Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow/Sick Day!

 Here's my little ones, all cuddled in their "nests".  They pretended to be little owls :) There is a throat, chest, nose virus going through our house, so we've taken things a little slower this week.
 We were thrilled to wake up to snow!
 Maddie looked out and said, "How beautiful!" Savannah said, "Oh my goodness. Snow on my car!" 
 I made the girls "snowman" lunches. I know it's a stretch, but they loved it.
 Since Savannah wasn't feeling great, we ate our snowman instead of making one outside.
The girls made some Valentine's Day crafts and cards.
Maybe Maddie walked through the snow barefoot and in a short-sleeve dress. I know, she's a funny one!

This week I roasted a chicken, then made homemade broth. That makes the best chicken soup!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Mother's Mission

I read this great reminder (below) from Carolyn Mahaney. Please take a minute to read it, that is if you have a minute to read it! This is helpful for me to remember. I love these little girls, and my heart overflows with joy in the role God's given me in their lives. What a blessing.
"Mothers are responsible to mold and shape lives; to raise children who, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, “require not so much to be taught anything as everything.”
“I might as well be at the controls of a moon shot,” reflected one mom, “the mission is so grave and vast.” And so it is. The training and discipline of our children in the fear the Lord is an awesome task, demanding of our full attention (see Deut 6:5-9).
That’s why, if there’s one concern I have for this new generation of mothers, it is the potential for distraction.
Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and texting allow moms at home to stay connected with the outside world like never before; the Internet makes it possible for women to contribute skills and gifts to the church and the marketplace, while at home with their children. These are all tremendous blessings, and when used wisely, can bless and serve our families and glorify God.
The Proverbs 31 women, long before the Internet, managed a wide range of tasks for the good of her family and community. (But did you notice what time she woke up each morning?) Depending on a woman’s capacity, gifting, personal discipline, as well as the ages and number of children, there may certainly be room for other things.
But we must be watchful that these “other things” don’t distract us from our primary task of mothering.  We must walk carefully through this season, with all its opportunities, and make the best use of our time with our children.
Truth is, we can’t effectively train our children on the side. We can’t discipline them here and there. We can’t teach when we’ve got a free moment. We can’t mother intermittently.
Inconsistent training is ineffective training.
If we are distracted by projects or pleasure, we may miss valuable teaching moments, opportunities to encourage, disobedience that requires discipline, or a chance to show affection. These moments, once lost, are gone forever.
So ladies, may I encourage you, as I do my own daughters, to give training and discipline your first and full attention. Walk carefully, and keep your eyes on the mothering road."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I love the Seasons

Being a Cali girl, I'm not really used to "weather" and "seasons". So, having these changes in NOVA has been very exciting this year. I've taken a few pictures of our yard from the same spot on our porch this year. Enjoy God's creation with me! Praise Him for His beauty!
 Spring 2012
 Fall 2012
Winter 2012
I didn't get a summer picture of the yard, but in the summer, you can't even see the creek because the green grows in so thick. Pretty amazing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ray Was Here

The night my parents flew out of Dulles, Ray flew in to Regan airport! We've spent that last few days catching up with our friend from the CSUN Bible study we miss back in Cali.
 Both girls LOVED playing with Ray.
I think Ray enjoyed seeing Arlington Cemetery, the monuments, the American History Museum, Pete's Pizza, Immanuel Bible Church, Old Town Alexandria, and the 9/11 Memorial.
 Jesse and Ray got in some manly bonding time when making a Costco run, doing yard work, and building a fire, of course.
While Ray was here, we went to the American History Museum where we learned about transportation. There were fantastic replicas of old ships. I think that's where this pretend world originated...they're on a "boat" (the rug) and Ray is rescuing them when they fall in the water.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Miss You Already

We've had a wonderful 11 day visit with Papa and Mimi. We were sad to send them on their flight home tonight.
Maddie said, "I wish if Mimi and Papa's house could burn down. Then they could come live with us for a WEEK."
(In her mind a week is a very long time :)
This expresses how much we love having them stay with us!
The girls have a "little" fun with Papa.
We love you both and miss you already. Thanks for all the ways you served and loved us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welcome to the Family, Saige

Last night Mimi took Maddie shopping for her first American Girl doll. This was Maddie's Christmas gift from Papa and Mimi. Of course, there was much excitement and discussion about the prospect of getting a new doll. It was hard for Maddie to pick which one she wanted. A few things Maddie said she wanted her doll to have was: red hair and blue eyes (Maddie said, "I want my doll to look like you, Mommy.") Pretty cute, I think :)
 After much looking around at all the options, there was no doubt. Maddie liked Saige above all the other dolls. Here's why: she's from New Mexico (like Daddy), she has long red hair and blue eyes (like Mommy), in the story Saige has a "Mimi (just like Maddie), her best friend is named "Tessa" (which happens to be our next door neighbor friend's name), and Saige loves horses. 
I think Maddie could have flown away on this hot air balloon last night. She was thrilled!
Thank you Papa and Mimi!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy Birthday to Jesse!

