Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weekday Wear

I've decided that I'm going to start posting weekly outfits (just because it's fun!)

*This collection is what I would call "everyday wear." I could chase my kids, do laundry, maybe even clean a bathroom or two, all while wearing it! Add the purse (big enough for baby's diaper and some wipes) and scarf when I'm heading out the door and the outfit is complete. If you notice two pairs of boots, this is the what I'd love to wear (ruffley heels) and what is practical (flat boots), but I like the flats just as much! I've iced it with lia sophia jewels from our fall/winter collection.

All these pieces are affordable. You could buy a piece at a time and they would easily fall into place next to your favorites in the closet. Especially the skinny jean!

*Click on the photo and it will take you to the list of all the pieces and where to find them :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Hope you all had a wonderful very Merry Christ filled Christmas season! I know I did! I received a new Camera!!! For an early gift! So happy I can take pictures again!

This year we did things a whole lot different than times past. Usually our Christmas contains a few "Christmases" and by the time we get to our families Christmas the kids want to sleep in and aren't really all that enthused about it. But, since moving this year and with the passes through the Gorge getting pretty hairy with snow and ice, we decided that it would be easier for the parents to last minute take a train here instead of the 7 of us. Thankfully the roads were clear and we were joined by Bob's parents and sister and my parents. My parents arrived the Monday before Christmas. Which gave us the perfect opportunity to bake cookies with Nana & Papa, and prep all the food before the big day! Bob's family arrived in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

We headed out to our churches Christmas Eve service where we sang praises to our Lord and listened to a sermon. Followed by a wonderful dinner that we had catered by Famous Dave's at our house. I know...BBQ of Christmas?! Yes, not your most conventional dinner, but it was a hit (and I didn't have to cook and do all the dishes!) :) We ate by candle light, drank from wine glasses (no wine, I just always loved as a kid when we could drink from "pretty" glasses), played Bing Crosby & Amy Grant's Christmas CD's (it doesn't feel like Christmas without them singing in the background!)

Aunt Stacey supplied us with these pretties to create a centerpiece!

The children opened one gift each from Grandma & Grandpa. Grandma & Grandpa always get them new p.j.'s to wear Christmas morning! You'll never see children more excited than ours to get pajamas!

Christmas morning we awoke with kids excited to see what gifts they'd be receiving. Alexis read Jesus' story from the Bible!

We opened gifts and made a fantastic brunch! I even got Bob's dad, Dennis, to cook his awesome breakfast potatoes! We feasted on quiche, potatoes, sausage, bacon, cranberry bread, and orange juice. So good!!!

Later after our bellies felt hungry, I set out our Christmas Tea yummies. Mulled Cider, Pimento & Cheese Sandwiches on Pumpernickel, Turkey, Cream Cheese & Cranberry Sandwiches, Cream Cheese w/Herbs & Cucumber Sandwiches, Pumpkin Pie Tartlets, Sugar Cookies, and Almond Truffle Temptations. Again, so good and not conventional! lol

All in all, I think it was one of the most restful, delicious Christmases we have ever experienced! Although it would have been even better if my sister, my brother & his family would have been able to come. San Antonio and China are a bit to far to visit! Sprinkle in some other relative's and it would definitely have been perfect!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Napkin Rings

(Don't mind the photo booth pictures...our camera is still out of's killing me not to be able to take pictures! Also the mess from our project on the table!)

As I was picking out Christmas tree decorations at Jo-Ann Fabrics, I found these beauties! Everything Christmas was 60% off!!! Originally $0.69 each I decided they would make adorable napkin rings for our Christmas Eve dinner.

So for $0.28 each the kids and I have made elegant napkin rings! Super simple. Super cheap.

Just bend the stem up and around the base of the Poinsettias. VoilĂ ! Add more elegance by using a linen napkin. Wouldn't that be luxurious?! For us though, we are sticking with a nice grade of paper (not the ones in the picture.) lol

Our son Ty thinks they look just as nice worn in my hair! lol

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Brother's Love

I've been realizing over the last few months how desperately Gabriel loves his little sister Shelby. He oozes love in all ways for his little sweetheart. It's adorable, selfless, compassionate, and endearing! He truly LOVES her as we should love others. He always puts her needs first and his last.

