November 21, 2011

giving differently

our family is praying about how we can give differently this Christmas. we don't want our kids to grow up thinking that Christmas is all about the excitement of Christmas morning. it is about a sweet baby given to pay the debt for our sins! we will still give each other a small gift, but our main giving will be to those in need & tell our boys the gospel as we give.
here are some ideas. :)

*life song for orphans

*world vision


what does your family do to show the love of our Father at Christmas?

November 19, 2011


i love love LOVE hosting parties!!!!!! i really enjoy decorating & planning food & making invitations... all of it (well maybe not the cleaning up part ;) ). we've had a few parties recently...
first, we had a family movie night. everyone brought picnics & we watched Curious George. :)



then we had a harvest party on oct 31st. everyone could dress up if they wanted. we played a few games, did a craft, had picnics & watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.





then just a few nights ago we had a fall dinner with some close friends. we ate on our front porch & hung lights. :) it was sooooo fun & a beautiful night!



November 18, 2011

a little bit of everything

is this not the cutest little 14 month old you've ever seen?! happy boy & such an amazing blessing!

i make our own granola bars because they are absolutely ridiculous to buy & absolutely ridiculously easy to make. ;) here's the recipe i use. YUM! the adjusted measurements i use are 1/2c vegan butter, 1/2c peanut butter, instead of the 1c of butter. the add-ins i use are 1/2c chocolate chips, 3/4c walnuts, 1/4c ground flax seed & 1/2c coconut. so delicious! i also made her granola last night & it was really easy & will save us some money! i'm still working on making my own coconut milk yogurt. i've had 2 failed attempts so far. :-/

*these look delicious.
*i'm planning on making this today
*going to make these & this for thanksgiving! (i made the cheesecake 2 years ago & it was so so so so soooo amazing!)

*this is one of my favorite blogs right now!
*& i REALLY enjoy reading this one & this one :)

the end

November 17, 2011

sweet friends (an afternoon by the river)

jude & owen


sammy & addy


cute boy

my dear wonderful friends that i value & love so so much!!! i am blessed to have them in my life!

November 16, 2011

one fall day (a couple months ago)














what a great "job" i have right?! :)

November 13, 2011

our favorite vegan subs

i've had a few people ask what our favorite vegan substitutes are for condiments & such...
here they are-

*butter, our absolute favorite. no other option in my mind. :)
*soy milk, really really like the 365 soy milk!
*coconut milk, the best! this is what our boys drink when they stop nursing.
*coconut milk ice cream, so yummy & creamy! bonus, they started making this.
*almond milk.
*soy yogurt, THE yummiest soy yogurt!
*cheese! soy free & delicious!
*coconut milk yogurt, mmmm i want some right now! i'm trying to learn how to make it. i've had 2 failed attempts. :( i will keep trying because coconut milk yogurt is a little expensive, but i want to stay away from soy as much as possible. they also make greek coconut milk yogurt now. :)
*soy creamer.

*absolute favorite bread!
*tortillas, delicious!
*whole wheat flour. if you have to use non freshly milled flour... this is it!
*coconut oil.

let me know if there's something i've missed! :) what's your favorite vegan sub?

November 9, 2011

preparing for His coming

michael & i have been talking about starting more of our family traditions this year for Christmas. we want to serve the poor on Christmas day, have an advent calendar, only buy one small gift for each other, etc.
i've been looking at advent calendars, here are some cute ideas...

i really want this one!

what traditions do you have? do you have an advent calendar?

November 6, 2011

the fatherless

"defend the cause of the fatherless..." isaiah 1:17

amazing resource!


orphan sunday!

orphans are dear to our heart & the Lord is growing our heart even more! today is orphan Sunday & churches all over the world are bringing awareness, spending time in prayer & raising money to help these sweet little ones. here are a few ministries that michael & i really like & LOVE what they're doing!
*My Father's House International this ministry was started by a girl that's around my age! she started in the slums of Kampala, Uganda (where our baby is from). the school they started now has 400 children in it!!! they provide free schooling & so muslim families are sending their kids to the school & now hundreds of these children have accepted the Lord!!! you can support a child to be able to go to school & hear of the Lord for $35 a month.
*Zoe International this incredible ministry rescues children from, or children that are about to be sold into, the sex trade. my heart breaks thinking about what these beautiful children are going through. please pray for them! Zoe brings them into their school when the children will live & learn skills to be able to support themselves as they grow.
*Loving Hearts Babies Home THIS is our heart right now! this is the home that our baby boy or girl is in right now. these aunties love on these little ones day & night! this home is an arm of Africa Renewal Ministries. we had the privilege of having the CEO stay in our home for a few nights & we love his heart!

