Happy New Year!

I had thought up some brilliant (and I do mean brilliant) blog posts that I wanted to share for my Husband's 30th Birthday, Christmas, and New Year's but something else came up. Sorry you won't get to read them because I never got around to typing them.
I've been real busy sleeping and trying not to throw-up every five minutes...

I plan on being back in a few weeks, as soon as the smell of the computer doesn't make me want to vomit and I get caught up on all the other things that are sitting around waiting to be done...


When it Rains, it Pours. And Sometimes it Snows...

It snowed the other night. We were at the squadron Christmas Party (I was quite impressed that it was in fact a Christmas Party, not a holiday party) and it started snowing. It was close to midnight when we picked the children up, but they woke up long enough to play in it for a moment. Even though we lived in Colorado and weren't really impressed by the snow like the locals, it supposedly only snows once every 10 years or so here, so I am glad we could be a part of it.
There were even some remains in the morning, so the children enjoyed some snow for breakfast and a little snowball fight.

That was the snow part. You can read about the raining here.

Now for the pouring...

It seems like it has been one thing after another for us here. I must give you a disclaimer right off the bat though, no matter how much it seems to be so, I am NOT complaining. Just keeping it real. I really appreciate transparency. I can't learn anything from someone who always talks about how perfect and easy and wonderful his life is. I have to know he can level with me, empathize with me, and encourage me. It wouldn't be right for me to brag about how wonderful everything is and how easy my life is and only share the good parts. I am blessed, to be sure, and I am so thankful for all I have. This is not a "woe is me" blog, but I am trying to keep it real here.

Living in a travel trailer has truly been wonderful. I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't move to a house even if someone offered me one for the same price we are paying in our RV. I really wouldn't. There are some invaluable lessons we are learning here, and we aren't done yet. But, as usual, part of that learning process is a bit painful. It stretches, tugs, and scrapes. It causes you to reach deeper, complain less, serve more, and is quite humbling.

Over the last couple of weeks we have had some stretching. It is cold in Mississippi. Like, below freezing some nights. For what ever reason (meaning poor planning on my part) all of our winter clothes and jackets are in the back of a storage unit. I am not really sure what I was thinking, most likely I wasn't thinking at all, it was July when we packed up, after all. We each have a hooded sweatshirt (we sort of collect them from places like Yellowstone and Yampa River and San Diego) but that is all we have for 30 degree evenings. It would take several hours if not a couple days to find the winter stuff in the storage unit because the boxes aren't labeled properly (military move, you get what you pay for and it was free). My husband is being double pumped (think a normal day's work x2) all the way until the 23rd. I can't move and open all those boxes by myself and I can't possibly reason to buy stuff to keep us warm when we have stuff already, even if it is buried. I think I'd rather go cold.

Being warm and cozy inside a small space with thin walls and single pane windows takes some effort. And makes some condensation. We discovered it makes a lot of condensation, in fact. We were going through our stuff to see if there was anything we could get rid of (this is now a bi-weekly habit, and I highly recommend it!) and discovered that there was water dripping off the walls in our closets and cupboards. I mean dripping. In the very closets and cupboards that contain our clothes and books. Clothes and books don't mix well with dripping water.
(I may have had a momentary desire to move into a house at this moment, but only momentary) So we spent several hours drying everything in the entire trailer (even the things I had shoved in the cracks and crevices and tried to forget about) and then we spent a few more hours reading about the solution options for the condensation problem.

We ended up buying a dehumidifier. One side effect of a dehumidifier is that it is HUGE. Really, I just needed something else to take up space and I love tripping over things. Another side effect is that it blows out COLD air. Really, it is because we like working really hard to make it warm in here. Thirdly, I can't use anything else while it is on or it will pop the circuit. It is like a circus when I am cooking in here, Hot water on, hot water off, skillet on, wait, need more hot water, skillet off, hot water on, it is getting cold in here, hot water off, heater on, mom I am hungry, skillet back on, pop everything off- forgot to turn the heater back off before I turned the skillet back on, it is my turn to flip this circuit, no it is mine! Just flip the circuit already! Heater off, skillet on, mom the windows are soggy (isn't that funny) soggy windows means condensation, heater off, dehumidifier on, pop everything off, wait!, It wasn't the heater that needed to be shut off, it was the skillet, DOH! Would someone please flip the circuit? Heater and skillet off, dehumidifier on. I am really hungry. Dehumidifier off, skillet back on. Are you getting sick of this yet?

