They’re 2!

I cannot believe how big these girls have grown! We celebrated their birthday last month and I am so very blessed by these girls. Each brings her own sunshine to a room.

They’re favorite food is bananas, so instead of the traditional birthday cake we decided to do a Banana Split bar. They were super excited about this new phenomenon!

I might have found this sweet castle for $7… we’ll call it a birthday present.

Oh how I love these girls. Happy birthday Grace and Ruth!!!

Pray for them

Today’s prayer is in honor of the girls because I cannot stop kissing the last of the baby feet in my family while speaking this verse over them:

Father, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news.” I lift up (Name) to you and pray that (he/she) will be one “who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’ ” In Jesus’ name, amen.   – Isaiah 52:7

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.

fried morels

For those who deem April nearly sacred because of it’s Morel mushrooms (which are hunted around the country and sold on Facebook for $40 a pound…) and who secretly feast on them careful not to tell a soul where this year’s stash was found… here’s a recipe for you:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried and crushed Rosemary
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sliced Morel Mushrooms

Combine flour, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic powder. Whisk egg into water until smooth. Add to flour mixture and stir until smooth. Melt butter and oil in a frying pan and bring to temperature. Dip sliced mushrooms into the batter and add to frying pan, careful not to crowd. Flip once and remove when both sides are golden. Repeat until all mushrooms are cooked. Serve immediately and remember: NOT A SOUL.



Not As Planned

Happy Monday Morning!

Saturday we celebrated Micah and Gabriel turning 4. I had the perfect day planned for them. We would take them to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. See the Veteran’s Day parade. Go to RideMakerz where they would build their own cars. Take naps and then have a party where they got to see the cakes I had made especially for them from things they love the most. The whole day was pretty much awful. It culminated in a humiliating halt to the birthday party right before we brought the cakes out. Anyone been there? Anyone??

First they had their last soccer game which they refused to play in because it was too cold. Then, we went to Walmart where Micah saw a toy he wanted for his birthday and when we didn’t get it for him (because we already had something planned) he resorted to his all-time worst tantrum we had ever seen. It ended with breathing exercises in the parking lot…

We took them to a shop called RideMakerz where they built their own cars. This was the place where they had a blast and that’s what gave this birthday good memories.

Then came time for the birthday party. Cakes were made (Yes! I made the Mack cake and a Painter’s Cake for Gabe), decorations hung and family gathered. Before we even brought out the cakes, the boys had already hit 3 people and pinched someone else. By the time the last offense took place we were forced to stop everything and have a parenting moment in the garage.

Painter’s Cake

Mack Cake

Awful. Party. If I were honest, I didn’t even want to light the candles. Which, self destructed the moment I did anyway. I had this idyllic party in my head and my beautiful vision was crashing and burning all around me. The pizza had broke in half in the oven and was streaming cheese all down the racks. The coffee ran all over the counter while the boys were in their own world of sleep-deprived, four-year-old madness.

But you know, kids are kids and I’m realizing the moments I need mine to be extra good, they don’t always cooperate. As one mishap after another piled on, my desire to keep celebrating these turbo-charged, misbehaving boys declined rapidly. But, I knew if we stopped the party it would deeply wound their hearts. Gone was my idyllic party, but we don’t celebrate them because they always have perfect behavior. We celebrate them because we love them.

Though I had to pull my own emotions together in order to regain a semblance of party atmosphere, I’m glad I did. They are good kids and even on their bad days we love them.

Pray for them


Let’s pray for our loved ones to be rooted and established in truth.

Father, bring (Name) into maturity in Christ, “so that [he/she] may no longer be [a child], tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, [and] by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, [may(Name)] grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” In the name of Jesus, amen. — Ephesians 4:14-15

Prayers taken from the daily prayer on the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.

Mack Birthday Cake

Mack Cake

  • 1 Cake Mix
  • 2 cans Frosting (or 1 homemade recipe)
  • 24oz Red Fondant (ready to roll)
  • 2oz Grey Fondant (ready to roll)
  • 2 oz Yellow Fondant (ready to roll)
  • 2 oz White Fondant (ready to roll)
  • 6-10 Chocolate Covered Cookies

Pick a cake you want and bake it on a large cookie sheet. (Reduce the baking time.) I opted for a delicious Texas Sheet Cake Recipe.

Cut 5 long sections to identical size, 2 smaller sections the same size, and 3 short sections that will be the same size. Stack long sections with frosting (not icing) in between so that each upper layer lays flat. I made a simple peanut butter frosting for mine.

Stack the second section with a layer of frosting, and add two of the short pieces on top.

Cut out a piece of red cardboard for Mack’s hat bill. Set it on top so that the front of the hat does not extend over his nose. Layer the last short piece on top of the hat.

Roll out red fondant and drape and smooth over the body of Mack. Do the same for his face.

I procrastinated and got mine at Michaels but these large Fondant boxes are half the price on Amazon.

Roll out the other colors and cut to fit the different areas based on your design. Lightly brush water onto the back of the fondant piece to adhere it to the red fondant.

Use your choice of chocolate covered cookies for wheels.

Turning Four!

Micah and Gabriel will be turning four tomorrow. It’s always bitter sweet to revisit their birth. I will never forget my water breaking 10 weeks early and the eight weeks that followed. There was the unsuccessful bed rest, the midnight emergency surgery and the requested blood transfusion for my son whom I had not yet met. That day launched Brian and I into eight of the longest weeks of our lives.

So small and so perfect. Between the two there were 20 perfectly formed fingers and 20 perfectly formed toes. It was a full week before I got to hold Gabriel for the first time. He was about three pounds and barely fit in my hand. It was another several days before I got to hold Micah. How I had longed for that moment when I could at last feel their heartbeat next to mine.

We traveled back and forth to the hospital NICU every day. For eight weeks my heart was torn. I longed to be beside my sons every minute of their stay, yet Esther was only 11 months old and needed me too. When I was with the boys, I felt like I should be home. And when I was home I felt I should be at the hospital. All through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years we went back and forth. That 2013 holiday season is indelibly written on my heart.

Looking back, it is amazing to see how God poured out his grace upon us (The inspiration for Grace’s name). Family flew across the country to help. Friends and neighbors we were still building relationships with stepped in and showered God’s love on us. We never lacked for anything. God grew our faith into new places and blessed us with relationships that would remain strong.

Now, at four years old, despite arriving 10 weeks early — Micah having had a prolapsed cord and Gabriel needing a blood transfusion– Micah and Gabriel are as fast and strong as ever and are keeping me on my toes. They make me laugh every day with their joy. This week we were reading the story of Moses and the burning bush when Gabriel says, “Call Fireman Sam! He’ll water it up.” Love you boys. Happy 4th birthday.

pray for them 

Take less than 30 seconds to pray your loved ones will have such an intimacy with Christ they are humble and effective vessels for his work.

Heavenly Father, keep (Name’s) heart pure from pride in thinking that it is through (his/her) “own power or piety” that healing takes place. Rather, establish (Name) in your truth that it is only “[Jesus’] name – by faith in [Jesus’] name” that makes us strong and brings us “perfect health.” In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.      – Acts 3:12, 16

Prayers taken from the daily prayer on the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.

Birthday Cake

Birthday cakes are so fun! Tonight I will be making Micah a Mack birthday cake and Gabriel a Painters cake. This is all I have so far… but no worries. Finished product pictures and instructions coming on Monday!