Saturday, September 25, 2010

breaking out of the lunch-time rut

One of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to have a little more control over what the kids eat. At the same time, it means that I have to make lunch for my kids EVERY day.
It is easy, in the chaos of our days, to get into the PB and J rut day in and day out (actually, in our house I have two who can't eat PB, but they have their favorite alternatives that they choose E.V.E.R.Y. time I offer up sandwiches). I have been trying to mix things up a bit, trying new things and never having the same thing twice in one week. Some things have gone over well, others not so much. Yesterday I had "nachos" on the menu and decided to try a new twist on our standard nachos. It was a big hit with all the kids, so I thought I would share.

What you need:

Tostitos Scoops
Can of black beans rinsed and drained
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Salsa and sour cream to garnish

Preheat the oven to 375
Line cookie sheet with chips
Fill Scoops with beans (I did about 4 beans per chip)
Sprinkle with cheese
Bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

For fun I filled a bag with sour cream and used one of my flower cake decorating tips.

Put a scant amount of salsa in each Scoop and top with a squeeze of sour cream!

Friday, September 24, 2010

sweet moments

Every night, as we tuck Tallulah into bed, she asks to sing Amazing Grace before going to sleep. She knows all the words to the first two verses and is picking up the others quickly. She sings in her sweet, sing-song-y voice, articulating all the words- it is the sweetest part of my day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

on being the youngest

I am the youngest in my family and there are certain advantages that come along with being the youngest that I would not want to give up- like getting to do things your parents NEVER would have let your older siblings do when they were younger. But there is also a certain amount of torture that goes along with it too. My siblings told me I had a brain tumor when I was little and called me a "Tarb" (Brat spelled backward).

In our house it happens too. Regan was playing with Addie today and grabbed the camera to take some pictures- I turned around to see this:
Addie, wearing her sisters size 8 dress!
Clearly she is pretty unfazed by it all!

In case you were wondering, I am still trying to find time for a bit of crafting here and there. I whipped up this camera strap today for another mom at Classical Conversations. I noticed last week she was carrying her camera around with no strap and I just could not get it out of my head to make one for her, so here it is! I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

our favorite craft supply

In our house there is nothing better than a cardboard box for crafting- the bigger the better. I posted yesterday about the tent.

There have been castles...
furniture and more.

The latest and greatest of Regan's cardboard box creations is Tallulah's very own "Beauty Center" complete with her favorite dress ups, mirrors, hair brush and lip gloss!

On another note, after school today we decided to run our errands at the new outdoor mall near us because it was such a beautiful day. On the agenda- Joann's Fabric, Target, Office Max and lunch by the fountain. I'm not really sure how it happened, but these three furry guys somehow managed to find there way home with us!
We were walking past the Build A Bear store and decided to look in (the kids had never actually seen the store before). We were sure to tell the sales people that we were only looking, but next thing you know the kids decided they just had to make one themselves!
These three all had birthday money that they spent on their animals and accessories. Poor Micah, his birthday's not until December, I know it was hard for him to not get anything today! It's not soo bad for him though, he does have a BAB Monkey that we made for him when he was a toddler, so he's not totally left out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

trying not to be a stranger

Just a few happenings in our house this past week.

We have chairs at out table now! I bought 5 antique wood chairs off Craig's List for $25! I am hoping my dad will be able to help me build this bench for the other side when they visit next week.

This has become Addie favorite play thing in the house. As soon as you put her on the floor she heads right for it! She's also discovered the book shelves and was happily pulling things off of them the other day.

My Hubby is teaching Regan and Micah to play the guitar. We ordered a 3/4 sized guitar from Amazon and it came in this HUGE box! The Kids spent an afternoon last week turning it into a tent complete with curtained windows and muraled walls.

I think (hope) we are finally getting into a routine around here and that I will be able to find more time to be here. We had family in town last week and probably will again by the weekend but I will still try and post more regularly than I have been!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Reading Ann's words today I am moved. I am left questioning everything. I have seen all this before- I've been there, walked through those streets, played with those children, lived in the filth, drank the dirty water. Not in Guatemala, but in other places in Central and South America, in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia... I was only a child then (in my teens) and always had the promise of "home" a few weeks or maybe months away.