Well, it does stop the water dripping off the walls, so it works, and for that I am thankful.

My skillet died. Funeral is tomorrow. I first noticed a funny smell about a week ago, and it kept getting funnier and funnier. But not in a ha ha sort of way. Then the other day it was only heating up on one side. Today it is dead. Poor thing, it was highly over used. A skillet that is large enough for our family isn't cheap. Since the unexpected cost of the dehumidifier and now the skillet, there goes our stocking suffers. But, I guess we have to eat. I guess.

Since that isn't enough, don't worry, there is more!

Our refrigerator is broken though I don't know if broken is the right word. Frozen is more like it. Frozen solid milk doesn't pour out into cereal very well. It doesn't pour at all actually. And a rock solid tomato can't be sliced for my husband's work lunch. And you shouldn't have to chisel out jalapeños for yummy nachos. I seriously didn't think Louisana hot sauce could freeze. But, it is solid. We read the owner's manual front to back. It only informed us that living in a travel trailer will result in extra wear and tear and a shorter life expectancy. (Of the trailer, not me). Oh, and that winter living will result in water damage from condensation including mold, mildew, and rot, if proper prevention measures aren't taken. Thanks for that, really. Who reads owner's manuals anyway? Turns out the temperature on the refrigerator is factory pre-set and there isn't a way to change it. We even called some RV repair men. There is no solution.

Hey, at least I am not bored!


Thanksgiving Traditions...

This year we had a food fight for Thanksgiving. Well, it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, but in celebration of it none-the-less. That is right, we had a full on mashed potato throwing, macaroni slinging, jell-o smacking food fight with our Culburrito Friends.

The children had been talking about it for months, devising up plans and ending phone calls and emails with "are you ready for mashed potatoes in your face?!" They boys had well thought out plans of making launchers and slingshots to attack the adults. The adults were trying to plan the best and most frugal foods to waste, and figure out where the least damage would be done.

We realized we were loosing light fast and since we didn't want to start the fight with the actual Thanksgiving food with-in reach, we quickly came up with a plan. We took the bowls of the throwing food outside while the children were off playing and completely unsuspecting. I was finishing up last minute dinner preparations when I was called outside by another adult to finish helping out there. I stepped out side and got mashed potatoes in the face. All of the sudden the adults were all slopping food at each other and the children were no where in site! It didn't take long though, they probably heard the squeals of hilarious laughter. 4 adults, 1 teen-ager, and 9 children covered themselves, the porch, the grill, the yard, the dogs, and everything else in sight with a Thanksgiving feast.

Once the food was gone and we all looked at each other with mashed potatoes dripping out of our noses and jell-o clumps falling out of our hair, we realized we had forgotten to plan the cleaning up part. Clumps of mashed potatoes fell on the floor as we took turns taking showers. I was one of the lucky few that got a warm shower.

The two babies missed out on the fun, but I think they watched from the back door. The two two-year-olds didn't really fight with the food at all. I think they were baffled by this horrible disregard from all of the rules there were ever taught about table manners, I am not really sure. Butter was very upset when mashed potatoes landed in her cup of water and she refused to throw the carrots I gave her. I heard her a few days later though, talking to herself early one morning. She said "next time we dunna have a food fight, I not dunna cry, and I dunna frow food at my daddy and friends" so that was reassuring.

The next day the children were extremely excited to tell their friends at church all about putting mashed potatoes in the parents faces and hair.

I didn't take my camera outside, you understand, but we did have a couple of video cameras set up in the yard. Some day I will upload the video.

Even without pictures, I think this is a Thanksgiving feast that will never be forgotten.


