Monday, June 30, 2008

Down Memory Lane

After being back in the USA for almost a year now,Lee and I are finally organizing all our papers and memorabilia which has been lying tossed in suitcases and assorted other places. Among interesting things like photos and old letters I discovered cassette tapes of our wedding!

Wow! What a difference 8 years or so brings! We feel like such different people now and God has brought us so far and been so faithful. God has entrusted us with such a wonderful little family and brought our relationship so far. We've been through " good times and bad" and we are better friends than ever. And best of all we are spiritual soulmates. Praise God!

Listening to: Spanish praise music. El Shaddai in Spanish.

From the kitchen: just had some chocolate mint ice cream... Cinnamon raisin bagels with peanut butter and organic strawberry spread. Spaghetti with rounds of squash instead of much meat. Passionfruit drink. OJ and water. This list doesn't sound very healthy....

My book list: Rainbow resource catalog(homeschool) and other stuff. I'm way too tired to go hunt down the titles right now.

Last but not least,for baby pics and stories click on the Life in a Shoe link in my sidebar. A new Shoe baby and live labor blogging to boot! You go, Mama in a Shoe! You did well!

Hasta Luego! Marcella

Thursday, June 26, 2008

His Dreams

"And I will listen to His voice,
Could it be that He is only waiting there to see
If I will learn to love the dreams
that He has dreamed for me."
Twila Paris

This can be a very real challenge-at least in my Christian walk it is. Loving and embracing the dreams my Heavenly Father has for me require such full surrender of my dreams. It's surprising that I struggle with this as so often I look back at my life and marvel at how perfectly He has ordered my life. How faithless a child I am sometimes....
But after yet more refinement,I always walk away better for the refining. Amen!

From the kitchen:
Onion soup. I made this for the first time that I can remember last night and I highly recommend it. I can hardly believe an avid cook as myself waited so long to make this! Great served with cheese and crackers. And for the record the onions were harvested from our garden!

Pumpkin pie playdough. Find the recipe at (November 2007). I mixed everything up before I put it in the saucepan and then heated it up. I had no "clumpiness" problem.We'll see how this works out. I'd gotten some tiny cross and an angel cookie cutters in a box of stuff I picked up second hand and these made cute cutouts. Any cookie cutters would be fun though and a little rolling pin is nice too.

And now I must leave you to change a dear baby. Soon I must update you on the wee one's desire to at least partially wean herself. I do learn something with each child!
Hasta Luego! Marcella

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Lamplighter Book Recommendation

Recently good friends of ours purchased a number of the Lamplighter books and have been introducing them to our church fellowship. While some, after reviewing,haven't exactly made the cut for some of us, I do recommend one I'm reading to our boys,titled "Jessica's First Prayer".
The setting is a long while ago,but it seems to me the same problems exist today.In the story, the church usher fears losing his job and good social standing ahead of helping a poor,little beggar girl. And he certainly doesn't think that sort of person belongs in the pews among the ladies and gentleman during church services.Oh,no, they musn't be bothered with the poor while they worship God! Eventually he comes to repentance,but a message is clear.Too often,church becomes a social function where we speak of Love as a noun instead of being intimate with Love as a verb.Shouldn't the needy be a focus of church instead of too often on the fringes of our outreach?
You can find the book,"Jessica's First Prayer" at under the Children's Hour Library link.

God has so much to teach us-may we surrender our hearts to Him!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tiny Chairs and Art Inspiration for children

This is my house in a messy state....with tiny chairs in the background. I keep learning new things on and about small people. They really have a thing for miniature chairs! Really now,I like chairs in my size,right? And so do you! (At least this is what I'm observing in my limited test field.)I think earlier in my parenting days,I just didn't feel like like cluttering up the house with one more "unneccesary" thing. At least, that was probably part of it.

But in our current house I've started collecting little chairs.And little footstools too.And they're a rousing success. I picked up a couple of cheery kid footstools at Wal-Mart(I know,I know,but I still shop there on occasion) and the little chairs I've begun picking up secondhand. The children can now happily sit at the coffee table coloring or eating,in a seat just their size. Try one if you haven't done so a long time ago!

Art Inspiration for your Children? has lots of art with young people inspiration. I grabbed the sketch of the week idea and ran in my own direction. I pulled out a Taste of Home magazine and the good art supplies and had the boys draw fancy cookies,using a magazine photo as a guide. Lee put Jess up to making the mug in the drawing look like it held cappuccino. Alex did his own twist-lots of brown dots for cinnamon.