It has been years since I left all that is comfortable to me. Nearly 15 years to be exact and as I read Ann's words today I wonder if I would even be willing to give up all the things that make my life so comfortable today and when did I start feeling like I "deserved" any of this? My heart feels hard and calloused and I hate the cynicism that has found it's home there. I have to confess that I have been avoiding reading Ann's posts because I knew that they would cut deep and I just did not want to face it. And now I am faced with the choice to ignore the singe and go back to life, unaffected, or allow God to turn this heart of stone back to flesh.

Ezekiel 11:19

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Lord, give me an undivided heart for you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

a weekend of yes

Regan woke up early Saturday morning, anxious for our getaway. As I finished packing our lunch and getting ready to load our stuff in the car Tallulah and Max both started throwing up! You could see the panic rising in her eyes, "does this mean we can't go mom?" But my super hero husband quickly made calls to say he would not make it to his leadership meeting at church, made arrangements for someone else to lead worship the next morning and ushered us out the door! (I was glad to hear, when I called later to check in, that everyone was feeling better by noon and even eating hot dogs!)

Our first stop was at the Sports Authority to get Regan's birthday present, a pair of roller blades. Then on to the beach!

Our hotel

Our room, complete with heart shaped jacuzzi tub!

The view from our deck

We played in the waves

Built a sand model of Pompeii complete with bathhouse, temple, vineyards, village and of course Mt Vesuvius!

Swam in the hotel pool
Surfed at the playground

Walked on the beach collecting shells
Roller bladed, ate, talked, giggled, danced... you get the idea- it was lots of fun! We slept in Sunday morning and woke to a cold rainy day. We had hoped to stick around the beach for awhile, but ended up taking one last (wet) walk on the beach and headed home after check out (stopping for something warm for lunch at Panera).

We finished off the weekend at home with our family eating pizza and cake.
Happy 9th Birthday, Regan! Where has the time gone?

Friday, September 10, 2010

playin' hookie

It was just too gorgeous today to stay inside, so we played hookie from school today- ran some errands and hit the park.
It was Addie's first time in the swing and she loved it!

I had to include this shot, don't you just love the duck fro?
Regan and I are sneaking away for the weekend. A little mother daughter bonding for her birthday on Sunday. It should be a lot of fun- I've even busted out my roller blades for the weekend! Hopefully I will be back (injury free) on Monday with some pictures from our weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am thankful for:

the love and support from friends and strangers alike via emails and comments on my last post. Your comments and encouragement really means a lot to me- thank you so much!

a new resolve and focus- and the knowledge that God is still working on my heart.

a mostly clean house (if you don't count the kids rooms)

my new meal schedule
I've got a month of breakfasts, snacks and lunches planned out so I don't even have to think about it. (My dinners are written on the white board hanging above my new meal plan.)

children eager to please mommy, even if its a result of their daddy's threats this morning :)

a quiet evening at home while daddy takes the kids to AWANA

Christmas sewing already underway
speaking of, I must get back to my machine- she's been calling me all week and this is the first I've have time to answer.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

just a few thoughts...

I know I have not been posting much lately- not that I haven't wanted to, I've just been out of sorts it seems. Life is happening all around me, and I just can't keep up. I am sitting at the computer now, headphones on trying to drown out the sound of an audio book playing across the room, hoping that I might actually be able to hear the thoughts in my head. I've got a piece of paper beside me to add to the over growing (funny, I just caught that typo, but I am leaving it because it is also true) "to do" list in hopes that if I get them on paper I can get them out of my head and lessen the static.

We are in our second week of school and I am struggling- I was emailing my sister, to congratulate her on her new job, and found my emotions making their way out of my finger tips into the email... and that is when I knew it was time to sit and write. I love how clarity comes as I put my feeling on paper (or screen). I asked the question " how can I be everything I need to be to these children- homeschooled or not?" The job is overwhelming. but even as I type, I know the answer.

I can not be everything these children need.

And my struggles right now (feeling both ready to give up (homeschooling) and unwilling to do so all at once.) all find their root in my pride and stubbornness. In trying to do it in my own strength instead of His. He is waiting for me, but instead of accepting His help I just keeping going- in futility- I think I actually go backward instead of forward. When will I learn? When will I stop fighting on my own and let Him fight for me?

2 Corinthians 12:9

He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.

Today, I will rejoice in my weakness, and that, if I let Him, Christ can use that weakness and be glorified in it; and I will rejoice that:

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

I've been standing still too long. Paralyzed by life. Today is the day, I put on my running shoes and start running after Jesus.

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