Blackberries, Blackberries!

This past Tuesday, Kel and I ventured out to go blackberry picking (I forgot my camera, but you can see Kel's blog here for pictures). I made blackberry cobbler two times cause it was so good. Besides that, we have been enjoying them simply plain. A couple days ago, I gave some to each of my girls during lunch. I walked out of the room and came back to see that the girls had squished them in their hands and were proceeding to clap their hands together, sending berry juice all over the place - the floor, walls, chairs, their clothes...everywhere!) It was quite the mess, but I could not help, but laugh and grab the camera.

"Look mom, berry hands!" (The picture does not due the berries justice of their staining power).


Bath time for Selah!


Mckenna gets another haircut

As I was picking up in preparation for cleaning my floors, I came across this...

Immediately I realized that someone had given herself a haircut. The first thought to my mind was, "but her hair takes FOREVER TO GROW." Seriously, her track record is about an inch a year. I stopped to pray to help me not get angry and then called her to instruct her for the future.

I would never have expected this from Mckenna, but I have learned to not be surprised at anything! And besides, it didn't turn out so awful. She took a chunk right out of the front. Having curly hair this time worked for her's kinda looks like tapered, choppy bangs. Here she is with Ann Stockton today.


Example of Charles Simeon

I have been reading through the book, The Roots of Endurance, by John Piper. I love it! It takes a look into the lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon and William Wilberforce. So far I have read through about 2/3 of it, learning much about the lives of the first two men. So far, I have been left inspired and provoked with fresh love for my Savior because of the legacy these men left and lives they lived.

I just finished up reading about Simeon. I was especially provoked by two inseparable themes in his live - humiliation and adoration. Piper writes, "For Simeon, adoration for God grew best in the plowed soil of his own contrition. He had no fear of turning up every sin in his life and looking upon it with great grief and hatred, because he had such a vision of Christ's sufficiency that this would always result in deeper cleansing and adoration."

From reading about this and a few other circumstances in my life lately, the Lord has been revealing to me where the root of change lies (It's truth that I would never had denied, but I was not living in the good of). It's not in my efforts to put off sin, or strategically memorize more scriptures, or "try harder next time," or even in my feelings of guilt that I think will often motivate me. No, true change is found by looking up and beholding my Savior in adoration. It's following the example of Charles Simeon, who looked deeply at his heart, while looking all the more up at his Savior. It was through looking intently at his Savior and the wonderous love found at the Cross that humbled him and brought change.

Here are some words from Simeon himself,

"By constantly meditating on the goodness of God and on our great deliverance from that punishment which our sins have deserved, we are brought to feel our vileness and utter unworthiness; and while we continue in this spirit of self-degradation, everything else will go on easily. We shall find ourselves advancing in our course; we shall feel the presence of God; we shall experience His love; we shall live in the enjoyment of His favor and in the hope of His often feel that your prayers scarcely reach the ceiling; but, oh, get into this humble spirit by considering how good the Lord is, and how evil you all are, and then prayer will mount on wings of faith to heaven. The sigh, the groan of a broken heart, will soon go through the ceiling up to heaven, aye, into the very bosom of God."


Pictures of Charleston

I know, I have not been the best at posting for the past few weeks and it has taken me forever to get some pictures posted. A little somebody around here has become very jealous of the computer and I bet you can't guess who that is? Yep, little Selah, also known around here as Gracie Grace, Dug Dug, Dug Wug, and Selah Welah. Anyway, if she is anywhere on the first floor, I am not apt to try to get on the computer. She'll just come up to me and it all goes down hill from there. And of course our little ones always want to be where mama is! But I love this little gift and love how cuddly she is.

So a week later and here I am attempting to finally get some pictures posted...and I am already on my 4th try first was at 8am this's now 9pm ;o)!!

Charleston really was gorgeous. I didn't realize how much history the little town holds and it was neat to gaze upon these beautiful homes that hold so many stories of years past. One church we walked past had a cemetery out back, where 2 signers of the Declaration of Independence were buried. Another home had around 3 or 4 stained glass windows, customed designed and installed by the Tiffany of NY, himself....and were worth around 1.5 million a piece! There were cobblestone streets and even smells of horses that brought you back hundreds of years! Dave and I took a carriage tour on Saturday evening during which we learned a good bit about some of the buildings and homes and the history of this town. I had so much fun taking pictures of this little quaint place...however, the pictures do not due it justice. If you ever have the chance to go, definitely go!

The following 3 pictures are a sample of typical streets in Charleston

Charleston is known for its wrought iron. It was and still is used everywhere as you can see below.

Another street

Looking out toward Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
Our first night in Charleston, we ate at this restaurant. It was one of the best meals I have had in a long time! The food here was incredible!

Everywhere you looked there were nooks and crannies.


First words

Selah is definitely trying to talk these days. Her first words have been "Papa" (she'll say that everytime she sees Dave or a phone) and "thank you," but its more like "ta tu." It's too cute...and we are thoroughly enjoying her!


Life through Mckenna's eyes

So, this morning Mckenna asked us, as Dave was getting ready to leave, why he had to go to work. I answered by saying, "so we can have food to eat, clothes to wear and a home to live in." Mckenna paused and said, "and for rides, mom?" Dave jumped into her world and said, "yep, and for rides too!!" Mckenna then confidently informed me, "yes, mom, we need money for rides too!"


Our 5th Anniversary

I only have a few brief moments, but I wanted to give a brief update from our weekend. I'll post more pictures later. Dave surprised me this past Friday (I knew we were going away, but did not know where) and we flew to Charleston, SC, a place I have always wanted to visit. It was BEAUTIFUL! We had an incredible and memorable time while there. Dave did a great job planning the trip and I was thoroughly blessed by a husband who puts such a high priority on investing in our marriage and taking me away for times like this.