When she is being ornery, he simply holds he hands and sweetly says "Sugey (pronounced like shuggey, as in sugar) that's a no no. You need to be nice to brother!" He is patient, and kind with his words to her. Always begging to get Shelby from her naps...following her down the stairs to make sure she comes down on her belly backwards. Showing and guiding her if she does it wrong...all with a lovely singsong voice of true compassion.

It's a wonder for sure. We have always taught our children to try and be kind, loving, and understanding to one another, but Gabe takes it to a level that only God can inspire. This is how God wants us to be. Why is it so hard for us?! Gabe makes it look like a piece of cake. He will hear Shelby say "Ma, Ma!" as she awakes from her nap, and doesn't think for a minute about dropping whatever he's doing (including eating dinner) runs for the stairs and happily brings Shelby to us and says "Baby Girls awake!

We have a living example in our home of Christ's love. Through a CHILD!

1 John 3:16-18 says:
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

1 John 4
*4:7-8 Love comes from God
*4:9-10 God shows us what genuine love is
*4:11-12 God commands us to love

We all have a lot to learn from these little people...God has them in our lives for a reason. When was the last time you sacrificially loved someone without needing a thank you, or a pat on the back? Having just done it because you love them and God calls you to???

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Decor

With a new home this Christmas comes a desire to make things new...including the Christmas decorations. Our home is mostly earth tons, browns, taupes, grays, and white. In my book that ='s boring! So for this Christmas we are going to spruce it up a bit and add the color through decorations, lights, candles, pillows, and all those fun accents. Looks like Crate and Barrel stole my heart this season with beautiful ornaments, candles, and fire starters!

The tree is cut down from the Aching Back Christmas Tree Farm in Yacolt, WA. Thank you Swifts for the beautiful tree (it almost looks fake, because it's so perfect!) All we need now is for our two eldest children to come home so we can trim the tree! It's a fun time of Christmas music, hot chocolate with marshmallows, peppermint sticks (Bob's Candy Shoppe of course), and whipped cream, and don't forget...a broom & dust pan in hand for that ornament that gets loose from some small hands.

It's a joyous time of year for sure! Christ is the reason for this season and that brings a smile to the faces in our home. Matthew 1:18-25 Tells us the story of Jesus' birth.

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

So even though the gifts, trees, and lights are so beautiful, don't forget the beauty of the Messiah's birth. The real reason for this season! People celebrate Christmas without knowing what it's about. The Christ in Christmas says it all. It's about praise, honor, and glory to our King!

May your Christmas be one of reflection and glory for HIS kingdom...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome to Polyvore!

Welcome to Polyvore!
Welcome to Polyvore! by messybunch featuring a military coat

My ideal, no budget, Christmas look!

Let me introduce you to Polyvore. It is a fantastic website that allows you to create outfits or living rooms or gift sets and more. I Love it!

To me, this is a fabulous Holiday look. It is extremely unattainable financially, but what fun it was to create! Click on the picture to link to the list of items and their price and website. Whether you want one piece, or the whole look, it allows you to pick and choose.

Enjoy dreaming, that's what I do!

Friday, November 26, 2010


My great friend for the last 17yrs Katie Sanders, has opened up shop with Avon!

I love the fact that I can shop from home, look through a catalog, see what's the best deal, what's on sale, or process my purchase over a few hours (instead of rushing while I'm in a store), and know that I will still get quality products. One of the best parts for me too is, it's also helping a mom who desires to stay home with her wee ones (but needs extra income) to accomplish that goal!

Avon has a plethora of items ranging from makeup, skin care, jewelry, shoes, clothing, purses and more.

My favorite items are the Big Color Eye Liners, Glazewear Lip Gloss, & the mark. fragrances!

Katie's website is:

So, if you are needing to purchase your usual items or want to try it for the first time, give her a call or send her an email, and she can get it ordered for you! She's in the Battle Ground, WA area. Katie is there to take your order and deliver it to you, or if you're out of the area (like me being 4hrs away) you can purchase off her website and it will be directly shipped to you (with a shipping charge of course.)