This could be a Monday morning staple for us. It was fairly easy on Mom. Lee and I made the mistake of drinking too much coffee this morning. Not a good idea. Don't think we'll try that again soon. So have a good night. I intend the same.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Encouraging Music

A friend recently introduced us to some new music that I've really been enjoying,particularly one title "Only a God Like You" by Alan Martin. I thought I'd share the link today. I've been listening to the songs by Alan Martin,but
there's lots of music on this site,including music by Christ Our Life and the Fournier family which we also like. I don't know if I've listened to nearly all by the Fournier family but we do have some of the children's songs I believe.

I wish all a wonderful day,full of His Love! Marcella

Friday, June 20, 2008

Monkey Bread and Maternity Clothes

No! No! No!, people! Now don't get your blood pressures rising so fast! I. am. not. pregnant. Am. Ahem,just wanted to get that clear and off your minds before I proceed...

But,for anyone who is pregnant,or anyone who has wrestled with the maternity clothes monster, the sisterhood of mothers has come to the rescue with some helpful advice. I happen to collect maternity clothes. Of course,since I barely top five feet,and have big babies,you might imagine how especially penguinish I can get. Now since reading this article,I think I'll go sort through my maternity stash and weed out some offenders.Some mysterious questions of mine have been answered! Go see for yourself!

Want a fast and showy looking dessert for guests(or family:) ?
Go to
Type Monkey Bread into the search engine. We served this to guests recently and it went over very well. Ordering Disorder has lots of tasty sounding recipes.

We had an engagement free day! So relaxing. I even watched Winnie the Pooh with the children(I still like Winnie) and finished Little Lord Fauntleroy with them. We took long naps and had a "salady" sort of supper-with homemade croutons to boot. Mmmm. Grab some stale homemade bread slices and random bread chunks and saute in butter and garlic until crispy. Very good!

And since I happen to be writing in the night,hard telling how the computer will date this. But have a good day and night!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When homeschooling works Too well!???

aLEX:" Mom is this iron on or off?"(Fiddles with my iron.)

Me: "It's off but never take chances."

Jess:" Mom,but Ms. Frizzle says always take chances.....!

Ahh,the advice from the wacky schoolteacher of the Magic Schoolbus.

On to other things....
Did you know strawberry freezer jam and peanut butter go very well on rice cakes?

Yesterday afternoon I took three of the single,young ladies out to a historic town for coffee.I only had the baby with me so it was pretty relaxing.We went walking,planning on checking out a couple coffeeshops but then we spotted a cute little place we hadn't planned on going to and ended up having a wonderful time there. The trip was my birthday gift to one of the young women which ended up being a perfect gift idea.The coffeeshop had lots of fine candies,chocolate,wine teas etc. so we picked up gifts for another birthday gathering we were headed for.
Then we went to a park and climbed up a hill to a little gazebo and sat all by ourselves while I read the group the story of Jonah. We had great fellowship and got some lovely pictures.

We picked up a wheelchair using deaf woman on our way to the next party and got to that in time for hot funnelcakes. I did a gift certificate for the birthday boy,which was for his favorite pie along with a large fish shaped lollipop stuck to it. Being creative with gifts intrigues me as you can probably guess...!

Today,I need to work in the garden,clean,cook and hopefully make some homemade playdough with the children.All before we make our next engagement for dinner this evening.......Lord willing.

Hasta Luego,Marcella

Monday, June 16, 2008

Maturity and Potato Salad

It has seemed to me for quite a while that one of the signs of being a mature adult woman was having one's own trademark potato salad recipe. My 26th birthday is fast approaching.I believe I have just recently found The Recipe. Could it be that I am coming near Real Adulthood?All rather tongue-in-cheek of course!
In the interest of not plagiarizing (or however that is spelled) I will tell you the basic ingredients.You can figure out the rest.

Grown-up Woman's Potato Salad:mix together potatoes,shredded carrots(not overwhelmingly much),finely chopped scallions,green pepper(I omitted), chopped celery,hardboiled eggs,parsley(I omitted) and mayo,plus salt and pepper to taste.You can sprinkle paprika on top at the end,which I also omitted.Refrigerate a few hours before serving.Use commonsense to prepare!
Especially tasty when using potatoes from one's own garden!

