She’s Five

My darling turned five today (3.8) and this post is for her, not for me, although I so desperately want to write the post that is for me- the one that reflects on the reality of leaving the preschool years behind (for now… what hopeful words those are….for now) and the heart full and mind overwhelming stage I find myself in. How is it that you can look back on your own self with such nostalgia? But I do.

But for her… this day…


was full of three, small chirping girlies….

-and there was one who struggled a bit to find happiness in her sister’s special day. After a personal struggle, she managed to turn it around- I am grateful to say- and it is noteworthy- because said girl recognized it, reflected on it, and remarked on her turn-around later (during the cookie party).  She chose what was good. I am so glad.


It was full of a slow, unfolding delight.


Special Breakfast: Cinnamon Roll Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, Berries


Birthday song and Pictures


Her choice of hymn: Go Tell It On The Mountain

A stab at a birthday poem: we settled for Now We Are Six.

It wasn’t quite …but we made do.

A blessing.


A birthday gift (or two)


Long hours at play


The start of a new chapter book at rest time- and what SOLID delight to begin Misty of Chincoteague!


A whirlwind spin outside in the cold (for them, not me)


Everyone- all of us (minus Todd) home all. day.  All day.  I don’t think I fully realized this until now, and I certainly didn’t make the most of this. But, now, in this moment- I realize.


A drive out to Boy Scouts and four I love playing “I Spy” all the way home…


Her dinner: Hot dogs and rolls, chips, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, special sauce, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Lemonade.


A bubble bath (with jets that somehow ramped the experience up to the best day of the whole year! and rocketed me into best Mommy position!)


Tiny painted toes


A Cookie Celebration Party and Lemonade in blue polka dot tea cups


The Promise of a Family Party on Sunday with Gifts, and Cake, and Pizza, and Popcorn.




She’s Five.




Endless Gifts-January into February

Scouts ranking up: Tenderfoot; Life… on, on.

a sleep-in day

ballet class carpool and it is blessed relief

ACT test prep take two (son #2)… smarter than he thinks he is and O! such a wonderful son

my foot healing ( sort of- trying to avoid doctor visit)

his insistence that I read the book I gave him so we can discuss it

66books and Sundays…find me here

A dozen red roses and my face pressed against their velvet

All of us on center court- to celebrate with him! Senior Night.

All the birthday pictures adorned with teapots and tea cups, rainbows, and flowers and their beautiful love

A birthday brunch with my birthday brother, Mom, and Dad


Plum Paper and a new year ahead of me… perhaps my birthday will be my official new year….

Berry Crisp and Scrambled Eggs. One of my favorites to prepare for my darlings.

A gift of venison. So grateful and So good.

Silver Keys and God’s grace

School planning for 2018




Our twins are six! There was a request for a snowflake cake. There was a request for a rainbow cake. There was a request for a “…rectangle cake, Mommy. Not a small cake. A rectangle cake for each of us.” Grin. We had fun decorating these beauties. I found rainbow decorations at Target. Perfection.

Twins Dinner
Hot dogs (pigs in a blanket), carrots, special sauce, chicken nuggets, french fries
“Snowflake Cake”
Chocolate cake with white snowflake icing
“Rainbow Cake”
Chocolate cake with strawberry icing and rainbows and strawberries

James 1:17 NASB

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [a]shifting shadow.



Nathanael turned 16 on July 3rd, while at Scout Camp. We celebrated together the weekend afterward.  This is the second year in a row for a birthday at camp for him.

We have honored this milestone birthday with some special plans and gifts suited just for him. 🙂

Birthday Dinner:

Roast, Potato Wedges, Corn on the Cob, Watermelon, Iced Tea, Sprite

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing; Vanilla So- Delicious


Nathanael is delightful and an incredible blessing and help.

1 Timothy 4: 12 NASB

12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example [a]of those who believe.

Note: As an aside- I had a major issue with my cell phone during this time and am adjusting to the different camera on the new one. My summer photos reflect this.


Chicken Enchilada Upgrade

Happiest birthday to my love, this day.

