"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Food For Summer

One of my all-time favorite things to have in the summer is bruschetta. Think fresh summer tomatoes and basil on top of sliced crusty bread...mmmmm. Especially this summer since I have tomatoes and basil growing abundantly in my garden.

I wanted to try a recipe that plays on bruschetta but uses different ingredients. It's super simple and super yummy.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

To make them:
Take a pint of strawberries, slice them and add a little sugar to let them macerate for 30 minutes.
Slice your crusty bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes. But don't forget them!
Smear a dollop of goat cheese on top of each slice of bread.
Add a spoonful of strawberries on top of the cheese.
Now for the yummy part...
Sprinkle a little bit of balsamic vinegar over the strawberries and the top with bits of sliced basil.

Beware, these are addictive and you won't want to stop eating them.
Enjoy your summer food!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kids Triathlon

My oldest boy...

 had the privilege of trying something new this weekend. A really good friend asked us if Jacob would be interested in training for and competing in a kids triathlon. Since he's competed in numerous team sports, I thought it would be a good experience for him to try an individual sport. So we agreed and started training.

In a triathlon there are three legs of the competition...swimming, biking and running.

In the kids version, 8 year olds swim one full length of the pool, bike 1 mile and run 1/4 mile.

The night before the race, he was the most nervous I had seen him in a long time. The fear of doing something new, even things he could do well, was playing with his mind. I reminded him of how well he's done in other areas and how he would know what to do when the time came.

The morning of the race, the hardest part was getting him accustomed to the routine of a triathlon. There was the signing in, getting marked, chipped and numbered...

Then we had to show him where he would find his bike and park it when he was done biking. He had to learn where the bike and run trail were since we would not be available to direct him where to go during the race and he would have to know that for himself.

Finally the race was about to begin and after he saw the first few heats of older boys and girls go, he couldn't wait for his turn. I prayed with him before he started and then it was his turn. I was so excited and nervous for him at the same time. And just like that, off went my baby.

He was amazing! He didn't come in first (or even close in his age bracket) but he sure tried his hardest. And that's what matters. This was just one of many proud moments with him. When it was all said and done, he even said he'd like to do it again next year! My boy is awesome.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I have been meaning to try a cookie idea I had seen somewhere on the internet. After the craziness of a broken-down car, online stolen credit card information and a very busy 3 day home school conference last week, I decided it was the perfect time.

It's a simple process that yields INCREDIBLE results. In fact, Jacob actually said "don't you think this is overboard mom?" What does he know, he's 8 right? =)

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Basically you make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. (We used dark chocolate chips because they're the best) Apparently shirts are optional for baking!

And you grab a bag of Oreos. This is the part where you say, "isn't this overboard?" Scoop a dollop of cookie dough on top of an Oreo and a dollop underneath. Then mold the cookie dough around the Oreo.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. 

If you are not pregnant, you can clean out the bowls and spoons as well.

And you wait as patiently as you can while they bake. If necessary, pull up a chair and stare at the oven, it might go faster.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This weekend I had the privilege of being in the company of some phenomenal women. Don't get me wrong, I know so many incredible women. From the home school moms that pour their hearts, time and energy into the training of their children, to the working moms that keep the fine balance of work and home, and so many more in between that inspire me as a woman.

But these ladies have a special something. We used to be a part of their world. I couldn't see it then, their worth and importance in our society (mostly because I was one of them and didn't consider myself special). Even as I sit here and think of who they are and what they do, my heart becomes full of gratefulness and admiration.

They are the military wives across our country.

I'm sure people think very little of the sacrifices these amazing women make. How could they? It's almost like labor. You don't know what it feels like until you've been there and done that. Maybe it's because I've been there and done that, that I am filled with such admiration for them. Maybe it's just because they are deserving of our appreciation just by doing what they do.

I stepped into a world I had long forgotten. Very dear to my heart, but no longer mine. Being in a military community has a feel of it's own. It's obvious the work that is being done and you know the sacrifices that are being made and have been made on our behalf. You can't help but recognize you are the outsider looking in. As I listened to these women talk about the difficulties involved in comforting their children when missing their daddy's, the daily struggles to maintain the home front and all the while, dreaming of being with their husband's again, I was so moved by their remarkable strength.

These are brave, strong and fearless women that love soldiers. I am encouraged by their example of support for their husband's career (in the face of danger), love and care for their families (even when it's not easy) and their strength to keep each other going (even though they barely know each other). Even though they don't go to the battlefields and take up arms, what they do is extremely important. I can hear them saying "oh I wish I could go back to the day's when doing the laundry was the biggest obstacle of the day" during a deployment.

God bless our American soldiers and God bless the military wives! Thank you for all you do!

Monday, June 13, 2011


This post makes it official...


Here is the proof...

As you may or may not know, I have been trying my hand at vegetable gardening for a few years now. All with NO success. Finally, this year, I made a break through. I've been harvesting my herbs for a while, and even some cherry tomatoes but here is real produce, straight from my own garden! 

I'm also excited about what's still in there. Tomatoes waiting to turn red, a handful of bell peppers, carrots still burrowed and even a few large cucumbers. I'm hopeful for a few other items but we'll see if the heat and drought don't kill them off first.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Summer is for fun!

Among some of our favorite summer activities, summer book reading clubs and sprinklers are at the top!

The big boys can't wait to get 60 books read so they can earn the grand prize of a...trophy. After Jacob showed me his updated book reading list he said "Mom, I love to read". So thankful for that.

Even the littlest guy is working on his reading list!

When our community pool opens, that's where you'll find us during summer if you need us! In the meantime, the sprinkler provides temporary relief and entertainment, even if Dad was just trying to water the grass!