please seek the Lord on how your family can care for orphans & spread the word about these sweet boys & girls that need to know the love of their Father. if 1 in 7 christian families adopted a baby there would be no more orphans.
James 1:27 "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

November 5, 2011

photos of cuteness

here are some photos of our recent trip to the corn maze...
i adore my boys & how richly the Lord has blessed my life!!!





they LOVE each other so much already!

here we are at the corn maze 2 years ago. :) look at our little jude! wow time flies!


enjoy your family & fall!

IMG_0560 IMG_0462

November 4, 2011

guarding their eyes, ears, minds & hearts

i grew up with pretty high standards on movies, music, etc. at times i thought it was a little ridiculous, but i am SOOOOOOOO grateful how my parents guarded my heart!!! as a parent now i see even more the value in high standards on media & worldly input in our little ones. these are the years that we are meant to be their teachers & show them how to think about the world & the Lord & what things to value.
as far as tv/movies go for our boys... we only let them watch one thing a day, if that. i've been noticing more in disney movies how the call each other "idiot" or "moron" & tell each other to "shut up", things that seem so little, but will play a part in shaping our children. there are MANY things we don't allow our boys to watch because they are crude, rude, scary, or just weird. there's no need for me to go into all the things we don't let them watch, but i wanted to share some things that we do let them watch, & actually really like A LOT!
*the backyardigans super cute tv show about little animals that imagine all these different worlds & stories. jude is all about music & there is a lot of music in this show. (like anything there have been a few episodes that we don't let them watch.)
*max & ruby- this show is so so cute!
*little bear- we like little bear a lot! i like how simple it is.
*veggie tales- of course. i get pretty annoyed with them though. :)
*thomas- you've got to love thomas! but they're all animated now... we like the older ones.
*curious george- love it!
*winnie the pooh- i highly recommend this movie!
*this dvd- is great for learning their letters.

so, that's just a few. guard their hearts & watch the things that you're not sure about before you let them watch them.

November 3, 2011

peppermint patties

oh my word!!! these are incredible! i used this recipe, with a few adjustments.

1/2 c coconut oil (if it's solid form you'll need to warm it till it's liquid)
1/4 c honey
1/2 tsp peppermint oil
1/2 c dark chocolate, melted & cooled slightly

*in a bowl mix together coconut oil, honey & peppermint oil.
*stick the mixture in the freezer till it begins to freeze & mix it again (the honey is a little heavy & likes to fall to the bottom of the bowl). put it back in the freezer.
*once it's all mixed & frozen evenly, won't take long at all, scoop out little balls of it onto parchment paper on the flat surface in the freezer. put it back in the freezer.
*when the mint balls are frozen remove them from the freezer & shape them into patties & put them back in the freezer.
*dip the patties into the melted & slightly cooled chocolate, put them back on the parchment paper in the freezer.
*after they freeze for a few mins you may want to top them with more chocolate (the chocolate doesn't like to stick to the oil at first).
*freeze for a few minutes or overnight... we like them more frozen.

YUM! super easy & hardly takes any time at all & BONUS not so bad for ya. ;)

November 1, 2011

lentil loaf

this Nutty Lentil Loaf is super yummy & from this cookbook! i think next time i make it i would add a little more salt & garlic (it wasn't as flavorful as i'd like it). easy to make & the leftovers are easy to take to work or on as a picnic. eat up!

1 c uncooked lentils, rinsed (i used red)
1 tbl oil (i used coconut oil)
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 c chopped carrot
1/3 c chopped celery
3/4 c unsalted raw cashews, chopped
1/4 c raisins
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbl whole wheat flour
1 tsp dried thyme

*put the lentils in a saucepan & add enough water to cover by 3 inches. cook over med-low heat until the lentil are tender (about 30ish mins). drain & set aside.
*heat the oil in a saucepan over med heat. add the onion & garlic & cook stirring frequently for about 10 min or until the onions are translucent. add the carrots & celery. cook covered until the carrots are tender for about 10-15 mins. remove from heat & let cool.
*preheat over to 350. oil an 9 x 5 loaf pan.
*mix the lentils, sautéed veggies, cashews, raisins, eggs, flour & thyme in a bowl until blended. spoon into the loaf pan.
*bake until firm, for about 45 mins. slice & serve warm.

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