Thursday, June 30, 2011

Resolved 2011

One of our annual highlights is going to the Resolved Conference in Palm Springs. Jesse and I take turns listening to the messages while the other is with the kids.
This is such a great venue- plenty of room.
Madison loved the music. At one point, she turned to me and said, "Mommy this music is so good I have goose bumps!" We have the blessing of hearing John and Lisa Martin lead worship every Sunday, but at Resolved they fill the band out a bit more. I love being led to the throne of God with their music- it's passionate and Gospel-centered. Enfield has produced several wonderful CD's. If you haven't gotten them yet, here's where you can find out about them.
Saturday night they had a Q&A panel with all the speakers...
Rick Holland, CJ Mahaney, John MacArthur, Al Mohler, and Steve Lawson.
It was a good time of getting to know them a bit more personally and a chance to just hear what's on their hearts.
The preaching was of course amazing. As a side note, Jesse has begun a blog with several of his pastor friends that is quite thought provoking. You can find his review of the messages there. Check The Cripplegate out!!
I also enjoyed time spent with my friend Michelle and her two adorable boys. We went swimming with the 4 kids one morning. Michelle and I were blessed by our husbands who watched the kids so we could go to one of the sessions together.
We stayed in the best location possible! It was a little rental condo that backed right up to the conference center. Last year's hotel room was a further walk than this condo to the conference. Plus, we had our own kitchen where we cooked. Each time we went swimming, we were the only ones there!
Both girls are little fish.
We got in a little family time before we left :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Savannah is Seven Months

Our sweet Savannah Grace is already seven months! She weighs about 15 pounds and looks pretty cute in a bathing suit :)
She's started eating baby food 1-2 times a day. She has liked everything she's tried so far...peas, carrots, mangoes, squash, and oatmeal.
One of her favorite things to do is jump, especially when she can watch me work in the kitchen.
The girls enjoy watching Backyardigans movies together.
Savannah has also started to crawl a bit- she can get where she wants to go, but it doesn't look pretty. It's more of a scoot and lunge movement. She's a determined little girl and doesn't like to stay still for one moment.
My sweet baby can still fall asleep in the stroller on those long days out.
I just love this baby, and thank God every day for the gift she is to us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lemon Cream Pie

Cooking is something Madison and I enjoy doing together. Just about any time I'm making a recipe, she asks to scoot the step stool over and "help". Well, for a while this "help" was really just a whole lot more work for me- crumbs everywhere, finger-dipping in whatever we were making, lots of questions, etc. I loved every minute of it along the way, and now she is really beginning to be quite a big helper. She even sings, "I'm a helper, I'm a helper, I'm a helper Jesus says." (she picked that ditty up in Sunday school :0) Anyways, we still have a plethora of lemons leftover from Rach's bridal shower and I'm having fun finding new lemony recipes. This one I found on Karen Harasick's blog was a keeper!
First, Maddie mashed the graham crackers.
Secondly, we mixed the ingredients for the crust together.
While the crust was baking, we squeezed and zested the lemons.
As the crust cooled, we mixed the lemon, sugar, egg yolks, etc. together over the stove until it thickened.
Madison rinsed all the dirty dishes as we waited for the mixture to cool completely.
Savannah had a blast watching us cook. She just loves jumping!!
While the mixture cooled, we made some fresh whipping cream, spread it on top of the lemon mixture, then garnished the pie with a lemon. We refrigerated it and had nap time :)
The pie was a huge hit to our guests that night!
Here's the lemon cream pie recipe, if you care to try it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa

This week we've had 2 fun-filled days with Grandma and Grandpa Robert. The first day of their visit we went to the Reagan Library.
The marine layer lifted by the time we finished our tour, so we had a nice view of Simi Valley.
Madison's highlight of the day was "riding" the horse with Grandma and walking through Air Force One.
Savannah loves jumping with Grandma.
Today we went to Descanso Gardens.
We had a beautiful day together!
Grandpa Robert making sure Maddie and Dog don't dive into the Japanese pond.

This turtle is doing pilates by the water!
The rest are just photos I had fun taking of the gorgeous flowers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Parent Dedication

Last Sunday, Deidre and I got to stand before our church, and publicly "dedicate" ourselves as parents. We, along with about 40 other sets of parents, stood before the congregation. While we were holding Savannah, Pastor MacArthur asked us if it was our desire to raise her in fear and admonition of the Lord. With the accountability of the rest of our church, we declared that it was our desire to raise Savannah according to Scripture.