Check it out, see what you think!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Top 3 Places to Travel...

Where might they be you wonder....?

Well needless to say, I surprised myself by deciding upon 3 that did not include hot beaches year round, skin smelling of coconut, sweat & hibiscus, drinks with umbrellas, monkeys swinging in trees, zip lines in the jungle or music with steel drums. Awhile ago I might have picked 2 out of 3 to be some tropical paradise, but as of now these are what it would be. Although these all do have beaches & sunshine, or at least a beautiful lake or two! :)


Although I think I might gain a few (alright a TON) of weight being here. Gelato, fresh bread bakeries, delectable desserts in so many shapes forms and flavors!!

Imagine staying at a B&B eating old family recipes, sipping wine (well if I drank wine, it would be an Let me dream! :) Looking out on the valley below wishing there was a villa...awaiting your company in which you fall in love with it (the house) and proclaimed "I'll take it!" (Yes, I know too many movies!)

#1 AUSTRIA The hills are alive with the sound of music...awhawhaaaawh

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over
stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray

I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more

Can't you just picture yourself like Maria, spinning and singing and breathing the cool crisp fresh air? Boy I love that movie!

Do you think the bell hop wears Lederhosen in this hotel? Yeah, me either, but wouldn't that be a hoot? :)

Well these are my dreams. What are yours?!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paradoxical People

Today's sermon was absolutely wonderful! An Australian accent mixed with humor and truth made for a delightful, amusing, healing, and fresh change of pace. The kids were laughing, we were laughing and we all learned a HUGE lesson this morning!

*We have been struggling lately with the decision to put our children in Children's Church. We are torn between what "today's" standards are for family worship, and our belief that a family should and needs to worship together. So many tell us that the only thing they learned sitting in church was to be quiet or you get pinched, glared at, etc. Or, that they learned nothing from sitting for an hour while wishing they weren't in service.

Today confirmed our belief that our children WILL sit in church with us! They sit quietly, minus Shelby which stays in the nursery, and are quite pleasant during service and today were fully involved in the sermon. It was amazing! Dr. Allan Meyer shared how even the best of the best in the Bible were "bad" people. They went from "good" to bad within a few chapters. Here is our outline:

1. Noah was a good man. *Genesis 6:9

2. Noah was a bad man. *Genesis 9:20-25

3. It was is son who paid the price. *Genesis 9:20-25
This is a paradox, but it was the
child who needed to be able to handle it.

4. King David was a good man. *2 Samuel 1-10

5. King David was a bad man. * 2 Samuel 11-18

6. It was his sons who paid the price.
This is a paradox, but it is the children who
needed to be able to handle it.

7. How do you honor a defective parent? *Exodus 20:12
"Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord
your God is giving you."

8. The key is the word "Kabed"- to give weight- but not only to the good. Both positive and negative issues.

9. On the positive side, we need to learn the skill of gratitude.

10. On the negative side, we need to learn the skill of forgiveness.

Two things that can help you learn and apply this skill:
A. Do a treasure hunt.
B. Understanding their wiring, and their history.

*An example he gave was: One day as a kid, he went and bought a new tube for his bike tire. When his father got home he grabbed a branch off a tree and gave him a good "whipping" is what he called it (the one and only time he ever did this). His father never explained why he did it, or talked with him about the situation. From that day on he decided that his father was a man to fear. "It was just a tube for a tire!" in his mind. But, in his father's mind, his fear that his son was going to be a wasteful man when he was grown, was the drive for his reaction. To explain his history...his father had 9 siblings and lived during World War 2. So for his father, the most foolish thing his son could have done was take money out of his savings and pay full price for a new tube, instead of being wise and fixing the flat one. Hence the "understand their history".

So many of us demand that our parents give us something to be grateful for. Our hearts should be thankful for the fact that they chose Life! If that is the only good thing your parents did in your life, that's enough. We live today with all these expectations of privilege, when we are called to Honor our Fathers and Mothers without expectation. Parents (usually) do their best. If they didn't, it doesn't give you the right to harbor bitterness and unforgiveness towards them. God says "Honor you father and mother..." Not "Honor your father and mother if you see that they are a qualified and have done what "you" think is deserving."

