Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baby Shower!

Last night we had a baby shower for my aunt! She is pregnant with her first, and we are all really excited for her. I was in charge of planning the games, and one in particular was really fun. You divide the players into teams of two. The both get blindfolded. One person is the "mommy" and one person is the "baby". The "mommy" has to feed the "baby" baby food with a baby spoon. The trick is that they're both blindfolded, so the "babies" ended up with baby food everywhere--from their chest to their ears to their forehead! Anyways, that was a really fun game. Also, we made pages for a scrapbook of the new baby. So that once my aunt has her baby, all she has to do is put in the pictures of the baby and journal; the pages are all decorated. With nine people working, they got finished really quickly! We also had dinner and zucchini cake. (And presents of course!) I am working on sewing the new baby a sleep sac. It isn't quite finished, but I will post pictures once it's done... Anyways, we had a whole lot of fun!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Small Group Campout!

Today we just got home from our friend's house. We have a small group with five other families, and every year, as a tradition, we go to our friend's house and have a camp out. We sleep in tents in the backyard, but have the house too (bathrooms, etc...). We set up the tents Friday night around 7 then went swimming (they live on a small lake and have a HUGE backyard!). We had an awesome time that included boccie ball, dutch horseshoes, an obstacle course Jonathan and I made (the adults had to do it too!), great meals, TONS of swimming, rafting, kayaking, jumping on the trampoline, playing on the rope swing, and just HANGING OUT with great friends! Also, Saturday was Mom's 40th birthday so we celebrated with cake and ice cream! Although I am the oldest of the kids by a year (the youngest is 19 months old--quite a variety of ages!), I still had sooooo much fun this weekend. I really appreciate all the work (and food planning) that went into this awesome weekend! I love building up friendships! Saturday we went swimming like three times (and made a very tiring obstacle course). Sunday we had our own church service in the living room (we usually have it by the beach, but it was raining :( ). It only rained a little bit on and off over the weekend (which was a great relief--it had been forcasted to thunderstorm!). Anyways, thanks everyone for making it such a fun time!


P.S. I will post pictures later. We were so busy having fun we took like only three, so I'll have everyone email me them theirs and then post them asap...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I found this old recipe in the cupboard, and since we have an overabundance of zucchini (see previous post) and are always looking for good recipes that include buttermilk (we always have way too much), I made this recipe, and it is awesome!

1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c shortening
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
2 1/2 c flour (we used freshly ground whole wheat flour)
4 T. cocoa
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
2 c grated zucchini
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c nuts (optional--I didn't use)

Cream applesauce, shortening, and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves and add to above mixture beating well. Stir in grated zucchini. Spoon into greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Bake 40-45 minutes at 325 degrees. Enjoy!


P.S. It looked really pretty, and I was going to take a picture of it, but by the time I found the camera, there wasn't enough left to take a picture of! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Garden Exploded!






As some of you might know, in March, we received some manure for our garden. (My family posted about sometime in March HERE.) Anyways, this is the first year we have done this, and our garden is doing AWESOME! The corn is taller than me, the cucumbers are everywhere and there are probably about at least 30 baby cukes, there are a lot of almost-ripe peas, on our 8 zucchini plants there are about 20 small zucchini (and we've already picked 14!), there are many, many green tomatoes, and we have 20 potatoe plants (1 plant is the perfect amount of potatoes for a meal!), and yeah, our garden has just exploded!


Friday, July 17, 2009

The Schwing!

Today, I went to my Grandma and Grandpa's house. In the backyard, my Grandpa has a tree swing from when my Dad was little. The Swing is probably about 20 feet tall, and he gives me the "Schwing!". He pushes me almost perpendicular to the branch! Anyways, by the time I come off, my hair is all windblown and we are all smiling. Here are a few pictures...
I actually "trim the trees!" with my feet!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

101 Ways a Young Maiden can spend her time...

I came across this "101 Ways a Young Maiden Can Spend Her Time..." while reading a friend's blog a while back. She got it from a magazine for young ladies called Watching for the Morning. This list is fun, encouraging, and helpful to others. Whenever I am bored, can't think of what to do, or just want to relax, I pull up this list, pick something off of it, and do (or at least try to do) it. I would encourage to read this whole list (even though it is long) as some of the best things are toward the bottom. I encourage you to try to accomplish at least one of the activities on this list, as it will benefit others as well as yourself...

