Friday, June 24, 2011

And in Other Places in the Yard....

Rachel and Grace were trying to reclaim the front yard.

Grace was cleaning up around the boxwoods.

By the time she could tell they were boxwoods again! Thanks, Grace!

And Rachel was trying to find the 'Baby's Blanket' roses near the arbor...I think she found one still living!

Both of these girls would rather have been in the vegetable least because of the mess they were dealing with in their part of the yard. They now have the front a bit less intimidating to tackle for the next time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our Children's Garden...In Pictures

 Here is the head of the planting crew. Joshua took charge, following instructions from Grandpa!

He made a string guide for each of the help make them straight.

Madeline was his best under-gardner.

 He showed her how to run her hoe along the string to make the rows.

And she made row after row

after row. (I think that makes 3 rows....yea, that's about right!) 
Joshua made most of these rows before Maddy made it out to the garden!

For each kind of seed, Joshua gave Madeline a way to space accurately. For these seeds it was a stick.

For the beans, she placed them the distance between her pinky and thumb.

James got in on the planting too.

They each had their own measuring trick.

Zachary made an appearance to help with the covering of the seeds.

He's a pretty good little worker.

Megan got in on some of the action....but was mostly there for the photo op.

Okay...she was covering the seeds...not just smiling for the camera...

Not a quick worker...but she did get a few rows covered.

Needing a break Meg? While everyone works around you?

Muddy Maddy's gardening tip: It's important to keep your hoe clean!...

But shoes, legs and..

shorts....that is an entirely different issue.

The garden is planted except for the pumkins. It was done entirely by children (Joshua, James, Zachary, Megan and Madeline - the oldest and youngest of that group doing the most work!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being Blest by One of Our Blessings!

We are always blest by all of our blessings, but I do have a specific incident to share.

After yesterday's post referring to the cultural norms that are prevalent in our society - the worldview that eliminates absolutes in favor of people defining their own truth based on feelings rather than facts...maybe all of that wasn't exactly said yesterday...but it was in mind when I posted :) , I was encouraged by my daughter Rachel. We were assembling some ice cream sandwiches and just talking. Rachel is reading the book, "John Adams" by David McCullough, and she was telling me her new favorite quote.

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

- John Adams

John said this as he was defending some British soldiers in their trial for crimes (I guess that would be murders)  commited at the Boston Massacre.  His speech in defense of the soldiers resulted in their acquittal. was a blessing to hear her talk about the book, the quote and her appreciation of...TRUTH!

May you have a day filled with The Truth!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Like....You Know?

A few years ago when our older children were beginning to study worldviews, we came across this video that really hit the mark w/ the language our culture is using and it's relationship to current trends in ideology. It was amazing to me to hear the intonation of speech patterns mimicking the philosophy that was/is being promoted. To recognize that we are living in a time that when it is looked down upon to have an opinion based on facts is really mind boggling to me. Our three oldest children were in a writing class at the local junior college...actually hoping to become better writers. What they were required to do was respond to articles about social issues. They were even told that their grammar didn't matter for some of the papers! They had to write argumentative essays and were told that they should NOT use any facts.....if they really felt it necessary to use a fact, they needed to conceal it very well. This class was another example of the worldviews that exist in our culture. This video is funny, but speaks to the cultural norms of our time (even though it is rather dated).

We are confronted on all sides w/ people redefining truth as whatever a person believes it is. Speaking w/ authority is seen as argumentative. Believing in right and wrong is offensive.

 May we be a people who speak what is true - God's Word:

Psa_51:6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Psa_86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Psa_119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.

Psa_119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

Psa_145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

 Just as a note:  I haven't seen any other videos by this gentleman that I would recommend. Sorry the sound is out of synchronization...? Don't know why.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Family Unity

Our family has had some ..... opportunities (as my wonderful husband refers to  them) in the unity department lately. We need to be ....reminded of some priorities. Fortunately, my bloggy friend, Kirsteen, referred to her father making an address to a denomintional assembly meeting that has been quite inspiring and encouraging to us. Though his audience was quite vast, I can hear his words referring to life within our little famliy here on the west coast of the U.S - our distractions, our contentions, our priorities. His address was titled, "The Glory of Christ in Relation to the Life of the Church".  I have been mulling over his sermon and chatting about it w/ my daughters. It is well spoken and if you get a chance to listen or read it, you will benefit from it!

