Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bay's newest aspiring profession

Here he is dabbling into photography but the other day at church he was sitting with Derrick and me listening to our youth pastor when he said, "Mom, when I get bigger, I want to speak up there. I will be serious then." This picture of Samantha is her attempt at taking a picture of US (Bay & me)! It was pretty funny! She had the camera turned around toward herself!

Healthier brownies

These are actually pretty good, especially for not having any sugar! I did have to cook them for longer than what was called for though.

1/2 cup butter ( I used Smart Balance stick butter)
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup oil (olive oil)
1 cup honey
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pecans
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
One night I added a banana and that was good!

Melt butter; add cocoa and oil. Remove from heat and add honey. Stir. Cool. Beat egg & vanilla; add to butter mixture. Add soda, baking powder, and nuts. Stir in flour and spread mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Cut in bars while warm.

Fruit salad

1 mango-chopped into cubes
1/2 pineapple- chopped into cubes
2 oranges-filleted (reserve juice)
1 grapefruit- filleted (reserve juice)
some watermelon- chopped
1 or 2 peaches- chopped
1 TBS honey
a few mint leaves (or more)- chopped
pistachios (or pecans)- chopped

Mix all together with juice reserved from oranges and grapefruit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Amber's nuggets

Recently I was inspired by one of John Piper's blogs about blogging. He said it was good to capture those "nuggets of truth" you catch in your day. I would like to "spice it up" a little and add little nuggets of truth that I am learning. Not that I am a scholar or anything!!! I do want to make this blog into a book for the kids to keep and I think it would be neat for them to read what I have learned along the way. If you want to know more about the book, I think the website is Plus, I think it would keep me more accountable with what I am learning from the Word and I love to write! So, here is one of my recent "nuggets" :

I was listening to a sermon by Pastor John Barnett (he was our pastor, whom we adore, and has gone :( to pastor a very blessed church in Michigan). He said, "But God is faithful...who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but will with the temptation at the same instant also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it...God is there all the time...He is never closer than when we are tempted. God is faithful. He doesn't remove all temptations from us. He stands right next to us to glorify Him. We need to saturate ourselves with the word, abhor consistently evil, & then look for God. At the instant of your next temptation, thank God that He is going to be so close to you right then. Why don't you tell him the next time you're tempted that you're going to whisper in your heart that you're lookin' for Him."

I did whisper that when I had my next temptation but I did not want to follow through and DO what I knew was right! This, I need to work on!

Saturate- saturate ourselves in the word- this is what I desire! To saturate myself. Too often I am caught up in the busyness of life! I know that our family is our ministry and I love to serve them but I would like to use my time wisely and not just read my Bible and check it off of my "to-do" list but to really meditate on the word, obey it, and for my heart to be filled with God's love. Then it would just pour out into my family. As I have said before, it is pointless to teach my kids to be something that I am not.

Lil' Bel

Lil' she is! The doctor is a little concerned about her weight so we are really trying to help her gain. We will go back for a weight check in a little over a week. You would not believe how much this baby eats! I taught her how to sign that she wants more and she signs away! Only it was supposed to keep her from squealing when she wants more food but she just does it simultaneously! ;) Isabella LOVES Job (our cat) and Molly (our puppy). Here she is squealing at Job on the other side of the door!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our little monkeys

These little monkeys were fun to watch! They so reminded me of Bailey and Samantha! They had SO much energy! They wrestled, chased each other, hurt each other, climbed, leaped, fell down, upset their parents...The parents layed around while they ran circles around them. At one point I saw one of the parents reach down and grab one of their ears! ;) Check out Bailey and Samantha imitating them!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


This salsa is really good! This night Derrick grilled burgers & corn & we put the salsa on the burgers and tortilla chips. I have a recipe for salsa that I have been wanting to make from G-ma Sue but things disappear from my recipe drawer only when I'm looking for them! I did end up finding the recipe for the Bell peppers, G-ma Sue! ;) My Omie (g-ma) gave me a church cookbook of hers and it had this recipe:
North Carolina Style Salsa
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup sliced green onions (I used sweet onions)
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro ( I used much
more because I love cilantro!)
2 TBS finely chopped jalapeno chilies (I used
much less!)
4 TBS lime juice (I used more)
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

At Papa Rick's

A birthday party for Bay! Aunt Kay Kay, Uncle Jaared, & Stephanie came!

Samantha and Bay unwrapping presents!

The kids have been riding the scooter Papa Rick got him all over the place! They like to ride it around in the house too! ;)