Dave, these past 5 years have been some of the richest of my life. It is such a joy to share life with you. Thanks for caring for me, loving me, and provoking me the way you do. Your humility and love for the Savior has been and continues to be one of the ways I respect you most. I love you! Happy Anniversary!


Crazy mom!

I think I have reached that "crazy mom" stage. Ya know, doing the things I thought I never would. Here's an example....for those of you who know Selah, know that she often is not a very content baby. So just a few days ago, I was so desperate to get a load of laundry folded without hearing the familiar wails in the background, that I offered her some crackers. Of course she wanted the whole box, and here was my crazy thought "sure, why not?" Yes, she proceeded to turn the box upside down and pleasantly shake it, so every last cracker was conveniently scattered over the basement carpet. My crazy thought - "great, she's happy!" I did get that load folded and Selah was as happy as ever. The crackers stayed there for another 2 days or so (again, crazy!), with all of us crushing them further and grinding them into the carpet. But by the time I got around to vacuuming, the carpet didn't look so bad. You see, every time Selah went downstairs she paused, got down in her cute little toddler squat and had another little snack and I didn't stop her a bit...again, crazy mom!


Blinking Back Tears

Probably most of you who read my blog, have read this before, but for those who haven't, this is an EXCELLENT reminder for moms of young children. A dear friend sent it to me this past week. It is a little long, but so worth the the time. I don't know much about this mother's blog, but this is a very edifying post. (click here to read).


My little gardener

I think I have mentioend before that Mckenna loves to help me garden. She loves to dig...and dig and dig! And she loves to wear my garden gloves and use my hand shovel. I always have to keep my eye on her to see WHERE she is digging. Somehow my tomato plants are key attraction for her. Nonetheless I love to watch her little chubby hands at work.



It's been a full week around here. Thanks to you all who prayed for Dave this week. He has had some complications from his surgery that he had over a month ago. Some of his incisions developed infections and he's had a bit of a rough week. He's on some good antibiotics now and will see his surgeon again on Monday. As of today his fevers gone and that's a great sign! Thank the Lord for antibiotics!

On other news, Selah is officially walking now! I guess about a week and a half ago she really took off full swing and that is now her preferred method of getting around. Dave and I just love watching her and often find ourselves laughing away and her cute little moves. And we are again reminded what a gift she is to us and how fast time goes by!

I have a video of her on the first day or so that she was moving around, but the battery died on my old camera and we don't have any more. So, I'll try to get that posted soon. For now here are some pictures of our little girl on the move.


Southwestern Salad

I made this over the weekend and it was a hit. It was light and refreshing, perfect for these hot days. I had made chicken soup for a friend who was sick last week, and just saved some of the shredded cooked chicken to throw in the salad. It worked well and saved me from cooking chicken again. I also added some fresh cucumbers and tomatoes to garnish the sides.

Southwestern Chicken and Black Bean Salad

* 1/4 cup snipped cilantro
* 1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil
* 2 Tablespoons lime juice
* 2 Tablespoons orange juice
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
* 3 cups torn Romaine lettuce or mixed greens
* 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 2 large oranges, peeled and sectioned
* 2 slices red onion, halved and separated into rings

For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine cilantro, olive or salad oil, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, and salt. Cover and shake well. Chill until serving time. Shake well before using.

Cut chicken into thin, bite-sized strips. In a large skillet cook chili powder, cumin, salt, and red pepper in hot oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add chicken strips and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer pink.

In a salad bowl combine chicken, Romaine or mixed greens, black beans, orange sections, and sliced red onion. Cover and chill salad up to 2 hours. (I actually did not add the lettuce, but instead placed some on each plate and then piled on the rest. That way I could store the salad for leftovers, without the lettuce getting soggy).

To serve, pour the dressing over the salad. Toss lightly to coat.


Mckenna's 1st haircut

Today I took Mckenna to get her very first haircut. She just got a little trim, but it was much needed. She was little apprehensive and would only have it done if she was able to sit on my lap, which made it quite hard for taking pictures. But we managed to take some through the mirror. Overall, she did great!

All done and enjoying a lollipop!


Quote for the day

The girls and I were at my moms house since yesterday afternoon. As I was rummaging around her cabinets looking for some tea, I came across a tea box with this quote on it. I was a simple and good reminder:

"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see." Corrie Ten Boom

Thanks, mom, for having us, for letting us eat all your food, for providing such a warm, inviting , and clean home to come to and for being so generous with all your time, energy and care. We love you!


Trip to Pop-Pops and Grandma's

It's been awhile since I posted. Last week we were away from Wed-Fri. at my dads. Mark and Kel went with the boys for the whole week, so we decided to go for a few days as well (myself and the girls).

It was a nice time. Mckenna loved it! All the yummy treats, the pool, running around outside, and of course, Pop-Pops boat. Despite all the craziness of 5 kids, 4 of which are 3 years old and younger, it was a relaxing time for me. Didn't have to clean or cook (thanks to Patti) and got to really enjoy some reading time, relaxing on the couch, playing with the girls and just being with the family. Dad and Patti were incredibly generous, buying all kinds of food and paying for everything we did. Thanks, you two, for helping to make some wonderfully memories for the kids and having us all. Hope to do it again!

Here are a few pictures. Blogger is acting funny and I can't seem to add more on. Anyway, today we are off to my mom's to stay the night and see her and Grammy. Dave is on a business trip this week, so we always love to take the opportunity to go to "Nani's house."

Ty, after having enjoyed a chocolate donut

Mckenna's hair was pure ringlets the whole time.

This was the first catch of the day, when we were on the boat.

Ty was out, shortly after we went, it actually was a quiet time...we only had Selah's screams!


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