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.