Birthday Girl

It was Good Friday eleven years ago too when God brought her into our world.

We had steak, tator tots & green beans for dinner (I think that has been her birthday meal for 4 years straight!)


Maybe the best part of her birthday was getting to pick up Grandma & Grandpa from the airport, back from 4 months in Arizona.  Even Ezra got in on the snuggling!130329_MarianBirthday_043

We had a birthday party brunch the next morning, she wanted a Narnia theme.  We are a low hoopla, low budget birthday family and I’m thankful our kids are really content with that.

We made some flower crowns (like Queen Susan & Queen Lucy), we simply used poster board for the straps and glued on paper flowers made out of the Cricut (have to put this machine to use!) with card stock I had on hand.  We went to the scrapbook store and got some more real looking flowers for Marian’s crown.


And made boy crowns out of poster board, when the guests arrived we measured around their head and stapled it together.


She wanted a lion cake, for Aslan.  Was pretty pleased with how this turned out:)


and we found an idea to coat gummy bears with powdered sugar to make turkish delight.  So, spent less than $10, not counting the food-that was a yummy feast prepared by Kelly!



I made everyone go outside to open presents – I do this every year in an attempt to get better lighting, and I still haven’t found an ideal spot.  It was chilly but felt great in the sun:)


Uncle Rob always writes names on the cards in some creative fashion, this one is now hanging on her door


Don’t they look great-they were great sports about wearing them.  And, we all decided the girls looked fabulous in their “hippy” headbands:)130330_MarianBirthday_160

And, for some reason, there always has to be some dangerous, silly stunt played – usually involves balls.  This time, Evan & Rob decided they should try & balance on the teeter toter


And, then the whole family had to get on, check out how it’s bowing under the pressure.  It says for children under 30 pounds.  Little Tikes stuff is sure tough!


Then a little volleyball


And, time for some cake





Our super sweet girl:)


Gluten free cookies

I haven’t shared a recipe in awhile and these were fantastic!  I happened upon an old Clean Eating magazine and spotted these (originally Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies) and adapted for us . . .


  • 1 C Sunbutter
  • 3/4 C Sucanat (basically raw sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soad
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 oz dark chocolate broken into pieces (I used Costco’s chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, stir together first 5  ingredients until blended.  Stir in chocolate. Drop dough onto baking sheets, bake for 10-12 minutes.

I couldn’t understand how this could work without any kind of flour but it does and I didn’t even have to get the stand mixer out.





Baseball boys

I think I mentioned a while back that Ezra & Tobin have been playing various sports together much more frequently, it’s been fun to watch:)  Ezra has been working on Tobin’s pitching (acts like his “coach”).

According to Ezra he’s a little “off”, (i.e. he throws hard but rarely on target)


These pictures tell the story of Ezra trying to stop the ball


So, the next morning, Ez had a great idea to use our soccer nets to help


And, boy has Tobin gotten better in just a couple of days!


I heard Ezra say to him yesterday “Hey Tobin, let’s go out and work on your pitching”


Happy Birthday Kelly!

Kelly was golfing on his birthday, I think he shot an 81 so a good day!  It was pretty cold so they ended up not playing on Sunday so got home in time for a little impromtu surprise party.  The kids were excited that he was going to be home, we decorated the door with streamers for him to walk through and made cookies.  He was golfing with his dad so we had his dad call when they pulled into our neighborhood so we could hide and yell surprise (the kids’ favorite part).

And, his mom came with an angel food cake (plain because that’s the way he like it) with some green peeps



Some light up reading glasses from his parents;)


Family fun day

We had to have fun this weekend without Kelly, he was on his golf trip and was gone for about 4 days (and his birthday).

After winning the garden/nature basket we were inspired to tackle the butterfly garden that we’ve been wanting to do for the past 3 years.  We headed to Hope Depot’s garden center and found a kid activity where the kids planted some seeds-they picked butterfly friendly ones and Ezra was especially excited to get them for free!130323_FamilyFunDay_002

They also went to Michaels for a 1/2 hour kid craft, it was $2/kid which I thought was a bargain for some peaceful wandering in the store:)  When I came to get them the girl (maybe 20 years old, clearly no children), made a comment about how much glitter was used/laying around and I said that’s why they were doing it here and not at my house.  There is still glitter stuck everywhere in my basement from Tobin’s last glitter experiment.  Hopefully, she will learn a better way to help them rather than handing a 6 year old (with very little ability to control pouring) a big bottle of glitter!

And, then to one of our favorite spots for a hike . . .

Boys with sticks


Boy with water


Boys with sticks and water



And, right at the end of the trail I made a comment that I couldn’t believe we hadn’t seen a deer (I do a lot of shoots and used to run a lot here and ALWAYS see a deer), and no sooner had I finished the sentence when we spotted this one!


The hike was complete:)

And, I have to mention (for my own records) that I have always hated this trip, I had always gotten so anxious about not being able to sleep (from my insomnia problems) and 2 years ago, some friends really called me out on what amounted to significant fear and I prayed A LOT and other people prayed for me and boy did He do an amazing healing work in me.  Now, I don’t really like it but I’m not afraid anymore:)  And, this year, I prayed that I could not only be unafraid but also cheerful when Kelly called to check in (because he’s a great guy and deserves it!), and God answered that prayer as well:)  I honestly didn’t even have to fake it, and Kelly commented when he got home.  So, give some more glory to our amazing God-just LOVE Him!


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