Other kitchen news: I have also made strawberry freezer jam,strawberry pie and eaten pureed strawberries with peanut butter cake.Iam now satisfied that I have tasted the full range of strawberry and thankful for the blessing of being able to enjoy such richness.

We have had company or outside engagements pretty constantly and this week doesn't look much different.Iam rushing to do laundry in my few spare moments.And to that end I should go see about getting one final batch in soak before I drop from exhaustion! Good-night all!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Strawberry Picking

We got to the U-pick farm quite early but they were picked out of the best quality berries already. We settled for the jam berry quality which was fine by us. Lee and I have quite a lot of berry picking experience between the two of us! We ended up getting almost 20 dollars worth.They weren't great quality and we really had to hunt for them but that was ok. We had fun reliving in a sense,past times of our lives.
The children found out it wasn't quite as exciting as they thought to be a berry picker. Sweating and bending is part of the experience! To be sure,it would have been more fun if there had been easy picking.

We have been having lots of hot weather here in the Shenandoah Valley.We do lots of watering,including ourselves!

The picking crew,with Jess hidden behind his Dad,minus only yours truly. I highly recommend finding a babysitter for the littlest ones on expeditions like this. 'Nuf said!
Strawberry shortcake and strawberry milkshakes were enjoyed by all later in the day.And I froze lots of the nicest berries whole for future milkshakes! Yay for strawberries!
Have a lovely day! Marcella

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Inner Curious George

Why can't I make my title in a large font? Why?

Essences of a Summer Morning

The hammock in our front yard.
The big,leafy canopy over our front porch-beautiful!

Flowers gracing the porch entrance.

A cheery welcome sign.
The cheer of so many summer mornings fills me with a sort of awe. Awe at this life. We are here for a bit in the unfathomable Plan of the Creator and He blesses us with all this beauty.Cheery summer mornings whisper of things unseen around the bend, of Life stretching on in front of us and all the delight of the immediate blessings of sun and breezes,sweet strawberries and juicy peas shining with dew.And sweetest of all is to grasp that the same Creator loves us and wants to flow through us with His love making us sweet and joyful and full of purpose for our lives.Ready to walk around that bend and embrace everything He has for us. Thank-you Lord for the blessings of the immediate and for all that lies ahead.
Last night we sat around enjoying fresh broccoli cheese soup and cornbread with some good friends and sharing our experiences of the Lord.They brought three cartons of wonderful ice cream and we fired up our new blender and made a fancy coffee drink which was reminiscent of our cafe days.And of course we showed them a slideshow of Lee's latest tour in Costa Rica and some old cafe pics etc. So that made a relaxing evening.
This morning I arose fairly early and Lee and I had a leisurely breakfast together with the baby.The children and I watched some Little Bear when they got up,had breakfast and did the dishes. Then Chelsea and I read her new Spanish/English book of prayers and then we went on to reading about sharks and the like with the boys.We took some rabbit trails from that,watching a YouTube clip of a baby shark moving around while still in its egg and also a great white shark swimming near divers. And of course while studying Belugas we listened to Baby Beluga!
And now everyone's doing quiet things.We have planned to go out for free night at the local children's museum tonight. I must roll!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Experiments with using Dawn as a Cleaner

Ever since I saw a post over on Blissfully Domestic I've wanted to play around with Dawn. Could Dawn really be so many things to me? Could it replace lots of other bottles of cleaners? Tantalizing thought.
Well, my Dawn cleaning mixture? I don't see the stars in it but maybe I should mess with it a bit more.
I did find that straight Dawn seemed to clean the tub very well.
I find it works fine for the kitchen floor idea(linoleum) and I appreciate that very much.I do miss my Murphy's Oil scent though. Attached to that smell,I am.
Maybe my next experimenting will be with the bubble blowing portion of the idea list. I think I deserve it.You're welcome to join the FUN!
On to other subjects,we are over the colds we had. As soon as we were basically recovered we hosted a birthday party with about 45 attendees for my sister's 21st birthday. We spent yesterday recovering and enjoying all the wonderful,much needed rain we're getting. Some of our guests even fixed our malfunctioning AC. Yay!
From the kitchen: Broccoli Cheese Quiche,brown rice, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese,package mac and cheese,lots of salad and lots of cake!
First song that I sing,praises to my God and King"
"Before my feet hit the floor, I'll praise you Lord,I'll praise you Lord,Before I fill my cup,I'll lift you up,I'll lift you up" Sara Groves
Have a lovely day!