Article by Kirk Cameron

Sin -- My Honest Mistakes?
Kirk is currently in Toronto busily filming Left Behind III. Below you'll find a reprint of his article from February two years ago.
I was recently at a large church outreach event, where the music was wonderful, the testimonies were powerful, and the harvest for salvation was ripe. As I listened to the invitation to come to Jesus, something didn't feel right. I had seen altar calls so many times, and heard the familiar words so frequently, a year ago I would have missed it. The call for the people to come to Jesus went something like this:
"Today is like no other. You are here tonight by a divine appointment. Some of you here tonight are looking for peace inside. Some of you are looking for a way out of your drug and alcohol addictions. Some of you are silently suffering in a failing marriage. And some of you feel an emptiness inside your soul, and just need to know for sure that you are loved. My friend ... you are. I love you, and God loves you, and He has a wonderful plan for your life. He didn't create you to be in pain and suffering, but to know Him and be filled with peace, love, joy, happiness, and lasting fulfillment. He simply wants a personal relationship with you because He knows that what you need to be truly happy. But something keeps you from having this relationship with God, and it is called 'sin'. Let's face it, we've all made honest mistakes. You're not perfect, I'm not perfect, nobody's perfect. But God doesn't expect you to be perfect, that's why He sent His Perfect Son--so that you could have that relationship with Him again. If you will just admit your honest mistakes to God and say 'yes' to Jesus as your Savior, He will come into your heart and you will become a child of God. You will never be alone again, because you'll have Jesus, the ultimate friend riding 'shot-gun', guiding you through life. That is eternal life--the abundant life Jesus came to give you. Would you like to have that life, that peace, that joy, that friend? If you want to know Jesus and find what you've been looking for, then invite Jesus into your heart. He's been waiting for you. He's been waiting for this very moment. Come now and simply accept Him."
Now you may be thinking, "What's wrong with that?" What's wrong is that it's not the gospel; it's a recipe for disaster. Sin is not an honest mistake and Jesus did not die to make you happy. Sins aren't accidents and God is not a lovesick, celestial being, hoping for some nice person to ask Him into their heart so He can make them happy--as though He has a man shaped hole in His heart that only we can fill.
The first problem with the false modern gospel is a watered-down definition of "sin." Sin is not an "honest mistake"; it is an honest choice from a sinful heart to do what you know is wrong. Would a good judge describe the crimes of a vicious murderer as "honest mistakes"? While it sounds ridiculous to call murder and rape "honest mistakes," God sees hatred to be as wicked as murder (1 John 3:15), and lust as deceitful as adultery (Matt 5:28). In God's world, those who lie are liars. If we have stolen, we are thieves. If we have broken God's Law in any way (in word, thought, or deed) we are Lawbreakers. God defines sin in His Word: "Sin is transgression of the Law" (1 John 3:4). We are on the hook for our sins, and God doesn't view us as innocent misguided victims of our "honest mistakes". In God's holy eyes, our hearts are "desperately wicked and deceitful" (Jer. 17:9) and are "by nature, children of wrath."
Ignorance of God's Law is no excuse, because He has written it upon our hearts. (Romans 2:15) We have a conscience. We know right from wrong. When we lie, it isn't an honest mistake. Stealing and lusting, hating and blaspheming, idolizing, coveting, and dishonoring our parents are not honest mistakes either. The Bible says that we have actually angered God by violating His Law, and made ourselves "enemies of God," and therefore, are "by nature, children of wrath," "storing up wrath for ourselves that will be revealed on the Day of Wrath."
We are not doing sinners any favors when we minimize the seriousness of their sin. George Whitefield, a famous preacher once said, "First, then, before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail, your actual transgressions against the Law of God." It is only when a person sees his sin as wicked and understands the seriousness of offending his Creator, that he can find a place of true repentance and surrender to the Savior.
Within the last 100 years, a new gospel has crept into our churches. It has been designed to not offend you. It has been carefully crafted not to be too "in your face." It gently suggests that you open your heart to Jesus if your current lifestyle isn't working for you, and try God "when the time is right for you." This "seeker centered" and "no offense" approach is no gospel at all; it is "another gospel". If we continue to define sin as "honest mistakes", we will continue to fill our churches with "backsliders" and false converts who fail to repent because they don't see the seriousness of their sin. We will give them a cruel false hope, and make them comfortable aboard the "Jesus loves you" pleasure cruiser, singing songs to the Captain, while they blindly speed toward the iceberg of Eternal Justice.
The Captain has already lowered the life boats of salvation, but they are mostly empty. God help us to stop the music, and sound the air-horns. We must tell the passengers about the iceberg and direct them to the emergency exits of repentance. Time is slipping away, and those who die in their sins will perish. If we are faithful servants to the Captain of our Salvation, we will obey his Commands and preach the pure gospel, the only gospel that can save souls.

Friday, August 1, 2008

At home

Here they are having fun in the sprinkler Makenna got for him. Isabella had fun playing with all his toys underneath the table!

One of the things the cousins got Bailey is that little red flower water sprinkler in Samantha's hand. We have had more fun with that sprinkler! It is very powerful! We put it under the trampoline & jump! Which speaking of, soon, I'm going to put pictures of their reaction when they first saw the trampoline Barb & Mitch got him.

Incredible Pizza

The kids bowled many games but just took turns one after another without keeping score. It was easier that way! Bay was thrilled that it turned out to be a "Cars" themed party but, again, he was very excited about the packages of gum Papa Bert had put in a backpack they got him!

Bay's day

Before Bay's party we went to Lili's and had pizza and ice cream cones and the kids played in the water with the cousins and some neighbor friends.

Bay's birthday breakfast

Samantha and I sang to him that morning and they had the donuts they had picked out the day before.

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

Derrick and I have been enjoying our study of this book! I will try to periodically share some favorite highlights of mine.

On vanities of the world:
Kempis asked what good it would do to know how to give a learned discourse of the Trinity if you were without humility and thus, displeasing to the Trinity. "Esoteric words neither make us holy nor righteous; only a virtuous life makes us beloved of God. I would rather experience repentance in my soul than know how to define it."
"It is vanity to wish for a long life and to care little about leading a good life."
"It is vanity to give thought only to this present life and not to think of the one that is to come."

Mom's Banana Split recipe

This is really good and everyone loves it! Speaking of which, when are you going to make some again, mom?

Banana Split Cake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 stick margarine

Mix and press into 9 X 13 pan.

2 eggs
2 sticks margarine
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat at least 15 minutes and spread over crumb mixture. Slice 4 bananas over second layer. Spread 1 #2 can of crushed pineapple( well drained) over banana layer. Cover with large carton of Cool Whip. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup chopped nuts and 1/2 cup chopped cherries. Chill. (Better second day)

She said, "That is the original recipe - I added strawberries and chocolate syrup to middle and top and I use whole cherries. Enjoy!"