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guess What Project started at Our House on Saturday...

We built an addition on to our home 4 years ago. It was an amazing event to us. The way God provided for the addition in so many different aspects is still one that leaves us in awe. I should tell that story sometime....
Our flooring has been painted subflooring since that time. It's not a bad flooring...sort of looks like bonded leather when it's painted dark brown....but it does chip up and look bad rather quickly. This year, we will have the privilege of putting oak flooring in the dining area. It is about half way finished at this point. Here are some pictures of the progress.This is my father in the foreground...

 This is one of our favorite parts of the new flooring...a flush mounted floor vent!

some sweet feet checking out the smooth surface..

Well, now, this critter will NOT be allowed on the new children assure me that they did not put this bucket on the Goodness's head....though they did run for the camera and caught the shenanigan for our enjoyment!

Guess it seems rather ingenious to take your food with you...perhaps all of our sheep will catch on to this fashionable, practical bucket attire!

Just a little Question

As our family sits and watches one of our all time favorite movies, (not a day goes by that we don't have quotes from this movie!), I began to wonder how many other fans of this movie are out there.... I first saw this movie when I was about 19 years old.....that'd be 28 years ago. We still laugh at it! Our children laugh at it! So, here's the question...
How many of you scale the "Cliffs of Insanity"?,

 wonder at the true meaning of the word "inconceivable"? ,
when you hear someone say
 " I mean it!",  respond w/  "anybody want a peanut?"

Or do you tease your children about ROUS's?

and tell people to "have fun stormin' the castle...."?

So, are you a Princess Bride kind of person?
If, somehow, you have never seen this movie....we HIGHLY recommend it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Book List Recommendations

There are some books that daddy reads aloud to us. Some of them can be gotten as books on cd at the local library. I provided a link to most, just because I'm a visual person and like to see what they look like - I am not affiliated w/ amazon, I just frequently look there for book options!

These are some family favorites:

The Narnia books by C.S. Lewis
The Ranger's Apprentice books by John Flanagan
"Derwood Inc." by Jeri Massi - our family still laughs everytime we read's really fun!
"Ella Enchanted" - Gail Carson (we would not recommend other books by this author...)

And the childrens' recommendations:


Benjamin (18 yrs. old) -The Last Jihad series by Joel Rosenberg, "John Adams" by David McCullough, "Understanding the Times" by David Noebel - actually a worldview textbook, but the older children all really enjoyed going thru the course.

Emily (17 yrs. old) - "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis, "Behold the Dawn" by K. M. Weiland, "The Shadow of the Bear", "Black as Night", Waking Rose" by Regina Doman (These are modern day fairy tales...well, retold fairy tales. My older daughters read these aloud and did some editing as they read...there is some subject matter that is too intense for family reading) , "Anne of Green Gables" series by L.M. Montgomery)

Rachel (15 yrs.old) - The Little Maid books by Alice Turner Curtis (been a favorite for years for her!), "John Adams" by David McCullough

Joshua (13 yrs.old) - "Duncan's War", "King's Arrow", "Rebel's Keep", "Guns of Thunder", Guns of the Lion", "Guns of Providence" (Faith and Freedom Trilogy), "Hostage Lands", "The Betrayal", all by Douglas Bond, G.A. Henty books - looks like there are several free download-able books for your kindle or your computer!, "Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Grace (12 yrs. old) - "The Tinker's Daughter", and "The Captive Princess" both by Wendy Lawton, "The Lacemaker and the Princess" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

James (10 yrs. old) - "The Minute Boys of Lexington" and "The Minute Boys of Bunker Hill" both by Edward Stratemeyer, "Adam of the Road" by Elizabeth Janet Gray, "The Magna Charta" by James Daughtery, "Otto of the Silver Hand" by Howard Pyle (this is a free download for your Kindle - or your computer...), "The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush" and "The Curse of the Romany Wolves" by Sally Jones Rogan