Wise Words Wednsday~ on Hospitality

One of my goals for this year is for my daughters (at least the oldest) and I to learn to sew.

Well, I just made this cute little skirt for Butter.

She loves it, it was easy, and I have a new hobby!

But I didn't figure out how to do it by myself...

A few weeks ago a very nice lady invited me to bring my children over to her house for the afternoon. I had no idea what I was in for when I said yes.
What a blessed afternoon! She had set up her sewing machines on the back porch so she could teach me to sew where we could see our children playing in the yard. My children had a wonderful day riding four wheelers and horses with her children while I made a super cute skirt. She shared her delicious homemade applesauce with toasted pecans, her cooking tips for large families, her fabric, machines, and sewing expertise, her child rearing wisdom from 17+ years as mom to seven children, and her time. True Titus 2 style.

I was so blessed by this woman taking the time to show me what she knows. She did this and I don't even know her.

Hospitality is a great and wondrous thing. Imagine if we all took just a little time to pass on what we know to someone else. If you aren't already sharing what you know or what you have with someone else, today is a great day to start!

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. ~Romans 12:13

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ~Titus 2:3-5


Where does he get his blonde hair?

We get asked that often about Lil' Bird.
I answer that I used to have blonde hair, but I just get the "uh-huh, sure" response.
Last night I came across these pictures as I was cleaning out my old files.

So, here you go.




Wise Words Wednesday ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

Bet you thought I forgot... I didn't.

I have family in town and I am very excited. My dad, step-mom, and youngest brother drove down from Iowa to spend Thanksgiving with us, isn't that awesome?!

So, my wise words for you today are:

Get off the computer and enjoy your family!


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Another Skillet Dinner Winner!

I had another skillet dinner success the other night that I wanted to share. I think I am finally getting the hang of this cooking thing ;~)

Ask me why I waited until I had no oven and very little counter space to make lasagna for the very first time and I will probably give you a blank stare.

But, I did. And it was goooood!


Wise Words on Wednesday ~ on keeping perspective

Boy, it was one of those days. Then it turned into one of those weeks.

I can't even remember when it started. The children have had nasty runny noses for quite some time. It has been long enough that a nose wiped on my leg isn't sweet anymore. The big wash machine is broken, the quarter machine was stolen and the front office where we might get some quarters was closed for no reason in the middle of the day so we had to take the laundry to the only mat in this town. Most of the machines were broken there and the ones that were working ate our money. I won't even tell you how dirty it was. Then someone wet their bed, again.

The black water tank got clogged. That was really fun.

I thought I fixed the refrigerator, but my milk for mashed potatoes was frozen solid.

Then I flooded the kitchen sink because I got sidetracked by the milk-cicles.

Then the circuit breaker popped because it is cold outside and we are running the heater while I am trying to make dinner that requires more than just the electric skillet. It popped for the 8th time that meal.

Then I discovered that the grey water had overflown. I forgot to pull it when I was unsticking the black water. That means all the water we have been washing the dishes with is not going down the drain into the sewer system but is sitting nicely inside the travel trailer.
Luckily the first place it overflows is the bath tub. Unluckily the bath tub is where we keep the laundry. It started as dirty laundry but is now soaked and dirtier laundry.

And the big wash machine is broken. And I am out of quarters. It is late, so I decided to leave it for morning. (Didn't someone tell me never put off until tomorrow...?)

Two of my children were wide awake at 3am. They couldn't fall back asleep. That means I could not fall back asleep. Then one of them wet the bed. My bed. And the wash machine is still broken and I still have no quarters.

I could very easily be contentious. This is stressful. This is dirty. I might even want to be contentions. It means "given to angry debate or quarrelsome" and I sure know how to whine about how difficult my 8 loads of nasty laundry with broken wash machines and no quarter is. It comes naturally to me.

But, some other things happened this week. Things that are really keeping it in perspective for me. On Monday we got an email that a man from our small group in Colorado has passed away suddenly. He leaves behind a wife and 2 school-aged children.

Then at Mops one of the moms was rushed to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing during our meeting. She died that night. They don't even know why. She was a fellow Navy wife, and she leaves behind a husband and two children.

