Monday, March 19, 2012


This is something we talked about in bible study tonight, and something I've continued to think over since I came home...

As babies we learn to walk, and learning to walk also includes falling from time to time. Falling (though unfortunate) is a necessary part of learning, and everytime it happens we have to teach our kids to dust themselves off, get back up, and try again. Throughout our lives we are going to fall (or fail)... It sometimes hurts and can be painful, but it's necessary for us to learn, and it's important that when it happens that we learn from our mistakes, dust ourselves off, and try again. As one of my sweet friends pointed out, as parents it can be much easier said than done to allow our kids to make mistakes and learn from them. This is so true! I'm sure God feels the same way about watching us (his children) fall, but He knows it's necessary for us to grow and so it has to happen.

As a homeschooling mama, it's very hard to watch James not do something right and not correct him right away. As his teacher and his mom, I've become really good at knowing his struggles exactly, and I can usually look at a lesson and be able to tell beforehand exactly where he's going to have problems. Sometimes that can be a good thing, and I am able to coach him through and help him along. However, sometimes I have to let him make mistakes so he can see where he went wrong and correct it himself. This year his lessons include little tests along the way....I have explained to him each time he takes a test that mommy will help him read (because we haven't mastered all reading yet) the instructions, but that I cannot help him with the test. A few times I have read the instructions to a problem, and I have known that he didn't really listen to the instructions as he starts to quickly mark the incorrect answer. Then while grading I have to mark it wrong, and we have to discuss what he needs to do in the future to get the right answer. This is really hard for him and for me.....for him it's hard to fail, and for me it's hard to watch it happen....but at the same time I know it's necessary part of learning. As parents, it's important to know that at some point our kids are going to fail, and that that is ok.

We are all going to have times where we stumble and fall. We are all going to have times where we have to choose to get back up, dust ourselves off, and keep going.

James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

And Hebrews 12: 1-3 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Let's start with the verse from James.....not only does it say the trials will come but it also says to rejoice in them....oh so much easier said than done!! But I can also know within a trial that it's a time for me to grow, persevere, and become a more mature person.

Let's face it...there will be times when we fall and we don't want to get up. There will be times when we want to lay in the pit and simply say, "no more....I can't do it anymore."

That is where Hebrews 12 reminds me that: A. We don't have to do this alone and B. Jesus has already run this race. There is a goal....there is a destination....there is a purpose (as hard as that is to swallow sometimes). God sent Jesus to pay the ultimate price for our sins...He took our punishment, endured the cross and it's shame (random thought...what do you think is worse? Falling? Or the shame that we can carry with falling?). But (praise the Lord!) Jesus endured...He persevered...He died for our sins but He also rose again and is now seated with the Father in Heaven. And we also are going to be faced with trials in this race called life, and we have to get back up, persevere, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

You are going to fall...that is a fact.

And Thankfully God loves us and is faithful....He knows we will fall and He will be there (just like a good parent) to pick us up, dust us off, and help us to perservere.

And to quote one of my current favorite songs (just b/c I can), "Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did you leave us on our own. You are faithful. God you are faithful."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In this home.....

I saw this today as a listing in a vinyl decal shop, and just had to steal it....

In this home...
we do second chances.
we do grace.
we do real.
we do mistakes.
we do I'm sorrys.
we do loud really well.
we do hugs.
we do family.
we do love.


Here's the listing if you want to check it out for yourself, and the shop is even located close to my hometown!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We're a stick family!

Sometimes you find little fun things on the internet and you just can't resist! My little stick family was one of those things. ...

My Stick Family from

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yard Sale Find!

Today I went around to a few yard sales with a friend, and I found the best toy! James loves building things, and running his cars down ramps. He's also been seriously talking to me about building a ramp with tubes for a golf ball to run down since he saw it done on PBS a few weeks ago. So, I knew when I found this marble maze set at a yard sale that if the price was right, then it was coming home with me. I was so pleased when the lady told me it was only $1.00!! So, two big bags of blocks and tracks, and 6 marbles came home with me! And two little kiddos were extremely thrilled and spent over 2 hours playing with it. Even Andy and I got in on the action!