I'm so thankful for my husband. He's my best friend. Jesse is a great leader, which sure makes my job a whole lot easier! He's not only a wonderful husband, but also makes a sweet Daddy. I love watching him play with the girls, talk with them about life, and read to them. I'm thankful that he's my pastor, and he certainly lives what he preaches...I can vouch for that! On top of all this, he's FUN. I mean really fun. He makes me laugh like nobody else. I'm one lucky gal.
 My parents stayed with the girls so he and I could escape for a night to celebrate his birthday. It was relaxing to eat a few meals without cooking, feeding others, or cleaning up! We went to the quaint town of Annapolis.
  Annapolis is right on the water. We had beautiful weather!
 Happy Birthday Jesse!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mount Vernon

This year we were members at Mount Vernon. It's been interesting to watch George Washington's estate change in each season. We've certainly gotten our money's worth in visits.
 At Christmas, they bring a camel to the grounds, just as Washington did during the holidays. I think it was pretty gross that Jesse let it lick him.
 I enjoyed walking arm-in-arm with my Daddy. Maddie did a great job keeping up.
 During the Christmas season, the third floor of the mansion is opened. It was interesting to hear that after Washington died, Martha moved her room to the third floor, never again sleeping in the master bedroom.
Jesse was kind enough to take Savannah home for her nap so that the four of us were able to stay a bit longer. We had peanut and chestnut soup. Here's the recipe if you're interested in making it yourself:
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • 1 ½ tbsp flour
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts chopped
  • ½ cup water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
Melt margarine in a large saucepan. Stir in flour to make a roux. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until the roux is light tan in color. Once the roux is ready, add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add peanut butter and Worcestershire sauce and stir. Hold on stove at a low heat until ready to serve. The longer it heats, the thicker it gets. Garnish with chopped peanuts and water chestnuts.

I just had to include this...when we got home, Maddie read The Great Elephant to her animals.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fun with Mimi and Papa

This week we're having lots of fun with Papa and Mimi.
 The girls all bundled up for jumping on the trampoline. It was in the 30's...that's cold for our CA girls!
 Mimi felt a little unsure of jumping, so the girls bounced her!
 We went to the National Botanical Gardens one day. It's amazing to see the landmarks of DC made with plant materials.
Can you say, "Hot Chocolate?!" That's what the girls were saying in front of the cocoa tree.
After this we WALKED up to We the Pizza and Good Stuff Eatery. These two restaurants are right next door to each other, and they have become a good stop after touring in DC.

Friday, January 4, 2013

White Christmas at the Kennedy Center

What do you get your 100 year old Aunt Dottie for Christmas? Well, I'm glad you asked. I was happy to take her to the Kennedy Center to see White Christmas. 
 We had a fun date together! 
 I had no idea what a nice cafe, little shops, and theatre was there. 
Here she is all excited for the show!
We had a wonderful visit with Aunt Dottie, and she's now safe at home. I'm thankful that she's been apart of my whole life. I'm especially grateful to the Lord that she's come to a saving understanding of Him in her 90's. God is so faithful.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gifts with Papa and Mimi

We had our third or fourth gift opening sessions this week. This Christmas season just keeps on giving!
 Papa and Mimi loved their family calendar.
 Maddie is super excited about shopping for an American Girl doll with Mimi.
 Savannah loves her Mini Mouse vacuum!
 Here are the girls loving each other in their new outfits.
Every moment is filled with playing in our house! Thanks to Aunt Jennifer, we have 101 cookie cutters for play dough.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

We had a fun New Year's Eve party with a few friends and family.
 The game "Wise and Otherwise" was a huge hit.
 The kids played together in the basement so well!
 We did the countdown around 9:30pm, and every one enjoyed the poppers.
 I love Jesse and Maddie Pinkston's face :)
Mimi and Papa came to visit!! The kids have been enjoying playing with them (and on them)!