So having all this mess to deal with doesn't really matter that much anymore does it? It is so easy to get all wrapped up in the everyday mundane-ness of life. It is very easy to wallow and trap yourself in the days that pass by. Keeping a positive outlook is really important to accomplish anything. To have joy is key. Joy is a smile on your face and in your heart no matter what your house looks like or how long your to-do list is. It is being thankful that you have a to-do list to do.

We are alive, and we have work to do. Praise God!

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

...The joy of the Lord will be my strength
Nehemiah 8:10


Frozen Pickles, Thawed!

I decided I didn't want anymore frozen pickles so I put everything from the fridge into a cooler so we could thaw out the ice.

I should have done this a long time ago, stuff was actually stuck in the frozen ice mess!

It was taking too long for my liking so I set the heater to speed up the process.

here is what it is supposed to look like...

guess we have another regular chore to add to the list. Working is good!

Goodbye, Arrows Photography

I just wanted to let you all know I am "officially" closing my photography business.
While I won't be running a business or using my family's precious time for pictures of strangers, I am still be happy to take pictures for my friends and family~ especially of newborns!

You can take one last peek at my website before it shuts off on Friday...

Arrows Photography



My Pickles are Frozen

Oh, one of the joys. You can't regulate the temperature in an RV refrigerator and ours runs a bit cold. Some foods are good a little frozen, but turns out we don't really care for Pickle-sicles.

But, a fridge running a bit cold is better than running a bit warm, I must say.


Wise Words on Wednesday ~ on words

Is the dictionary you have on your book shelf or web browser supporting your worldview and values?

I dare you to look up the word Education in your modern dictionary.

You will most likely get a defenition something like this:
Education-the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

But what if your dictionary said this:
Education-The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
Whoa! That is dramatically different. You mean education isn't sitting in a desk learning how to read and write to become adults? It is more than that? It includes manners, a controlled temper, and religion? And the responsibility rests on the parents? Incredible.

As with many aspects of life, we look at society around us and wonder what happened? Why is self-indulgent, lazy, rude, selfish, and gluttonous behavior the new normal? Where are responsibility and standards? What happened to hard work and reaping the reward for it instead of taking the shortcut and getting angry when someone handed over the silver platter with a smudge on it?

We could point fingers in a million different directions, but I'm only going to talk about one. Our presuppositions- what we believe things mean, or in short, our definitions.

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary says this about Sin:
Sin-The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule or rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or a violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not actions only, but whatever is contrary to God's commands or law. 1 John 3; Matt. 15; James 4. (and it actually continues on for a full 2nd column)
Sadly, today we do our best to fluff sin up, even in the church. Sin is now defined as the act of breaking a religious or moral law. That is it. Oh, darn. I sinned. Oops.

We are forever watering stuff down, making it easy to swallow. Today we are so worried about offending someone, and worse, offending our own self, that we create our own definitions so much so that standards change for the entire country, even the world.

What does our society think marriage means? The legal union of two people. Not really even between a man and woman any longer is it?

What if America still believed what marriage meant to Noah Webster in 1828?
Marriage- The act of uniting a man and a woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and a woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God Himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.

Till death? God Himself? To prevent promiscuity? Domestic felicity? For educating children? Well, if that were what we believe things might look a little different around here, wouldn't they?

Having a correct worldview is important, it affects our standards, creates presuppositions, and imparts a framework that will affect our attitudes and our lives.

I know the value of our bookshelf is increased by the 1828 Noah Webster American Dictionary of the English Language.

If you are so inclined to purchase the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary for your own bookshelf, you can support us by clicking the American Vision label on the right side or very bottom of my blog and making your purchase there. Thanks!


Pizza, at our house!

Since we don't have a stove or an oven Pops knows about the only thing pots are good for at our house

and cooking anything that has more than a couple of ingredients is a bit of a challenge with almost no counter space...

but I decided to venture out and tried my hand (and my skillet) at pizza

I have never even made pizza by myself at home with an oven, counter space, running hot water, and all the other nice things homes have. It is far too messy for the kitchen for my taste, and I never make anything that requires a recipe. Well, almost never anyway.

