Friday, April 27, 2012

Speed math

My dear, sweet Noah....those who know him will frequently comment that he lives in his own world. Doing his math work is like torture-and not for him! He is very easily what he could easily do in 10 minutes takes him well over an hour because it is just. so. hard. to. focus.....
Well, we have found a way to cut our math time down to a non-tortuous amount for mom. :-)
He completes one question, then takes one turn at a game. I take my turn, and then we move on to the next math question. Man, this kid gets through his math in about 10 or 15 minutes! And we enjoy a little game on the side! Last time was Connect Four, today was Husker-Do....I wonder what game we will play next!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegan (and gluten free!) Spinach Artichoke Dip!

Now, I just have to say that I don't normally like to use tons of "the substitutes"-you know, vegan "cheese", etc. But I made exceptions in this recipe because this is not an "eat every night" thing, this is a "remember how much I don't miss dairy thing" and maybe even an "impress your friends who can't fathom a dairy free life" thing. :-) Enjoy!

About 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained (or approx. 1/2 a Costco size bag of fresh baby spinach wilted)
One can artichoke hearts (in water), drained and finely chopped
3/4 cup Vegenaise
3/4 cup "Parmesan" (I eyeball half nutritional yeast, half almond meal, and sea salt to taste-this mix is also fantastic on top of plain pasta!!)
1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella (Daiya brand or "vegan gourmet" brand do not contain the milk protein.)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients and put in a pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes.

Lessons from a nature walk

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

As we were walking, we saw this tree that had been blown over by the wind. Sometimes I feel like that too! But, it was a great chance to remember God's Word, and how the man who trusts in the Lord will send his roots out...all the way to the water. He will be strengthened and renewed so that his leaves will remain green and he won't be blown over by the wind. He will be strong, steadfast, unmovable. He knows his need for living water, and sends his roots down deep to find it!

"[The armies of many nations] thunder like breakers on a beach, but God will silence them, and they will run away. They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind, like a TUMBLEWEED whirling before a storm." Isaiah 17:13

I got to thinking about tumbleweeds, and how the kids were so fascinated -but tumbleweeds usually consist of just that-weeds! They are prickly, thorny, and gather and grow as they are tossed by the wind.

But then I got to thinking about my own little tumbleweed. Praying for my dear Ezra. And then I remembered that the wind is also a metaphor for the Holy Spirit:
"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it's sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is
going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8

Oh Lord! Make my sweet Ezra a "tumbleweed for Jesus", blown about by Your Holy Spirit, causing many to
join him in advancing Your Kingdom!!!
Make us trees that send our roots deep, seeking out that living water that only Jesus offers!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012


One of my favorite childhood memories is when my parents surprised us with an overnight stay at a hotel. We thought we were meeting up with our dad for dinner, but my mom had packed clothes and bathing suits. It was so exciting!! So, naturally, I wanted to do the same for our kids. But... I'll let them tell you about it. Here are their writing assignments from Thursday.
Emma Hester, age 8:
For Easter, we went to Pismo Beach. We thought we were going home, instead mom and dad surprised us and told us we would go to Pismo Beach!
For breakfast I had three muffins: chocolate, blueberry, and banana nut. I also had half a bagel, a cherry pastry, some cereal, and apple juice. Yum!!
The activities were super fun! There was life-sized chess, ping-pong, and a swimming pool. My favorite was the swimming pool.
I liked Pismo Beach and I hope we go again.

And Caleb Hester, age 7:
On Easter, as a surprise, we went to Pismo Beach. Outside our hotel, there was a swimming pool, ping-pong, golf, and life-sized chess! This is what we did:
The food was good. I had two pastries, one muffin, two bowls of cereal, some waffle, and cranberry juice.
The activities were fun too. We went swimming, played golf, ping-pong, and life-size chess! My favorite was chess.
It was fun at Pismo Beach; you should go too!

It was a sweet time for making memories. The hotel offered an "expanded continental" breakfast, which, as you can tell by what one child ate for breakfast... was where we saved LOTS of money. We let them eat to their heart's content, and it gave them a good start to the day. I knew they had cereal options, so we brought our own rice milk and some other snacks from Trader Joe's. Ben and I tried to remind ourselves, that it was not a time just for "us." We really wanted to invest in the kids and spend time doing the things that they enjoy. It was not a "restful" trip, but it was lovely, nonetheless. But, as we have learned, with five little kids, there is no such thing as "vacation", only "relocation." hahahaha!! And what a grand relocation it was!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter 2012

We had the amazing opportunity to celebrate Jesus with friends, the cross cake, and a Good Friday service. It has already been a really sweet time of remembering Jesus. Especially in light of some very difficult things happening recently. It is good to pray together,to declare God's goodness and grace, to worship Him and His power to turn the darkest of nights into the dawn of new morning.
Happy Easter!