March 31, 2012

be back soon


taking a blogging break for a few days for a trip to nyc.
be back soon!

i'm so so so so sooooo sad because all our beach trip photos got
deleted from lightroom. sad day. at least i have some instagram pics.

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March 29, 2012

we went to the beach (instagram edition)

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(we're embracing the camera here)

our trip to the beach was so good for our little family! we had a lot of quality time together. the boys adored it! they'd throw sand in the air the whole time we were on the beach & then their sweet little heads were covered with it. :) i grew up going to the beach so i really enjoy it & i have a lot of memories of time at the beach. jude had been to the beach 2 other times, but he had a lot more fun this time. i never noticed this as i was growing up, but now that i'm married & have 2 boys... there is SOOOOO much immodesty at the beach. i don't know if we'll go back for that reason. plus, we're moving north so i don't know that we'll drive all that way. ;) we had such a good time together... thanks dad! 

where do you go for family vacations?
where did you go for vacation when you were growing up?

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March 26, 2012


spring time is here & i LOVE it! i can never decide if spring or fall is my favorite season... but right now spring is! :) how amazing the promise of new life! how amazing that in our death & grey/sadness of winter, the Father covers us as makes us white as snow & then springs forth new life! beautiful colors proclaiming the glory of our God! He makes all things new.
get outside & enjoy this beauty! go on walks & bike rides, eat dinner on the porch, pack a picnic lunch & go to the park. enjoy your family & this new season!
checkout my guest post on see the skyline (my sweet friend tiffany's blog),
& vote for me on top baby blogs! :) thanks for reading.

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March 24, 2012

meal time=quality time

some of our sweetest times of quality time are meal times! 
no phones at the table to distract mommy & daddy. 
talking to our boys & asking them questions. 
this is a sweet time to sit with them, look in their eyes & enjoy being together.
we've started telling jude he needs to stay at the table for a little while with the rest of the family, even if he's done eating. we want our boys to see meal time as more than just eating, it's fellowship.

what kinds of things do you do with your family to make meal time special?

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March 23, 2012

sweet potato pancakes

look at this man, would you just look at him! he's THE best breakfast cook ever!
i bet you wish you could have family breakfast with us every saturday... because it's INCREDIBLE!
he whipped up some deeeelicious sweet potato pancakes (his own recipe) for us a couple saturdays ago.
the stuff:
*1 c whole wheat flour
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1 c water
*1/2 c sweet potato puree
*1 Tbs coconut oil

how to get the goodness:
>in a large bowl, mix the water, sweet potato puree, & cinnamon.
>mix the dry ingredients in another bowl then add to the wet, just until combined.
>cook em up, pour some syrup or honey on & enjoy with your sweet little family!


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March 22, 2012

we went to the zoo

before i begin... WE JUST GOT OUR COURT DATE FOR OUR AMOS!!!!!!!!!! it's april 24th! we are sooo excited, obviously, but i don't know that it'll feel "real" till we're in uganda holding him for the first time. or maybe not even real till we're on the plane headed home with 3 crazy little boys. :) Lord, give us grace!


look at those sweet guys of mine. what an honor & joy to love them & serve them.
i LOVE experiencing things with them & laughing with them & wondering with them!
i just turned 28 & seriously... my hair is turning grey (ok, just a few hairs), i really messed up my back & i can barely lean over... i just FEEL oldddd! plus, we're at the beach & i'm surrounded by all these young people. i started to think about what my life would be like if i didn't have kids. i.e. if i didn't have to wake up so early, go to bed later because i have to pickup the house & do dishes, change dirty diapers numerous times a day, workout as long as i wanted & therefore be in better shape than i am now. really, just spending my time selfishly... time on ME! 
ah, but what joy they are. what blessings from the Lord. what a huge burden (that is the Lord's) & responsibility (that is in the Lord's hands) it is to raise children... but i say it is BETTER than having a flat belly, the best clothes, amazing hair because of all the time & money i spend on it... & maybe all the time & money i would spend on myself would just be denying the fact that i'm getting older & maybe i just see it more because i don't have as much time to "cover it up". but I WOULD NOT TRADE BEING MOMMY.... ever!!!
i don't get much time alone & sometimes i feel like i'm going to explode with frustration at 2 sweet little faces. why? what makes me think they're the reason for my "falling apart"... it's my sinful heart & selfishness to not put aside what i think is sooo important in the moment & tend to what REALLY matters. 
thank You my good good Father for this calling. this high calling. this calling that forces me to be selfless... even when i don't want to be. that makes me more into Your image so that they may see You.... even in my "weaknesses". be glorified in my mommying. in the BEAUTY that is deeper than a flat belly & perfect everything. 
(we're embracing the camera here)
You are good! & Your gifts are AMAZING! these sweet sweet gifts from You to be given back to You.
this is a sacrifice.