Besides, I don't perticularly care for pizza, I never have.

It was delicious.

I liked it better than oven baked pizza, I think.

One of the problems with not using recipes is that I never make the same thing twice. This is only a problem of course, when what I make is actually good. :)

I will try to give you the gist of what I did just in case you'd like to give it a shot. (This is actually me secretly writing down a recipe so I can make this again)

First I sautéed red onion, then added in mushrooms, then roma tomatoes, then spinach just until the spinach was lightly wilted. I set that aside. (I only have one pan!)

I made a regular pizza crust and flattened it out into the electric skillet set on 275. I poked a few holes with a fork to stop the bubbles. I covered it and let that sit until the bottom of the crust was brown.

Then I put on sauce, pepperoni, olives, and the onion/mushroom/tomato/spinach mixture and topped with mozzarella cheese. I put the lid back on and let it all get hot and the cheese melted.

Just a note- On the second pizza I flipped the crust over before I put the stuff on it just to see what would happen, but I don't recommend doing that, it turned to mush for some reason.

Yum! - Mr. Pilot said it might be the best pizza he ever had, and he loves pizza.

I only made 2 pizzas but could have made 3 with no left overs for my family.

I will be making this again. I will also try it with an Alfredo sauce and artichokes. And a Greek style pizza. And a Taco pizza. And I will do a Buffalo chicken with blue cheese. Oh, the possibilities!


I did it!

Awhile back my husband gave me a dare, you can read it here ~You want me to do what?

Well, I finally did it! It is kind of sad that it took me this long to get it done and even though my children are snot buckets right now, I wanted so badly to run to the store. Just for another box of tissues and maybe some jalapeno chips or something, anything really. But, I did it! If my children weren't sick, this probably wouldn't have happened. So I guess I am actually thankful for these colds.

I read somewhere that the average person makes enough mucus to fill 7 bath tubs in the course of a year. I have wiped at least one bath tub full in the last three days alone, I am sure of it! My youngest bugger toddles up to me and says "mama" in the sweetest baby boy voice as he wraps his little arms around my skirt and wipes his nose on my leg. Heart warming, isn't it? Poor boy, to top of his nasty cold, last night I discovered a big fat molar ripping through his little 12 month old gums.

These might have been the best 3 days of school we have had this year. We finished all of our work plus extra and finished some other projects too. I was also able to do several rounds of blanket training (a post on this is coming soon) and we have had a very peaceful time. No rush, no irritation, no place to go. I love it. This will be happening much more often. In fact, I hope to make it the norm around here.

Too bad I have to get groceries. Our fridge is way to small to make it more than a handful of days without running to the store.

We are out of Fat Free Vanilla Latte Creamer...


Cowboy's Have Milk!

Mom- What would you like for breakfast, Butter?

Butter- For bretfast I want chereal and Cowboy milk.

Ok, I know bretfast is breakfast and chereal is cereal, but Cowboy milk?- this baffles me.

We drink many different types of milk in our house, baby drinks mama's milk, Peanut drinks rice milk, daddy has coffee milk (aka French Vanilla Coffemate) and apparently Butter thinks she drinks Cowboy milk.

I won't ever tell her it is just organic cow milk. I think Cowboy milk tastes way better!

I used to try to correct my children's incorrect pronunciations. I thought it would help them be smarter or something. Now, I make it a point to not correct them because I discovered they will figure it out fast enough and I will long for the days when a superhero is a hipperoso and chocolate is cholahcolate. It goes by too quickly. They grow up too fast.

So today we are having Cowboy milk with our chereal. Although our chereal will soon enough become cereal, we will forever drink Cowboy milk.


Wise Words on Wednesday ~ on being a housewife

Have you ever felt embarrassed when asked how you spend your days? Saying "I'm a homemaker" is no longer done with pride, and that to me is sad.

