Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fire Walking

The last few days have been crazy to say the least. I read Isaiah 43 this morning and it really hit I'm sharing it :)

Isaiah 43: 1-3

But now, this is what the Lord says-
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

We are His--called by His name--precious and honored in His sight--redeemed--Loved!

God doesn't promise life to be all sunshine and rainbows--puppies and cookies and pink lemonade. We will encounter difficulties. Life can be messy. Things won't always go our way. But do not fear! When you're in the middle of a raging river, you will not be swept under....doesn't say that you won't get wet or have a hard time making it to the other side. Some fire will need to be crossed, but you won't get burned...doesn't mean it won't be hot or that you won't be scared out of your mind!

Difficulties will come and go, but God will bring us through! So, take a deep breath in and step on out---the water's fine!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fears and Tears

Jamie left for Kidzlink camp early early this morning....he didn't want to hug goodbye in front of his buddies...instead I got "peace out"! (to which I grabbed him in my arms and gave him the biggest slobbery kiss ever!)
No Bugs on Me! (after seeing them check all of the lovely girls with long, long hair, I'm pretty glad that I just have to deal with that nice soft freshly sheared buzz cut!)
No bumpy school buses for these kids! (coach all the way---with in flight/bus movies too!) Their cabins have air conditioning, the camp has indoor and outdoor pools, a skate park, a lake filled with blow up toys, rock walls and zip lines......He's never going to want to come home!!!!
So, off he went for the week. I cried in the parking lot. I'm not a mommy mom. My new favorite saying for the boys is Suck It Up Buttercup (thanks Green Girl!). We live in a man house, no drama or tears! But there I was, crying with that pit of your stomach dread. What if something happened? What if he goes to the bathroom at McD's and they leave him miles from home? Does he know our phone number? What if he gets hurt....or worse? Could I make it to St. Louis in time? Ahhhh...seriously, WTH!!! He went last year, so why am I a mess this year?!? It's not like this is the first camp ever....and I absolutely love the Kidzlink staff (they are the best kids church EVER)!
The service this weekend was on Truth. Battling those lies that the Devil likes to creep into your mind, debilitating you, making you want to run for cover and hold your babies close. The truth---Jamie will be fine...better than fine, he'll be fantastic! He's going to learn so much about God and grow deeper in his faith. We are so blessed to have him as a son. And we all are going to have a fun week just hanging as a family of 4 for the moment! Corey and Riley will get more one on one and it's going to be good!
Do you guys read Ann Voskamp? Seriously, check her post today! I was in tears (again...what is wrong with me?!? I feel like the Grinch growing a heart!) It's about Peter fishing all night and getting nothing, then Jesus says to go back out and their nets were overflowing. Life is hard, but if we trust in God's leading blessings will overflow our lives. Got me thinking big time. Jim is planning a pretty big trip next month to scope out a possible job. It's scary. A big move would be involved...kiss that comfort zone goodbye. So many how do you know it's God's leading and not your own head making you think it's God...or how do you know if God is holding you back or Satan sabotaging your path? Lots of prayer going out for this trip! (Jim will be going alone, so I have to totally let go of that whole control issue and trust Him to be lead....ahhhhhhh...)
Anyway, have a great week...we're super busy, so I might not be around much for the next couple of weeks, but I'll be back (I feel like the terminator!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feelin' Old ;)

My birthday's this weekend and I saw this on my cousin's facebook page----cracked me up! How in the world did I get this old? Seriously, 32 is how old I remember my MOM! Not me...I'm still 20...yep....uh huh!

Have a Fantastic Weekend!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Not Crunchy Granola...Yet!

We eat a lot of granola in our house. The boys can go through a box of granola bars in no time flat! Because we've sworn off processed boxed food, I had to search out a good easy alternative to those HFCS, preservative and who knows what else loaded little packaged bars.

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Now, a quick warning...I really don't "measure" for my granola...I just dump until I have in what I want and it Always turns out good (each time it's a little different, but still equally as wonderful!).

1 1/2 rounded cups oats (I usually use regular, but have previously used quick oats and it's just fine)
1/4 cup sugar (we omit this...if you're a sweeter kind of person go by SK's suggestions and use 1/2 c)
1/2 cup oat flour (do not buy oat flour! put 1/2 cup oats in your coffee grinder and save $$$)
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 3 cups miscellaneous odds and ends from your pantry (I'll elaborate after each pic!)
1/2 cup Peanut butter (or other nut butter or omit completely)
1/4 cup honey
6 Tbs melted butter
1 Tbs water

Mix dry ingredients. Stir butter, honey, pb together (if you're using the pb, melt it in the microwave for a sec with the butter so it's easier to stir in) and water. Mix together everything so that it's evenly distributed. Spray a 9x13 with pam and bake 350 for 20-30 min (until its nice and golden brown, but watch for the edges to burn quickly!)

