birthdays in the past for Ariel ... her first was The Little Mermaid, then Tigger, and swimming with Nemo in a big pool. Her 4th birthday was Strawberry Shortcake, and 5th was a bird party. For her 6th we were pirates and hunted for treasure finding crocodiles along the trail. Her 7th was butterflies and staying up till midnight with several little girlfriends. 8th was a book party, giving away "The Trumpet of the Swan" to each of her friends.

This August was 9 years!! A Daddy Cake's birthday party. We celebrated all weekend long, and even started the week before. Ariel invited a friend over to tie dye aprons with us. We had 11 beautiful aprons that we dyed.

I found the baking lesson to be so interesting! I've never been in a commercial kitchen before, and they have the most fun equipment. I think I was most impressed with the size of their wire whisk. I wish I would have been fast enough to get a picture. The girls each got to take turns measuring different ingredients for a "Death by Chocolate" cake. Yum...

I wish I could remember the amounts of all the things we added. It was huge! Much different than just making a single cake mix.

I believe it was 16 eggs that the recipe called for! Each girl, and Gabe, got to crack an egg. It was fun to watch because some of the girls were pros at it and then some I think cracked their first egg.

My beautiful sister was bringing out the special order of cupcakes. Each of the girls got to RSVP ahead of time for which cupcake they wanted to eat.

Cosmopolitan is my favorite cupcake, a special for Saturdays!

Ariel personalized her cupcake. This was the first time she had tried a "Retro".


So excited to get this piggy bank! She had been wanting it for over 6 months!

What a great party!! She made out pretty good!

After the party, we headed home for some dinner and then out to a movie... just us girls.

"Ramona and Beezus" has got to be one of my new all time favorite movies. I've seen it twice, and it is such a good family film. I would highly recommend it to anyone, even if you don't have kids!

Ariel got to have a friend over for a sleepover after her party!

We had CHOCOLATE to dip all our favorite snack foods in. The chips are one of the best things dipped in chocolate I think. Very very tasty!

Happy Birthday to You. Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday, Dear Ariel, Happy Birthday to You.

I hope she got her wish!

Stefanie took Ariel to the mall for her birthday to JUMP! It was quite fun to watch, and we were all amazed how fast her time went by.
Just so you can see how high it really is... WOW!

She did a great job doing flips!

From my perspective, I think Ariel had the perfect birthday!

Happy 9th Birthday, Ariel! I love you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Personal Declarations

We had a very God inspired message from our pastor last night. He started off the message by telling us he has heard so many "You ought to" sermons, but just a few "How to" sermons. This was a night for a very practical "how to" sermon, that we could all apply to our lives.

So often we do negative self talk from our mouths and in our minds that regularly commits suicide in our lives.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)
"Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose." Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

We focus so much on eliminating the negative thoughts in our lives, we often forget to emphasize positive thoughts to ourselves.

We need to learn to make personal declarations in our lives.

We must focus on God's promises and start verbalizing them.

Use "I Declare" Statements:"I declare when I feel afraid, I will trust in Him."
"I declare I will walk by faith, not by sight."
"By faith, I declare God's promises are bigger than my circumstances."
"I declare God will be with me."
"I declare I will open up before God, I will keep nothing back, and He will do what needs to be done."
"I declare there is no fear in love, perfect loves drives out fear."
"I declare God will provide a way out for me."

"I declare I will bind myself with the peace God has given me."

So all this is good to hear, but it means nothing unless you apply it to your life. Our pastor handed each of us an index card. On one side of the card we were supposed to write down what our biggest struggle is right now. And then on the opposite side, we needed to find a declaration to say. Something that is a promise from God.

Right now my biggest personal struggle is STRESS. Even just hearing the word causes me to feel anxious. I have so much stuff going on this month; I've been spending way too much time worrying about how I'm going to get it all done. I have a few big projects that I'm working on. Our church is going to be sponsoring "Rev Up Your Engines" in a few weeks, and I'm in charge of getting 500 copies of the coloring book printed, bound, and stuffed into some goody-bags. The printing itself takes me days to do. I have a few other ministry things I've agreed to do this month for church, and on top of that it's my son's 3rd birthday. That means a party! I never do things small, no matter how good my intentions are, the parties turn into big gigantic loads of work. There are costumes, invitations, food, party games, etc. that all need to get planned. It's a lot of work, but for the most part I really enjoy doing it for my children. It's a gift of my love to them.