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March 21, 2012

peanut butter muffins

(from this cute cookbook)

what goes in it:
*1 c brown sugar (i used about 1/2-3/4 c honey instead)
*1/2 c peanut butter
*1/2 c carrot or cauliflower puree (i used cauliflower. i steam & puree a whole cauliflower & freeze it in 1/2 c batches to use in these muffins later. ;))
*1/2 c banana puree
*1 large egg white
*1 c whole wheat flour
*1 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp baking soda
*1/2 tsp salt

how to assemble:
>preheat oven to 350. coat muffin tin w cooking spray or use paper baking cups
>in a large mixing bowl, mix 1/2 c of the brown sugar w the peanut butter, the vegetable & banana purees, & the egg white, using a wooden spoon. (if using honey just add all the honey here.)
>put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt in a bowl & stir. add to the bowl w the peanut butter & stir just to combined (the batter will be a little lumpy--do not overmix). add the remaining 1/2 c brown sugar & stir once or twice.
>divide the batter among the muffing cups & bake until the muffins are lightly browned & a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 15-20 mins. turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
>eat em up!


look at this!!!!!!

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March 20, 2012


some of my sweet friends & myself are starting a biweekly feature.
we're sharing pictures from the cities we live in & 
a few things the Lord is doing in us in whatever season He has us in.
britney is from canada (north)
tiffany is from cali (west)
& i'm from tennessee (south)

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life is so fragile isn't it? i think about this often. when i look at my sweet little boys' faces, or when there's a crazy driver in front of me in traffic. we have no idea what the Lord has for us, but He is good & sovereign & over all things. being faithful & soaking up every minute of what He has for us is all we can do. :)

see what's happening in the north & west.

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March 19, 2012

cannellini bean soup w kale

(from this this cookbook, my current favorite cookbook)

ingredient list:
*1 lbs dried cannellini beans (i used canned)
*1 bunch rainbow kale (i used green)
*1/4 c olive oil (i used coconut oil)
*3-6 Tbs crushed garlic
*1 sweet onion, chopped
*4 stalks celery, chopped
*4-6 tomatoes, seeded & diced
*3 bay leaves
*1/2 c leek, chopped
*1/2 c fennel, chopped
*2 Tbs dry oregano
*1/2 dried chili flakes (i omitted this)
*4 c veggie broth
*1/4 c Braggs Liquid Aminos
*1/2 c parsley, chopped
*1/2 fresh basil, chopped
*1 c cilantro, chopped (we don't like cilantro so i omitted this)
*1 c scallions, chopped
*sea salt & black pepper to taste
*1 tsp calabaza squash, shredded (i didn't know where to find this so i just omitted it :))

how to whip it up:
>soak the bean overnight. drain & rinse the beans, transfer them to a large pot with 4-6 c cold, salted water, & bring to boil. remove any froth from the surface. uncover pot, reduce heat, & simmer.
>while the beans are simmering, rinse each kale leaf, chop, & set aside.
>in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. add the garlic & stir until it gets golden. then add onions, celery, tomatoes, bay leaves, leek, fennel, oregano, & chili flakes. stir for 5-7 mins or until the veggies are fork-tender.
>when beans are tender, add the veggie broth & Braggs. transfer the mixture in the saucepan to the pot. add the parsley, basil, 3/4 c cilantro, 3/4 c scallions, & salt & pepper to taste & stir. bring to a boil. (if using canned beans just add the beans here.)
>reduce heat, add kale, & let simmer uncovered for 8-10 mins. allow the broth to thicken. season w more salt & pepper if needed.
>serve hot & garnish w the remaining cilantro, scallions, & squash.


will you please just look at these sweet little dolls on one of my favorite blogs
made by this sweet etsy shop. aren't they amazing?!!! 