*Dr. Allan did a treasure hunt on his parents. What he found out was life changing.

Here are some ?'s for you:
- Have you ever thanked your father for working hard all his life to provide the home, food, and clothing that you had?
- Have you ever thanked your mother for carrying you in her womb?
- Have you ever thanked her for all those meals she made?
- Have you ever thanked your father for coaching your sport teams?
- Have you ever thanked him for sacrificing his youth for your comfort?
- Have you ever thanked your parents for tucking you in at night?
The list could go on and on. Yet, we focus on the things that they didn't do! Most parents are good willed people. Not perfect, just good willed.

*It's your responsibility to take that disappointment, honor it, and then lay it at the cross for Christ to heal you. It's not your parents job. Stop blaming and be proactive about it. Christ is the only one who can change you. You do this in order to not repeat the offense or action with your children. Even though we don't mean to do it, we act/repeat our parents. This is how a baby can learn to speak. They absorb everything their parents are doing. No one sat there and showed them the grammar of English language. They witnessed it, and did it. If your parents argued a lot, you will most likely argue in your marriage. If your parents divorced, you are at a higher risk of becoming divorced. If a parent shut down when angry, you'll probably do the same. If your parent yelled, you'll probably be a yeller. If your parent wasn't self-controlled, you most likely not have self control. You repeat what you see. It's a simple as that.

A paradoxical person is someone who was doing well and fell into sin.

The definition of paradoxical is: Contradictory, inconsistent, self-contradictory, puzzling, baffling, incomprehensible.

Doesn't that sound like most all of us? At least at some point in our lives? That is why it is so important that we follow Exodus 20:12 because the best is yet to come! Again, it comes down to forgiveness from your heart.

I challenge you to do a treasure hunt for your parents. I bet you'll be surprised at how long it is! Send it to your parents and leave it at that. You shouldn't expect a thank you, or response of any kind. That's not what this is about. It's about honoring the ones who you are called by God to honor. Can you argue with HIM? Nope you can't. Wouldn't you want to know what your children were thankful for with you? I do! I know that I would be surprised at what my children put on their lists. It's not going to be thank yous for gifts or things of that nature but, things like, time you said they did a nice job on a project, or the kiss you gave them for being them, or your cheering for them at their baseball game. Those are the things they will remember, that you most likely wouldn't have given a second thought to. But, it's their memories, their prospective on their life. And, we all look at life from a different angle!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

lia sophia Here I Come!

All of you who are my friends on FB already know that we have decided to include lia sophia as a part of our family income. For those of you who didn't hear, here's the scoop! is my new website.

Bob's job hasn't been super great with the hrs since the 1st 2 weeks of us moving here. By God's grace we are still managing to make ends meet and keep on, keeping on! With prayer and going through the pros and cons of me possibly working out of the home, we decided that lia sophia would be the perfect fit for our family! For us it's much wiser for me to be gone 3hrs a week, compared to Bob getting a second job in the evenings and never seeing him. With this business, I can pick my own hrs, do as many or as little parties as fits our families needs. Also, I can stop at any time that Bob or I feel it being too much. We have a lot on our plate with our 5 children, homeschooling, and just life in general, so we have a very easy out with this business. If it doesn't work than it was a good experience. If it does, than our family will be blessed. Simple as that!

It's a great company with very good pay for the amount of work you do away from home. But, can you really call it work when you are enjoying the company of other moms or ladies wanting to have a fun ladies night in??? I can't! lol It should be a fun time, indeed! What female really doesn't want to spend an hour or two trying on pretty things that make you feel "beautiful"? You get to laugh, re-energize, & use the last of your 20,000 words for the day. I love the fact that these moms can bring their children to the parties. I don't know how many times parties are off limits to little ones, due to a consultant/advisor that isn't appreciative of little ones. Well, I get to say "let them come!" little girls love to try it on (and little boys, like ours, love to pick out jewelry for their future wife. So cute!). One of the best parts is, it's ALL lifetime warrantied. So, if something breaks while a wee one is playing or it just gets worn out from all the admirers, guess what lia sophia will replace it! Fantastic!!! Perfect for my life :)

I really do desire that doing this business will allow me to get to know many great women with whom a friendship could possibly arise. How neat is that? My prayer would be that they can see HIS light through me. Isn't that what God desires? I am hopeful for these opportunities if it is HIS desire for me, to build lasting friendships and to help out where & when I can for our family, while still keeping my "stay at home mom" badge. That is first and foremost one of the most important things. I'm just excited that I have a "fun" option for a job.