Celebrating in our style- with feasting and pictures, cards, some gifts, and cake!

And his menu is as follows:

Chicken Enchiladas

Spanish Rice

Italian Salad

Banana Cake with Strawberry Frosting

I am reposting our Chicken Enchilada recipe. Originally posted in 2010, we were not yet utilizing daiya cheese alternative which has transformed so many dishes for us! Now we use it weekly (on our pizza) and it is an integral component of this dish.

I took our recipe to the next level today with the serendipitous addition of canned coconut milk instead of rice or soy milk.  This coupled with daiya cheddar promises to be creamy, delicious… divine!

Note: today I forgot entirely about salsa and did not add any at all to this meal. Salsa and chips also makes for a very pleasing side to this meal alongside a luxuriant green leafy salad.

Dairy Free Indulgent Chicken Enchiladas

1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
Olive oil to saute garlic and chopped onion
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (at least)
3 teaspoons cumin
2 cans green chilis
1 container Better Than Sour Cream (divided ¾ to ¼)
1 can full fat coconut milk

2 Cups Cheddar Daiya -divided
Large Tortillas
Salsa (optional)
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and almost clear, but not browned.
Add chicken, ¾ container sour cream,green chilis, cumin seasoning, coconut milk, 1 cup daiya cheddar and mix.
Fill Tortillas with chicken filling and layer in casserole dish. (this makes two 9 by 13 dishes for me)  Spread remaining sour cream over the top of tortillas.  Add (garnish with) salsa as desired. Top with  the remaining daiya cheddar.
Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes (depending on how crunchy you desire the meal to be.) You can also bake this at 350 for a bit longer, if you desire.






Our darling, our Maryland baby- Four on 3/8

We managed (somehow) to celebrate between crisis illnesses.

She insisted on a Vanilla Cake with Strawberry icing and strawberries on top.

She joyfully helped frost her cake and decorate it with the sliced strawberries. We did it together. Cakes tend to be a joint affair around here. Abi made the cake. Micah made the icing. Norah and I spread and decorated. It was delicious.

Happiest birthday sweet one!


Happy, happy birthday! We are all still basking in the glow of such a wonderful birthday party over the weekend. We celebrated, just us,  (yesterday by the time this posts) today with breakfast, signs, and special dinner. Three things I love about Asher: I love his sense of humor, his ability and talent with computers even to understanding how they build together also he is the much appreciated tech support for me and siblings, often!, finally, I love his determination. I love you, Buddy!

Asher is fourteen! Fourteen things about Asher with one to grow!

1.Favorite Scripture: Psalm 119:

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.

2. Favorite Color: Dark Green

3.Favorite Hymn: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

4.Favorite Place he’s been: Ama’s house  🙂

5.Favorite book(s): Light of the Last by Chuck Black, Inheritance (Eragon series)

6.)Favorite food: fruit salad

7.)Favorite dessert: Chocolate chocolate chocolate cake (his exact words)

8.)Favorite song: “Feel It” by Toby Mac

9.) Favorite album: This Is Not A Test

10.) Favorite poem: The Duke of Plaza-Toro

11.)Favorite subject: Sonlight reading in History and Literature (this surprised me and made me glad, glad, glad) followed closely by Math

12.)Favorite time of day: Morning

13.)Favorite movie: Captain America- Winter Soldier

14.)Favorite extra-curricular activity: Soccer!

15.)Favorite season of the year: this was a hard choice- finally, summer

A birthday verse for you, Asher, and one I scrawled quickly on one of your posters:

Psalm 119: 9-12

How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
    let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord;
    teach me your statutes!

Sweet Birthday Celebration Fulfilled

Note: I always try to be careful of other peoples’ privacy with online photos. This is why there are not photos posted here of all the people gathered. I have permission to post my nephew in this space. Glad, glad, glad!

