Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 15th was a dark day.

 Yesterday my littlest babe got up abnormally early. We sat downstairs on the couch together as we stared out the window watching different people walk to the train for work. I browsed facebook. My breath stopped as I read that my friend's sweet baby girl had died. She was only four months old. I cried. I listened to music that reminded me where my eternal hope is. I asked God to comfort my friend as only he can.  Soon enough my other children woke up and we entered into our normal routine. As I sat down at my computer later in the day, still with tears streaming down my face for that precious baby girl, I was slapped with the news that the Boston Marathon had been bombed.

  My grief and sadness just seemed to grow each moment of the day yesterday. I watched every clip I could find of the event, every image posted online I studied and I just cried. What a time of loss. Loss for my friend Abby, loss for these people who had their bodies destroyed, loss for the runners who had their run turned into a nightmare....loss. And all I could think was this is why Jesus came to die.

 These moments are shocking and heartbreaking to us but they often remind me of how much we never know that is going on in the world that God sees. He sees every time a mother holds her baby as it dies in her arms, he sees every evil act committed against the innocent, he sees every single thing. Oh how much sorrow he must bear.  One day he will bring his perfect justice. Until then he brings comfort to those who turn to him as they mourn. He brings hope to the hopeless. He brought his only son to this earth to die so that we might not live forever in a place that is consumed by this pure evil that we had a front row viewing of yesterday. Thank you Jesus, thank you Father.

"So also you have sorrows now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."-John 16:22

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."- Hebrews 4:16

" This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."-1 John 1:5

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."-John 16:33

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."-Colossians 1:13-14

"The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen."-2 Timothy 4:18

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Art Fest Workshop

Every year I have the privilege to help plan our youth group's Art Fest Workshop. Basically we have an assortment of talented artists come in and offer a hands-on experience for the students. This year we had sketching, calligraphy, photography, graphic design and mixed media. I decided to bring my oldest babe to the workshop because I knew she would enjoy it so much. She was precious to watch as she poured over the many supplies offered to her. I noticed how she was so at home and without intimidation as she approached her work. Her spirit made me wish we all had that childlike approach to creating art. She was complimentary of others' work and had no jealousy or insecurity about her own when watching in awe others go at it. What a great lesson I thought for any artist, to celebrate and encourage without feeling small in your own creativity. Isabelle made four pieces of work that afternoon and each of them was a masterpiece to me (and her)! She spent the rest of her time taking pictures, so some of the photos below are mine and some are hers. ( And not just the two obvious photos either:))  Enjoy!


My dream is to have this workshop for grownups...boy oh boy would I sign up!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

my daily list I won't do

today I would like to

1. draw funny little pictures with my pens
2. spend an hour on pinterest
3. write a few letters by hand to people I love
4. buy flowers for someone I know that could really use them
5. make a few necklaces and brainstorm how to start selling them online
6. sew a doll for someone's baby that I already love even though he/she is not born yet
7. sit in the garage and watch the thunderstorm that is predicted to happen in a few hours
8. read a few more pages in the book on roasting that I checked out of the library
9. have a lunch date at Honey with my hubby
10. look through magazines I have been neglecting and pull recipes/pictures/pages that inspire me

The reality is that today I probably will not even get to one of the things on this list. But sometimes just making a list like this helps because at some point in life you just might get to them. I would love to hear a few of your list items if you are willing to share!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have never found a fool proof chocolate chip cookie recipe until now.

  I always have hit or miss sessions when making my childhood classic cookie.  It became so often that it would make me fearful to attempt them ever. I have (on more than one occasion) promised to bring a batch to some event and have had to show up with thin, burnt edged, lame cookies.  It would frustrate me because who messes up a chocolate chip cookie? Not my friend Leah.  I was over at her lovely house and she served these cookies, fresh from the oven and they were perfection. I complimented her mastery as I shared my inability to bake a good chocolate chip cookie. I asked her for her secret and she shrugged, "I just use the recipe off of the back of the Aldi flour." I asked to have the recipe and later that week I gave it a try. I was intentional about making cookies as I often do, with a bit of wiggle room. I was trying my best to make sure that measurements were accurate (since I know it matters with baking...hence me loving cooking far more) but not getting out the knife to level things out...ain't nobody got time for that! And low and behold-the cookies were amazing! I have made the cookies two more times since and each time they have been just as perfect as the last. So, if you are looking for a recipe that will not disappoint you I suggest you try this one. And it really is easy to mix all the ingredients by hand which makes it super fun to do with the little ones in your life.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the Aldi flour bag)
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix brown sugar and butter until blended. Beat in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Mix in oats, flour and baking soda.. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Roll into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

the line up
I forgot the chocolate chips in the line up shot...these are important


his new favorite thing for pictures...now if only he were a celebrity in might come in handy

soooo good

and now to enjoy our hard work:)

Let me know if you try them and how they turn out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Orange Slide

An afternoon in the backyard.


Hope you are smiling as big as a child going down a slide backwards. I would have tried it myself...but these hips of mine are not exactly fisher-price slide sized. :) (thank goodness)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


We did two Easter egg hunts this year. The first one included mass chaos, hoards of children and an Easter bonnet contest. During the hunt Judah got nailed going for his first egg and decided to sit the rest of the hunt out. Next year we will be wearing full football pads and showing the world that we mean business. Later that day Grampy Clark and my hubby set up a hunt in our backyard. The little ones went at it with great gusto while the adults watched with equal delight. Someday I might tell you about the Easter egg hunts my parents set up for us children all the way up into college. It involved cash and competitive running. I love them for keeping that thrill of Easter egg hunting alive for us as long as they could.
 Now...for live shots from the hunts.


I love this one!

And this one too...how often do you get a shot this great with little ones?!
Are you the type that enjoys the hiding of the eggs or the finding of the eggs better? Not sure where I land on that question....hmmm.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Eggs in Color

 Eggs really are such beautiful things. When you stop and start seeing everything as little masterpieces made by the Creator then the world is infinitely more fascinating and awe inspiring. Eggs for example, have this shape, this color, this texture that is refreshingly simplistic. Leave it up to our family to splash some wild colors all over them but we sure did have fun doing it.
(In case you were curious-Isabelle really wanted to wear the bonnet you see in the below photos.  I though it was very Laura Ingalls-Wilder of her and since this is Little House on Prairie how could I refuse?)

Have you been adding your splash of color to anything in this beautiful world lately? If not...get going!