Archive for the 'traditions' Category


end of July

While Rilyn and I were in Florida, Asher was at Pine Cove Camp in the City! He enjoyed it, although I wish he would of tried more of the obstacles. Sometimes he is a daredevil, and other times (I think when we are not around,) he is shy to try.

Asher about to sword fight!

Asher and his group having Bible Study.

We had our 5th annual lake day on the Moss’ boat!

Jeff, Eddie, James, Jen, Denise, and me

That’s me waterskiing with the Pennybacker bridge in the back. I even got to wake board that day for the first time.

Just thought this picture was cute! Ella liked grocery shopping with me this summer. Just me and her! She wanted to push the cart to “practice being a mommy.”

We got a chance to see Noel, our old college buddy. So blessed to live in the same city with the rest of these college friends! Suhs, Carson, and the Richardsons.

We also went to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio with our friends!

Rilyn, Anna, Caden, Ella, Asher, Levi, Cole, and Jake

I was so proud of Ella on this trip! She really came out of her comfort zone and tried bigger, “scarier” rides like these swings that go up really high in the air!

While Rilyn and Levi were on Superman, the others opted for the kiddie coaster. ūüôā

And some kiddie rides!

Ferris wheel with my love, Rilyn!

Pandemonium-always a favorite! And Ella went on for the first time!!!

About to ride!

He loves it!

Ella loved it too, despite her look of terror! LOL

more rides

The Roadrunner roller coaster

Unfortunately, there were some major rain storms that day that cut our time short. Here was one, and Ella freaked out at the thunder sounds!

It was a great day at Six Flags! See ya next summer!


Blessing Basket Sunday!

Happy Easter!  We finished our 40 days of sinning stones yesterday, and this morning the kids woke up to a blessing basket full of life!  The tomb was empty!  Hallelujah!  He is risen!

The day before Easter. Our sinning stone basket is full.  To see what sinning stones is all about, click here.

Easter Sunday. The stone has been rolled away! He is not there! He has risen! The sinning stone basket has been replaced with a blessing basket full of things of life because he took our sins away by dying on the cross and gave us a new life in Him!

Things I included in the blessing basket: bug catchers/viewers, mini potted plants to grow (found at the Target dollar spot), gardening tools, spray bottles (Jesus is the living water!), and a ladybug land to grow ladybugs soon!

*We made the tomb a few Easters ago using an old, clean can and pressed salted dough around it.  We baked it and then painted it.



Life has been BUSY this month, with no slowing down til mid June (when we take a road trip to Colorado-yay!) ¬†A quick glimpse of what we are up to! ¬†We started our gold verses for St. Patrick’s Day on March 1st. ¬†The kids love hunting for the gold chocolate coins each day and I love etching Scripture on their hearts. We also have been going through a sinning stone each day since Feb. 13th for Lent. It’s been going well, and each day as we talk about the sin, we confess, and repent as a family. ¬†This morning’s stone was “criticism”…gulp. ¬†Being critical is something I am very good at. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†We talked about just because someone doesn’t do something the way you would do it, doesn’t mean you have the right to be critical of them. ¬†We should speak kind words of others and not judge. ¬†Zechariah 7:9

And on March 14th, we will start the Easter countdown! ¬†Yes, we will have 3 things going on at once, but it’s only for 3 days, then we finish the “gold verses!” ¬†ūüôā ¬†You can find such fun ways to incorporate Scripture in the holidays!

Rilyn is finishing up her Dazzler season dancing during halftime at the Manor Falcon basketball games. ¬†She loves it, and loves performing. ¬†You can’t tell by these pictures though, right? ¬†ūüėČ

Rilyn on the far left

Asher  just had his 2nd soccer game!

Malachi is the oldest on the team, and sometimes has to help coach the other boys, like Asher, on which direction they are going!

This is Asher and his cousin when they are on the sidelines “taking a rest”.

Go Rolling Stones!


