Thursday, September 27, 2012

Encouraging Words

A friend recently sent me a "Bible Verse Exchange" in the form of an email forward.  I usually delete any forwards that make their way to my inbox, but I was happy to take part in this one and looked forward to the encouraging bible verses that would be delivered to me.  Who doesn't need encouragement sent right to them at any and all hours of the day?

And they came yesterday when I was especially in need of happy and uplifting words.  Here are some of my favorites:

"The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:7

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit intercedes for the saints..." - Romans 8:26-27

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace."  - Colossians 3:15

"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  - Isaiah 40:31

"You are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me." - Psalm 31:3

"The Lord give strength to his people; the Lord blessed his people with peace." - Psalm 29:11

"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."  - Psalm 31:24


"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."  - Philippians 4:13

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  - Romans 15:13

"I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessings on your descendants."  - Isaiah 44:3

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Loving Love Letters

Note Clare left me in her backpack pocket where I always put her morning school snack:

"I love you Mommy.
Love, Clare
You're the best Mommy in the world.
I love you so much.
Love, Clare"

Such a sweet girl.  :) 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Menu

Happy Monday!  Hope your weekend was a good one!  We enjoyed two soccer games and some nice fall temperatures this weekend.  We ended our weekend with a big pot of potato soup.  That recipe is coming soon!  

My menu board for the week is looking like so:

Sunday - Baked potato soup
Monday - Chicken packets
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Sub sandwich with fries (loaf of French bread and 5 lbs. bag of potatoes on sale for 88 cents each!)
Thursday - Calzones
FridayBlack bean soup with cheese quesadillas 

PS - A very Happy 1st Anniversary to MJ and Michael!  

PSS - I hate car troubles, don't you??  

PSSS - Here's to a great week!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chalkboard/Magnetic Menu Board

I love me some MOPS.  Breakfast is always amaaaaazing, the company of other moms is always much-welcomed, and the crafts we do are great!  

At our last meeting, we made menu boards.  (Idea found here, also made at a MOPS meeting!)   

Hardy-har-har!  :) 

The "board" is a small cookie sheet.  It was painted with chalkboard paint.  So you can either use magnets to post your menu for the week or write it in chalk.  

Holes were also drilled in the top of the cookie sheet to hang the menu board by ribbon if desired.  

I made my magnets out of clothespins.  Some ladies decided to make magnets out of beer/bottle caps.  (Similar to these.) 

Clare has enjoyed seeing what's on the menu for dinner each night and anticipating her favorites!

Have a great weekend!

Linking here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Inaugural Soccer Season

Jude's soccer season has officially started now that he has had two games.  He really enjoys seeing his fan base (Ryan, me, Clare, and Ellen) at his games.  And it has been a lot of fun seeing him in action.  

(He came off the field at one point during a pause in the action at Sunday's game to go to Clare for a high-five.)  

Jude isn't the star athlete on the team (considering where his athletic genes are coming from!), but he actually does pretty well as goalie.   

So far he is enjoying his soccer career...he especially loves using his RED water bottle, and he always remembers what day he has soccer practice.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"The Force is Strong with this One."

Jude recently watched all 3 original Star Wars movies and is an official Star Wars fanatic and "expert."
Movies currently being viewed here...

Library books currently checked out...
(The visual dictionary is especially being enjoyed.)  

In between watching it and reading about it, we are often requested to act out various Star Wars movie scenes.   

The cast of characters includes...
Jude as Luke Skywalker.
Clare as Princess Leia.
Ryan as Anikan Skywalker.
Me as Princess Padame. Yoda.


(Jude also moonlights as Han Solo, frozen in carbonite.)  

And this letter to Santa was penned yesterday...

"Dear Santa,
Please can I have a green lightsaber that glows in the dark?
And I want it green.
Can I please have that green lightsaber?
From, Jude"

May the force be with you!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Foodies

I have been trying out some new (and resurrecting old favorite) recipes and we have some new winners here...

For breakfast I have been making these low sugar banana muffins and they are a hit with everyone.  I bake 2 dozen at a time because they seem to go fast around here!