Peanut Butter version:(the pic is HORRIBLE...clouds and cell phone cams are not friends!)
The boys aren't really into dried fruit so this is our standard breakfast granola bar.
The 2-3 cups are made up of:
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup very finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup white chocolate chips (only because I was making them for a friend, but YUM!)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

If the boys weren't such peanut hogs, I probably would have added a 1/2 cup of peanuts in to it too!

My personal fave White Chocolate Cranberry: (this is what golden brown is supposed to look like!)

Never...Never...Never leave a warm pan of granola in reach of your kids.....especially if they are going to your wonderful friend Amber whose stuck holding an equally wonderful baby all day! (wish I had that same problem!...too bad they don't stay like that forever!)

2-3 cups are made up of: (I have no idea why it started double spacing, but grrrrr blogger!)

1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup coconut

You seriously should make excuses!

Lightly Toasted or Burned to a Crisp?

So.....are you a lightly toasted marshmallow kind of person? (look at the concentration on Jim's face! it seriously takes him ForEver to roast a marshmallow, but their perfect.)

Or...Burnt to a crisp? Personally, I love Jim's for smores..all shmellty and gooey, but to sit down and eat a marshmallow, it's gotta be charred!

The weekend's are our time for fires. I'd like to make Sunday nights our traditional bon fire night for the summer, but we'll see ;)
We may have been having hot dogs, but there was plenty of hams all around!
And then Riley said "HEY! Why are you taking so many pictures of Corey and not ME!?!" (sorry kiddo, but Corey was being hilarious...pooor pitiful 3rd child, always getting left out...yeah right!)

Then he found Dad's lap and everything was all good (especially since, if you're counting, he's in more pictures than Corey!)
Jamie on the other hand, could have cared less...pre-preteen, can it get any better!

Monday, June 7, 2010

From Hulk To Happy

My fantastic mom picked up a couple of these framed "posters" when the local Blockbuster went out of business. She got them for next to nothing...honestly, I have no idea what Coldplay even sings so I had no problem painting over their serious stares! It's about a 2'x4' frame and the picture has a rough texture to it...could be ok for painting, but not so much for chalkboards.Flip that baby over and Viola! Smooth surface, but cruddy cheapo frame needs some major tlc!
3 coats of chalkboard paint and a million pieces of scrapbook paper mod poged on's really not speaking to me! (after I took this picture, I sanded down the raw edges on the inside of the frame...still...ehhh)
I tried doing a multi media approach, but blech....even worse! Sorry that there's no picture because I went from mild mannered mom of 3 to The Incredible Hobby Hulk~and kind of sort of ripped the frame off with a screw driver and shear muscle!
Jim came in at this point and I could see it in his face~he was wondering if he'd been spotted and if he had enough time to make a get away! I asked him if he could cut it down and take some scrap molding and just nail this to the wall (because I originally wanted it on this space by the garbage cupboard, but with the frame on it wasn't even close to fitting). When I went to show him how much to cut off, Surprise! fits! Someday I'll have him finish it off better, but for now I'm happy :)
For those of you who don't have much chalkboard experience, all ways, all ways, all ways rub it down with chalk to season the paint (otherwise could end up with the image or words burned into the paint).
Wipe it off with a damp cloth and go for it!
We made a summer list (idea totally stolen from whatever...whom I adore!).
My goal this summer is to make it to at least one park a week to hike or bike and then squeeze in a fun thing whenever possible. My new found blogger friends from the breakfast last month really inspired me to take the boys to more parks. It almost seems like society has lost that love of the outdoors...who'd want to get all sweaty when you could sit in an air conditioned theater and watch Shrek 3!?! (by the way...have any of you heard that McDonalds recalled ALL of their 12 million cadmium tainted Shrek glasses? mom bought the boys 6 of those puppies and they've been drinking out of them all week...Stupid McDonalds...Stupid company that they bought their cups from....Stupid government...anyone else to blame for this?...well, they're stupid too! Who puts toxic metal in paint that will be on something a kid's lips will be on?!? They must have been drinking the same koolaide as the bp execs!)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Play Ball!

