Sunday, August 20, 2017

what a story: blessed assurance


Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:19-23

Saturday, August 19, 2017

our saturday in pics: tornado parties, sewing, and pizza night

Our Saturday started with yard work for the boys and coffee and baby holding for the girls. :D Surprisingly, we've only had to water the grass maybe once or twice in the front yard thanks to all the rain we've had this year. It's getting close to needing it in the front yard (and maybe fertilizer again thanks to our clay dirt mix!), but we're happy to have saved money so far!!


After everyone cleaned up, we decided to go out for lunch to a local diner instead of cooking. We all enjoyed not cleaning and the kids love getting their favorite meals. (Now that the kids clean up after meals regularly, they all appreciate a dinner out even more! :P)


After lunch and errands, we came home and got back to work after a little rest. We had to repair the curtains after a little one pulled another rod out of the wall. ;) Isabella is always a big helper to her dad:


In between nursing the baby (she's eating often these days!), I threw some dough in the mixer for dinner:


And got to work on my to-do list from Monday. :) I had a couple of kids pull off the sofa cushions so we could wash them upstairs. This is what happens when the kids get to work- it's like a mix of tornado and circus party: :)


Does that happen at your house too? :D I think they have a little too much fun tearing apart the sofas. :P They make everything exciting and somehow always have a good time working. (I could learn from them!!)

And then while those were in the wash, these well-loved "Oso" pajamas (as Zane calls them) got a new pair of sock feet:


Thankfully, I had a helper of my own to watch Naomi while I sewed: :D


And while the pizza dough was rising and the covers were washing, we went on a family walk:



We didn't take a long walk, but it was long enough to work up an appetite again. :) 

After last week's pizza fest, you'd think we'd be tired of pizza, but the kids were looking forward to eating the barbecue chicken version again:


The one thing about making pizza versus grabbing takeout is the amount of dishes in the sink! :) I'm off to help clean them all and get ready for Sunday. I hope you have a restful day tomorrow! :D 

Friday, August 18, 2017

what we've been eating lately: favorites (old + new)

Now that we've left behind most of our recoveries and celebrations, we've been trying to eat more homemade, fresh food to balance our blood sugar and lower blood pressures. In just two weeks of eating mostly real food and exercising more often, Robert lowered his blood pressure by several points and his resting heart rate has dropped from 60 to 53! It feels so good to get back into a routine of better habits again after lots of fun indulging! (I think life comes in seasons, and they should all be enjoyed! Celebrating with family and friends is a blessing! :)

Right now, as we move into fall, we're focusing on veggies and generally avoiding lots of heavy meat, dairy, and sugary snacks or desserts. We aren't sticklers about it, but eating well and exercising feels wonderful already!

Here are nine foods we've been loving lately:

1. Seasoned veggies in large quantities:


(I added a little garlic salt and a tiny bit of olive oil)...


2. Our longtime favorite, pinto beans:


With nothing added but a good amount of salt and cooked for hours:


3. Zucchini ribbons + tomatoes with (leftover) red potatoes, with garlic, salt, and cashew butter:



A little bit of cashew butter makes for a deliciously creamy sauce:


4. Tater tots + roasted veggies. I put this all on a tray to bake while we went on a family walk and it was awesome (I also had hamburgers baking for the kids at the same time):


5. Rice, corn, and salsa. This easy combo makes for a quick lunch and provides lots of energy (and starch for feeding babies!):


6. Chicken salad with apples and cranberries. This takeout salad had more sugar than I prefer, but it was a semi-healthy option for a quick lunch from Whataburger:


7. Green beans and rice with seasoning. (Rice is the other staple here- we eat it daily!). I was really hungry so I added a can of tuna after I took the pic. (I'm eating more lean meats than he is right now, depending on how hungry I am between nursing and rebuilding muscle).


8. Rotini pasta with white balsamic vinaigrette (from Sam's Club). This was a huge hit with the kids and so cheap and easy! This was a lunchtime alternative to sandwiches and everybody loved it. I had a few bites as I threw it together and it was surprisingly tasty!


9. Salad. This romaine, spinach, bell pepper, tomato, and sunflower seed combo is what I am loving this week:


And with a little of this dressing (also from Sam's)? It's ahhhmazing. It's so good, I almost wish I hadn't bought it! (Though I am glad a kind cousin introduced us! :P ) :)


I have yet to figure out what we'll have for dinner tonight, but I do hope it involves that dressing! haha! 

Happy weekend!!! :D

Thursday, August 17, 2017

science for kids: free Aug. 21 eclipse ebook from Apologia

Did you know an eclipse is supposed to take place next Monday, August 21? (if the Lord allows!)

Lately I'm finding myself a little out of the loop when it comes to current events, so I'm thankful for sweet friends who tell you an eclipse is coming soon and give your entire family special viewing glasses! And for other blog friends who post about free ebooks you can do with your kids! :)

Here's a link to sign up for a free 20-page ebook from Apologia about the coming eclipse!


