Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Example for Forgiveness

When we can sincerely ask God to forgive those who hurt us and our loved ones, we know not only that we have truly forgiven, but that we have become more Christ-like. "Father, forgive them."


Luke 23:24 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Marriage: The Best Weapon Against Child Poverty

Marriage: The Best Weapon Against Child Poverty 

"Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware of its principal cause: the absence of married fathers in the home. According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate for single parents with children in the United States in 2009 was 37.1 percent. The rate for married couples with children was 6.8 percent. Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 82 percent."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Who is that Masked Man?

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Brandon's original issue WWII gas mask with reproduction filter canister with reproduction helmet.
We also found him a replica WWI 1913 trench knife.

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This is early Christmas morning while we are getting ready for the children to wake up.
Clint was slicing ham for the croissants while Maggie and Baby hoped he "accidentally" dropped more bits of ham.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Best Big Sister

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For her birthday, we gave Amanda a sign that said "If I had a tiara and a cape, I could rule the world." We gave her a tiara at the time. Now, she has the cape too! Check out those red Converse high tops!

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Best Big Sister Ever!
She is going to make an awesome mother and already has so much experience with small children. 
It is one the benefits God gives children of large families.

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Amanda watched the program on the decorations being put up at the White House and wanted to try her hand at making a decoration she saw. She reminded me of my grandfather who would see something made out of wood and would go out to his shop and cut it out from memory alone. She used glitter instead of leaves because it will last longer.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Morning

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We purchased our tree skirt from personalizationmall.com

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The 5 youngest wanted to dress up for Christmas morning.

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Check out Hannah's smile!

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More Old Picts of Clint 2

From the emails I've been getting, these have been a hit. I have one more series of pictures of Clint for comparison against our boys coming in January.

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I can see both Joshua and Caleb here.

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Caleb smiles like this.

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Clint is on your far right.
I can see Caleb in the angle of Clint's face, and Joshua in his eyes here.
Brandon is close to this age now, and he sits just like Clint is in the photo.

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I can see Emily and Hannah in my face here. I was about 4 and am holding my puppy Smokey.

I can't find more old pictures of me at the moment. I have a few, but not many. I was heavily criticized starting around age seven, so I have never enjoyed having pictures taken of me. If I find any more old ones, I will post them.

Our pictures are in disorder. I have a plan to organize them, but my priorities have kept me from it. The pictures of the past are fun to look at, but aren't more important than trying to be a godly wife and mother.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ornament Making

Every year, we make ornaments together for the tree. When our children leave home, they will take their ornaments (and memories of making them) with them to warm their home and remind them of stories to pass on to their children. Sometimes, Clint cuts out wood ornaments. Sometimes we make them from recycled materials. Other times, like this year, we make ornaments from kits from Oriental Trading.

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We made the cardinal this year. The gingerbread man was last year's ornament.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sugar Cookies

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We decorated sugar cookies for Christmas per our annual tradition.

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Little girls

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Middles
Note the boy's skeleton cookie :-)!
Caleb made a camo wearing, shotgun toting gingerbread man cookie, but it was eaten before I could get a picture.

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artistic Amanda's
This dried smooth and pretty, but was also gone before I could get a picture of it.
You have to move quick in this house!

Hannah's Birthday

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Four years ago, Hannah was an early Christmas gift to Clint and I.
Lately, she has been talking up a storm about Tinkerbell. Hannah likes Tink because she has blonde hair and blue eyes which is something no other girl in our family has. To delight our littlest princess, we went with Tinkerbell for her birthday. I sprinkled the tablecloth with "Fairy Dust" (crystal decorating sugar). She picked out the pieces she wanted of the cake which Clint expertly cut and served. I wanted to bake her cake, but with Christmas preparations and being there for friends who needed me, I had to cut back somewhere. So, we bought a cake and put a Hallmark Tinkerbell ornament on it. We gave Hannah wings, a skirt, and a wand and called her Tinkerbell for the day of her party and her actual birthday. Clint and Brandon flew her around the house whenever she asked. Our entire family enjoyed watching Hannah have a great time on her birthday! (You can see her self-scalped bangs are growing out!)

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Christmas I Corinthians 13 Style

Author Unknown

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind through harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust…but giving the gift of love will endure.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Award Winning Apple Turnover Recipe


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I made these a while ago, and my family says they are DELICIOUS!
I quadrupled the recipe, and they literally flew off the plate into content bellies.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gingerbread House Construction

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The children and I baked the gingerbread house, tree, and people while Clint was working. I had a lot of fun leading our children through the project. Clint gets the other half of the project as he leads them through assembling and decorating the pieces. It's a fun time of the year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Herb and Onion Rolls

One of the things I love the most about the holiday baking season is the King Authur Flour catalog and the wonderful products and recipes it contains.

This year, for Thanksgiving, I made their Herb and Onion Rolls. Instead of the Herbs de Provence, I used an Italian blend of herbs.


  • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm potato cooking water
  • Click the link to the recipe above for instructions.
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I made 8, yep EIGHT!, batches of these rolls by hand.
I already have a request for more for Christmas.
I never got a picture of the finished rolls because they ate them too quickly!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What is Real Ministry?

"I would like to encourage you to stop thinking of what you're doing as ministry. Start realizing that your ministry is how much of a tip you leave when you eat in a restaurant; when you leave a hotel room whether you leave it all messed up or not; whether you flush your own toilet or not. Your ministry is the way that you love people. And you love people when you write something that is encouraging to them, something challenging. You love people when you call your wife and say, 'I'm going to be late for dinner,' instead of letting her burn the meal. You love people when maybe you cook a meal for your wife sometime, because you know she's really tired. Loving people - being respectful toward them - is much more important than writing or doing music." -Rich Mullins

Cookie Season!!!

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Check out Caleb's expression! LOL!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Charlie Brown Tree

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Our "deck tree" was lost in the barn fire. This year, the middles wanted to cut down and decorate a tree.
This is our Charlie Brown Tree!

Drive Through Light Shows in Hampton Roads

Norfolk Botanical Gardens:
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Norfolk Botanical Garden: Garden of Lights (Norfolk, VA)

Newport News City Park Celebration in Lights (Newport News, VA)


My family has been to all three light shows. If we had to choose just one to visit, it would be Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the variety and beauty of the exhibits. 

However, the one in Virginia Beach is a second runner up for the nativity that reflects our reason for celebrating CHRISTmas. They actually have a "Merry Christmas" sign instead of the bland "Happy Holidays." The ticket tenders were in the best moods! Emily and Hannah loved the attention the ticket tenders gave them when we pulled up! I didn't choose that one simply because the setting along a concrete boardwalk is just not as attractive as that in a well tended garden. The lights from nearby streets and hotels also made the experience less attractive. We also found the people walking along either side of the boardwalk, along with a constantly moving police car, very distracting.

VA Beach Boardwalk:
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Newport News City Park:
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