Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Pizza

I planned a really yummy Easter menu: boneless leg of lamb with mint balsamic drizzle, roast chicken (for the non-lamb-eaters), sweet potatoes, asparagus, fancy green salad, and homemade lemon meringue pie.

But we didn't eat that - not one bit of it. Instead we had pizza. In the photo above, the caprese skewers represent the only homemade item we had at our entire Easter feast! And it was GREAT!

It's been a busy few weeks, and even Spring Break was filled with things like taxes & doctors' appointments. So when the Saturday before Easter came and I started making my little "to do" list ... I also started to panic. My quick-thinking (and awesome) husband decided that the remedy was to skip it all, have pizza for Easter, and take the kids to a carnival Saturday night instead of staying up all hours to finish deviled eggs.

We had a blast at the carnival -- I wish you could have seen K's reaction to the thrill of her first fun house, first ferris wheel. We did a lot of spinning and going up high - and a lot of laughing. We stayed out late. And no one missed the leg of lamb. There's no obligation to make a big meal at Easter - the only obligation is to REJOICE in our Risen Savior!

This may go down in history as one of my favorite Easter Dinners ever!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(1 Peter 1:3 ESV)


I don't really love myself in this photo - that shirt is so much cuter in person, and I have strange unflattering shadows across my face. But there are so few pics of all seven of us ... and we worked so hard to get this family shot of our spring break getaway. (You should have seen the camera -- self-timer all set -- propped on a book-on top of a pillow-on top of a barstool. That's a fast 10 seconds, let me tell ya!)


Sunrise in the Blue Ridge Mountains

We enjoyed a quick getaway at the beginning of Spring Break. Found a good deal on 2 nights at a cabin with a hot tub, pool table, and this amazing view! It was SO GOOD to just slow down and spend a couple days just hanging out as a family!

Monday, February 27, 2012


daughter, M (almost 13), took this photo on the way to school. it was a very gloomy, yucky day and then, all of a sudden - a rainbow and a patch of sunlight! the phone camera just doesn't do it justice!

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. - Psalm 19:1

Sunday, February 26, 2012


my sweet hubby built me this table! i'm in LOVE! (with the table AND the man ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


terrarium we made for my brother-in-law's birthday. i love the way it turned out

Monday, February 13, 2012


Chocolate-dipped S'mores. I made these for youth group snacks and they were a big hit! (though it was kind of tedious, made a big mess i still haven't cleaned up, and didn't turn out AT ALL like what i pictured in my mind. but i think the teens felt loved, and that's all that matters.)


we took our Durer-inspired animal drawings and made "woodcuts" out of them (carved styrofoam plates and practiced making prints.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


a student's interpretation of me. much thinner and cuter than the original. ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2012


another snapshot of art class: Nativity Triptych

Friday, February 10, 2012


owl sketch by one of my art students. we studied Albrecht Durer's animal drawings as inspiration.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Note from my sweet hubby. Found in my lunchbox one day at art class.

Friday, February 3, 2012


In a little over a month, she'll be a teenager. Every now and then I get a glimpse of that. It happened in a blink!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


(about 90 seconds before a battle royale erupted with nerf darts and paper airplanes)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Beautiful sky on my Thursday run. So many shades of blue - the photo just doesn't do it justice.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork - Psalm 19:1

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Post-run breakfast (ran 3 miles in 32 degrees. brrrr!)
(egg scramble {b/c i stink at omlettes} with shallots, tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese - cooked in coconut oil and real butter; green tea with coconut oil and raw local honey. yummy.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Finished Product. Cost: Free - DIY'd from objects around the house! Now, to find some other white plates (or maybe empty white frames...?) and hang them on the wall with the turkey platter for a nice collage effect. I think. Any ideas?
(Look here and here to see where I got inspiration / instruction. Then I just googled a lot and got creative.)

Friday, January 13, 2012


Sock Monkey Shower
(sick kids + forgetful mom + running late = not-so-fantastic photos taken with my phone instead of my Nikon. /)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Sick Room

We've had a stomach virus moving through the family for about a week now. Anytime children are ill, mothering can be a challenge. But in large families, when the illness lasts 5-7 days per person, and no one gets sick at the same time ... it can drag on for what seems like eternity and a mom can grow very weary by the end.