J's first game was last night (8pm under the lights...can we say BUG CITY!!!)
He struck out his first at bat, but then the next time he got a hit to first :) He was so nervous last night...he didn't hardly eat supper and we could tell he was just a bundle of nerves. He had a blast! Spittin' sunflower seeds with all of his new found buds, drinking gatoraide like it's going out of style, free stale popcorn after the game....10 year old boy heaven! They won 5 to 1 :)

I just love this kid! So proud of him for jumping right into a new situation with kids he doesn't really know....he's going to be my social butterfly!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hit The Trail Jack

Our adventure filled weekend ended with a bike ride at the Jane Addam's Trail. It's a bike trail that, if you're crazy enough, will take you all the way up to Madison (emphasis on CrAzY!)

We barely got the bikes out of the truck bed and they were off!
Even though it was hotter outside, the trail is pretty much surrounded by trees so it was pretty nice goings. It was an old railroad and every so often you'll see some cool old metal buildings...couldn't take too many pics or the boys would have left me in the dust!
We ended up biking for about 12 miles....everyone made it! This was Corey and Riley's first time on a trail riding on their own bikes :)
When we got home I made a good dinner to round out the events! Grilled Chicken, Jennifer's Macaroni Salad (which was awesome, but I stink at making hard boiled eggs!!!), corn on the cob and Blueberry Cobbler (adapted from PW's blackberry cobbler). I would have taken a picture, but we were all so hungry and tired that I totally forgot until we were half way through!
So, that's the last of our weekend...just in time for the next! Hope you all have fully recovered from your festivities!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On The Boat Again...

...just can't wait to get on the boat again...

Gov Nelson State Park has become our traditional Memorial Day Weekend spot. It's a nice big lake...last year it was 70 some degrees out and the water temp was in the low 60's...burrrrrrrr! Sunday was beautiful...90 outside and the water was 75 :) Jim said that they were expecting over 200 boats out on the lake, but we had plenty of room (unlike boating on the Rock..shudder)

Here's Jeremy's new's called the atom...and...the Boys LOVED it! Jamie brought his friend Jacob and they had a blast (Corey is next to Jeremy and wants nothing to do with the water so far this year:/)

Jamie tried really hard to get up on skis, but as you can see the lake was pretty choppy...he gave up after a certain mother got so excited and was seriously willing him to stand up that she forgot to let go of the rope causing the poor kid to drink half of lake Mendota!

So the boys decided to just stick with the tubes~

Riley was absolutely beat~look at how scrunched up his little nose is on the seat belt!
He slept a good hour on the way home!
Hope your weekend was full of sunshine and fun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lions And Tigers And Bears...Oh My!

On Saturday, I took the boys to a local park to do some trail hiking...."Hey, stop here...that's the trail dad took us on last year." Super Duper! The "trail" that dad took them on was pretty far from a trail! (I shoulda known!)

I love this picture...they look so timid...actually they're holding water bottles and I'm refraining them from running wild!

Corey kept whispering "Lions and tigers and bears..Oh My!" When the trail got a bit lost, Jamie said "Are we mice or men?!?" Well, I'm a mom and I say let's turn back ;) We finally found a real trail, one with mostly grass paths! So, we headed out and promptly got lost...well, not really lost...just hiked for an hour and a half to find our way back to some place where we could get back to the car!

The boys were awesome at finding mushrooms, strange plants and birds! What good eyes they have (I really should get some sort of field guide so that they can look this stuff up!)

I totally forget the name of this plant...anyone?

We ended our little adventure by stopping out at Farm and Fleet to buy life jackets that fit (geez could they stop growing soooo fast!?!) and then on to a little treat!
Union Dairy is one of my most favorite local places. They're a cute old fashioned ice cream parlor with aWeSoMe ice cream! My fav is After Dinner Mint....soooo GOOD! Jamie tried one of their new flavors, Firecracker (strawberry ice cream with pop rocks...yeah, pop rocks!) Corey and Riley always get the Superman flavor!
In between the library and Union Dairy is a little park memorializing the Lincoln Douglas has lots of info and historical stuff that Jamie loved just as much as the ice cream :)
Riley, on the other hand, pretty much just loved his ice cream (nice mustache baby!)
(oh, and see that giant red bump on his chin...yeah...totally my of the year forgot bug spray as we were trekking through the wilderness!)