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Night Time Family Devotions


Deuteronomy 11:18  Fix these words of mine into your mind and being, and tie them as a reminder on your hands and let them be symbols on your forehead. 11:19 Teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road,  as you lie down, and as you get up. 11:20 Inscribe them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates

As part of our daily routine, we always try to have family devotions before bedtime.   And if we miss it, it’s just not the same for kids to go to bed without devotions.  They ask for it.  It’s part of our life.  God’s word is to read, to be cherished, and honored.  They aren’t perfect in paying attention but it’s a tradition, a time they look forward to.  I hope they remember this also when they’re older as a great memory.  We generally have this time in girls’ room.  Once in a while in our bedroom, the living room, or “hang out” room (which is what we labeled the upstairs family room ) and the kids go crazy over this.  Oh the little joys in life!  Sometimes we do devotions at dinner. Sometimes things happen or come up and we don’t get to.  Such is life sometimes, ain’t it?

It’s our responsibilities as parents to teach our children in the way they should go, especially in the ways of the Lord.  We shall teach them the Word; what it says, means and how to live it.  I had a great devotional with the kids this morning as we read Psalm 90.  They may not understand it all now but it’s never too early to start instilling the value and love of the Word and time together as a family in reading and learning it together.  My youngest is 5 and just when I don’t think she’s thinking, she’ll pop up with some comment that has been brewing in her mind that was sparked by something I said or read, and it’s wonderful (aside from being so cute!)

I cherish these times.  The girls almost always want to cuddle with me while we have our devotions and it’s a sweet moment and memory that I hold dear.  May they too, cherish the time and remember it.  If not, they will have this post to read!  Love you guys!

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Saturday Mornings


Another tradition I started some time ago.  Not sure exactly when.  If I had to guess, I’d say a few year ago.  I don’t get to it perfectly, whether it’s sleeping in too late before an appointment, or having to leave too early before something that was planned.  It’s also a sleep in day if we don’t have any obligations that Saturday.  So when I wake up, I usually make a special breakfast, or I should say brunch by the time I finish cooking and we eat.  The kids look forward to Saturday “morning” meal.  Or shall I say the first meal of the day.  It’s the one day of the week that I usually go all out, and they get  EGGS!!  During the week, they eat cereal, bagels or fruit or a mixture of things, something easy.

So last weekend C and K held out for a big breakfast as L went for cereal first.  Lexi loves cereal.  And I tend to buy the sugary ones as a ‘treat’.  I know, I’m a terrible mom for feeding them that junk!  One of my weaknesses.  So, I got up to get it for her and went back to lay down (I know, how lazy).  It was only 9am!!!  On a Saturday!!!  So, C was trying to hold her back from eating anything because “mom” was going to make food.  Funny.

So on this day, I made, for the 1st time, sweet potato battered french toast using rye bread and smoothies.  The girls weren’t too crazy about it but ate some.  C liked it enough to eat seconds.  Not sure if he was just really hungry or what but he seemed to have enjoyed it.   This, with a side of tropical smoothie.

pretty good.

5 Reasons Why I Still Hand Wash My Dishes


5. I’m old school.  I grew up washing dishes by hand.  What can I say, I’m a traditionalist.  Sometimes.

4. I do a better job.  Every time I use my dishwasher, multiple things come out with caked on something and I end up having to wash it again, only this time, it’s harder b/c it went through the heat process.  Sure, I could pre-scrub.  My brother once told me, if you’re going to scrub them anyway, might as well put soap on it and rinse it and be done with it.

3. I just like that everything is getting scrubbed.

2. Conserves water.  It’s kind of like taking a bath.  I read that it takes more water to take a shower than a bath.  I didn’t used to believe it until I had kids and starting giving baths to them.  Of course it depends how long of a shower you take and how high you fill the tub.

1. I’m weird.  It’s one of my many traits.  I many times like to go against the grain.  This is just one of those things I do differently.

Oh Family Traditions!