We shall see what HE has in store for us. I don't know enough people to really have a good base for this business, so Lord let's see what you've got in store!!!! Because this isn't going to happen without YOU opening those doors. Thank you, Lord for this chance!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Your World Can Change in an Instant!

We are thanking God right now for His protection and action. The paramedics left our house a short while ago. Shelby was choking on her pb&j sandwich, turning purple around her eyes, and trying to gasp for air. So absolutely terrifying. I think it tramatized the kids. As I was talking with the 911 lady, she kept asking "is that the baby crying", no it was the other kids. I seriously can't stop shaking. So so so scary! Alexis is still crying about it...

You go through your mind, "do I call 911 or wait?" "do I just keep trying to get the food out and not call?" "what if she's going to be fine and I look like an idiot when the medics show up?" Praying that God will help her because you can only do so's crazy the mental roller coaster that can happen in a few shorts seconds or even minutes.

I did end up calling and she did end up breathing by the time they got here. I asked them "how long until it's really bad?" They said "5 minutes, but you don't ever want it to get that far." They said "always, always call. It's better to wave goodbye to you and have a healthy baby/child, then to be arriving to a dead one." The one said "if you think they might be choking, call, because if they really are, it could be too late by the time we arrive, if you wait." Thank you Lord, that it wasn't a bad ending! I think choking has always been my worst fear with my children. You feel so helpless even though you are doing everything you can to help them. I'm just thankful that when he asked what I did to try and dis-lodge it, that he said I did the right thing by flipping her over, head down, and hitting her hard on the back.

I'm thinking that our family will be heading down to one of their first aid/c.p.r. classes very soon...

Our Suggey "sugar" is healthy and fine, laying her head on my shoulder, sucking her thumb. Hug your kids, tell them you love them, and make everyday soon as the door closed the kids all begged to hold her. I love that my children love each other. You find it more often than not that siblings dislike each other these days, but thankfully in our home, they LOVE one another. Makes my heart smile.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I've got a big favor to ask all of you! Hear me out before you stop reading.

One of my dear friends from elementary school (Stephanie Magness) has Friedreich’s ataxia (FA). It is a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. About one in 50,000 people in the United States have Friedreich’s ataxia. She has suffered form this since she was 12 yrs old, and will eventually die from it, since there is NO cure...

Every year she hosts a holiday boutique "Stephanie's Hope" to raise money for research for F.A.R.A. (Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance). There is a raffle called "The 12 Days of Christmas" in which 12 big ticket items are raffled off. My desire is to provide them with an iPad to use as a raffle gift! Bob and I have been praying about a way to provide them with one. Then this morning I checked my emails and I received one from a virtual rebates program. You shop online at participating stores, Nordstroms, Old Navy, JC Pennys, Apple Store, Best Buy, you name it, they probably have it! You just go through their website in order to get your rebates, anywhere from 1%-5% back on your purchases. Just for shopping through them. Not hard right?

Well, they are offering right now that if I refer 50 people using my tracking # when they sign up, and they purchase $20.00 or more earning cash back, I will receive an iPad! Which I will turn around and donate to the raffle for "Stephanie's Hope!" Sound like a plan??!!

Here is the tracking # Copy and paste to your browser!

This is the fine print:

* A qualified referral is a new user to Ebates who makes a purchase of $20 or more earning cash back. Note, no self-referrals allowed and returned purchases do not qualify. To qualify for the bonus you must refer the qualified new members between 8/1/10 and 9/30/10 and they must make their qualifying purchase by 10/10/10. Only one bonus level per person awarded, you will receive the highest bonus level for which you qualify. Ebates decisions are final. In the event that any of the bonuses as described are not available a similar bonus will be awarded. You are responsible for any taxes, as applicable by law. Referral Bonus Promotion is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico and are eighteen (18) years of age or older.

