Wednesday, November 28, 2012

AFTER the Tribulation

My husband has been working with filmmaker Paul Wittenberger (What in the World Are They Spraying? and The Great Culling - Our Water) on a documentary about the end times. "After the Tribulation" is coming out on December 21, 2012. 

Also featured in the documentary are Pastor Roger Jimenez and creation scientist Dr. Kent Hovind.   The voice-over is read by Dr. Roland Rasmussen, pastor emeritus at Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park, CA), who published a book debunking the imminent return of Christ.
You can pre-order the DVD here - it is guaranteed to arrive by Christmas! Go ahead, get one as a gift to give to your pre-tribulational pastor and church friends. Let's get this hoax of "Jesus can come back at any minute!" and "Christians will not suffer any persecution!" cleared up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter in the Desert

It's getting to be colder around these parts. And that can only mean one thing...

... footed baby sleepers! I love bundling Stephen up like a cuddly little teddy bear. Babies are so squeezable!

We might even need to break out the cute hats!

Of course, colder than 115 F can still be pretty warm. Especially now that I spent a day and a half switching all the kids' clothes from summer to winter. Or what we call "winter" - just yesterday, we got up into the high 80s again.

Simple truths to living in our climate: if I run the sprinklers, it will rain, and if I put away the shorts and T-shirts, we get another heat wave.

 Yes, that was in November.

And we might have to dress baby in nothing but a onesie to keep him cool enough.

Time flies - kiss your sweet babies!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Next stop: Christmas

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. Truly, it does keep getting better and better each year. 

Two things I learned this year: 

- How to get the turkey perfect: brine, stuff with apples, oranges, and onions, keep the oven door closed and don't baste, and don't use the pop-up timer because it WILL overcook the turkey. Thanks to friends on Pinterest pointing me in all the right directions, this year's turkey was absolutely fabulous!!!

- Precook as much as possible the day(s) before Thanksgiving, including Thursday's breakfast. So much easier than trying to cook that much food in one day with excited kids around. It was 1:30 am on the night from Wednesday to Thursday when I finally went to bed, but I managed to: brine the turkey, wash and cut potatoes for mashed potatoes, make cranberry sauce, make fried onions, make green bean casserole, bake shells for pumpkin pies and get the filling mixed and ready to just pour and bake, made pecan bars and cheesecake, prepared cinnamon rolls ready to just finish rising and bake for breakfast, and did all the prep work for throwing the spiced cider in the crockpot first thing in the morning. I am tired all over again just thinking about it all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for Life

Every year, like families everywhere, we like to reflect on God's blessings in our lives. There are many more than we could list, but of earthly blessings, I would have to say that children are God's greatest gift to us.

With baby Stephen being a new addition this year, we have so much more to be thankful for. Whenever we have a new child, it seems unimaginable to not have had him or her.

Some have told me, "With that sort of mentality, you would just keep going and going, and never stop!", referring to having children. Yes! Guilty as charged! My point exactly! In all honesty, I always wondered about how much parents love their children if they have this, "Thanks, but no thanks" attitude toward more babies. God's word tells us that children are a reward and a blessing. God promises to provide our needs and not give us more than we are able to bear. So why put a limit on how much we allow God to bless us?

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. - Proverbs 10:22

Would those same people, if offered a pay raise at their job, turn it down? What if they inherited something big, like a large mansion? Nobody turns those things down, because when it comes to good things, more is always better.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Back in October, we went camping overnight at a nearby lake. This is an artificial lake in a canyon that was created by putting dams along the Salt River. As such, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The pictures below do not do it justice.

That's Solomon in the red kayak across the lake

 Becky and Anna playing in the shallow water

 Stephen snoozing in the fresh outdoor air

 Dinner! These are the best!!

 Late October in Arizona - lol!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Solomon's 11th birthday

Solomon turned 11 at the end of September. I just realized I never had a chance to upload pictures from his big day.