TRADITIONS!!  Every family should have traditions.  If yours doesn’t, start one.  Growing up in a broken home, we didn’t have many traditions.  I don’t know if I can call anything we did “tradition” per se.  We did things but not as I think in terms of tradition.  We didn’t really celebrate Christmas.  So as a child, even for Christmas, I was the main one who desired to celebrate it.  We had one of those little 3 foot trees that sat on the end table in the living room.  I decorated it.  Growing up, I had always coveted (forgive me Lord) other families and how they celebrated life together.  I loved to watch family movies.  I desired that tv family.  Now as I grow with my own family, naturally, I seek that which I desired but did not know.

For the past 3 years, we started a family tradition on Friday nights.  The kids love it.  Well, at least I think they do.  They look forward to it every weekend.  One of the last resort punishments is not being able to camp out on Friday night.  They hate to miss out.  I’d hate to administer such a penalty, but it has happened before.  Thankfully, it’s rare.  And even more, I am thankful that our children treasure the opportunity to spend family time together.

We end the week with family night; a night with games, and/or a movie, and staying up as late as midnight to 1am.  As a family, we “camp out” in the living room, just on the floor.  The kids may use their sleeping bags, their blankets from their bed or any of the extra blankets we’ve got scattered throughout the house.   Anything goes.  I like throw blankets so I have quite a little collection in baskets in various rooms of our house.  I think I enjoy camping out in our living room the most in winter when the fireplace glowing.  The living room becomes real cozy as we cuddle by the fire.  Oh, and especially during Christmas with lights wrapped around the mantle.  Ooo, how I love it!

Recently, we added sushi (my husband’s idea)  to the menu as a special meal on Friday nights.  After trying that for a few weeks, I decided that it may be too much to have sushi every week so we try to do it every other week, granted we don’t have other plans to eat out of go to a friend’s house.

In the summer, we camp out in the backyard… in tents of course!!  Easy access to our comfy home that has running water and a flushable toilet.  Slim to no chance of wild animal encounters.  We like this kind of camping.  One day we will muster up the courage to go ‘real’ camping in the woods.  But for now, we are content with our backyard.

I started gardening when we moved into this house 3 years ago.  So that too is now a summer tradition.  Can you call gardening tradition?  Well, I will.  My kids enjoy seeing edible things growing on our little corner of the world.  I love watching them learn and get excited about God’s creation and giving thanks for it all.

In the Fall, we visit the corn maze.  It’s an Idaho thing.  I’ve never heard of the concept till we moved here, but boy, it’s so cool!  We enjoy it so much.  Then there’s pumpkin picking.  Last year we had a good crop of pumpkins so we were able to carve from our own patch.  Looove it!

These are the extra things we do as a family.  Church is our norm.  Our kids love to go to church.  And it’s just not like a normal Sunday if we don’t.  Dare I say it’s a tradition to go to church?  God is at the center of it all anyway.  That goes without saying.

I hope these traditions will last as treasured childhood memories for our children and that when we reminisce about these times, we can think back and be reminded of the love and joy we shared.  I shall be thankful.  Thanks be to God, the giver of all good things.

What are some of our traditions?

Valentine’s Day 2012


I think I’m going to start a new tradition.  Previous years I have not made such a big deal about Valentine’s day.  After all, we should be loving every day, right?  Well, I decided to make it a little more special this year, and I hope to remember to make it a habit each year continuing.

So, I decorated a little; just a balloons on the kids chairs, red streamers hanging above the table from the light fixture, candles and artificial rose petals scattered on the table.  I try, I really do, to make the table nice with centerpieces and decor but it always seems to get in the way of somebody, seemingly an impossible goal.

For a special dinner, the children helped me with shrimp kabob that I grilled on the griddle.  I just sprinkled some spice mix I had in the cupboard.  They turned out good.  I also slaved over rice pilaf and shrimp pad Thai.

I ended with a not-sure-what-to-even-call-it drink mix.  I made 2 mixes; one pineapple, the other pomegranate.  I mixed together apple juice, sparkling cider, the syrups, topped with some ice and cranberries.  It was good.  We drank them in (what’s fancy for us) wine glasses.

All in all, it was a good dinner.  I hope my family will remember it for years to come.  I do it for their enjoyment, desiring to create lasting memories of precious family time together.

My husband got us girl matching heart necklaces.  Very pretty.  The girls got pink ones, and I a silvery white.  Apparently, he said he put a lot of thought into.  He hopes that it will be a family heirloom, or something to that effect.  CG got a pellet gun.  I think I may enjoy that gift too.