With our entire church looking at us, Savannah looking at them, and Deidre and I looking at our pastor, pastor John then briefly explained the duties of parents. God commands parents not to aggravate their children. We are to discipline our children, love them, and constantly point them to the gospel. We are to teach them about Jesus, show them their sin, and lead them to repentance.

To do this, we said we would expose them as much as possible to the influence of the church, to the leadership of the elders, and to godliness in the home. As we teach our daughter the gospel, she should see us daily living it out.

God made children in such a way that they implicitly trust their parents. While children are sinful, they are also helpless. Because of that, parents have a unique position of influence in their lives. Parents have a choice to make: they can use that influence for their own ends (either ignoring their children, or parenting them for some sundry goal), or they can use that influence to remind them of the God who made the world, encourage them to keep away from the sin that destroyed it, and point them to the Savior of all, Jesus Christ. We proclaimed that we would do the latter.

Then the congregation declared that they would aid us in this task. And they already are. Madison came home last week excited about the parable of the good Samaritan. Savannah is cared for by loving people who treasure Christ, and who want her to grow up to do the same.

Deidre and I are excited to be part of Grace Church, and thankful that we are raising our kids in this environment.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More Vacation...Day 3-5

The next morning we woke up, went to breakfast, and headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We were able to have free admission because our kind neighbor from our rental house GAVE us his guest membership passes!! It's amazing to see the kind hand of God throughout life- free passes here, beautiful weather there, yummy food...God delights in giving us good gifts!
Madison was enthralled with watching the fish swim around. She run from one tank to another with such excitement!
Touching starfish and sea slugs with Daddy
One of our highlights was watching these silly penguins! We were able to watch them get fed, too.

Savannah had a fun time watching the fishes swim, playing with her toes, and chewing in her stuffed turtle while at the aquarium!
Touching sting rays
Maddie and Daddy looking at the big shark!
After naps that afternoon, we headed back to Cannery Row and had dinner.
We ate at the Fish Hopper that overlooked the ocean! We had such fun watching the boats, birds, and seals in the port.
Savannah is all smiles! The table next to us asked to take pictures of her! They kept talking about how cute she funny!
After dinner, we went to a couple shops. Madison liked this hat! Jesse and I were laughing because as soon as she tried it on, a bunch of teenagers walked in the store, and Maddie was just mesmerized staring at them!
We found a better hat the next store down :)
I was so excited to find this hat because we already had the exact one for Savannah. When Madison was little my friend Rachel sent us the hat from WA. A lady hand makes each one! Well, she has a store in Monterey, too. So now the girls match :)

Madison tried her best to take a photo of Jesse and I, but she just couldn't get us in the view finder! We were cracking up watching Madison struggle to hold the camera, find us, and push the button. A nice man noticed and took our picture instead.
I love watching these two hold hands walking!
The next morning we had breakfast at Em Le's. We were told about the yummy breakfasts here, and the recommendations were right!
Then we did some shopping in Carmel. This place is aptly named The Cheese Shop. Jesse and I enjoyed tasting so many different cheeses...even the oldest cheese recipe known today. Madison wouldn't come in the store because she said, "It smells like cheese in there...yucky!"
For dinner that night we ended up at the Red House Cafe again.
The next morning, we started the day with a long walk.
Madison started a shell collection, but Daddy said only 2 could come home with us.
We spotted a fawn and her mother on the walk!
Savannah and I chilling on the front porch.
We started our drive home and went through Big Sur. What breathtaking views!
So this place was amazing! We were driving by and I saw a glimpse of the river, so I asked Jesse to pull over. It's called the Big Sur River Inn. It was such a peaceful spot. I'd love to go back and camp near here and stay for a couple days.

Venturing in the freezing water
I loved the chairs right in the river!

A couple miles down the road was THIS place! Can you believe the little water fall into the ocean?! So beautiful!

After this, we booked it home, and arrived at about midnight. We were all pretty tired, but it was totally worth the longer drive!
I'm so thankful for the family God has given me! We had a wonderful vacation together and I treasure these times!