Saturday, March 28, 2015

New Documentary "Marching to Zion"

Independent filmmaker Paul Wittenberger and my husband have been working together for the last year on their latest documentary, Marching to Zion, which has just been released.

http://framingtheworld.bigcartel.com/product/m2z

Our church hosted a screening of this film last Saturday. It was such a hit that we are planning another screening at a local theater on their big screen (I will post the details on that as soon as they are confirmed). Not surprisingly, with visitors in town just to see the movie the moment it released, we bust our Sunday morning church attendance record again, which is now 158 (up from 144).

Marching to Zion was also played at Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA, and is being screened at Word of Truth Baptist Church in Prescott Valley, AZ this afternoon at 4 p.m., and at Stedfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX tonight at 7 p.m. If you live in either of those areas, I would very much encourage you to stop by and see it live today.
The full movie will not be available on YouTube for at least a couple more months. You can view the trailer below:



Of all the documentaries that my husband and Paul have made, Marching to Zion is my favorite one yet. It is PACKED with biblical truths that are as important as they are relevant today. The information is presented thoroughly without ever being dull, the arguments are backed up with plenty of Scripture as well as interviews and science, and the overall presentation is incredibly professional and captivating. If you love the Bible and learning the truth, you will love this film!

The DVDs will be ready to ship next week, and can be ordered here.


http://framingtheworld.vhx.tv/



If you have seen the film in full yourself, please feel free to leave your review in the comments below!

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(Disclaimer: My husband, our family, or Faithful Word Baptist Church does not receive any monies from the sales of this film, or any other film my husband helped produce. The above sites are all run by Paul Wittenberger, who is the producer and filmmaker. Making these professional documentaries with such incredible production quality is very expensive, much more so than the average viewer might guess, as well as very time consuming. Since this is not just an expensive hobby, but rather Paul Wittenberger's job and his ministry, he must be able to turn out a profit and support his family if he is to continue producing these important documentaries. To that end, Marching to Zion will not be released for free viewing on YouTube for some time yet. We are grateful to the many supporters who donated toward this project, and made its production financially possible.)




Friday, March 20, 2015

A Little Getaway

My husband was invited to preach at Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California last month. My mother-in-law very generously offered to travel out to Arizona the week before, so she could stay at our house and watch the kids, and my husband and I could both travel to California and make a little getaway out of the trip. This was only the second time in almost 15 years of marriage that we have been able to get away without the kids, so this was very special treat. We did bring little Boaz along, since he is still nursing, and has never been apart from me for more than just a couple of hours at a time.

We left Wednesday night immediately after my husband finished preaching the midweek service at our church. In fact, if you watched the sermon live, you may have noticed that the order of service was switched up, and the service a little shorter than usual, in order for us to make it to the airport in plenty of time. 

Several months ago, both of us had signed up for the TSA PreCheck and obtained trusted traveler numbers, which allowed us to be able to skip the naked body scanner and/or a grope-down. You can also leave your shoes on, don't have to take your laptop out of its case, skip to the head of the security line, etc. If you have avoided flying because of the intrusions and inconveniences, you may want to look into this program. While it is not guaranteed that you won't be patted down, it is unlikely. On the flight back home, the metal detector security gate was roped off, and everyone was being sent through the naked body scanner. When we walked up with "PreCheck" on our boarding passes, they opened the metal detector just for us. Totally worth it, if you ask me!

Anyhow, we arrived at our hotel close to midnight from Wednesday to Thursday. We spent the entire day Thursday with my husband's family, most of which live in the Sacramento area. I hadn't been there since 2009, so it was great getting to see everyone again, and meeting my youngest nephew for the first time. 



That's my husband's older brother and his Dad, with a couple of our older nephews in the background. His younger sister and our newest nephew are in the middle.



Wild hand gestures run in the family... :)





Thursday night, my husband preached, and we stayed at church very late talking with our friends, Pastor and Mrs. Jimenez, and their church members. If you have not yet heard the sermon, you can watch it here:





On Friday, we leisurely got up and ready, and left town to spend Friday and Saturday at Lake Tahoe. The weather was absolutely amazing, considering this is a ski resort and it was February. (Those who love skiing would probably disagree on this point - ha!) 

We spent the afternoon riding rented bikes down by the lake, strolling through Heavenly Village and having Victorian-style photos take of us, picking out souvenirs for the kids at home, and having dinner at a really great place called Fire and Ice, which happened to be located inside our hotel. Thanks to Priceline, we had scored a room at the super fancy Marriott Timber Lodge for about 30% of the going rate for Friday night. Woohoo!

Bo in the bike trailer


Becky asked me today, "Mom, did you take any selfies when you were on your trip?" Ha - kids these days!







As it turned out, Bo was the perfect little travel companion. He hardly ever cried on the entire trip, and just generally went along nicely with whatever we were doing. When we brought baby Stephen along on our last getaway, he was quite the pill the whole time, and didn't lighten up again until we got back home, so this was a welcome change of pace. 