Top 5 posts of 2011

I love all the “year in review” stuff, so here is my blog’s top 5 posts of 2011 (Funny that only 2 out of the 5 are written in 2011)! ¬†You will notice too, that 4 out of the 5 are from Christmas (and some past Christmas’!)! ¬†I feel blessed that God could use my little blog to spread ideas of how to keep Christ as the focus at Christmas!

1. ¬†Shepherd’s Pouches– ¬†Wow, I had no idea that just adding a picture to an idea that I borrowed from Noel Piper would take off! ¬†Pinterest, Tip Junkie, and A Holy Experience (they put my link up at Christmas under “The Ponderings” on their side bar) were the machines that took this post off and running!

2. ¬†Ella’s First Haircut– ¬†This just makes me laugh, because this post was written in May of 2008! ¬†Ella’s picture is on the top row in google images if you type in “toddler girl haircuts”, so that is why I get so many hits on this post every year!

3. ¬†Happy Birthday Jesus Cake– ¬†This one is another old post, written in 2009, but Tip Junkie¬†(tradition #9), and Google (my blog comes up 2nd when you type in “happy birthday jesus cake”) has helped keep it alive!

4.  Our Jesse TreeР I wrote this post in 2010 when I first heard about it.  Love this tradition so much!!!

5.  Edible NativityР I owe this idea to Pinterest!   Tip Junkie also picked it up from my blog and helped spread the idea!


how not to buy candy on Halloween

Yes, we eat too much fast food in our house.

I’m probably trying to make excuses for why I have SO MANY kids meal toys accumulated over a year, but it’s true that every time we get fast food, I order 4 kids meals, (I get one too), and that equals 4 small toys that I don’t want in my house. ¬†When I look at the two bags below (the girls separated them into boy and girl toys), I shudder to think all of that could of been littering my house right now. ¬†But instead, right after Halloween last year, I started collecting the kids meal toys. ¬†My kids first whined about it, but then they realized how fun it will be to pass out toys this Halloween! ¬†They will be like little elves! ¬†ūüėČ

So Happy Halloween local trick or treaters! ¬†You get a kids meal toy from our house! ¬†I know it will not be the parent’s most favorite thing to see in their kid’s bag, but at least it won’t rot their teeth! ¬†ūüėČ ¬†(And hopefully it will discourage grown kids from trying to trick or treat at my house!) ¬†No candy here…


Celebrate “inter-DEPENDENCE” Day

Why not celebrate the¬†Fourth of July as a day of inter-DEPENDENCE? ¬†After all, as people of rebirth (Christians), ¬†independence seems to be a very counter-gospel value. ¬†But interDEPENDENCE¬†‚ÄĒ interdependent on one another & flat out DEPENDENCE¬†on God…this idea that we are not alone in the world ‚ÄĒ that is at the heart of the Story from which we come, the story that began long before America.

I once read that the real Independence Day was not 1776, but soon after Adam was created, when he and Eve stood before God guilty of sinning. It was on that day, the fall, that Adam and Eve made their own Declaration of Independence, and rejected God for Satan’s lie. From that time onward, every son and daughter of Adam is born at odds with God, fighting to live independent of Him and independent of each other. It is only when the eyes of the rebel are opened and he sees his sin, is moved to repent of it, and makes his official Declaration of Dependence upon the Lord, that he will be saved. And it is this very dependence that leads this rebel to cease his striving and live unselfishly in community fulfilling the 2nd greatest commandment to love others.

So this time around and for the future why not consider the true freedom¬†we have in Christ –¬†I‚Äôm not talking about, ‚ÄúLord, thank you that we live in a country where we are free to worship you,‚ÄĚ or things like that. Those things are true, but they‚Äôve become clich√©. Christians must promote freedom in Christ. Before Christ, we were nothing more than captives! Prone to wonder from our heavenly father, prone to do the very things we hated…Christ most certainly came to bring freedom to the captives. ¬†So on Independence Day let‚Äôs be sure to remember the freedom Christ gave us.