We had so much fun!
It was the best dollar I've ever spent!
P.s. The letter blocks were ours that we added in to get some more height, but everything else came with the set!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Girl's First Haircut

I guess maybe one day "Manfa" won't be "baby girl" anymore....For that matter I guess one day Samantha might not like being called "Manfa" anymore....but at least for now to us she is "baby girl" and sometimes "Manfa" (the nickname given to her by James at birth b/c he couldn't say "Samantha").

And today baby girl got her FIRST EVER 3 1/2 years old!

Now really it wasn't that we were attached to her hair or against cutting it....really it was just that the length snuck up on us, and then (once it was obvious she needed a haircut) getting her an appointment just kept getting pushed to the back burner.

Well TODAY was THE day!!! Here are the pictures everyone has been asking about....

Love this shot....she loved getting her hair washed! I was so surprised b/c she hates us washing it at home!!
Looking into the mirror...
Love this face too....
And finally AFTER!
My favorite shot...
I love it!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sick of being Sick

Our family started in with "sickness" shortly after the beginning of the year. It seems like since then at least one or two of us have been sick every week. It all started with the kids who seemed to have a 24 hour virus. A couple of days after they were better, I came down with a bad cold/flu type thing. I was in bed for almost a full day and felt terrible for 2 days after that. Then as soon as I got better, James started saying his ears hurt and Andy started saying his throat hurt. I took James to the doctor and discovered he had a double ear infection, and on antibiotics he went. A few days later Andy also went to doctor and found out he had strep throat....on antibiotics he went! Then I got sick again with a bad sinus cold. Shortly after I got well, Samantha started getting sick with a stomach virus. And now I'm sick with a stomach virus too!! (I currently feel awful, but I thought maybe doing something would get my mind off of feeling bad)

I say all of that to say: I'm sick of being sick.

I have tried my best to disinfect the house in between my episodes of being sick....I'm about ready to bring a pressure washer full of Lysol in here, but that's probably not as good of an idea as it sounds.

The kids and Andy have been troupers. We've all been taking care of each other as each one gets sick.

I'm just really ready for all of us to be well..... for an extended period of time!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Citrus Chicken Salad

Picture from

I love Publix. The store is always clean; the people who work there are friendly; there are free cookies for my kids at the bakery; and they offer their recipes for you to try in the store. What could be better?

The recipe for the citrus chicken salad was the one being featured the other night when I went with the kids, and it was delicious! The chicken was so tender....I really thought, "ok, this is just because someone else cooked it in some special pan that I do not have." So, I asked the girl how she cooked the chicken and it was just a regular pan, and she told me to follow the recipe and my chicken would turn out the same. I followed the recipe and SUCCESS!! It was sooooooo good, and filling too!

Here's the recipe.... Go to or to the store for more!

(click on the name to go to the recipe at

2–3 grapefruit
1/2 cup lemon curd
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 3/4 lb)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 of a (4–5-oz) bag spring mix salad blend

Cut grapefruit in half; remove grapefruit sections.

Squeeze the grapefruit membranes for juice (about 1 1/3 cups).

  1. Whisk lemon curd into grapefruit juice until smooth; whisk in sesame seeds and garlic.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place oil in pan then add chicken (wash hands); cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Reduce heat on chicken to medium. Add 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook 4–5 minutes or until 165°F.
  4. Arrange spring mix on serving platter. Slice chicken; arrange grapefruit and chicken over spring mix. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 430kcal; FAT 11g; CHOL 140mg; SODIUM 200mg; CARB 37g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 41g; VIT A 50%; VIT C 110%; CALC 6%; IRON 10%

This is the original recipe, but I did make a couple of tweaks.....I used oranges instead of grapefruit b/c Andy and I are not really grapefruit fans. I added pepper to the dressing mixture and did not use the sesame seeds because I didn't have those in my pantry. I had to cook my chicken longer than they suggested, but the chicken was really thick...I probably should have cut it into smaller pieces, but it was still tender even though I had to cook it a bit longer. And I cooked my chicken in extra virgin olive oil instead of canola oil. I sprinkled just a little Parmesan cheese on top too. I also made the "cheese crisps" to go with it (which is actually cheese toast ;o)).

We both loved it! Definitely a recipe we'll use again!