Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday encouragement for myself

"He who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." ~Proverbs 13:3

"Oh Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me.  Hear my voice when I call to you.  May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.  Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." ~ Psalm 141:1-3

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.  From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and avenger." ~Psalm 8:1-2

"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." ~ Psalm 9:9-10

Lord, you know that Mondays are often difficult days in our home.  This Monday is no exception.  I am emotionally and physically weary, and there are so many things and people vying for my attention.  Help me to praise You when I am feeling overwhelmed.  According to Psalm 8:2, praise defeats my enemy!  I know that satan is the enemy of my soul and wants me to live in a constant state of discouragement.  I cannot be effective when I am discouraged.  Though my own flesh is weak, as your child I claim Your strength!  I claim your grace for this day.  I claim your wisdom and love to flow from my lips, and not the darker thoughts that would like to be spoken.  I choose to praise You, for You are the same every day regardless of my circumstances.  Your love for me is wide and deep and all-encompassing, even when I fail and disappoint You.  You are unchanging, magnificent, holy God.  I praise and worship You.  Amen.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Little Man's Minecraft Birthday Party

Minecraft is uber popular in our house.  For those of you not familiar with minecraft, it is basically a virtual lego game that you can play on the computer (or smart phone).  It is primarily a building game with virtual "blocks", and it is one this mom can actually feel pretty good about.  All six of our children play it, and they have created some pretty elaborate minecraft worlds.  Three of the boys are currently working on a minecraft re-creation of Middle Earth.  Anyhoo.... this was Little Man's year for a friend party, and he wanted it to be minecraft.  So minecraft themed it was!

This turned out to be LOTS of fun.  I mean, serious fun.  For all of us.  Every single person helped decorate, come up with game ideas, etc, and so it was very much a family affair!  Here Little Man is helping to create "creeper juice" for our party drinks (small bottles of 7up with the wrapper peeled off and creeper faces drawn on with sharpie).  He is wearing the party favor that we made to give to each of the guests.... a creeper t-shirt!  I bought green shirts at Hobby Lobby for less than $3 each, cut out black squares from iron on fabric, and Little Man and I ironed away.  They turned out great and all the guests loved them.

Daughter H helped hang "spiders" in all the corners of our main floor rooms.

A portal to the nether world.  During the party the nether world was off limits ;) but everyone recognized the portal and thought it was pretty cool!

 The party was planned for the middle of the afternoon, so no meal would need to be served (intentional!), but we did have lots and lots of minecraft themed snack food.  Cheese cubes to represent "lava", and "mushrooms" made out of large marshmallows, chocolate frosting, and white chocolate chips pushed in upside down to make the dots on top.

Pretzel "sticks."
Gummy fish, and two different kinds of TNT:  twizzlers made for more realistic looking TNT, but we also had red gumballs just because they were so fun!

We used mints to represent "jewels" (which you can mine for in the game).

And everyone's favorite.....rice krispie treats colored black to look like coal.  Warning:  the black food coloring is very noticeable on teeth for quite a while afterward. ;)
Square plates of course!

One of our games was shooting TNT with nerf guns.  The guests got a point for each balloon they could hit.  And the TV was on because we had minecraft parodies playing through our TV speakers all afternoon.  There are some really funny ones!  (notice the "ghast" hanging from the ceiling fan ~ in minecraft a ghast is a white ghost-like creature that shoots fire at you when you are in the nether.  In other words, it's a bad guy).

Another game we played was "mining" for jewels in our basement.  We scattered marbles all around our darkened schoolroom and sent the guests down two by two with glow flashlights.

Our go-to pinata spot is out in our backyard, and since there was snow on the ground and it was too cold to be out, we did a candy roll instead of a pinata.  We rolled up a huge ball of saran wrap with candy wrapped throughout it, and the guests had a turn to unroll and could keep all the candy that fell out during their turn.  The person next to them had to roll a 3 or a 6 with a die, and that brought the first person's turn to an end.

It was great fun!

It was exhausting, but totally worth it.  Little Man declared it his BEST.  PARTY.  EVER!  After the party, this is what I very happily rewarded myself with....

Friday, January 24, 2014

January Happenings

Working a new puzzle....with cousins!

Just some of the copious amount of bracelets made with our new rainbow loom.

Just after midnight on New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year!!

Dinner with dear friends.

Putting together daughter H's new desk!

Making ice cream.  The brown color is rock salt used in the making, but not part of the actual ice cream.  Ice cream was in an inner bag under all that rock salt, and it was DE.LISH!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas ~ 2013

 We celebrated Christmas as a family on the evening of Christmas Eve, and we began our celebration with a wonderful candle lit service at church.  Love!
We ate Chinese food for dinner (tradition ~ mom does no cooking!) and then read the entire story of Jesus from the Bible, from prophecies of his coming in the Old Testament, to the fulfillment of those prophecies in the New Testament.  Each of the children and my husband took turns reading.  We always read from my Grandpa's Bible on Christmas Eve, and it is so wonderful and poignant to see his writing all over this Bible.  How he loved God's Word!

Little Man needed help with a few words, but otherwise did great!  He is named after my Grandpa who previously owned this Bible, and I pray that Little Man will always love it as his namesake did.

Little Man had a very limited budget for his Christmas shopping, so he got one present for the whole family.  I love this picture of his face ~ he had high anticipation as everyone opened it together.... a new game of SkipBo!  (it has been played many times since that night!)

New legos!  Hobbit inspired. :)
I am absolutely and utterly in love with this lego Hobbit hole set!  The details and accessories on the inside of this little house are so.... cute.... I have been seen playing with it myself.  I told my boys that I want a Hobbit hole in our backyard, and I am only half joking. ;)

New camera!

Peacock picture that daughter G painted for daughter H's new bedroom.

New canvases and other art supplies!

Daughter H was super excited to receive a new wireless speaker for her room that syncs with her phone.

Hero factory.

New scarves and clothing gift cards.

Daughter G gave son G this monkey hat, and daughter H gave him the new Lions shirt.  Happy boy!

New guitar case for son G, and new bass guitar for son L!

On Christmas morning we had our traditional opening-of-the-stockings-on-mom-and-dad's-bed, and then...

...brunch at Grandma's house where she gave each of the grandchildren a new ornament to add to their personal collections.

My hubby gave me a new paper white Kindle which I love!  Great features, a definite upgrade to my first Kindle which broke over a year ago.  I have pretty much been reading non stop since Christmas!

It was a wonderful couple days of celebrating Jesus' love for us, and our love for one another!