But let us not take our country for granted…a country where we can join together and worship our Savoir. ¬†So let every Independence Day remind us to give thanks and pray for those who serve our country, our¬†soldiers¬†who protect our lives and freedoms every day as well as our leaders. Pray for Obama, pray for your Governor, your representatives, and so on. They need prayer.

One of my favorite Independence Day traditions is going to see fireworks.¬†I think it’s because of the awe inspiring beauty, the beauty of bright lights breaking through the darkness acting as a small parallel¬†of Christ’s light that has come into this dark world. ¬†So if you get to enjoy some fireworks let your appreciation of them remind you of the One who shines brighter than the sun, the One who shines hope in the midst of what, at times, feels like overwhelming darkness.

Finally, holidays remind us how inter-dependent we are on one another. As someone makes you a burger, or invites you to swim, or watch fireworks with them, remember what we learned from High School musical, “we are all in this together.” ¬†ūüôā

Our family is celebrating this holiday starting today, (13 days before the 4th, representing the 13 stripes on the flag). ¬†We will be taping up one “stripe” of paper each day on our wiki stix flag that I made on the wall. ¬†On these stripes of paper will be a Bible verse that talks about either our dependence on Him, our freedom in Christ, or our need to live in community. ¬†All biblical themes that we can tie in with the holiday using the verbage above.

Here are the 13 Bible verses ( in the ESV) we printed out on red and white stripes of paper:

Day 1 of 13

Dependence on God:

Isaiah 40:31

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Jeremiah 17:5-6

5 Thus says the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.

John 15:4-5

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Psalm 44:6-8

6 For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever.

Isaiah 26:3

3 You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

James 4:10

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Freedom in Christ:

Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 8:21

that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Our dependence on living in community:

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Acts 2:44

And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

1 Corinthians 12:12

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

*James wrote parts of this post.



celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Bible!

The Valentine countdown had me thinking of how I could incorporate the Bible into the next holiday, (or some would say “just a day to wear green”), Saint Patrick’s Day. ¬†Our kids will be seeing leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold all around stores, school, etc., so I say, might as well celebrate it! ¬†I came up with the idea of finding 17 Bible verses that have to do with “gold.” ¬†My plan is to make a giant rainbow on the wall (probably with the Super Wikki Stix¬†the¬†girls got for Christmas), and then print each Bible verse below on a circle of gold paper (to look like a gold coin). ¬†Starting March 1st, the girls will take turns each day til March 17th finding one “gold coin Bible verse” in the house, (I plan to have a gold wrapped chocolate candy attached to each verse that they get to eat when they find it!) ¬†When they find it, we will discuss the verse, and then tape it at “the end of the rainbow”! ¬†Who knows, we may even have a leprechaun or two watching! ¬†They need Jesus too! ¬†ūüėČ

example of one of our gold coins

Bible verses: (fyi Psalm 45:13-15 and 1 Tim. 2:9-10 are “girl verses”)

Exodus 20:23 You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.

Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

Job 31:24, 28 If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, 28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.

Psalm 19:9-10  the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.  [10] More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;

Psalm 45:13-15  All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.  14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.  15With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.

Psalm 105:37   Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold, and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.  (see Exodus 12:31-42)

Psalm 119:72  The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Psalm 119:127  Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.

Proverbs 3:14  For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.

Proverbs 8:19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!

Proverbs 16:16  How much better to get wisdom than gold!

Proverbs 22:1  Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.

Haggai 2:8  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.

Matthew 2:11  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

1 Tim. 2:9-10¬† likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, [10]¬†but with what is proper for women who profess godliness‚ÄĒwith good works.

1 Peter 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith‚ÄĒmore precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire‚ÄĒmay be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. (speaking of heaven)
Here is a picture of my rainbow and pot of gold I made using Wiki Stix.  And the gold coins that we taped up every day from March 1st-17th.

wearing their green!

My photography business!

May 2020