Archives for May 2011

Our Life : Start To Summer

Written By Jen

Summer is awesome.  I love not packing lunches everyday and not having my life run on a schedule of bells.  We have been gathering around the dinner table the last few nights talking about things we each would like to do this summer.  Here are a few things on our list.  Some of them add structure and some of them are things that we just don’t find time to do during the school year.  Three cheers for SUMMER!

My friend Hilary told me about this great website called The Khan Academy. It is endorsed by Bill Gates and, it’s a free amazing online learning tool for children and adults.  It has a reward system that the children enjoy and they can work at their own pace.  This is a great way to keep their brains active on academics this summer.

We are trying to get together as a family and read my favorite children’s Bible together.  The Jesus Storybook Bible, the kids love it and so do we.


We have rolled out chore charts.  I really just look at them as a non-nag list.  If they have this posted to their doors, they have a small to do list and they know what is expected of them each day as contributors of our family.  To check off their list they get to use a star.  I love lists, and it seems they enjoy working off one as well.

We are trying to eat in and healthy!  We get a giant box of produce from Door to Door Organics every week and we try to make that the center of our diet!

I have made a plan to get the gym regularly!


I am trying to say YES to the question, “Mommy will you play… with me.”  I finish what I am doing and then I do it.  So far I have played Pop The Pig, Amazing Trails, Backyard Baseball, pushed them on the swing and read Harry Potter and Bat Man books.

We have pool days planned, but it’s always too cool in June, I find our pool days usually start in July.

We are going to try to Tie Dye shirts, make Slime, make homemade Popsicles and Cake Pops this summer.

Our summer will be seasoned with baseball.  I am beginning to appreciate why it is one of Americas favorite pass times.

I am still ‘spring cleaning’.  The book The Joy of Less still has me marching through my house room by room drawer by drawer asking myself “is this useful or beautiful?”  I am de-cluttering to free us up from too much stuff.  We went through our storage closet last night and it was awesome!!!  It’s clean and we got rid of a bunch of stuff we just don’t use and weighs us down.

I am hoping all three of our kids will be riding their bikes and swimming proficiently by the end of the summer.  I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

I plan to get lost in a few great summer reads, TBD.

I will be heavyhearted watching one of my best friends and her family moves out of state late this summer.

I will attend a long anticipated wedding in upstate New York.  I will photograph a beautiful Egyptian Orthodox wedding.  My niece and I will travel the town and I will shoot her senior pictures and, maybe I will cry because she is growing up too fast.

I am hoping that this summer I will live a good story.

These are a few things we are looking forward to this summer.  What say you?  What are you looking forward to this summer?


Bible Bites: Know These

Written By Amy

Earlier this week I was helping Maddie memorize some scripture she needed to learn for Sunday School.  We were in her room, sitting on her fluffy yellow rug on the floor. It was bedtime, I was tired, and honestly, I was in the mode of, “Let’s just get these memorized and go to bed!” 

 A couple of days passed and my Dad and Step-mom arrived from out-of-town.  We were all together last night, and with today being Sunday, Maddie was anxious to get the verses right.  Maddie asked my Dad to help her practice once more.  Everyone else had gone upstairs to get ready to bed, and I sat nearby, listening to my Dad and Maddie go over the scriptures.  It was a sweet moment, the two of them together.  When Maddie would struggle to remember the right words, my Dad would explain what was happening in the verse and she would say, “Ohhhh, Ok!”  God took that moment, when I was just a bystander observing a scene instead of being in it, to open my ears to what Maddie was memorizing.  They were not just “any” verses (as if any scripture is an “any”!), but the cornerstone verses of God’s word.  They are the verses that, if you want to become a Christian and follow Jesus, you need to hear and understand…and if you are a Christian and are sharing about your faith with someone who has questions, you need to know.  They are essential to our faith.  Without these verses, our relationship with God would be like trying to drive a car with no wheels.

I will share them below, and encourage you no matter where you are in your journey with God, to memorize these like Maddie did.  Have them ready, on the tip of your tongue to share when the time is right .  Bury them deep in your soul, to give you confidence of where you stand with the Lord, and be able to pass this confidence on to others.  I have learned in my life that I never know when God will have me sitting over coffee with a friend, when the conversation turns to faith, God, Jesus, and why I believe what I do.  Be prepared.

John 3:16  God so loved the world that he gave his ONE AND ONLY SON, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 10:10  I have come so that they may have LIFE and have it more ABUNDANTLY.