Sleeping angel


  He really enjoyed exploring this little cave again and again.



We got home Saturday evening just in time to tuck the kids into bed. This was such a wonderful trip, and we made lots of great memories. I am so thankful for my mother-in-law, who volunteers to run our family circus and allow us time away as a couple. Anything without all the kids would have been relaxing, but this was an especially awesome trip.






Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Peanut butter cups

Surprisingly often, I get asked about what particular brand of peanut butter cups my husband enjoys eating, as this is something he mentions in his sermons regularly. 

For those of you who don't know, my husband enjoys long distance running, and has found that peanut butter cups are the perfect fuel to keep him going without weighing him down.

The standard Reese's peanut butter cups contain synthetic preservatives, conventional soy, and questionable emulsifiers, and are therefore a "thanks-but-no-thanks" item around here. In looking for healthier alternatives, we have found the following to be delicious wholesome versions of this sweet treat:

- Newman's Own organic peanut butter cups: available in milk, dark, and super dark version. My husband likes dark the best, but will have the other varieties occasionally to mix things up a bit. Each pack contains three small-ish cups, which is nice for sharing. Or portion control. Or neither if you just want to eat them all :) Azure Standard carries these, which is always a nice plus, since their price is the best.



- Justin's organic peanut butter cups, available in milk, dark, and white version. You can buy either a big box with small, individually-wrapped PB cups, or 1.4 oz packages that are comparable in size to Reese's. We prefer the latter because they travel better, though the first is available at our Costco, and is also perfect for a very reasonably sized treat to enjoy at home. Again, dark is our first choice, though milk is certainly just as  delicious. If you are doing THM, one small individually wrapped dark chocolate cup only has 5g of sugar, and can thus stand in for a little S treat.



Both of these can be found at your local Whole Foods, or on Amazon. I have found the price on Justin's to be best in store at Whole Foods lately, as they are on sale there, and get an additional 10% off when we buy a whole "case", which is just 12 packs of PB cups.

Hope this helps someone in need of a good treat. No peanut butter cups were harmed during the writing of this post (eating them doesn't count though, right)?




Sunday, March 8, 2015

Baby hamsters

A couple of months ago, during a trip to the feed store to buy baby chicks, I got sucked into letting the kids buy baby hamsters while there. Six of them - six! Because naturally, they all wanted their own. Since we'd had hamsters before, we had all the necessary equipment already in stock, so it really wasn't a big deal. We set up their large terrarium in the school room, and watched them grow. 

 Taking over Isaac's Playmobil fort

Then, a couple of weeks ago, we woke to find one of the hamsters had had a litter of 4 pups during the night. To say the kids were thrilled is an understatement! 


Watching the momma care of her babies was fascinating. It was amazing to see how intricately developed the tiny babies were. They were smaller than the top joint on my thumb, yet every feature such as tiny toes, noses, tongues, etc. were perfectly and delicately developed. It made me think of the marvel of unborn children, who long, long before they are big and old enough to be born, are perfectly developed tiny humans. 



My favorite part was when the momma "homeschooled" her litter: she lined all four up in front of her, and taught them how to groom themselves. She showed them how, then they repeated it, again and again. It was pretty funny. One of the other older hamsters also took on the role of a nanny, and would watch over the babies, keep them warm, and let them "nurse". 


 
 Curious visitors


Now, they are almost old enough to move on (thank you, Craigslist!). This was a great experience for the kids, but from now on, I think we will be separating the female hamsters from the males.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Princesses

I took the kids to the student day at the Arizona Renaissance Festival earlier this week. Since then, the playhouse in our front yard has been turned into a castle with a drawbridge, and the girls have been pretending to be princesses every day, with their obliging older brothers being their valiant knights. 




Fun times! :) These girls are just gorgeous, if I do say so myself.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Free Viewing of "Bought" Documentary

Through March 6th, you can watch this documentary for free by clicking here.


ABOUT THE BOUGHT FILM:

You're about to see how Wall Street has literally "BOUGHT" your and your family's health.
The food, vaccine, drug, insurance and health industry are a multi-BILLION dollar enterprise... focused more on profits than human lives. The BOUGHT documentary takes viewers deep "inside the guts" of this despicable conspiracy...
Featuring exclusive interviews with the world's most acclaimed experts in research, medicine, holistic care and natural health... Bought exposes the hidden (and deadly) story behind it all.

We have a crawler

So much I'd love to share and blog about, but just not enough time in a day to get it all done! Here are a few pictures of my littlest guy, who is crawling all over the place these days. 



 
 Almost ten months old, and no teeth yet!


Boaz really is not one to go around getting into mischief, though. He will often crawl to one place he finds interesting, such as the coffee table, and sit there playing with everything within his reach for quite some time before moving on. He also loves crawling around a blanket in the yard. Or, as in this case, playing with the cat's food and water dishes - that's definitely a favorite!




I love that stage when their little hands look like fat little crabs