Hey, it's worth a shot right? If this doesn't suit you, maybe you'd be willing to donate towards the purchase of an iPad with Bob and I? Think on it, pray about it, and don't can help this great cause...possibly even help save lives, or at least extend them...

*I do know too that some of you have CONNECTIONS and you could pull some strings to get some fabulous items donated to this fundraiser! I've got the donation letter, tax I.D. # for the full write-off! I know it might be troublesome to pick up the phone, send an email or text, but it really that difficult compared to the reality of having a disease that slowly kills you? No, and you're good people! It will make you smile and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that you helped in this effort. :) This boutique is located in Valencia, Ca Saturday, November 13th, those of you in LA, it's not too far from you. Stop by shop and fill those raffle boxes!

All of the information you need is located here:

Stephanie's Story:

In life everyone has a choice; you can either enjoy what God has blessed you with or choose not to see the joy and beauty in every day, even the hard ones. My name is Stephanie and I choose to enjoy what I have been blessed with. That might sound a little clichĂ© to you or even a little too easy, but guess what? It’s true! And one more thing…it is definitely not easy BUT it is always worth it.

Living with Friedreich’s Ataxia is a roller coaster ride for sure; kinda scary and nerve-wracking, exciting and exhilarating all at the same time. You know the feeling that all the best roller coasters give, where you feel torn between wanting to get off as quickly as possible and never wanting the ride to end? That pretty much sums up my life. Actually, it probably sums up everybody’s life. Even in our differences, we can all find common ground. However, each life takes its own twists and turns, and mine? Well, the twists and turns have taken me where I never imagined I’d go….

Even though I was pretty much always a clumsy kid, nothing really seemed out of the ordinary about me at all. I was just like every little girl that loved dressing up, playing with Barbie’s and dreamed of growing up and getting married, becoming a mom, or being a supermodel (maybe even all of it!). And then when I was 12, I turned into a girl who was anything but ordinary, only I didn’t know it yet.

In 7th grade, there was a mandatory screening for scoliosis during P.E. and I remember the lady examining me being fully shocked that I didn’t know I had scoliosis. After my parents promptly took me to my pediatrician, which led to visits with a few neurologists, we knew why no one had noticed my curvy spine until it was almost shaped like the letter “S”. There was something a whole lot more serious going on. More tests and doctor’s appointments than I could count finally provided the answer; Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT). At least, we thought that was the answer until my physical abilities kept declining in a way that wasn’t matching up with CMT. So 10 years, more tests, and more doctors later, the truth came to light, I have Friedreich’s Ataxia.

Friedreich’s what?? I think that was pretty close to what my parents’ and I said when we heard this new explanation for why I was having so much trouble walking and keeping my balance. I have to admit that I wasn’t at all prepared for learning about the severity of my new reality. A wheelchair, severe loss of coordination, slurred speech, and a shortened life-span were no longer unimaginable but expected. I believe that God spared me the knowledge of my true diagnosis for those ten years because I was not as emotionally able to handle it at 13 as I was at 23. For that, I will always be thankful. Especially because, the future is so much more promising for people, like me, with FA now as opposed to 1994.

The hope of a cure for FA is what has drawn me into fundraising and given me the courage to allow anyone to see into the parts of my life that I was once embarrassed and afraid of, parts I tried so hard to ignore and keep hidden. FA has taken so very much from me and I hope that I can be a small part of the efforts working so hard to end this disease, making sure that one day FA will no longer be able to take anything from anyone. I hope that you’ll join with me in the fight against Friedreich’s Ataxia.

While it has been anything but easy living with FA, I have learned to accept what I cannot change; I love my life and consider myself to be truly blessed. Everyone’s life goes in directions that seem unexpected and even unwanted at times, but we’re all in this together. Everyone has a disability; some are just more obvious than others.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Are you going Bananas...I'm going Bananas!