  1. Read, study, memorize, and meditate on God's Word. Then, when you are finished, do it again.
  2. Pray for missionaries by name.
  3. Write a book of devotionals.
  4. Pray for your future husband.
  5. Spend time at Jesus' feet, pouring out your heart and also being quiet, listening to what He has to say.
  6. Start an online Bible study.
  7. Keep a thankfulness journal (this can keep you from focusing on the perceived "negatives" in your life).
  8. Befriend and spend time with godly married couples and families.
  9. Pray without ceasing.
  10. Worship the Lord.
  11. Grow in Christ-like character.
  12. Pray for and nurture your relationships with sisters and brothers.
  13. Pray fervently and faithfully that you will be a light to those God has placed in your life who don't know Jesus, and actually do so.
  14. Read books on marriage by godly authors your parents or another godly adult can recommend.
  15. Pray and work to overcome faults that would keep you from being a godly wife to your future husband.
  16. Fall in love with your Lord.
  17. Take a walk and enjoy God's glorious creation.
  18. Memorize Psalms -to make them easier to remember, put them to little tunes you can hum.
  19. Learn to work happily, doing the hard things that aren't "fun" with a cheerful spirit.
  20. Purpose to work on your relationship with your father.
  21. Read a God-honoring Christian novel.
  22. Watch an inspirational, God-honoring movie.
  23. Listen to music that takes you deeper in your walk with the Lord.
  24. Form relationships with married women who live their lives as a Proverbs 31/Titus 3 woman -soak in the words of wisdom they have to offer from experience.
  25. Learn God's ways.
  26. Rejoice in who God made you to be - unique, speical, one of a kind, created to do works for God's Kingdom that no one else but you can do.
  27. Make a list of standards for your future husband. This is not to be legalistic, but to set your standards and convictions in "stone" so that if you are ever tempted to compromise, you can go back to this list. Pray before doing this and ask God to lead you. Consider asking an older adult you trust, or your parents to look over it and offer suggestions. Purpose to never waver from these convictions.
  28. Become familiar with and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
  29. Meditate on your relationships with Christ.
  30. Wake up early, while it is still dark, and have a special quiet time with Jesus.
  31. Reserve the first part of your day for Him, and use this time to commit each and every day to Him.
  32. Attend prayer meetings.
  33. Read and study significant spiritual works that encourage and exhort your walk with God and help to establish your faith.
  34. Keep a box with blank greeting cards or stationary in it. Whenever you have a moment , scripture, lesson, or thought you wish you could share with your future husband, write it down. Seal the envelope, and plan to open them together one day when you are married.
  35. Be a missionary.
  36. All Christians are called to share the gospel. Your mission might be in your home, next door, in your community, or somewhere overseas. Ask the Lord how you can best share the Good News - He will make it clear.
  37. Learn to make things such as soap, candles, bread, or anything else that interests you. Give these things away to brighten someone's day, or as a gift for a special occasion. This can be an amazing ministry - if you are able to make quite a lot, you could also offer these items for sale in your community.
  38. If you don't already have farm animals and are feeling adventurous, try to save up and invest in a goat, cow, or a few hens. Learn the basics of caring for animals, and enjoy the fruits of your labors.
  39. Research the medicinal and nutritional properties of herbs, essential oils, and wild "edibles." Keep a notebook of all you've learned. This will come in handy some day when you may wish to use natural remedies as a wife or mother, but don't have time to do the research.
  40. Work on a home business.
  41. Plant a flower garden. Make a beautiful border with rocks or stones. Choose different types of colors and flowers, both annuals and perennials. You can use them all season to give as gifts, to brighten someone's day, or even to decorate your own table or desk. Don't forget to dry them for use in countless projects.
  42. Make jewelry. It can be a wonderful gift, and might also bring in a little money if you are able to sell it.
  43. Learn to draw or paint.
  44. Learn and practice skills that will be beneficial to homemaking -- cooking, house cleaning, laundry, ironing, caring for children, etc.
  45. Learn how to play an instrument. Take lessons, or teach yourself.
  46. Quilt, as simply or elaborately as you are able.
  47. Plant an herb garden.
  48. Crochet or knit.
  49. Learn some basic accounting and book-keeping skills. This will be a useful skill if you ever are a part of a home business, or even find yourself in need to balancing your own budget at home.
  50. Study health and medicine. This can be something that is used both among your family now, and to save money in your own family later.
