Thursday, May 29, 2008

Healthy, cancer fighting, yummy snacks

Notice Julia and Jackie forming the balls so nicely while a little thief in the background is taking them out and eating them. Now look in the picture below. Do you see how they got smart and moved the container out of her reach? If you look closely you can see that Jo Jo's mouth is full :).

Are you looking for some fun things to do with your kids this summer? How about teaching them how to cook a yummy snack? Every couple of weeks we make a batch of "Peanut Butter Balls". We got the recipe from the Mouro family (link on the right) and we just toss things in and add new things. The kids can make the whole thing. You don't really need to measure - just toss stuff in, form balls and put in the refrigerator. These are usually the only kind of cookies we have at our house and the whole family loves them. I have listed the ingredients below.

*Peanut butter
*dry milk
*ground flax seed

We buy the bran and flax seed in bulk at the health food store and then we fill a coffee grinder with flax seed and grind it and toss it in. You can grind all kinds of things and toss them in. Now I go heavy on the oats, bran and flax seed, but at first you might want to start with small amounts until your little tummies get used to it. I have to confess that I even eat one or two for breakfast when I am on the run. My sister and friends make these too and they vary it with different dried fruit or m & ms and sunflower seeds. Sometimes we put wheaties in them - just toss in whatever you have or try grinding some new grains and toss them in. You can't go wrong!

Goat trouble and some fun with the cousins

Ok - so our nice goat was not hardly eating the weeds and excaped from everything we tried. Actually someone found it down the street looking into a vacant house. So the Kendalls took the goat back to their house. We enjoyed her while she was here. I got so many good laughs out of watching my kids and their cousins ride it. It was so funny because Elizabeth loved the goat and did not want to get off of it. She just kept riding and riding it. This is the same little girl who came home from China in November and was scared to death of their dog. It is amazing to see how much she has grown and adjusted in such a small amount of time.

God from a 3 year old's perspective

The other day Joanna was crying for Jacklyn's hooded frog towel. I told her no and Jacklyn said, "Jo Jo you can have it. I'll use the doggy one." I said, "Jackie that was so sweet." She said, "It's ok mom, my reward is in heaven. I know God is watching me from his secret hiding spot." I said, "He has a hiding spot?" Jackie said, "Yes mom, that is why he can always see us and we can't see him!"

I love to see little glimpses of what is going on in their little minds. She also told me the other day she is 1/2 toddler and 1/2 big girl. I guess that is convenient when you are 3 so that if there is something that only the big kids get to do, then she is a big girl, but being 1/2 toddler she can still use a blanky and be held :). She is one smart girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weed eater

Let me explain. Javi spent most of the day on Saturday with a migrant worker digging and raking the weeds in our front yard and they didn't even finish. The backyard has just as many weeds and we heard that goats were great weed eaters. Well, part of the fun of living on a lot of land is being able to have some fun animals or other things that you couldn't normally have. I checked the HOA rules and it looks like it is ok to have a goat, and our friends acquired 5 free goats so they offered some to us. Javi said we could try one to see if she would eat our weeds. So far she has been pretty picky about what weeds she will eat and she bleats A LOT as soon as we leave her alone. She is so big too. The kids (especially Janae and Julia) just love walking her around and pretending they are farmers or Moroccan shepherdesses. Julia and Jackie love to ride her and it is hilarious. We are having trouble with a name. First it was Jenny, then Carnation and then Pocahontas, and back to Jenny. If you have any suggestions we would like to hear them. I said her name should be Tagine because in Morocco we ate a lot of goat Tagine and boy was it good :).

Friday, May 16, 2008

And Then There Were 8

I had a great Mother's Day. The message at church was on something we are passionate about-church planting - so that was awesome. The kids all made cards for me at Grandma's house and bought me a shirt. We had a yummy brunch (thanks mom) with my parents and sister's family. The kids all enjoyed playing in the spa and playing in the slip and slide. We had so many laughs watching the kids. I also got some good laughs out of watching Javier try to teach Jordan how to slide. You can see pictures on my sister's blog. Jordan sang me a sweet song and the girls gave me a massage with smelly lotions :).

Sunday night we got a call from Javier's family telling us that they bought tickets for his 17 yr old niece in Dominican to come live with us. We had discussed it before and were praying about it and trying to make some decisions, but we had not committed to it. Well, we were both a little shocked but are happy to welcome her into our family. She arrived here, 3 days later, on Wednesday night. Charina actually came to live with us for several months when she was 8. She has lived back and forth between Dominican and New York, so she speaks pretty good English.