I'm sure I'm not the only one that gets bored with sandwiches during the week...  I've been making a batch of black beans early in the week and enjoying them for lunch.  Lots of yumminess at noontime!      
I made this sweet and sour chicken last week and Ryan and Jude (and I) L-O-V-E-D it.  It was a bit labor-intensive, but really did taste like I treated everyone to Chinese take-out.  New special occasion favorite. 

I'm wanting to try this easy apple cake when I think fall has officially hit.  I love a 3 ingredient dessert!  Looks (easy and) delicious!

(OK, and this, too.)

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shabby Apple

I recently became an affiliate with the lovely Shabby Apple.  (See sidebar to the left.)  They sell women's clothing that is both modest and classic.  You can find dresses and blouses at Shabby Apple as well as maternity, swim, fitness apparel, and clothing for children.  They also sell beautiful jewelry and other accessories.  

My most favorite Shabby Apple dress in both color (purple!) and design (in love with that awesome collar!) hands down is Bali Ha'i.

I love the plum color for fall and this dress would look great for anything from Sunday brunch to an autumn wedding.

I'm excited to offer you 10% off your next order from Shabby Apple!  Simply enter this code for 10% off your sitewide order: favorite10.  **This code expires on Friday, September 14.

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Remember

Land of the free.  Because of the brave.  

(photo credit: Thomas E. Franklin)

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 on the 10th

Hope you had a loverly weekend!  Today I'm linking with
A Bit of Sunshine for 10 photos on the 10th...

One use for lacing strings. 

Photo of Clare's silhouette.  Photo by Clare.  

Food coloring + 9x13 baking dish + water + boats

Couldn't pass up these festive plate purchases.

Self-portrait of her eyes.

Our Star Wars adventure has officially begun.

Lots o' love. 

Ellen made spaghetti for dinner.

Saw the weiner mobile!  

Where you eat breakfast when the neighbors are getting a new roof.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ways to Help Preschoolers Build Hand Muscles

Jude will be in kindergarten next year.  (Yikes!)  His pencil grip needs some work and to help him develop the muscles in his hand to make writing easier, I've researched some ways to help him do so...

1. Find beads in playdough or silly putty.  I "hide" a certain number of beads in playdough and let him search for them.  He especially likes it if I put in a special gold bead for him to find.

2. Carry tote bags.  We like filling our reusable grocery bags with cardboard blocks or large balls and carrying them around.

3. Use a spray bottle.  My kids love playing with spray bottles.  From helping clean the bathrooms to "watering" the flowers outside, a $1 spray bottle is a great investment!

4.  Use scissors.  Jude likes to cut playdough "snakes" and junk mail.

5.  Play with sponges.  We fill our outdoor water table with soapy water and sponges (also a Dollar Tree investment) and have fun squeezing bubbly water out of the sponges.

6.  Use clothespins.  Jude likes to clip a bunch of clothespins on pipe cleaners.  But they could pretty much be stuck on anything!  (Yes, he's a leftie....Aunt Margaret needs to come in town when it's time to learn to tie shoes!)

7.  Open jars.  I have several old spice jars that I have washed out that the kids like to play with.  The lids on them are the perfect size for small hands.    

And that's about as homeschool-saavy as I get.  Hoping this helps him and we are soon writing our name like a pro!

Happy Friday!

Go visit Jen for more Quickies!  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

1st Day of Pre-K!

Jude was very eager to head off to pre-k this week!  He has been ready to start school since Clare started 3 weeks ago.  His teacher noted that he was cooperative, participated, and was eager!  He is in the afternoon class this year and I enjoyed 2 whole hours to myself while he and Clare were gone at school and Ellen napped!  

Two kiddos after school!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy Birthday to our Ellen!  We can't believe you are already 2!  

We love you very much and love hearing your little voice talk more and more!  You are a sweet girl who loves babies, books, shoes, princesses, Barbies, and most importantly, Peppa Pig!  

We were so lucky to have Grandpa and Grandma B. here to celebrate with us!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ellen!  We love you!