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March 17, 2012

dinner on the front porch

i love blessing my family by being creative for them. having dinner on the front porch may sound really simple, & it is, but it brings me joy & life because i get to be creative & my family seems to enjoy it. ;)
it took me about 15 mins (+ dinner cooking time) to set everything up,
with the help of my sweet husband. 
>i grabbed a card table & chairs
>pulled a sheet out to be a tablecloth
>cut a few flowers & put them in water
>lit a candle 
>served our dinner
>& enjoyed time with my fellas (ahhh, they're great!)
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what are some fun/simple things you do with your family??

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March 16, 2012

black bean soup

(from this yummy cookbook)
oh my GOODNESS this soup was incredible! 
next time i make it i'm going to double it & freeze some!
so simple & so delicious!

whatcha need:
*1 lbs dry black beans (i used canned)
*4 c veggie broth
*1 c leek, chopped
*1 c fennel, chopped
*1 sweet onion, chopped
*1 yellow onion, chopped
*1 red onion, chopped
*1 c cilantro, chopped (we don't like cilantro so i omitted it)
*1 c scallions, chopped
*1/2 tsp, thyme
*1 Tbs paprika
*sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
*3 bay leaves

how ya make it:
>soak beans in warm water overnight. drain & rinse the beans, & transfer them to a large pot w veggie broth & 2 cups cold, salted water. bring to a boil. (if u use canned beans just add the broth & beans after you sauté the veggies.)
>while the beans are cooking, chop leek, fennel, onions, cilantro, & scallions. set aside 1/4 c red onion for garnishing. 
>saute leek, fennel, onions, cilantro, scallions, thyme, & paprika for 1 min. then season w salt & pepper to taste.
>add bay leaves & all the other ingredients to boiling beans & simmer, covered, for about 20-30 mins.
>remove bay leaves before serving. garnish w red onion.

yum! i need to make this again! 


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March 15, 2012

He's humbling me

lately i've been in a season of being broken over my sin toward my children. i get angry with them & immediately i feel horrible about it. it has now turned into self condemnation. i want so much to be good at being mommy that i have become self absorbed & self centered over this sin. i think about being a "good mommy" all day long. i think about my "performance" as mommy instead of just repenting before the Lord, letting Him change me & moving on with my day while depending on His grace. my Father is the only good in me. He is the only One who can refine me & sanctify me & make me more like Him. no amount of worrying will do any good for me. He started this work in me herehere & here (i know... it's taking a while ;)). i was listening to the song on this post again & i was so overwhelmed with how "me focused" i've been. i want my eyes, heart & mind to be filled with the cross daily! change me Lord! make me a gracious, humble, gentle, gospel glorifying mommy!
"we are partners with our children because we are just like them--dearly loved sinners."

"parenting in grace is not parenting on the basis of your own consistent gospel-centeredness. it is just the opposite. parenting in grace is parenting on the basis of Christ's consistent perfections alone."

"we will never be able to love them as we should. we will never raise them in the nurture & admonition of the Lord. not perfectly, never consistently. our job is not just hard; it's impossible."
(we're embracing the camera here.)

& this is the best news.... "when we are feeling total despair, when we think, i'm never going to get this right, & even when i try, i fail, that will be the moment when we'll have the grace to resist our enemy & watch how our Savior restores, confirms, strengthens, & establishes us. we need days of failure because they help humble us, & through them we can see how God's grace is poured out on the humble."
(all the quotes are from this amazing book.)

isn't our Savior so so good! ah, He ISSSS!!! He's sooo amazing!
now sit & enjoy this song...


my sweet friend brit has a wonderful quote on her blog about all of the above.

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