Shelby is enjoying the bounty of Banana Bread! What a sweetie :)

So, the story goes...Alexis and I were at Freddy's and were about to pick up some bananas that are usually $0.49-$0.69 cents a lb. When my eye caught some "ORGANIC" ones with red tape all around them. "Hum" I said. What's with all the red tape?!?! So, I went up and squeezed one thinking "they've got to be going really bad"...wrong! They were perfectly firm on the inside, but ugly and rotten looking on the exterior. Then the best part...I looked up and there it was $0.29 cents a lb!!! Hello, "I think I hit the mother load" I say to Alexis. She looks oddly at me, then I explain how these are 1/2 the price of "normal" bananas, but 1/3 the price of "ORGANIC!" She shrugs and says "ok." lol (Yes, I'm crazy, yes, I love a bargain, yes, my children eat tooonnns of bananas) Seriously, there was an entire pile of bananas lookin' all ugly and being perfect inside, and calling my name! Ha *There were 3 more bunches that I had already cut up to freeze that aren't pictured*

What does one do with so many bananas?!? I cut up the worst looking ones to freeze, since I figured they'd go bad first. Placed them on cookie sheets.

Cleared out two shelves in the freezer for all these beauties, froze them, then placed them in a Ziploc baggie for smoothies!

This is the scrumptious banana bread that we made.

It's supposed to be a healthy recipe, but I was out of all the healthy stuff, so I improvised to make this:

Banana Tea Party Bread

*1 3/4 cup Flour (whole wheat)
*2 tsp Baking Powder
*1/2 tsp Salt
*1/2 tsp Cinnamon
*1/3 cup Brown Sugar

-On a separate plate, I mashed and combined:
*2 Bananas
*4 Tbsp Olive Oil (canola oil)
*4 Tbsp Sour Cream (plain yogurt)
*2 tsp Vanilla Extract

-Then add and combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl.

-Pour batter into loaf pan 9x5. Sprinkle with Brown Sugar over the top, for a crunchy sugary topping!

*Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes (or until knife comes out clean)

*() these are the ingredients that I didn't have. ;)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Blessing of A Free Homeschool Table!

If you read my Facebook posts you'll remember me talking about a wonderful woman that blessed our family in a way that she most likely didn't realize.

We stopped at her garage sale and she immediately started talking with the children and giving them things, i.e. things that would be throw away when we get home, type things! They were thrilled. She was getting ready to end her sale and I asked her about a table that she had for sale for $30. She asked "Oh, are you interested?" I replied "Yes, but my husband isn't! I think it would be great for our schoolroom and he isn't so sure." She then says "take it! And, do you want the chairs to that go with it too?" Needless to say, I was amazed that she would just give it to us and excepted her graciousness with awe. Then to top things off, she told me about being a librarian and how she loved her job at the school district, and how she would love it if Alexis came by once a week and check out books from her "library" collection at her home. Then proceeded to head into her home and bring back an arm full of age appropriate books for our children! Seriously!?!? Brand new I might add.

We went home, all of us, with smiles on our faces. What a wonderful, happy woman. Here are the results from our freebie!

Ty modeling the "before" chairs...



Paint that I scored at Lowe's for $2.50 each! They were the exact colors I was wanting and I saved $21 total on the paint buying the "mistint" paint.

Supplies...totaling with paint $17.38 Can a table get much cheaper than that?!

Bob painting the top.

Table legs painted and drying.

The finished product. I think it turned out pretty well considering what it looked like before hand.

It's the perfect height for the kids to do their school work (their feet touch, or almost touch the ground depending on which child!)

How about one of these fabrics for the cushions on the chairs? I think they might go nicely with the table and give the room a pop of color it needs so much. But, that will have to wait for another payday! lol

God is so good. He is the provider that we want to be, but can't. He knows what we need and what we don't. Can you imagine the life we'd have if we would just let go of the control that we feel we need to have, and allow God to be God? So many times I put Him in a box. His power is unmeasurable. He is sovereign so why don't we willingly follow? Who knows what He'll have in store? For us it was a blessing of a table we so needed, but didn't know how much until we had it...

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

*She waved goodbye when we left and said "Welcome to Tri-Cities!"