Sunday, January 31, 2010

mission accomplished!

So, our beans and rice adventure is finished! And, I must say, we are all ready for it to be over. But, we are very mindful of the fact that for many, it will never be "over". It was a great learning experience for us as a family, we have a greater appreciation of the fact that we are so incredibly blessed, and that there are others who are not. At least not in the way that we would normally consider blessed.
We have have been studying James as a family and James speaks to this issue of the poor being blessed, and that God has chosen them to be rich in faith. One night when we were talking about why God would say that, Dylan piped up and said, "When you have money, you can just buy what you need, but when you are poor, you need to pray to God for the things you need." Oh so true!
We figure we saved approximately $250.00 this month. Though it is hard to tell as we are re-doing our budget...not fun, but necessary! We are trying to be good stewards, and save for our adoption!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The boys are loving their science project, and I for one am amazed! Ryan does science with the kids two days a week, at 6:30 AM! (while I sleep in! I love it, my WONDERFUL husband brings me coffee in bed on those mornings!) Last Thursday, they planted various plants and housed them in this "greenhouse." We are all surprised at how fast they are growing! We literally can see the growth in a few hours!
Dylan was actually excited to get up and check the seeds that he had placed all over the house in various places to see if they were growing. Even Spencer wanted to get up early to learn more about the plants! Oh the joys of home schooling!
* The funny thing is that they started out the year studying animals, which they loved, but, when they moved on to botany, they were bummed, they thought it would be BORING! Much to their surprise, they are enjoying it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Miss susie homemaker"...

I am not!
Which is pretty sad since that is technically one of my full time jobs! Oh sure, I love to clean my house, I am just not very good at it! I get sidetracked very easily, especially when the kids are around. And with homeschooling, the kids are ALWAYS AROUND! But, I'm not complaining, I wouldn't have it any other way!
As far as cooking is concerned, I hate it! Really, I despise coming up with meals that taste good, and at the same time are not going to kill us! Besides, all that work, and it's gone in less than 20 minutes! So in a way this rice and beans adventure has been a blessing. Other than deciding between a few basic recipes, there is no guesswork in figuring out "what's for dinner!" I like that! I have been forced to think ahead, which is not my usual state of doing things. But once the prep work for the beans is finished, it is super easy!
I don't know if having all our dinners thought out in advance makes me feel more domestic or what, but I have even tried to make a few things from scratch lately too! (another thing I never usually do!) In one day, I made home made cinnamon rolls, home made pizza, and chocolate chip cookies! I also tried my hand at home made tortillas and home made bread! Wow, maybe I am turning into "Miss susie homemaker" after all...nah!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Big girl bed!

Over the holidays we moved Anaya into her big girl bed! She has been doing remarkably well. I thought for sure this would be a difficult process. We had a couple of times we had to "remind" her that she can't get out and play during her nap...but, for the most part she has done great! One more milestone for our little lady!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I have a confession to make...

We had a brief reprieve of beans and rice this past weekend!
I knew Friday we would be skipping out, as we were out of town, as we are almost every Friday, due to the boys being in Friday Addition.
Saturday, we had a great time celebrating Christmas with Ryan's family. We actually ate a huge lunch and had brownie sundaes for desert about the time of dinner, so we technically didn't even eat dinner!
Then, I became violently ill in the middle of the night and felt awful all day Sunday. So, there was no way I was cooking anything. Ryan, however, did make lentils and rice for the youth group! I skipped out on all food that day! I basically laid in bed all day except for the time I spent in the other room of the house...oh and I went at the hospital too...long story ~ short...I'm fine! I need to give a big THANKS to my dear friends Lee and Jenny for helping us out! (Thanks girls and your families too!) It was an...interesting (ok down right comical, right Lee?) day, and I am learning to accept help from others...
So, there ya have it. We skipped a few and now we're back on track!
*Ryan says I need a picture, so here is the awesome sunset I enjoyed tonight!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

beans and rice blessings...

One of the things we are doing during our bean and rice adventure is to pray for and discuss the many children/people who go without any food daily, extreme poverty, clean water, ways to help people who need food and water, people and organizations that are making a difference etc... One night, we were discussing "why beans and rice?" "Why don't they eat other stuff?" We explained that it is inexpensive, how you can feed a lot of children for a little, and also that it is good...nutritionally, at least! So we started adding up the cost of the dinner we were eating and we figured we ALL ate for about $1.00!

On a different evening, we had a complaint about having "only water?" to drink (for super.) So I went to the computer to show them how blessed we are to have clean water. We watched the little video on the Charity:Water site, and before it was finished Dylan slipped a $20.00 bill into my hand. I asked what that was for and he said he wanted to help people get clean water! WOW! I was so blessed by his generosity, it certainly made up for the complaining that night!!

So, the first week is in, and there have been several lessons learned. Our hearts and minds are realizing how blessed we are, we are having some interesting conversations, and finding ways we can help those in need.

Now, if only I could get the portions down pat. I have made too much and not enough~never was it just right and I only varied the amounts by 1/2 a cup. I guess I should try a 1/4 huh?...Cooking, figuring, thinking ahead...not my thing. But I am learning!

Monday, January 4, 2010


We are used to having lots of turkeys around,

However, we have never seen them do this before!

They must be hungry, Anaya was playing away right in plain view and they didn't seem to mind at all!
She didn't really seem to care about them either! The boys and I thought it was pretty funny though!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Where oh where have my little ducks gone...

Oh where oh where can they be??? They used to live here on this little ol' pond...

It appears that some little one had been playing with the ducks! I found them perched in various places all over my little village, when I was going to take it down! At first I was mad,(thinking they were lost and gone forever,) but once I found them, I had to laugh!

Crazy kids....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Beans and rice...

For the month of January our family has decided to eat beans and rice for dinner each night!

This idea came from someone else who did it last year and wrote about it on their blog. But we felt it would be a great learning experience for us. There are children all over the world who starve to death daily. There are also millions who live on one meal of rice and beans daily~if they are "lucky!" We will be eating our regular foods for breakfast and lunch, we are only doing dinners. It isn't something I want to do, but I do think that we as a family will benefit from this experience.

The other family, put the money they saved into an adoption fund for someone else! Now that's sacrifice! We are putting the money in our adoption fund.

I have lots more to blog about, but my editor in chief is gone at a youth retreat,(and missing out on beans and rice...nice timing!) so I will refrain...for now!

Happy new year everyone! And Happy 1st Birthday Olivia! How can it be that a year has passed since you were born?

And one more very important thing...Lisa is coming HOME tomorrow!!! YAY!!!