Cold Tangerines

cold tangerines 
The day this book arrived, I ripped the envelope open and just stared with excitement at my new book. My kids were playing quietly at the moment so I thought I would just take a quick peek at the book.  Four chapters and too many minutes later, I realized I had to stop reading or I would lose the entire day to this book.  Shauna Niequist had me from the first line of the book.  She is honest, vulnerable, and so real. At times, I felt like she was looking straight into my soul with the words on the page. 

This wasn't a typical book reading experience. I craved more of her words, insight, experiences, and wisdom with each passing section. I could envision myself sitting across from Shauna in a coffee shop as she told me these stories, rather than reading them in a book. The words flowed beautifully and easily off the pages.  I found myself laughing out loud, crying, and smiling as I read the book. This is a life changing, attitude changing book that helps you define life as you view each day as a day to embrace, cherish, and treasure.

Thank you Sarah for hosting this giveaway! I have been blessed by this book.  Thank you to Zondervan for providing the books for the giveaway.


Something fun and Misc

85 words

Speed test

I saw this on Leah's blog  a while ago and then Lynn posted it on her blog last week. It took me down memory lane to high school keyboarding class. Anyone else remember those days when we really typed on typewriters??

- Last Friday, I had Landon's 4 year pictures taken at Target. I had never been to Target's portrait studios before but I had a coupon for a free sitting and some free prints so we decided to check them out.  They got some fun pictures of Landon and they made some fun collage prints, but it was an absolute zoo there.  I felt like they rushed us through the process of taking pictures and viewing his photos. Overall, it was an average experience. Here is the link to his photos, you just need to enter my name.

- My older brother and his two sons fly in tomorrow for a week. I am so excited! I haven't seen any of my family since August.  They will spend the week skiing and exploring the Boise area. 


- Landon learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. So exciting to see that little guy out there zooming around.  I really need to get a picture because the bike he is riding is our neighbor Amiah's, 12 inch PINK bike! Yep, my boy is cruising up and down the streets on a pink bike without a care in the world.  His "cool" bike is a bit too tall for him to ride without training wheels so until he has a growth spurt, he will be cruising the streets on the pink bike.  

Have a great weekend everyone!




Spring, oh spring where are you?  I am thankful that I do not have snow on the ground like my family in Minnesota or my friends in Michigan, but I am longing for the warmth and sunshine of my friends in California.  I am waiting for:
- green grass
- warm, sunny days
- nights where I can sleep with the windows open
- days warm enough to open the windows and air out the house
- the end of cold and flu season (has this year seemed like a year of never ending coughs and runny noses to anyone else?)
- days of playing outside for hours and not needing coats
- bike rides and walks on the greenbelt
- sandals, shorts, short sleeved shirts

This morning at breakfast, I noticed a robin sitting on our back patio and when I looked up as the robin flew I noticed buds on the trees.  There are signs that spring is on its way, no matter how slowly it is arriving. I am waiting spring, ever so patiently.


Notes to self

- get more tupperware containers for cereal (or the baby digs in the boxes and there is cereal all over the kitchen floor)

- make sure the pantry door is shut (or the baby will be following you around with a tupperware container saying "me, me")

- make sure all doors are shut. closed. latched shut. maybe even locked (or you will find the baby on the driveway or on the top of the swing set in no time flat)

- before going outside, be ready with shoes on and any items necessary for outside play before opening door (see reason above)

- put the ladder to the bunk beds away (or the baby will try to climb to the top bunk)

- make sure all markers, crayons, pens, pencils, and chalk are put away AND out of the reach of the baby (or anything in sight will be scribbled on)

- if it is quiet - find the baby and fast!


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all our family and friends!  

What silly kids!

The beginning of the story is wonderful and great
But it's the ending the can save you and that's why we celebrate

It's about the cross
It's about my sin
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we can be born again

It's about God's love
Nailed to a tree
It's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him when it should have been me

It's about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday
So that you and I could have real life someday

It's about the cross
It's about the cross

About the Cross by Go Fish (Snow CD)



12 = the number of miles I ran this morning
1200 = supposedly the number of calories I burned on my run this morning
2:07 = the time it took me to run this morning (Sarah, my friend you inspire me with your time from your half marathon)
10 = the number of weeks left until the marathon
2 = the number of packets of energy jelly beans I ate on my run
23 = percent of my fundraising goal of $5000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
1 = the number of  hot fudge sundaes I am treating myself to tonight :o)



I have been in a bit of a fog for about two months.  I felt like one of those cartoon characters who runs in place but doesn't get anywhere.  I was overwhelmed by our busy schedule, schooling the kids, the daily tasks of running our home, running errands, training for the marathon, etc... It all just seemed like TOO much.  I was going through the motions, getting some things done but without joy or enjoyment. There just didn't seem there was enough time in the day to accomplish all that was on my to do list.  When I would go to bed at night, my mind would just swirl with what I didn't get accomplished that day and what things I needed to do the next day.  A mommy that is sleep deprived is impatient, crabby, and just not very fun. I knew I had to make some changes to pull out of this fog, but I wasn't sure what would help.

I realized that when I started my training, instead of getting up at my normal early time, I would sleep later and run when the sun rose (or as Landon puts it when the sun pops up).  Our day started later, it shortened the amount of time for schooling, and I felt completely rushed throughout the day.  When I feel rushed, my stress level rises and my patience level drops.  I would go through the entire day just on edge, knowing I was "behind" from the moment I woke up.

Last week, I decided I was going to go back to my old schedule. I was going to get up earlier to have quiet time with the Lord, workout, shower and be ready before my kids woke up in the morning. I would have time to make breakfast and get things organized for the day. It would give me time to not only be physically but mentally prepared for the day ahead.