The first couple of days, when only my littlest K (5) and the hubby were sick, kind of felt like a mini vacation. I was rested and cheerful, and in between checking on and helping out the two sickies, I worked on my wreath from Pinterest. But as the days went on, K became sicker and one by one the other children joined in. We haven't slept through the night since last Friday. The laundry has been going round the clock, and the house I got in order before the start of school is now a disaster area.

I'm pleased to report (and very grateful) that we've turned the corner and everyone is improving. However, as even more time passes, the little ones feel just well enough to be up and around, but not well enough to go to school. It's not as easy for mama to be cheerful. The ministry of the sick room now is less about cuddling and nursing, and more about constant work preparing foods that appeal to appetites in various stages of healing, helping with make-up schoolwork, cleaning all the sick rooms, and distracting not-quite-well children who have cabin fever.

As I've been going through the day, I keep thinking about a passage Nancy Wilson wrote about caring for sick children. It took some scrounging around to find the right passage, but I finally did. It's from Praise Her in the Gates, p. 34. Nancy says:
"When children are ill, it is a wonderful opportunity for teaching. You can model patience and cheerfulness to them when you get up in the night to comfort and minister to them. ... Mothers do have the capacity to make illness a happy memory"

She then goes on to talk about specific times when her children were sick and they read a whole book, or drank pop in the middle of the night, or watched old movies when the whole family was sick at the same time. I think back to when I was a child and being sick meant that my Mom made us cinnamon toast and we drank Sprite with a straw.
Hubby remembers his mom crushing ice with a hammer (no auto-ice dispensers back then, lol) and drinking Coke. I remember the time I had a terrible fever and was so miserable I couldn't sleep - my Mom sat by my bed reading aloud to me until I drifted off. What a blessing!

So I'm prayerfully "doing the next thing" in the sick room as I wipe bottoms, wash blankets and pillows, read aloud, watch cartoons, and of course,
make cinnamon toast. I pray that it will be a blessing to my children and a fond memory for them, too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Party Planning
gathering things for a friends' baby shower

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Christus Mansionem Benedicat - "May Christ Bless This House"
Happy Epiphany Sunday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012


It's January, so that means it's time for the 3rd Annual "Thirty Pictures" series.

a work in progress ... trying to actually *use* some of the great ideas on Pinterest.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Books

I'm excitedly making my way through the books I received this Christmas:

Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman -- I used to read a blog by that name - now Brenneman has gathered her ideas into a book full of practical tips on being a faithful home manager. I've already read about half the book, and most of the suggestions here would work for any size family.

Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide -- I'm ever-determined to exercise dominion over my camera and learn to take better photos!

Running With Joy by Ryan Hall -- I continue to be impressed with Hall, a US Olympic marathoner and committed Christian. Hoping to gain inspiration and motivation from this easy read.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - I bought this one for myself, to tell the truth. Merry Christmas to me! It's just that I read The Hunger Games so quickly, and loved it .... I couldn't wait to get my hands on book 2. Looking forward to the movie in March.

The Bible or the Axe by William O. Levi -- True story of a Sudanese Christian's escape from jihad that led to the foundation of Operation Nehemiah -- a ministry dedicated to rebuilding Sudan, aiding the persecuted Church there, and sharing the gospel.

Building Her House by Nancy Wilson -- From my hubby, because he knows I love to read anything by Mrs. Wilson. This one is a collection of essays on various topics from relationships to fighting the blues to the secret of good mac n cheese. :) I've already nearly finished it -- and though I've read some of the entries elsewhere before, the wisdom found in this accessible book has been a tremendous blessing already.

Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs -- From my beautiful sister. xo The first thing I love about this book is the aesthetic -- it's hand-lettered and charmingly illustrated by the author. But it's a keeper for the bounty of natural home-making, first-aid, and gardening information it contains. A fun, helpful little book.