I had closed the boys' bedroom door, taped over it from the outside, and filled the space in between with about 5 dozen balloons that came cascading into the bedroom when they opened the door. The boys all loved it. I was slightly bleary-eyed from having to get up at 4 am to pull this one off in time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You can leave your headdress on

Reading the news is always very entertaining. Such as today, when one of the top headlines on the Yahoo News page was about a Victoria's Secret fashion show. Evidently, the model representing "November" wore a "floor-length feathered headdress, fringed bikini and turquoise accessories."

Image: Getty; Black dress courtesy of Yours Truly

Turns out, "Native American leaders and women rose up to say that Kloss had misrepresented them and their culture." No wonder - who would want to be represented as a floozie by someone whose body is for sale (which it is).

So that was not the funny part. 

I laughed out loud when I read how the model, Karlie Kloss, tweeted the following regarding the headdress: "I am deeply sorry if what I wore during the VS Show offended anyone. I support VS's decision to remove the outfit from the broadcast."

Karlie, that's very sweet of you. But just between the two of us, your floor-length headdress is not nearly as offensive as the rest of your clothing, or rather, lack thereof. You can leave your headdress on, but why not add an Indian dress of some sort? Your future husband and child(ren) will thank you.

P.S. I had never heard of Karlie Kloss before. When I googled her name, these were the  suggested auto-searches:

Looks like she is known for disordered eating and social media.

Karlie, are you still there? Maybe also add some Indian fry bread to your revised image.

P.P.S. Wikipedia says her hobby is baking cookies. This is getting funnier and funnier.

Fall update

Note: Please excuse the quality of the photos. The lens of my camera had to go in for repairs, so these were taken on my phone. 
Is anyone else surprised by how quickly this year has gone by? Here we are, just one week away from Thanksgiving! The old saying "The days are long but the years fly by" is so true. 

The days and weeks around here have been a blur. I am just so thankful for all the time we get to spend with the children. As it is, we do not get around to doing half of the things we would like to do with them, let alone if I had to work outside the home, and they were off at school most of the day.

Each day, it is the little things that are the most precious. Like when Anna pushed the Learning Tower over to help me with the breakfast dishes, but instead discovered magnets for the first time. She has played with magnetic letters and animals before, but these magnets were much larger and stronger. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Family Portraits

Did you notice the new pictures in the side bar? Only 3 months after his birth, I finally managed to add a little blurb about baby Stephen. :)

The fabulous Kris Steele, the lady who did all the murals at our church buildings, took these pictures of us at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

 Six kids out of seven - no babies on the wall!

 Love Stephen's face in this one...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Baby Wipes

You may read this and go - "Make my own baby wipes?? Forget about it!!!" 

And if that's you, I don't blame you. I know all too well how many things are pulling moms in all directions day in, day out. My goal is not to add to the never-ending list of your obligations. 

But before you completely dismiss the idea of making your own wipes, let me submit to you that making these wipes is easier, quicker, and healthier than buying wipes at the store.

Ready-made baby wipes contain many harmful chemicals, most notably questionable preservatives. Since the vast majority of body care products are absorbed through the skin, I try not to put anything on my skin I would not consider food-safe.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baby love

I am, yet again, head over heels in love with my baby. There is just no greater blessing in this life than these little people.

 Snoozing at the lake

You may laugh, but whenever I have a baby girl, I pity moms who have a baby boy. Whenever I have a baby boy, I pity those who have a girl - because I am convinced that whatever baby I have is just the epitome of perfection. And they all are, each in their own special way.

 In the swing

Stephen is 14 weeks old now, and as such, pretty easy-going. His one great need is to always have someone's undivided attention, or to be held. Miriam will sit by him, bouncing him while chattering and playing with him, indefinitely. It's her favorite "chore." We are not spoiling him, he is spoiling us.

 My favorite time is going to bed each night and finding this little cutie asleep in my spot, all warm and cozy. It is the best possible ending to any given day, good or hard.

At the zoo

And, of course, I love going to church for every service, giving me more time to do nothing but sit and hold Stephen, soaking in all his deliciousness while rocking him comfortably.

Going to church

He is such a little man

We should all be so blessed!!!