Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bikes+Beach=My Birthday!!!

This past weekend was busy with fun stuff which included packing around 50,000 meals for Jesus Food...

Really fun working along side some old friends and meeting new people too!

This past Sunday also happened to be my 41st birthday..Whew-Hew!! Dan and the girls worked together to make me a chocolate was coconut flour based and turned out pretty good.

Made with lots of love and the singing to me just topped it off....

Sunday we headed to the beach to ride bikes and eat at Nick's on 2nd.....

The sun was out and warm and I was just reminded how blessed I truly am.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to own a Great Dane; they think they are human and they basically sit on the furniture next to you because they just want to be with their people. Ya' she's HUGE!

She just loves to lay with the girls and be wherever they sweet.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gearing Up For Summer....

We had Spring break last week. Dan was stuck working all week so me and my mom took the girls down to Laguna beach for a couple of days....The weather was in the 70's and beautiful! We found a great deal on a room and then spent our time playing at the beach, swimming and of course eating at all of our favorite places down there.
We hiked a little along the cliffs and enjoyed the views....
We are so blessed to live somewhere that in April we are running around in shorts and flip flops.
My mom and Morgan...
Me & my Ry...
Sadly we are back in school full force with state testing and trying to wrap up our subjects. But we are also looking forward to last few weeks of school to finish strong and then being able to enjoy some much needed down time this summer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

But If Not......


I just got done reading this great book called Fight Back With Joy written by Margaret Feinberg. Margarets story is like so many other women fighting breast cancer; but in the midst of the journey she and her husband decide to explore what it means to have true God given joy. Joy that passes all understanding and maybe even seems phony to someone on the outside of your trial because by all accounts if someone were to look in, you would have every right to have a self proclaimed pity party.
  Don't get me wrong, she does have many bad days where she has to dig deep and she shares those in the book as well, but what stood out to me is the journey she went on to discover what it meant to have joy despite her circumstances.  God given joy. Joy in the Lord. Thankful, unabashedly, relentless joy that says,"No matter what this life brings my way I AM CHOOSING to be joyful and love on others!"

 In the middle of her cancer story and feeling pretty low Margaret meets a man who has the words "but if not" tattooed on his arm. The man points her to  Daniel chapter 3 of the bible. The short version is that king Nebuchadnezzar is demanding that everyone bow down and worship statues. Enter Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refuse to bow down and are brought before the king who kindly informs them that if they do not bow down they will be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. We pick it up in verse 16 for their answer to king Nebuchadnezzar. "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up."
 Did you see that? They were so confident in Gods ability to change their circumstances that they stood strong and bold in the face of trial. And they were confident that the Lord had them there for a reason and if their circumstances did not change they were going to praise Him anyway. I want that! I want to look around and be able to say,"God I trust you. I'm feeling this trial Lord and I will not let it be in a vane. I will pray that this or that takes place and pray for relief BUT IF NOT, I am going to have joy and KNOW you have me here for a reason."

 In the end king Nebuchadnezzar sees that after being thrown in the fire that the three men are not burned and in fact there are four people in the fire. The Lord was with them. The king fell down and worshiped God, giving up his idols. What would happen if we prayed like that? If we loved and lived like that? What would that look like to you? Who might see our joy and get saved?

I have been struggling with losing the use of my right hand as my rheumatoid arthritis progresses on that side of my body. Some days it's terribly painful and typing and writing are becoming something I can only do in short spurts. There are days when I feel scared, depressed and just angry that this is taking place. After being reminded of this story I am changing how I pray. "God heal me, straighten out my hand. Give me many more years of mobility, I'm to young to be losing use of my right hand/arm...I write with this side God! But if not, I am joyful because this is temporary. I will fight back with joy and loving on others in the midst of my discomfort because I CAN!! I am made in your image and WILL be joyful despite my circumstances."
What if we loved God and others with an abandon the world can not deny even if the Lord chooses not heal us? If He chooses not to bring that wayward child or spouse back? Our loved one dies anyway even though we prayed? God this is my hearts desire but if it's not to be I will serve you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Fun!

Happy belated Easter! We started off our day with a 4:30am wake up call to go to sunrise service at our church. I wanted to take a picture of everyone huddled up together under blankets as the sun was coming over the mountain top but my fingers were frozen!!

I made these Oreo truffles and during step one my darling husband and children made the observation that they might look  a little like poop and not so appealing to eat; yes this is my life....

But after another step they turned out super cute and tasted even is the recipe link if you want to make them. Because we are gluten and dairy free I used gluten free Joe-Joes and dairy free cream cheese so just FYI that is an option. 

I love Pinterest. Always cute ideas that my brain does not think up but gladly wants to try.

My mom made this carrot cake that we all agreed was so good!! We did have a good laugh about the fact that the hollow eyes could freak out small unsuspecting children though. Our family is ruthless.

Every year we do an egg hunt for the girls and there is always the coveted golden egg that has an extra special treat of $10 in it. Morgan was the winner this year.

The day was full of sweet reasons we as Christians celebrate Easter. Jesus has risen from the dead and he is alive! That in and of itself is so AMAZING and all the extras; the food, egg hunt and treats are just that...extra blessings and fun good times. but without Christ in our lives those things are all meaningless.