If the Lord wills, we're planning to go through ours tomorrow and Monday morning before the eclipse crosses here! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Zane turns 4

Our littlest man turned four years old on Sunday! Birthdays are a big deal at our house, and I think Zane really enjoyed every moment of his day. :)


It was a sleepy day- it was so dark outside that we slept in later than we expected, but we still had time for cinnamon rolls and presents before church. :) The kids all made him cards (I LOVE his expression here!):


 This time we went for orange cinnamon rolls (going with the orange theme he requested!):



One of his birthday presents from us was this Robin costume (his favorite character!):


And then after church, we had pizza for lunch and homemade pizza for dinner! :)


I doubled the pizza dough recipe from this book (just flour, water, salt, yeast, olive oil, and a little sugar):


And this was the tasty outcome of all that dough:


I was most excited about the caramelized onion pizza (bottom right) inspired by my friend Sophie who lives in France! I couldn't get her original recipe from my email (it was down), but I did my best to replicate it with what we had and it was an incredible combo!! I used onions, cream cheese chunks, garlic, butter, and olive oil and we fell in love with a brand new style of pizza! (Thank you, Sophie, for opening up a whole new world to us!)

And then for dessert we enjoyed his creative request: strawberry cake with orange (carrot strawberry) icing and strawberries on top:


Oh, that boy- he makes us all smile. We love him so. His tender heart is a precious gift to our family. He is one of a kind!

Monday, August 14, 2017

unbelievably amazing, my sidekick, + helpmating & other goals this week

Our weekend began with an excruciating trip to the grocery store where I spent five whole minutes in the parking lot without ever leaving my car. ;) If you haven't tried it before, let me tell you- Walmart's grocery pickup service is the best thing invented in the last decade! You grocery shop through their website, download their app, and then as you drive into the Walmart parking lot, their employee COMES OUTSIDE WITH YOUR GROCERIES and LOADS them in your car! It is incredible.

(I wish I could use a hundred more exclamation points for how amazing it is, but my ! key is almost worn out already so I'll leave it to your imagination. ;) ).


We picked up for the very first time at the end of June after Kristin reminded me of it in the comments on this post. Now I'm not sure I can ever go back to regular shopping again.


And then, my night became even better- we bought dinner without getting out of the car either!! (What IS this world coming to??)


We worked almost all day Saturday, and then on Sunday we went to church and celebrated Zane's birthday (I hope to post about it tomorrow, Lord-willing). Today we had family over and the party kept going- the kids got to see their aunt, cousins, and Nana! We had the best time visiting while the kids played.

This little lady is starting to love the sling, thankfully- which freed my hands up a bit while we were preparing for the day. I wore this sling with Isabella, and wore this very black sling for months with Ava (8 years ago!). I'm so happy Naomi is getting the hang of it too:


I love babywearing! Give me all the squishy sweet babies!! I love, love this 5-week-old stage:


But the 2-year-old stage is pretty cute too, I'll admit: :D


It's certainly no little task to have small ones, but these babies bring us SO much joy!! What a blessing kids are, at all the stages, big and small.

Here's what I have on my goal list this week:

:: do ::

pray alone
exercise 5x
listen to worship music
blog every day :D
wash sofa cushions
do sewing repairs

:: read :: 
Ruth + Psalms

:: learn :: 
listen to 2-3 teachings/ sermons

:: be ::
a good helpmate.

My husband has been really busy dealing with lots of unexpected work for the last several weeks, so I would like to help him in any way I can to lighten his burdens here. I'm not really sure what that will entail yet as far as to-do list activities, but I'm pretty sure that his wife having a good attitude is always helpful no matter what. ;) We are a team, and I want to be willing to carry extra loads when he has to. :)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

the happiest news ever

This is the best news your ears could ever hear:


"God is not only just and he’s not only wrathful. He’s massively loving, and God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to hang on a cross and become a curse for us, so that all of the wrath designed for us for eternity would be wrapped up in Jesus. As we fly to Jesus and say, “Take me, please, cover me, shield me, be my refuge,” he will, and never again will there be one moment of wrath on your life. Not one moment."

Saturday, August 12, 2017

our saturday: cleaning + baking

So far we've spent our Saturday cleaning the house and getting ready for Zane's birthday tomorrow. :D 

As a mama, I wasn't quite sure how to handle a Sunday birthday and not working so we can focus on the Lord except to prepare as much as possible today so that we can enjoy tomorrow fully and worshipfully rest while loving on our Zaner. :)

What it seems is that loving the Lord and loving others is what we're called to do, so Robert and I agreed that loving Zaner tomorrow would be doing good. I would like to pray more about it! I've started to love the Sabbath (we observe it as Sunday)- I've been learning more and more that spending all of Sunday focusing on the Lord (and trying not to work for myself or spend it on my pleasure) is so beneficial for my soul for the rest of the week. God's law is so perfect! It makes me excited for tomorrow.

Zane requested pizza and strawberry cake with orange icing and strawberries on top for his dinner tomorrow. I found this cake recipe and so far it tastes great: 



For the icing, I blended carrots up to make the orange color:


I think it looks slightly more orange in real life, but I was pleased with the flavor (I added the strawberry puree):


 The kids helped clean out the snack drawer (and it looks so much better!):


Then we moved all the furniture to the center of the room as usual so everyone could mop:


As of right now, I still have to bake one more cake layer, ice it (it seems to have stuck to the pan, so I'm praying it will come out), clean the bathtubs, finish my workout (it was too hot at 11!), and schedule tomorrow's post. And eat dinner. :D

I like getting lots of work done on days like today, because busy Saturdays make restful Sundays even sweeter! :)
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