Of course, much of the world would agree that being a housekeeper is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home; treating men with attentive devotion would also be right as long as the man is the boss in the office and not your husband; caring for children would even be deemed heroic service for which presidential awards could be given as long as the children are someone else's and not your own.

by Dorothy Patterson quoted in the book Passionate Housewives by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald

But society is wrong! Being a keeper of your home, a help meet to your husband, and a loving mother to your children is a worthy, admirable, and a holy mission.

Doug Phillips from Vision Forum puts it this way:

The household is the God-ordained seat of education. It is the first place where we are to develop and communicate a distinctively Christian aesthetic for culture. The home is not to be relegated to a mere place for consumption, but transformed into a powerful tool for industry and production. In the household (not the state welfare agency) we find God's true pattern for multi-generation, covenantal care. The home, not even the temple or church meeting house, has always been the God-ordained primary locus for daily worship. Our homes not only provide us with a platform to honor God's non-optional commands for one-anothering and hospitality, but they were designed to be the most powerful forums for evangelism and discipleship in the Christian's arsenal.
That does not sound like mousy homemaking or lousy housewifing, does it?

I have worked out in the "real world," I know both sides of the story. Being at home is tough work, but it is completely worth it. It is God's work, and I am honored to be called to keep my home and teach my daughters to do the same, and I am learning to do it passionately.


Practice make perfect.

I have been waking up to see my husband off with breakfast, coffee and a packed lunch for over a year now. I really enjoy this quite time with him before a long day. As much as I enjoy getting up with him, I am not a morning person, I never have been. Since I think 4:30 is pretty early and I need to make it through the day with my eyelids open, not to mention I still have a baby that doesn't sleep trough the night, I typically head back to bed for a bit after he leaves for work.

I am trying, however, to enjoy some of the the darkness and quiet of the morning in the Word. Today I was reading about the different spirits that affect us, specifically the spirit of anger. I listened to an S.M. Davis sermon and then prayed for peace and freedom from impatience and irritation.

I once saw a cutely decorated wall plaque in a craft store that said

"God, please grant me patience. NOW!"
I thought it was funny. And sooo me.

I guess I needed lots of practice on that prayer request! Two of my children woke up with snot crusted noses and crunchy coughs. Mmm, my favorite! While cuddling one of the bugger noses I discovered wet pants. Yeah! Since my children like to sleep in random places, I sent out the search party for crime scene. Luckily it was her own bed. I got that all cleaned up, smile still intact.

Time for breakfast. Rummaging through the cupboard I discover the only thing we have left is granola. I have to run to the store later.

Uh, mom... We are out of milk.

Alright, let's scrape up and divide the rest of the yougurt.

Smash crunch. Someone knocked his newly filled bowl of granola with the last of the yogurt onto the floor.

On the carpet.

Thank goodness for dogs.

Speaking of which, feed the dog, please.

Crash. Oh no, mom. I spilled.

The entire storage bucket of dog food is empty and it's contents are now inside the cupboard and all over the floor. Nice.

It isn't quite 7 am.

I giggled.

Giggling is the Spirit of Peace, I am sure of it.

Right about then the school bus went by. Yes, it goes right through our little RV park. I yelled out excitedly with my smile beaming "hurry up, eat your breakfast, you are not even dressed, there are messes everywhere and you just missed the school bus!" Everyone laughed.

Really, it's no wonder people are half crazy. Who has time to get kids rushed out the door for school at the crack of dawn?

Thank God for homeschool. And for Peace.


Great Words!

Whew! I am exhausted. We spent all last weekend trekking back and forth from the other side of Jackson to hear Ken Ham speak. It was awesome and totally worth all of the driving it was 2 hours one way and we went a couple of times for 4 sessions. Saying my family loves science doesn't even begin to shed light on it. Answers in Genesis is a really great place for us because we don't have to sensor out "billions of years" and crazy dinosaur and evolution theories that are claimed as fact. Ken Ham does a wonderful job explaining common science questions like "Why did dinosaurs die out?" and his ministry has great materials for children and adults on apologetics and evolution vs. creation stuff. It is right up our alley, and it was a free conference. They also have a Creation Museum that we are really hoping to visit in December. They have an awesome magazine subscription that comes with a free children's science magazine too. I highly recommend that you check out their website!

