Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Review : A Place Called Blessing




An amazing friend recommended that I read the book called The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley, about 17 years ago.  She knew that I had some fractured relationships, and she knew this book would be a great place to start to deal with some past hurts.
a place called blessing cover


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

VBS Day 2 & 3

We are over the hump – Wednesday, that is.  We finished out 3rd day today with a couple fun crafts!  Our numbers have increased each day, which we love to see!

Yesterday, we made our “Beach in a Bottle” craft. 

filling bottles 1


filling bottles 2

We used water bottles, poured in about 1/2 cup of sand, a couple shakes of glitter, a handful of shells before moving to the liquid station.  baby oil and waterAt the liquid station the kids added some blue colored water and finished the project with some baby oil.  We then, hot glued the lids on (for many reasons that you can imagine) and voila! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

VBS Day 1 {FUN}

VBS is different at every church; each has it’s own rhythm, rules and schedules.  It can be so much fun working VBS and getting to know the other people helping out.  This week is VBS at FBC Malakoff, and this year I was fortunate enough to coordinate crafts!!

Day1 Crafts were wonderful!  The kids loved it, the teachers loved it and it went very smooth!

We took precut circles (1 inch) and had the kids stamp an image on them.  They, then, colored the image in and the back ground if they wanted with permanent markers.  After that, the modge podged the circles onto those flat clear marbles.  Once they put those 2 pieces together they moved to the glue gun station to glue magnets onto their creation.


Ours were of beach items like a crab, sea gulls, beach ball, and more.  But this picture is what they looked like.

They were great and everyone loved them!  Great summer craft for a hot day outside if you are looking for something!  A package of magnets, glue gun, bag of flat marbles, and some paper.  If you do not have small stamps you could let the kids draw something!

Here are some pics of our first day of VBS (including a few amazingly decorated rooms) :

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Photo Challenge

I am not sure if you have a budding photographer running around your place, but I tend to have 2 on a regular basis and for sure, the potential for more!

After seeing a few lists of photo challenges online, I decided to come up with one to implement in our school year next year with any students who want to participate.

My oldest son and I joined project 365 this year, but we are not doing very well with it.  But I love the idea.  So I thought if I have a list of items to photograph each day, this would spur us on to think outside the box and try some new things.  My list is a topic per day – for each child to go out and snap a pic of something that falls into that topic.  I did try to keep it simple, and as we do this, we can add some degree of difficulty in the later months of our school year.

Here are is the beginning of my list:

Friday, June 24, 2011

All quiet on the Western Front

That would describe our week here.  That is our : Mine and AG’s.  My little girl and I spent the week without the boys here.  Our boys & man headed to Cedar Hill for Children's Camp with our church in Irving. 

This was a first for us – all of us.  My oldest went to camp last year, but for them all to take off, and leave the ladies home was very new!

I have decided that one child is certainly more work that four – not to mention the work you get out of four is much more than one!  She was pretty sure that I needed to play games all day with her and watch every move as she played the Perplexus game her brother recently got for his birthday.  She never gets a shot at this game and was thrilled to have her turn, but though I should watch each and every move she made along the maze.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What to make for dinner?

Recently (Wednesday) Kristen @ We are THAT family asked how everyone makes supper without heating up the kitchen every night. 

(so forgive my late Wednesday link up)


Since I love to plan meals ahead of time, I often do not think about the heating up the kitchen thing while I am planning.

As I was off to get a few groceries today, I decided to try and plan some meals that will not heat up my kitchen every night.  So here is what I did:

Thrifty Thursday

Every time I see an article titled “”Save $1000 in a year with these simple ideas” I start to look, hope to learn, and quickly get disappointed.  You see, those articles are great for the average 2 Income family with 2.5 kids– those families with disposable income already.  We are not one of those families.  So, at this point, I try not to even read those articles.  I try to remind myself that what we are doing is working just fine.  Besides, you cannot squeeze blood from a turnip.  Right?