I think the biggest stressor right now in my life, I've turned into the official family taxi driver. For two weeks now, my husband's car has been dead. It's not just a short term dead; I think the car has finally lived out its life in our family. It's celebrating its 20th year, and I don't think its usefulness can last much longer than that. So being taxi driver means, I have an hour of driving to do each morning, just dropping the kids off at school, then Titus off at his work. I walk with my mom for an hour, then Zech and I have a few hours together before nap time. I wake him up, where we drive to the school and wait for about 30 minutes for the kids to get out of school. You might think I could go closer to the time, but that would actually mean Zech and I would have to park a block away from the school, and walk. So Zech and I wait. After the kids get out, we head home to work on homework, and I have a chance to start dinner. Then we all load back up into the car, and drive out to Forbes Field where Titus works. That's about 40 minutes of driving and waiting. We finally get home for the night and I'm able to finish cooking dinner. We eat, I try to clean up a little and then go on to whatever activity is planned for the evening. Almost every night there's something that we've committed to do. The only hope I have to look forward to is 6 months from now we will have enough money to purchase another car. I have survived for two weeks on this schedule. Surely I can do another 5 1/2 months, right?

My personal declaration is :
I declare I will take things one step at a time, one day at a time, because God has not given me more than I can handle!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Things to Do When You're Bored

I recently heard the phrase, "Mom, I have nothing to do. I'm so bored!" It's probably one of my least favorite complaints. Every day the kids come home from school and try to race each other to play on the computer first. We allow our kids to have 30 minutes of computer time, and occasionally after dinner they are allowed a movie. This leaves a lot of extra time in the day for our kids to need some activities to do. Last week I just got tired of those words, and decided it was time to do something about it. I told Gabe I wanted him to come up with a big long list of all the things we like to do here at our house. After he came up with his list, I sat down and helped him add a few more ideas to it. Since we've had the list, I have not heard those dreaded words come out of either of my children. I think it's a great idea for the kids to try to come up with the list themselves. You can always help them out when they're done. If you have small children, you might just need to make a list of things for you to do with them. We have already been adding and changing things on our list. So far this has turned out to be a real life saver!

things to do when kids say I'm bored

Here's the list Gabe and I came up with. Maybe you can steal a few of our ideas to add to your own fun!

1) Computer
2) Movie
3) Read a book
4) Work on treasure map book
5) Build with Lincoln Logs
6) Do a puzzle together
7) Play board games
8) Play outside
9) Play in the downstairs playroom
10) Play with play dough or make your own play dough
11) Play with the bedroom toys
12) Sidewalk chalk
13) Lite Brite
14) Write in Journal. Keep a record of what we do each day and illustrate it.
15) Make a tent with chairs and sheets
16) Practice making sentences
17) Play tag outside
18) Hide N’ Seek
19) Play with Valentine our bird
20) Dance to a CD
21) Dance Praise Pad
22) Perler bead crafts
23) Paint a picture
24) Play with Legos
25) Tea Party
26) Make a feeling bag
27) Flashlight tag
28) Charades
29) Coloring book
30) Paper airplane contest
31) “Snowball” Sock Fight
32) See what shapes you can see in the clouds

I'm sure we'll be adding to our list as the days go on!

Nobody likes to be bored and feel like they have nothing to do!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

3 C's : conviction, condemnation, correction
Conviction, Condemnation, Correction

1) The Ugly One - Correction
Correction - Do it this way, instead of the way you're doing it right now.

All of us need correction from time to time.

None of us have it "all" right!

We all need people we are willing to accept correction from.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 "..I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction."

A pastor's job is to Instruct, Encourage, Correct, & Rebuke.
Instruction - Here is the way to do it
Encourage - You can do it
Correction - Do it this way, instead of the way you're doing it
Rebuke - Quit doing what you know is wrong

All of us sometimes need someone to rebuke us

Who do you let tell you when you're wrong?

2) The Bad One - Condemnation
Condemn - to pronounce final judgement on someone

All of us have felt condemnation - It's the devil's favorite tactic
"You'll never change"
"You're no good"
"You'll always be that way"
"It's just the way you are"
"Just give up"

Condemnation always focuses on identity. It's not just about your actions, but about the heart of who you are.

Romans 8:1-2 "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death."I may be... but in Christ Jesus I can become more

You need to get a handle on the voices so you can overcome and live a victorious life.

3) The Good One - Conviction
Conviction - the quiet but constant voice of God inside of us that beckons us to Him

Conviction is God reaching out to us

John 16:8-9 "He will come to convict the world of sin, to show the world what has God’s approval, and to convince the world that God judges it. He will convict the world of sin, because people don’t believe in me."It takes that convicting, convincing power of God to make us realize it's not going to work living like that.

Does it always feel good? No..

God not only sees who you are right now, but He can see what He created you with and what He created you for.

He convinces us of the wrongness of our lives so we can change to do good.

Who do you allow to correct you when you're wrong?
How do you handle the voice of condemnation in your life?
What is God trying to convince you of lately?

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As we were sitting in the car yesterday finishing up our slushes Gabe asked me this very serious question, “If someone was trying to kill me, would you call the police?”

I told him, “of course, and probably I would try to kill the person myself if they were really trying to kill you.”

So he replies, “You know who could save me? Your father could.”

I laughed a little at that idea, “oh yeah?”

He very seriously says, “I’m not talking about your Father Papa, I’m talking about your Father God.”

I just love my son's faith in God! Yes, God can always save us no matter what the problem is!


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