Zachary (7yrs old) - "The Princess and the Goblin" by George MacDonald, (free kindle or computer download), "The Minute Boys of Lexington" and "The Minute Boys of Bunker Hill" both by Edward Stratemeyer, "Godliness is Great Gain" author unknown, "The Seven Chinese Brothers" by Margaret Mahy, "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel", "The Little House" and "Katy and the Big Snow", by Virginia Lee Burton, "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey, "A Tale of Two Princes" by Eckart Zur Nieden, "Tale of Three Trees" by Angela Elwell Hunt, "The Battle of the Beasts" by Diz Wallis, "Dinosaurs for Kids" by Ken Ham, "Uncovering the Mysterious Woolly Mammoth"and "Life in the Great Ice Age" by Michael Oard

Megan (5 yrs old) - "The Seven Chinese Sisters" by Kathy Tucker - (Here is a link to Megan reading the first half of the book), My Fist Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Wandering May" by Mary Code

Madeline (5 yrs old) - "Little Daisy and the Swearing Class" author unknown, "Lighthouse - A Story of Remembrance" by Robert Munsch

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Scene We Hope to See More of....

Sarah needed to accompany some of her students on the guitar for her students' recital...she is teaching herself to play it (Gregg bought the guitar when he was in high school w/ those blue stamps that the grocery store used to give out....remember those?) Emily just got a mandolin for her birthday - she's had her eye on one for a few years tonight they were just playing around...funny to go back to those beginner days w/ them (they play their violins so beautifully now!) But these instruments are a lot of fun! - I'm definately looking forward to some toe tapping music eminating from them soon, and if their laughter is any will be worth the effort!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Craigslist Finds

A sofa and a loveseat for our little sitting area....
Definately spruces up the area! (That and the fact that I shampooed the carpet...but that's a different story!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's official....

The Summer Reading Program has begun!

I  would love for you to leave a comment and let us know your favorite books and the ages for which they are best suited! (Adult and children recommendations are all welcome!)  We will comprise our list and post it soon!
Here is Sarah's current list.
 Thanks so much!
Here's hoping you all have a well read summer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spinach Ravioli

One of our family's favorite meals is Spinach Ravioli. As such, we frequently have it for special occasions....well, such as a dear daughter turning 17 years old!

First, you squeeze all of the liquid out of the spinach, and then blend it w/ the eggs (recipe is below).

Next, you roll out a piece of the dough into a snake and then roll the snake flat......

Now, dollop the cheese mixture onto the dough leaving spaces between that are large enough to cut between. Fold the dough length wise around the  filling dollops, and press closed on the long edge and between the filling.

Cut between the dollops forming these little pillows of cheese.....yummy. I press the edges together again at this point and try to tidy up the appearance.

We floured a sheet pan and refrigerated them until time to cook. You can freeze them at this point as well.

 Rachel and I had the privilege of making up about 100 of these cheese filled little pillows.  They are delicious....unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the actual serving of the delicasies...but imagine a lovely red marinara sauce drizzled generously on top, and - if you LOVE cheese as we do - a topping of parmesan.


1) Puree the following ingredients in a blender:

10 oz. frozen spinach (cooked, drained, water pressed out it)
2 eggs
1 tsp. olive oil

2) Transfer to a mixer add, and process until a ball forms:

2 2/3 cup flour
1/2 ts. salt

You may be able to do both of these steps in a food processor, but I don't own one, so I don't know....

Cover and let rest 10 minutes.


Mix the following together in a large bowl:

1 1/3 cups mozarella cheese
2/3 cups parmesan cheese
8 oz. cream cheese
1 T. milk

Assemble as described above. Boil at a fast boil for 5 minutes. Serve w/ warmed red sauce.  ENJOY!

*NOTE* - We quadrupled the recipe for our family of 12. There are NEVER any leftovers.