But I do continue to cut back in many ways.  Most recently I figured out that our dryer has a vent in it, that sucks my money right out.  I never knew how much energy a dryer uses.  Honestly!  But about 2 months ago I started drying the load of jeans, that I wash each week, on the line out back.  (The line was there when we got here, and I thought the previous owner must have been crazy)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It’s all about the food

That is how it seems these days in our home!

We have tomatoes coming out of our ears!  This prompted me to attempt salsa last week with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos all from out garden!  This week I am making more to can since we cannot eat enough to keep up!  Homemade salsa is wonderful!

We also have pumpkins turning orange just about daily, so after cooking 6 of them in the last few days, I am about to make some pumpkin butter.  Unfortunately you are not supposed to can pumpkin butter, something about the USDA thinking it is not safe, so into the freezer my pumpkin butter will go.  So many options though once it is in there!  I am going to follow this recipe – and her suggestions are to use your pumpkin butter like you would pumpkin in bread, smoothies, pie and instead of adding the suggested sugar for each recipe you skip it since the pumpkin butter will already have it.  I am most looking forward to some pumpkin smoothies in the next few weeks.  Yum!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Character Training (Revisited)

This seems to be the year of character training in our home.  I know, this should be something we do every year, but it seems to be of highest importance THIS year.  For months it was my youngest boy.  Now my oldest boy seems to be coming to the front of the discipline focus.

That is, until Kristen shared with me some things she gleaned from Laying Down the Rails on the way home from our house. 

I own this book.  Bought it in January I think.  I looked over a chapter about that time and shelved it.  It was not my favorite book.  But I knew, would be a great resource when I needed it.

Book Review : Jesus, my Father, the CIA and ME

cia cover

I generally do not gravitate toward biographies, unless they are by/about a famous person from history. When I saw the book Jesus, my Father, the CIA and ME as an option to review a couple weeks ago I was intrigued by the title and encouraged by the other reviews. After reading the book, I am so glad I chose to review it. I would recommend this book to anyone who has heartache in their life with regards to their upbringing, it can help guide you through a healing of sorts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Multitude #1000

I feel like the last few weeks are a blur!  I checked on my gratitude journal  (you know when you are “checking” on it, you have been ignoring it…) and I am almost there – @ #985 – whew!!

And yet, since I last logged my  mini, day to day, ordinary miracles – so much has happened!!



Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review : Dragons of Chiril

I love to read, but my son may love to read even more than me! I am constantly on the look-out for books that he is allowed to read, but that will inspire him, encourage him, and teach him. The Dragon’s of Chiril did a bit of all three! Initially I chose this book to review because I wanted to see if what Donita Paul writes is appropriate for all ages. It is!


As soon as I finished the book, my ten year old grabbed it to read.

This book is an allegory, along the lines of the Chronicles of Narnia, this story teaches about God through the characters and their experiences.

This story is the prequel of Donita’s series. I have not read any of her other books and that did not impact my enjoyment of this book at all. I loved the characters that she develops in the story, I loved that they all have their issues they are working on. They were real and easy to relate to as I followed along on their journey. I enjoyed the introduction of this world’s “God” and how the characters learned more and more about him. The journey the characters embarked on dealt with time travel, dragons (all good), bad guys, and a comic grand parrot.

Revolving Door

It has been a great few weeks at the Cole Home!  We have had so much fun seeing so many people!  It started with Memorial Day – we hosted Robert’s brother & family and our good friends from Irving the Byerlys!  Then, my Uncle and Aunt arrived for about 6 days, followed by the Lewis family for a couple days.  Then, today we said good bye to cousins from Houston!  Whew!

What fun!

We enjoyed the slip0n-slide on memorial day, blueberry picking & baseball with my uncle, hanging out here with the Lewis family,and the last 2 days we played on the lake with the Bensons. 

My kids are going to start really start acting spoiled after all these fun visits!

And pictures, oh my!!  Here are a few from my camera roll from the past 3 weeks or so :

With Uncle Ed & Aunt Wren


With Lewis Family



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