Romans 3:23  For ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ.

John 14:16    Jesus answered, “I am the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE.  No one comes to the Father except THROUGH me.”

Romans 10:9  If you CONFESS with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and BELIEVE in your HEART that God raised him from the dead, you will be SAVED.

John 1:12   Yet to ALL who RECEIVED him, to those who BELIEVED IN HIS NAME, he gave the RIGHT to become CHILDREN OF GOD.

I capitalized the some words because I think it helps me not just skim over the verse, but really see what God is trying to convey to my heart through it.  You may capitalize other words, in fact, you may want to take some time to write these scriptures down and highlight the words that speak to you. 

 Have a blessed day.

Recipe : Sensational Smoothie

Written By Jen

My brothers, thought I was crazy when, they discovered that I had not yet heard of a “Magic Bullet”.  I got  one and it has revolutionized our home in the smoothie department.  We make these delicious treats all the time now.  Here is our favorite recipe.  Our advice is get a magic bullet. It is less mess and hassle.  You can easily accommodate special requests.  It’s worth it!  We got ours from Costco for $50.  Okay, on to our favorite recipe!

Sensational Smoothie
2-4 frozen peach slices
1/2 banana sliced
1 cup orange juice
1/2 bag smoothie triple berry mix by Yoplait
1 scoop vanilla protein powder


Wise Words: A Seeking Heart

Written By Amy

This is a quote from the children’s book, Jesus Calling, 365 Devotions for Kids.  I love this book, because it not only speaks to my children, but to me! 

“My eyes are always on the lookout for a heart that is seeking Me.  And that person is so very precious to Me.  I know when you are trying to find me, and My heart is blessed by your efforts.”  p. 99

As we concluded our last bible study a week ago, I shared with the group a quote I had heard from Beth Moore a while back.  She said that anytime at all you spend learning more about God is time worth spending.  Not a minute is wasted on prayer, bible study, church, etc.  That feels good to me, because honestly, sometimes I am distracted, tired, and I don’t feel like I’m growing.  The words above speak to that topic.  God is pleased with all of my efforts.

Stirrings : Choosing To Live

Written By Jen
I grew up just outside of a small hometown airport.  The sound of planes coming in for landing was the sound of home for me.  I never realized the comfort that sound brought to me.  Home to me is the smell in a breeze, the light crisp rocky mountain air that whisks across my face, and the clear shot of the purple mountain majesty out my front door.  All of these things let me know that I am at home.  I would have never guessed that even a sound could make me feel at home.

My mom and I went out to a sweet Greek restaurant the day we got word that my dad was never coming home.  It seemed every plane buzzing overhead was a reminder of his passion for flying.   He loved to fly.   As we sat on the patio, looking at a beautiful rocky mountain sunset, there was comfort and sorrow in that sound of home.  My mom reminisced of how many times she took off by his side and flew over those mountains.  They went on a million adventures together.

People are often curious if this has given me a fear of flying.  The answer is “no”.  It was drilled into my head that one is more likely to die in a car accident or even by lightening than in a plane crash.  But I did cry the first time I took off after my father passed away.  My daughter and I flew to Connecticut to visit one of my best friends.  I was super stressed with my photography business and I needed a break, a mini retreat.  The night before we left, just two months after my dad’s plane crash, my daughter wept wanting reassurance.  “Are you sure we won’t crash mom?”  As I was taught I said, “No, it is unlikely.  Are you afraid to drive in a car?” She replied with a no.  I explained, “You are more likely to die in a car crash than in a plane crash.”  Consoling my child to think “rationally”, when she has just witnessed how a plane crash rocked her mom’s world for the past few months, was HARD.  I stayed strong and I cried later.  As we took off we prayed and enjoyed the view that inspired many flights for my father.  It reminded me of the many trips where he was my pilot. I could only smile and embrace his passion for flying and adventure.

That night we lounged around and talked with our Connecticut friends.  I shared with them my daughter’s fears and how we had to get back on the horse that just bucked our family and sent us into a dive.  We were received with loving arms and sweet sighs of understanding.  I write this now just a mile from a familiar runway, as planes take off and land, I am reminded of a man who lived.  His passion for adventure, flight, and discovery remains in the hearts of many and I am comforted by what a wonderful life he lived.

What are your passions?  I admire a man who, with wisdom, embraced adventure and passion.

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