On Saturday, we were able to gather as a family and celebrate with a party that was a year ‘in the wait’ and it was just like our Lord to have it overflowing in goodness above and beyond what we could ask and imagine. Not only was everyone able to make it(except for my brother Ryan, who was hunting, yet even he made a facetime appearance! 🙂 ), but the special gift chosen for Asher from my parents arrived that very day (unexpectedly!)and he was able to have the two most awesome computer people in our family if I do say so myself(aka Grandad and Uncle Colin) on site to help with install and set-up.

Last year, Asher turned 13. He turns 14 tomorrow! We began a tradition of hosting an extended family birthday party for the thirteen year old, complete with fun caution tape and signs created by my sister when our oldest turned 13. 2015 was Asher’s debut into the teen years. We had to cancel the party. He chose to reschedule it for the next year because it was so important to him that family be able to make it and there was so much illness and scheduling conflicts we couldn’t make it happen.  It was a disappointing time.  Asher was determined, though, and convinced. He didn’t want to have it if we couldn’t make it successfully happen. He looked to the future with trust and determination. And so, several months ago, we set the date and sent the email invites and planned for the best.

Well, Saturday, that reschedule hope and dream came true. Every one of his 16 cousins was there. And… he got to celebrate with Jacob, beloved kid brother cousin, who turned 13 in August and had to wait for his caution tape, too. So, they were both wrapped. The older boys’ bedroom door is once again bedecked in caution tape. I had removed it last year in preparation for this momentous occasion and it has waited one long year to once again exhibit its yellow and black glory.

So, we had a glorious double 13 party full of all our favorite people.  And it was the chocolatiest chocolaty of teen parties, too. Asher requested Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Chips. Jacob requested Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. I pour a chocolate ganache on top of this, also. I loved their chocolate, chocolate choices: o! so delicious! The cake was lit with 28 candles and they blew them out together in one perfect, fell swoop.

I think every one of us enjoyed some special time with various members. It was a blessing for me to watch my littles interact and play with all their other little cousins. There are eight, soon to be nine little cousins age 6 and under. We so so appreciate all our family who traveled in to celebrate and many traveled back the same night and some came right after traveling back from holiday visiting with other family.

We celebrated with big crock pots of Chili over Rice. There was soda of all sorts including Root Beer especially for Jacob. Grateful for the veggie platter supplied by my Mom. There were chips and crackers of all sorts, too. Decor, paper products, and Fritos from my sister.

And cake. And chocolate.

And the heart-swelling gladness of my son’s happy face and this dream of a party coming true beyond what he could have asked or imagined.

Thank You, Lord. Thank you, everyone. 

Twins Turn 5

My darlings turned 5 in July and my heart is so full, it overflows my eyes and trickles down my cheeks.Even now, when I try to write their birthday blog post!

I have so many memories and every year, when their birthday rolls around, I can’t help but remember the many weeks of pain and discomfort as they grew inside and we waited and waited. Making enchiladas for Todd’s birthday this year brought back so many memories as that was the meal we had the year they were due.

They had a chicken nugget dinner and they each chose their cake. They love the song Jesus Loves Me and Aymee will often break into the song, “Come Thou Fount” which is so interesting to me because that was the hymn I used to sing to all my babies as I rocked and rocked them.

A friend once said about their much longed for daughter: A dream is a wish your heart makes and you are my dream come true. This is exactly how I feel about my darlings. I remember the day I was driving down a windy road in North Carolina wondering/thinking that maybe my heart desire to have a daughter, a sister for my Abi and a little girl to name after my own beloved sister was just a wish of my own and not the will of God. The special key here is how much of a gift in life and in God my sister is to me.

And how astonished the day, I learned there were two, and then the day I learned they were girls! I remember standing outside our mini-van in Asheville- calling my mom, then my sister. Sharing the astonishing, amazing, wonderful news!

How grateful, beyond grateful I am to have them, to have gone through twin pregnancy safely, to have birthed them safely (first and only c-section), to have been able to nurse them successfully. And now, to begin kindergarten with them!

They are a dream of my heart come true and true to Himself, more than I could ever ask or imagine. Too full for words. So- photos!



Happy Birthday my darlings!

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.