Friday, October 16, 2015

Pesto Chicken Tenders And Tips For Picky Eaters


Do you struggle with picky eaters, or providing healthy food within a budget? Do you wonder "how" to eat healthy?  Join me over at "The Busy Mom" today to explore this subject and come away equipped with another delicious, nutritious, recipe.

Shooting People And God's Amazing Artistry

After a long and busy day yesterday, we were finally on our way home. Everyone was tired, ready for dinner, and some rest and relaxation as a family. The last stop before home was to the gleaners where I picked up some beautiful produce and therefore the need to process that was priority on the evening's agenda. As we traveled through the beautiful farm land that surrounds our home, the colors and lighting of the fall evening were just stunning and I was itching to get my camera and capture some of the beauty of God's amazing artistry. All thoughts of cleaning produce, and the rest of our pre-planned agenda managed to land on the back burner of my mind. We pulled into the driveway and I left the car running, ran upstairs, and grabbed my camera. Levi joined me as we drove about two minutes away and found ourselves amongst the farmland in one of our favorite areas in the valley. The mist was just beginning to rise along the foothills, and the autumn colors were incredible. God lit up the sky in the prodigious way that only He can, while my son and I drank in every bit of it. The farm land, the hay bales, the surrounding mountains and hills, and we even marveled at the delightful, fall, chill in the air.

The sky was replete with color.
Everywhere we turned it seemed the color palate provided an entirely new and breathtaking scene.

Psalm 19:1
"To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork."

Following an afternoon of sitting while practicing piano, doing home work, and in the car during his sister's piano lessons, and errand running, Levi exhausted all of the pent up energy he was literally bursting with, providing me with more beauty to capture as I watched my son just revel in the open field, the hay bales, and the opportunity provided to play and explore.

The fresh air was invigorating, and provided the energy I needed to head home, unload the van and get busy cleaning produce, and preparing dinner. We drove home from the pristine beauty of the fields, and as we turned onto our gravel drive we were met with yet another spectacular display of color.

Noah met us on the driveway and the boys managed to exhaust more of their substantial mass of energy running races, and playing in the field.


I was chatting with a friend the other day about my love for photography. She confessed to owning the same obsession, and we laughed as we realized that we both see life in "pictures."  It's the way we are wired, and a gift God has given us as a way to thank Him for the many precious moments in life, His provision, the beauty surrounding us even in the midst of pain and trials, our families, friends, memories we make together, and much more. I was pondering our conversation and some remarks from people who don't understand why I take so many pictures and why I post them publicly. As I thought about it, I realized it really comes from gratitude. A gratefulness that even on the toughest of days, there are moments of pleasure to dwell on and give thanks for. A thankfulness that wells up in my heart when I am with people I love, and a desire to capture that moment and memory to enjoy later. Please forgive me if I have offended you by tagging you in too many pictures, or if I have made you uncomfortable by repeatedly making you my shooting target. It really isn't my intention to offend. I am working on it! Hopefully I'll get good enough at this crazy habit that some day you won't be offended anymore, but rather able to see the beauty of the moments captured and be thankful somebody documented that instant in time. In the meantime, I'll attempt to withhold my urges to take a thousand pictures of the same thing/people, so you can relax in my presence, but I can't make any promises. :) :)
Blessings to you,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Get Busy Resting!

It's a glorious, chilly, fall morning and the colors outside are stunning with the trees proudly displaying their autumn wardrobe.
There is a fire going in the wood stove, my daughter is practicing her piano, and the rest of the kids are milling around getting breakfast, and working on home work.
This has been a good week so far, but also a week that has included far more activity in our home than normal. We had company all day and into the evening on Monday with a dear friend I hadn't seen in over seven years joining us for lunch, Natalie's piano students and her teacher here for afternoon lessons, my oldest daughter's family here to drop off kiddos and then pick them up, and our final puppy appointment as piano lessons were concluding.
We said good-bye to ten puppies over the last week, which means we had ten appointments in our home with ten families. What a joy to see them so excited to receive their puppies! We are now down to one puppy. She is our very own little lady. Translation: we are in the throes of potty training, leash training, and obedience training. With plenty of family activities, a field trip to the pumpkin patch on Friday, church, school, and company, my social cup is full from all of the fun and visits with people I love. Physically I am feeling drained and this is a reminder that rest is non-negotiable. Our bodies were created to need it regularly. Yesterday we were up at 5:45 and out the door with lunches packed, breakfast prepared, the mess cleaned up, and the van loaded with back packs, five kiddos, and myself. We had a great day at school, yet by the time we arrived at home after running three errands along the way, my bed was pulling me like a moth to a flame. The physical need for rest gave me no choice, and I felt myself climbing between the covers for a twenty minute luxurious doze before my husband came home and dinner preparations began. I was so exhausted that I couldn't focus to read or watch a movie last night so back to the comfort of my quiet room and comfy bed I went.

Meet our little pistol puppy; North Cascade Golden Retriever's "Smokin' Hot Ember!"
Her call name is Ember, and she is a spunky little pup with loads of energy, high intelligence, and lots of love to give. She is just learning about the leash and the kids are learning how to train her on the leash. Her first reaction was to chew and pull, of course.

This morning's Breakfast of Champions included a little John Wayne with my coffee and some gorgeous sunlight streaming through the dining room window. Part of resting for me, includes refueling through time reading my Bible and talking to the Lord about pretty much everything. The peace and strength these moments give me is indescribable. The coffee's amazing, too. :)

My daughter doesn't exactly appreciate her paparazzi mom's addiction to capturing pretty much every moment in life, but I know that some day she might be grateful to have some of these memories to look back on. This is Natalie's first year student teaching and she's doing a great job. After teaching for several weeks, her own piano teacher came out to observe, give her tips and help out with some new ideas. She is an amazing lady, friend, and teacher.

The kids need a little refocusing time and energy outlet, so they played the "lo, middle, high," game while reading music patterns. This helps get the wiggles out while they continue to learn to read music patterns.

Photography Corner
Beauty of creation around our home

A few favorites from our pumpkin patch trip

Life is full and fast moving. As a mom I know that I have to provide the balance for our family so we don't overdo it. When you have several people living under one roof life is sure to be full of invitations and opportunities to "do." Being selective about how much we do is important. Taking time to rest is key.For half of today, I choose rest. After that we are off to choir practices, errand running, Awanas, youth group and Bible study at our church. This mom plans to rest well before plunging into more activities. Tomorrow is another full day! Finding rest in between activities is crucial, moms! <3
Blessings to you,