So now we are officially on Spring break! Can I get a "thank you Jesus!" for this home school mama who is ready for summer break. We don't have major plans except I am thinking our girls will be catching up on their Lego video game ha! Be blessed!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Parenting Tip 101:

By all means I am No parenting expert and I rarely if ever give advice because I have no clue what I am doing 99% of the time. I pray, move forward and then pray some more. ha! Have you heard the old saying,"You are the best kind of parent before you have kids." It's true right? I mean here is just a few of my BK (before kids) thoughts;
1. My kids will NEVER eat at fast food.
2. My kids will NEVER sleep in bed with us.
3. My kids will NEVER be home schooled. 
4. My kids will NEVER sit in front of the T.V. for hours on end.
5. My kids will NEVER roll their eyes, talk back or act like that in a store.
6. My kids will NEVER have more than one earing hole, dye their hair or wear make up before (insert some random age).
Fast forward 14 years and I've learned a few things. #1 My kids will do all of the above and more. #2 They are kids. #3 I care more about their hearts than how many times they want to pierce their ears. #4 You learn life and obedience to the Lord by doing life, and that includes making mistakes.
So when our rather (how should I put this super mildly?) independent, daring, free spirit of  a 10 year old asked to dye her hair I thought,"Heck, why not?"
I know with Ryanne I have to pick my battles and it's just hair.
I'm thinking we should have done blue which is calming an maybe not so much the fiery red. Ha! So anyways that's my parent story the week. Some days I'm barely surviving and wondering if my brain/heart can take any more battles, dirty laundry, late nights with sick kids, bad attitudes etc. Then God gently reminds me that we are all fallen sinful kids of his and our kids are not any different. So I put my eyes that see my kids like Jesus sees them and it all makes sense.
I would like to say for the record because I know my mom reads my blog and doesn't know how to comment; not in a MILLION years would my mom let me EVER do this to my hair when I was a kid. In fact I just last month went and got a second hole in my ear because my mom wouldn't let me ha! See, still rebelling! Well except she took me and paid for my ear piercing this time!! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Image...

Do you ever look around and think,"Man that Christian has it all together. They know the right answer with the right scripture at the right time. They always have a story about an amazing adventure they took with God. They are always in the right place at the right time." I'm not saying that it's good to compare yourself to others but we have all been there right? Like maybe we are missing the mark or we aren't enough. I spent a good part of the beginning of my marriage looking at other husbands and thinking,"huh, I wish my husband did this or that. I wish my husband was more sensitive and home more." I have done the same things with other moms, thinking how patient another mom is when I'm yelling at my kids.  But you know what God has impressed upon my heart the last few years that has given me this deep unmovable joy? That this life, my marriage, my kids, my friendships are not about me. When I get caught up in focusing on myself, my needs and wants then I quickly lose sight of what God really has me here for. I manage to feel sorry for myself about the most ridiculous things and spin my wheels over things that have no value as apposed to asking God,"What can I do for you today?" I know that no one person has it all together or always has the right answer, but the difference between a Christian who is just sitting on the side lines and a Christian who seems to always have a new adventure to tell you about that God took them on, is that they go when God calls. They obey. They react. They realize that being Christ like is actually a verb. It requires action. It requires that we look at our husbands and see them as Christ sees them, love them as Christ loves them. That we see our kids as Christ sees them and love them as Christ does. Yes even when we don't feel like it. Why? Because Jesus did it first. He loved us first. I want to love my Lord, my husband and my kids like Christ. I want them to be following Jesus when they follow see Christ at the head of our motives and our hearts desires. I want to have daily adventures with Jesus that move me out of my comfort zone and make me take risks for His purpose. Even if sometimes I end up taking the long route like Jonah; I am certain that if I step out and say Yes!! God will grow me and use me and make me more into His image. Be brave today! Love someone up! Serve your husband and kids because you "get" to! Stop worrying about things that have no eternal value! Talk to a stranger and love them! Do something out of your comfort zone for the Lord! Go on an adventure with Christ at the lead and see where it takes you! Be blessed!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sneaking Away....

I love Groupon! I also love grabbing my husband and kids and getting out of town for a quick trip. So when you find an AMAZING deal on a room right on the water in San Diego you sneak away. I've discovered that sneaking away even for just a day is good medicine. Everything else will still be here when you get only get to do this life with these relationships one time.
Why is it that I C-A-N-N-O-T get a "normal" picture of anyone in my house?
I told her that her face was going to freeze like that...ya' it didn't work on me as a kid either...

We were so fortunate to be able to spend all Sunday down by the water riding our bikes, trying a new restaurant, swimming in the pool and just being together... 

We found this really fun dessert and coffee place that was open until 11pm and packed full of people, coffee, tea, chocolate, gluten free and vegan desserts and more and more chocolate!!

If you are ever in San Diego look it up, you will not be disappointed. Be patient because I'm guessing this is a very popular place.

We walked around Little Italy which has AMAZING places to eat and so many cute shops etc.

View from atop a hill in Point Loma...

We stayed at Humphry's on Fiesta Island....great place!

I am crazy in love with the sea...
We are refreshed and back to the books and enjoying the beautiful Spring weather! Be blessed!