Then this weekend some friends of ours from Milton came up for another awesome conference. It was the 17th annual Reformation Celebration at a church about an hour away. It also was worth all of the driving back and forth. The speakers were D.A. Carson and Joel Beeke and they were phenomenal. We were glad when we discovered some of the sermons are already online for free, The Parable of the Bags of Gold and Practical Lessons from Calvin's Life and Cherishing the Church on I will be checking back there to see if some of the other sermons will be posted too, because they were all really great and I would love to listen again and catch the points that I missed while taking care of the littles.

What a great week filled with tons of learning.


The Birthday Celebration ~ Lil' Bird is ONE!

Birthday Cake is so much fun, especially when you are ONE!

Just like each of my babies, he tried to touch the beautiful flame...

But it didn't take him long to discover the good stuff.

and man, is it good!

Yeah! This is great!

Cake is good, and being the center of attention is good too!

Sweet boy loves to share!

Happy Birthday Pops!

Time to wash off the frosting! Good thing he loves bath time.

Presents came in the mail from Grandparents

and then presents from mom and dad

you must always taste everything!

he sure knew what to do with this one!

and a new Aviator jacket to boot!

He didn't notice he had to wait a day to celebrate, and he had a great day.


Happy Birthday Little Bird!

My, oh my, a whole year has gone by! It brings a tear to my eye. I just made that rhyme on the fly. Ok, I didn't right a sweet little poem for my boy, but I did just get his journal in the mail today. Perfect timing to start writing to him.

One year ago today I went to co-op like normal and met my best Culburrito friend for the first time. I hung around the house with another sweet friend and I was feeling pretty good. It wasn't until Boy casually said mid conversation "Mom, I think you need to sit down" that I finally decided to call Dad. I still wasn't convinced it was time, but he said lets go on head since it was an hour drive to the hospital. Our little Bird arrived by VBAC only 1.5 hours after we arrived. I don't think it could have been better.
He was almost 3 weeks early and 7lbs 2oz with super sweet blond hair.

His first week was full of hugs and kisses and so much love!

The poor lil' guy has an aspiring photographer for a mother, but he was happy to provide and adorable model for me to practice.

Our sweet boy became and actor at only a few weeks old, and he played his part perfectly. A nearby church called and asked if we could perform as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus for their performance. It was an awesome experience.

For Christmas Bird made his first road trip, a drive to mama's hometown near Chicago. There Lil Bird met almost all of his extended family, saw his uncle graduate from Boot Camp, took a train into and went around the Windy City inside the warmth and comfort of mama's shirt.

In January he was looking bright eyed!

and he was laughing in February.

in March we went to Louisiana for a life changing Above Rubies retreat and Pops discovered his tongue.

April brought two teeth and good sleep.

In May he had his first swim and we discovered he loves water!

During June we went camping at the Blue Angel Beach and he ate some sand, and he celebrated Daddy's selection as a Jet Pilot.

In July we made our move to Mississippi. Pops discovered the freedom of not wearing a diaper and began running away during diaper changes.

In August Pops is happy to show his irritation when he isn't getting his way! He enjoyed a trip to the Rodeo and loves to cuddle with Dad and Mom. He also started walking this month!

In September Pops had a visit from his grandparents and the Culburritos. He is so silly and is a wonderfully happy boy!

And today he is ONE!

This year has sure gone by fast, but has been truly blessed by having this lil' guy to enjoy. His hair is still blond, he has 7 teeth, and he can run. When he starts to stumble he puts his hands up in the air as if to hold on, walks in a little circle until he rights himself and then keeps on going without falling. He looks a bit like Jack Sparrow and it makes us all laugh! Lil' Bird loves to explore and climb on anything he can reach. He also loves to snuggle, sing, and dance, and squeal. I think my favorite is the snuggling though, it sure warms my heart. It is wonderful to have a baby in the house! Happy Birthday Pops!