My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
Photo by Thousand Hills Photography. Click on photo to visit their site.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Remember this post: Teenage Clothes, Cholesterol, and Christmas?

I just read it again and remembered a conversation G and I had this week. It went something like this:

G brought me a barbie and asked, "Can you tie this?" referring to the halter neck ties.

Me: "Yes." And after I tied it, "You know...mommy would never let you wear a dress like this."

G: "I know, because it's too pretty."

(Ack!!! My five year old equates immodesty with prettiness.)

Me, emotions whirling, but trying to appear calm: "No, honey...because it isn't modest. See how tight it is? And how much skin it shows? You can look pretty and still be modest."

There was more to this convo, but you get the jist.

Afterwards, I was left feeling defeated. What have I taught my child? That pretty clothes are always immodest? That to be modest, you must not look very good. Unfortunately, I am a poor example of being modest AND pretty. I don't think yoga pants and long-sleeved tees qualify as pretty clothes in G's little mind - or anyone else's for that matter.

But then, what do I expect? Beautiful women all around us tend to display their bodies. How do we counter the message that society is sending: to be pretty, you must be immodest?

To be honest, I have tried to step it up a notch with my wardrobe. I want my girls to know that you can be presentable and still be modest. It's a struggle, one that will probably only get harder. And I know many of you out there can relate, especially those of you with teenagers. So, just know that this momma of a just-5-year-old and just-7-year-old is already feeling your pain. We are in the trenches together, sister.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Shopper

We found ourselves in need of several things recently and decided to have some fun acquiring them. Baby girl and I had a day out on Friday. Here it is relived in snapshots. 

You may notice her outfit is different in the last picture. She just had to put on her new clothes. 

Big girl and I had our day on Saturday. Here are a few glimpses of our day. 

She also had to don her new duds. Can you spy a subtle furry vest?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lemon Ricotta

I'm feeling a little sicky right now. Ugh. Too many cookies. Mmmm...cookies. Maybe I could eat one more without vomiting.

Seriously, I stumbled upon the yummiest lemon ricotta cookie recipe.

First, make lemon ricotta. I used...

2 qts. whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a large pot, mix milk and salt. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat and add lemon juice. Simmer and gently stir until milk curdles, about two minutes. Line a strainer with cheese cloth. Pour the curds into the cheese cloth and let drain for about an hour. Refrigerate up to two days. Or...

Make lemon ricotta cookies!

I used this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.

I had to halve the recipe because I only had enough ricotta for a half batch, and I omitted the zest from the glaze, because I accidentally added it all to the cookies themselves (oops), but otherwise, I followed the recipe. Amazing, right?!

2 1/2 c. AP flour (Oh, I did use whole wheat pastry flour.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lemon (zest + 3 Tbs. lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add ricotta, lemon juice, and zest. Beat to combine. Then stir in dry ingredients.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make glaze.


1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 lemon (zest + 3 Tbs. lemon juice)

Mix sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl until smooth. Spread about 1/2 tsp. glaze on each cookie. Let cool and harden for about 2 hrs. Store in airtight container.

Then try not to make yourself sick on them. I failed.

P.S. Yesterday's chili was made with venison. I had eaten deer meat before but I had never cooked with it. Yum! Really couldn't tell much difference in the chili. It ground up finer when it cooked, but no great difference in taste. I expected game-y, but I got yummy. =) I could totally live on deer meat. Someone buy me a bow!  Ha. Like I could really shoot it.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I absolutely LOVE snow! And now that my kiddos are in school, I love it even more! A day to sleep in, lounge in PJ's, play in the snow, come back in, slip on those PJ's, drink hot chocolate, watch movies...

Yes, please!!!

The forecast was calling for 3-5 inches of snow and the girls and I went to bed, hoping, maybe even praying. At 5 o'clock this morning - 5 o'clock! - the girls came running into our room...

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"


"It snowed! The roads are covered!"

I gave a thumbs-up.  "Okay. Go play."

Then I looked at my phone. Good grief. They must love snow even more than me! I love snow, but c'mon! I also love sleep. I told them to go back and lie down for another hour. That lasted about thirty minutes.

When I finally got up, the girls were hardly able to wait any longer to get outside, but I remembered that we had to deliver our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to the church.

PJ's? Sipping coffee on the couch, under a cover, by the light of the Christmas tree? Oh, well, maybe later.

We suited up because we were going to just drop the boxes then go straight out to play when we returned. And in the process, we realized that big girl's snow boots no longer fit. Sad face.

We dropped our shoe boxes at church, ran to Wal-Mart to buy snow boots made in China (deep, deep frown), and came home to play.

After lots of tracks, snow angels, and rolling down the banks of the ditch, we came in cold and wet. While the girls changed into PJ's, I threw our wet clothes in the laundry and heated milk for hot chocolate.