  51. Study agriculture and gardening. A nation's wealth comes from its ground and from what it can produce. In times of economic difficulty, it can be a real blessing to have a food source right in your back yard.
  52. Learn a new language.
  53. Take (or give) piano lessons.
  54. Take a college class, online or otherwise.
  55. Start an online business that you can continue as an adult.
  56. Learn website development.
  57. Learn to sew.
  58. Learn and experiment with new recipes.
  59. Throw a bridal shower.
  60. Throw a baby shower. Mothers of many children often only get a shower for their first, or possible first and second children. However, there is always a need when a baby is on the way, whether it is coupons for local restaurants for a quick meal when the baby arrives, new basics baby clothes, diapers, freezer meals, etc.
  61. Cook a nice, hot meal, and deliver it to a tired mother of several little ones, or to an elderly person who can't get out and about. When you don't have time for an entire meal, try a cake or pie!
  62. Make coupons for "2 hours of free childcare" and hand them out to married couple who need a date for Christmas or any other occasion. You'll be both serving the Lord, and sharpening your mothering skills.
  63. Serve as a "mother's helper" to a mother of many.
  64. Organize a benefit bake sale, dinner, or yard sale to help a family in need or raise money for missions.
  65. Read with little ones, or help older people who have weak reading skills.
  66. Teach an adult to read.
  67. Visit shut-ins from your church.
  68. Volunteer at your church office.
  69. Offer to do house or yard work for a neighbor.
  70. Volunteer at a local park or animal shelter. Get involved in your community as a witness for Christ.
  71. Teach English as a second language.
  72. Do grocery shopping for people who have a hard time getting out.
  73. Volunteer at food banks, homeless shelters, battered women's shelters, etc.
  74. Visit sick people in the hospital.
  75. Sponsor a child in a foreign country.
  76. Volunteer to be a baby rocker in a hospital nursery.
  77. Help with a home-school co-op.
  78. Organize a "constructive party" for younger girls. Work on sewing, baking, card making, etc. Younger girls, especially those who don't have older sisters, really enjoy doing this.
  79. Go on a wilderness hike.
  80. Play.
  81. Decorate a cake.
  82. Make homemade cards with dried flowers.
  83. Research your family tree and history.
  84. Smile.
  85. Lead a Bible Study for neighborhood children.
  86. Participate in music ministry.
  87. Make and nurture friendships with godly ladies of all ages. Find a way to encourage other single ladies around you. Challenge them to wait upon the Lord. Lead or attend a Bible study for young ladies.
  88. Love and encourage your parents - look for ways to bless them.
  89. Befriend a child who needs a friend, and keep up an ongoing interest.
  90. Spend time in the company of godly young men, in an appropriate setting.
  91. Send a letter or e-mail to encourage someone and let them know of your love and support for them.
  92. Make a video or film that glorifies God. Submit the finished product to an independent Christian film agency.
  93. Read the Bible with a friend and put what you read into practice alongside each other.
  94. Pen pal with younger girls, and be an encouraging role model for them.
  95. Go to your local nursing or retirement home and minister to the residents. Sing hymns or worship songs, play an instrument for them, brush hair, or read for them. Ask if they would like you to pray with them before you leave.
  96. Be a Big Sister. Even if you don't join the official organization, invest time in a younger woman, especially one who does not have good role models at home.
  97. Blog as a creative outlet and a means to encourage others.
  98. Make a scrapbook or cookbook for a friend.
  99. Prepare an extravagant feast for a family that has blessed you or is in need.
  100. Host a fancy tea party for little girls.
  101. Use your creativity, motivation, energy, and any extra finances now to minister to the present needs of others.
I hope you enjoy this list!


Monday, July 6, 2009


Yesterday morning, we went on a bike ride all together! We go to church on Saturday nights, so we have Sunday free. Anyways, we explored the bike trails in town, and had a lot of fun! Naomi took a nap in the bike cart, too! For a total, we probably rode about 6 or 7 miles. We went in the morning, and the sun on the trees was beautiful! I love riding my bike, because I see all the wonders God has created, and how magnificent an artist he is! I love seeing the wonder in all the beautiful trees and plants and stuff! It was so beautiful and we had a lot of fun!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cherry Picking!

Our family is a huge fan of cherries. We just love them. So, we went and picked sweet cherries a few days ago! We had a lot of fun, and pick 33 lbs to eat! We are also planning to pick tart cherries for pies and jam. Naomi even enjoyed picking them! Anyways, we had a lot of fun! Here are some pictures...

Everyone all together with the cherries! (Mom's taking the picture)

Naomi (18 mo) discovered she loved picking cherries from lower branches
(and then eating them!)


Abby and Leah are posing - a perfect picture!

Our total: 33 lbs!