What a difference!  Just by getting back on my "normal" schedule, I felt relaxed, I was sleeping better, and  I was getting school done with Morgan and Landon.  After the first day of getting back into my old routine, I felt the fog starting to lift. I need to get up early in the morning to get my day started right. Some people start their day with a cup (or more) of coffee, I start my day with time to do my devotional and a workout.  My attitude is better, I have more patience with my kids and with situations that come up during the day,  I have the time and energy to accomplish tasks around the house and I find more enjoyment in my kids. A bonus since going back to the old schedule - my kids have been sleeping later.  Thanks to later sunset and warmer weather, we have been spending many evenings outside biking and playing. It is just wearing the kids out!  By the time my kids are up in the morning, I am ready for the day ahead. 

In our house the equation for success is get up early+quiet time with the Lord = a more relaxed, patient, and fun mommy!


Preparing for Easter

It hit me the other day, I mean really hit me that Sunday is Easter. I suddenly felt ill prepared for this Holy Week. I don't mean the fact that we hadn't dyed Easter eggs and I didn't have a ham for Easter dinner but in my heart and mind I didn't feel ready.

This past Sunday, our church had an Easter egg hunt after church. Before the Easter egg hunt started, each family was given a handout titled "A Meaningful Easter" that our new early childhood pastor had put together. It contained devotionals for each day, some recipes and activities, as well as book titles and CD's. I was so thankful for this little handout - it gave me daily devotionals to prepare my heart for Easter as well as some new and different things to do with my kids.

Earlier this winter, I had purchased a set of Resurrection Eggs to use with my kids during the Easter season. They have loved opening the eggs and having a hands on way to learn the Easter story. I would love to know what type of things you do with your children during the lent and Easter season. I want to be more deliberate in preparing for this season next year. During advent, I have made an effort to prepare my kids for the birth of Christ but I am feeling that I need to make more of an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection.

Below are a few pictures of Mauryn in her first egg hunt (sorry I couldn't stop from sharing) and a few of the activities from the handout we received on Sunday. Enjoy!

Mauryn patiently waiting for the egg hunt to begin

What do you do while waiting - drag your basket around the hall

Oh, I found an egg

What, there is candy in these eggs - mom you've been holding out on me!

Jelly Bean Prayer
Red is for the blood He gave
Green is for the grass He made
Yellow is for the sun so bright
Orange is for the edge of night
Black is for the sins we made
White is for the grace He gave
Purple is for His hour of sorrow
Pink is for our new tomorrow
An egg full of jelly beans, colorful and sweet
Is a prayer, a promise, a loved one's treat!
By Charlene Dickensen 1997

Resurrection Rolls
Ingredients: 1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough or refrigerated biscuit dough * 8 large marshmallows * melted butter * cinnamon* sugar
1. Give each child one triangle shaped section of crescent roll or biscuit. This represents the tomb
2. Each child takes one marshmallow which represents the body of Christ
3. Dip the marshmallow in butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. This represents the oils and spices the body was anointed with upon burial
4. Lay the marshmallow on the dough and carefully warp it around the marshmallow
5. Make sure all the seams are pinched together well
6. Bake according to package directions
7. Cool
8. Break open the tomb and the body of Christ is no longer there
9. Celebrate God's love

Easter Story Cookies
Ingredients: bible * 1 c whole pecans * 1 tsp vinegar * 3 egg whites * pinch of salt * 1 c granulated sugar * 1 quart or gallon size zipper bag * wooden spoon * tape

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Place pecans in a ziploc bag and let kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Add teaspoon of vinegar to the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sins. Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts.

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60

Place the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27:65-66

Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and John 16:22.

On Easter morning open the oven and remove the cookies. Take a bite. Notice the cookies are hollow.

On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28:1-9

Source: "Simple Pleasures" A collection of favorite recipes, Christian Ministries


Happy 4th Birthday Landon!


Oh my boy, my boy I can't believe you are 4 today!  You have been a very happy guy since the day you came into the world.  You were content and smiley as a baby. As a toddler you were curious and busy. Now as a preschooler you are witty, charming, and energetic. You LOVE everything.  It is easy to please you most of the time.  You are so independent and strong - you know what you want and you will negotiate to get things to go your way.  You have such a zest for life.  You are so tender and caring with your sisters, it just melts my heart.  Our lives were forever changed when you joined our family.  God knew exactly what our family needed - a little boy with sparkle and mischief  in his eyes, bounce in his step, a tender heart, and a great sense of humor.  Thank you Lord for this amazing little man - we just treasure each day with him.  Landon, you make life so interesting and fun.  There isn't a day that goes by where you don't make me laugh or touch my heart with your love for your sisters.  Happy Birthday!  I love you son!  Mommy :o)


The Wiggly Carnival

Yesterday we celebrated Landon's 4th birthday with his friends (his actual birthday is tomorrow).  The theme Landon chose for his birthday was The Wiggles.  He just loves to sing their songs, play his guitar and drums and pretend to be one of The Wiggles.  After some searching on the internet, I came up with the idea of doing a wiggly carnival.  I knew the kids' attention spans would not be long so this gave them the option of different activities and freedom of movement. I had six games set up inside the garage and then we borrowed a bounce house from some friends and set it up outside.  I don't know about the kids, but I was wiped out after the party was over.  

The wiggly cupcakes
Wags the Dogs Putt Putt golf game 
Wags the Dog bone toss (the kids tossed dog bones through the bone shaped holes) Lance made the golf game and the dog house- he did a great job!
Our very own blue wiggle
The party hat, game tickets, and bag for prizes
Landon decorating his bag
Landon playing the fish game - the kids all won a goldfish
Happy Birthday to you!
i love the blue face from his blue cupcake and frosting :o)