We ate oranges and pop corn and drank hot chocolate while watching Lady and the Tramp.

I've started cooking beans for chili, and now it's nap time.

Now tell me, what's not to love about snow?

Beautiful whiteness. Christmas tree lights. Hot chocolate. Soft powdery ground cover. Snuggy blankets. Chili. I'm in snow heaven.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Re-reading the Past

Last night I got on here to finish up a post I started yesterday morning and I found myself just reading back through some old posts. I loved seeing the pix of the girls from two years ago, reading about the fun things they've done, and even reading about our struggles.

Some of the posts had me in stitches. Others had me in tears. Real life here.

The last post I read (and it was the last simply because I HAD to go through some papers, or I probably would have kept reliving the past until my eyes fell asleep) was about standing, just getting up in Jesus and standing victorious over the enemy, "...and after you have done everything, to stand."

I loved it so much, I'm re-posting now.

(A few flash-back pictures for you too.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory

We sing this song a lot at our house.  Early mornings, as we all now know, are a little rough around here.  However, if I remember, I still push this song out of my mouth in the mornings, and before I know it, it's coming from my heart too.

Big girl sings along, but baby girl usually just watches us with a very serious look on her face, like she is above singing children's songs.  Above singing any songs.  Above learning anything by rote.  Above learning anything new.  In short, she just doesn't seem eager to learn, so I wonder if she's learning anything at all.  But then I get these glimpses of intellect that amaze me and I realize she is a little sponge.  She may not be trying to learn anything new, but her mind is absorbing the watery world around her because she is immersed in it and that is what sponges do.

So, today I took a nap with the girls.  We all slept for two hours.  The girls woke up first and came to my room to ask me when I was getting up.  I said, "In a minute," then I woke with a start.  Yes, in that order.  I thought it was morning and I had over-slept and I looked over in the bed to find that my man was already gone!  Impossible!  I would have heard him.  Heart beats slowed:  it's not morning.  But then, OH!  It's afternoon!  And how long did I sleep?  How late in the afternoon?!  Grabbed the phone.  4 o'clock.  We went down at 2.  Okay.  It's not as bad as I thought.  Have they been up long?  No, they just got up, they said.  Okay, I've not been an awful, negligent mommy.

But waking up in this whirlwind of adrenaline exhausted me.  I laid the phone down and relaxed back on the pillow for a minute.  I told the girls to potty in order to buy myself a few minutes to let my heart resume its normal pace.

And then Satan began.  Why doesn't he give me ten minutes of peace before he starts his attacks?  The guilty thoughts started, popping up in rapid succession.  No, not succession.  Popping up before the previous one had a chance to sit down...

I shouldn't have taken a what I am I going to fix for supper...I don't have anything that cooks quickly...the house is a mess...I should have done laundry...I have all those flowers to plant...why am I always so tired...the joy of the Lord is my strength...but I'm legitimately tired...I haven't had quiet time today...ugh...I should have gotten up earlier this morning to have my quiet least then I could justify a man would probably like a nap...I hope he doesn't walk in right now and find me in bed at 4 o'clock...I've gotta get up...I need quiet time...I need to have an attitude of gratitude...I need counseling...

...would you all just SIT DOWN!!!!!!!

I started praying.  And, as I started praying, I realized, once again, that Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor.  As He was working me through my guilt list, I heard baby girl "reading" books in the hallway.  Even with her complete lack of interest in any organized learning activities, she still has an excellent imagination.  She will sit down with books and make up pretty amazing stories.

I knew from the bits and pieces I was hearing she was looking at a butterfly book that had been laying in the hallway all day, along with various other articles.  Then I heard, "The butterfly flaps its wings and gives God the glory, glory, glory.  Rise and Shine..."

And I was grateful.  Grateful that something good had been absorbed by her spongy little brain.  Grateful for God's reassurance that something good had come from me.  Grateful to God for using baby girl to unwittingly remind me to rise and shine and give God the glory.  And I rose.  Those thoughts sat down and I stood up.

Me.  Standing.  That is nothing short of a miracle.  In this overwhelming situation we find ourselves in, called life, we stand.  And every time we do, we are to give God the glory for getting us on our feet and holding us upright.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  But THROUGH Him we can do all things!  And we stand.

And I was reminded of Beth Moore's blog I had just read earlier today...

I pray you are standing strong with the Shield of Faith in one hand and the Sword of the Spirit in the other.  Isaiah 7:9b (NIV) has been on my radar often lately:
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.
Then, Romans 14:4 right on top of it:  To his own master he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Amen to that.
And this phrase out of Ephesians 6:13 – STAND YOUR GROUND.
Keeping our faith in the driver’s seat of our faithfulness, Christ’s own Spirit breathing through us, we CAN do this in His great Name. May He make Himself so obvious to us today. Then may He make Himself so obvious to someone else through us today.