So far she has been a big help with the little ones during school time, listening to Julia practice her reading, helping with some housework and swimming with the kids. She says her favorite chore is ironing and I never cease to have a mountain of ironing :). Mostly she is just enjoying loving on our kids, receiving and giving tons of hugs, holding kids on her lap and entertaining giggles each morning as the kids sneak into her room. As I have been pondering what she can do for fun besides read, we came across our scrapbooks/pictures. I asked her if she would like to work on finishing up our last 3 kids' scrapbooks. She was excited to do that, so we cleared a space in the den/school room so that we could set up a small table to work on. This will be a huge blessing if she can help the kids/myself with this project. I don't even care how "cute" they turn out, I would just love for each of our kids to have a complete scrapbook that at least goes past 3 or 4 months old :).

I know this is not going to be easy. We need to decide where she should go for school, address modesty issues and find her different clothes and direct her in the ways of the Lord etc. Please pray for us. We are praying that the Lord would bless this crucial time as she is a young lady and will be choosing what path she will take. May the Lord use our family to direct her in the path of righteousness for His name sake.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More Random Stuff

This is what it looked like before.


This is the front room that you see when you enter our home. It is my international flair room and I still need to put up some bamboo/matchstick shades. Every single thing in this room was from a garage sale/second hand except for the curtain rods and big mirror.

Just a cute picture of my "Littles".

-Our papers are in Ethiopia, translated and registered. We are the 5th ones on the waiting list for a referral at our agency, but nobody ahead of us is waiting for little boys, so we are #1 in line for little boys. We are hoping the referral comes soon.

-Jordan's team lost 2 games and is back on a winning streak. He had a perfect batting average for 10 straight games - always got a hit and always got on base every time he was up to bat. Last game he struck out and did not run fast the second time at bat and got out both times. His last time up, he hit a double - so that was good, but his hitting streak was over. We are really proud of him.

-we are getting settled in our home. Things are painted and my dad helped us hang a lot of stuff. I am a little fanatical about having things decorated. A lot of people have been asking me for pictures, but I like for things to be done before I post pictures. I will go ahead and post some pictures even though things aren't totally done. Thanks to my friend Carina who came over and helped me decide where to hang everything.

Animal Events

Last week we found this tiny baby jack rabbit. It was hiding on our back patio. We also have lots of quail that go through our yard, and little prairie dogs all around. The bad news is that 2 neighbors 2 streets away have spotted 2 baby rattle snakes! ugh!

Also, for science, we ordered frog eggs a few months ago. We have observed the eggs hatch and then we watched the the tadpoles grow. Well a couple of nights ago our biggest tadpole got legs. The kids named him "Legs". Anyways, he was dead, floating on his belly this morning. The kids were really sad and Jackie was crying hard. We went to flush him and I just had to take a picture. Joanna wasn't sad at all, she just kept asking, "I flush him?" Janae is our sensitive and private one. She went outside to be alone with Mia, that is why she is not in the picture.

Funny Family Conversation/ Pics from First Week in our New Home

Jackie + Joanna = trouble - but aren't they cute? They are so funny together.

Whoa- that is a scary bride! She chased Jordan and said, "Watch out, I am going to marry you."

This will be great embarassment material for when they get married :).

Don't you love the wedding dresses? They used men's undershirts. And they even put down a white blanket.

Jackie and Joanna were excited to see monkey bars in our bedroom.

Javi - painting our master bedroom.

This is the girls' room. Thanks Molly and Lana for helping me paint it!

The first night sleeping at our new house. This is Jordan's and the boys' room.

Jordan asked to have a desk in his new room because he said he wanted his room to look "professional" :). This desk was donated to our garage sale and didn't sell, so we were happy to bring it home for Jordan.

Lot's of reading going on.

The other day Julia said, "Mom knows everything because she got "simple naughty" grades!" I said, "what!??!" She said, "Yeah, you know, you got simple naughty grades in college." Janae burst out laughing and said, " Julia, she got Suma cum laude grades, not simple naughty grades!" I was a little confused there for a while. Then Javi said, "yes and back then it was harder because she had to look things up in libraries with encyclopedias, not on computers." Can you believe that my kids had never heard of an encyclopedia!! They are from a generation that has not needed an encyclopedia. Anyways, they asked what an encyclopedia was and we explained and Jordan said, "oh it is like google, google knows everything." Janae said, "I know one thing that google doesn't know." We were stumped. Then she said, "It can't tell you the names that are in the Book of Life." She is one smart girl.