Wednesday, November 30, 2011

well after a nice relaxing 4 day weekend we are back to our regularly scheduled show. it is nice to have a break like that to recharge. our extra curricular activites started again this week too. and its that time of year that we are preparing for many recitals. always praying they do not overlap! so these next couple of weeks are so important for the children. everything they have been working on up to this point will come to fruition. those moments make me cry everytime!!! i think i get more nervous than they do. afterall i work hard taking them to all of the practices and rehearsals right?? and i love it when they get to perform for daddy. hes at work usually when we are at lessons so its all a surprise to him. having the grandparents and godparents and aunts and uncles come is so nice as well. my children have been performing since they were very little. im not even sure they get nervous anymore.

reason #3 why i love skills!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


i know they say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. i do think there is a bit of truth to this statement. but i think the part that gets to his heart is the time and thought that is put into a good meal. i love blessing people through food. i love the excitement on my childrens faces when i come up with some new creation in the kitchen. a love it even more when my husband is wow'ed by a new creation i come up with in the kitchen. we show our husbands that we think of them all day when we spend the day making something they will love. it shows our husbands we care about their health when we ty to come up with healthy alternatives to some of their favorite foods. and it shows we respect his hard work when we try to make things on a budget or discover more things we can make from scratch. i see this extending to my girls as well. they get excited to make things for the family and other people. they put alot of work and thought into food they are preparing. and when they aim to please their daddy, they will aim to please their future husbands. lets not save the blessings for their birthdays. lets wow them everyday! and sometimes this can be as simple as having a soda in the fridge for them when they get home from work :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

phillipians 4:8

"finally bretheran whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things." phil 4:8. i know i have blogged many things about this verse before but today something new comes to my mind. when we stay home all day with our little ones what are we filling our minds with? do we have soap operas on in the background or worldly music? and if we homeschool we are filling our childrens minds with the same things we are watching and listening to. i encourage you to make your home an atmosphere of peace and learning and dwelling on Gods word. put an audio bible on in the background or an audio book or commentary. one of the things i love to do is listening to sermons and teachings while im cleaning and going about my daily routine. i have been really blessed by voddie baucham, paul washer and kent hovind sermons and seminars. audio theater is fun too. my daughter has quite the collection of adventures in odyssey. they love having those on while they sew or read in their room. sometimes it is just not easy for us to sit and read a good book. but we can listen to one! and i find as i learn i desire to learn even more and through that we can draw closer to God.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

family news

this week has been an eventful week for our family. we celebrated a birthday this week. daddy had a birthday on wednesday, the day before thanksgiving. we were able to sneak a small date in. we also celebrated thanksgiving. the best part about holidays is having hubby home. this week we have him home for 4 wonderful relaxing days. thanksgiving day was spent with the extended family. a nice big dinner and visiting. the day after thanksgiving we spent at home having our own thanksgiving. we had my best friends family over and we feasted!!! hubby spent the day cooking a yummy turkey. i am not a big turkey fan but his is always the best. moist and flavorful. we revamped some leftovers from the day before, pasta salad, potatoe salad. we added some homemade bread, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and stuffing to the menu. it was a great evening. now the fun part is coming up with lots of ideas for turkey leftovers. maybe that will make a good blog!! we only have 2 days left of having daddy home. we are always a little sad when he has to go back to work...ok alot sad. but we are thankful for the time. im very proud of my children over the weekend. my 2 oldest had a neighbor pay them to help her put up decorations around her house. and this of course sparked a little entrepreneur in them. jr. (10) would like to start a lawn mowing business in our neighborhood. savanah (12) and jonah (7) would like to partner and offer a leaf raking service. they made flyers and passed them out today. its never too early to teach them the value of hard work. the best part is their heart attitudes. they all have said they want to be able to donate some of their earnings to help with the adoption. oh, and lets not forget josie (3). she has filled her piggy bank and is ready for a small lesson in money. we counted her money yesterday and i showed her the 3 envelopes we use to split it up. she was very interested. and now shes very excited to get to spend her spending envelope! and i must admit im excited to take her :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

stuffed squash

my mom gave me 3 squash a couple of weeks ago. i was at a loss of what to do with them. so i asked my cousin and she told me to stuff them!! i love getting brave in the kitchen and trying new things. so the first thing i did was cut the squash in half. i needed hubbys muscles for that one. then i baked the squash for about 40 minutes until tender. this made it easier to scoop some meat out. while the girls and i were doing this my 7 year old was sauteeing onions and browning the ground turkey meat. and the rice was cooking. after all of the fillings were cooked i mixed together the turkey and onion mixture with the rice. then stuffed each of the squash with this mixture, topped with shredded cheese and put them back in the oven to bake for about 10 minutes. the flavor of the taco seasoned meat with the sweet meat of the squash was so good!!!! i sliced up the squash and the family enjoyed scooping out the yumminess!!! i had a few sceptics at first but they changed their minds very quick :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


this has been a fun week of homeschooling. it was so nice not to have any activities to drive to. we have been home all day getting alot of schoolwork and baking done. definately a home economics kind of week. there has been a very peaceful atmosphere here this week. we have been doing alot of studying this week about pilgrims. the children have really enjoyed the pilgrim stories we have been reading out loud. today is a day off...technically. but we are going to do some school. its nice when we are home to get ahead a little so when we have those busy days full of doctors and dentst appointments we can relax a little. another fun book i have added to our group reading is a character first book. right now we are reading about responsibility. i think these lessons are more important than some of the required lessons we have. we are looking foward to having the next 4 days off though!!
reason #2 why i love homeschooling....flexability!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

hubbys birthday

tomorrow is hubbys birthday. we should encourage our hubbys everyday of the week but its nice to have a whole day to focus on making him feel special. why?? because he is!!! my husband is a selfless man. he is always thinking about me and the children. he delights in making me happy. so the least i can do is make tomorrow all about him. im looking foward to showering him with love, even if he will be at work most of the is always fun seeing what the children come up with to bless their daddy. they enjoy making things and planning little surprises for him. and this should be ecouraged. it teaches them to honor their father and to focus on someone besides themselves. im looking foward to tomorrow and all the excitement that comes with birthdays in our house! happy birthday babe, you are finally old like me :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

deuteronomy 6:6-9 " and these words which i command you today shall be in your heart. you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house when you walk by the way when you lie down ad when you rise up. you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes . you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

as a new believer this verse impacted me so much. it was one of the first verses i memorized as a young mom. it also impacted my decision to homeschool. one of the things i love about Gods word is that He didnt leave anything out. this verse covers every part of the day. we are to be diligent, proactive and constantly pouring Gods word into our children. God obviously values children so much. i even love to post scripture verses on the walls around the house. maybe verses they are trying to memorize or verses that relate to a life issue someone in the house is going through. yesterday as we were studying through phillipians 4, and we came to verse 6 and then 7 i was reminded of my daughter. she is worrier. she worries about all the details to the point of tears. i mentioned this to my cousin and she gave me a good idea to give this verse to my daughter and pray it with her. have her pray it when shes feeling worried...even do what deuteronomy 6 says and make a poster for her or a bookmark. this is something we can do with all of our children. whatever they are going through in life, whether it be a correcting verse or an encouraging verse, we can pray it over them, give it to them to pray and make signs for them to put up. and of course their verses can change as they go through different things. this is just another way we can pour Gods word into our children and teach them diligently!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

family news

there is always so much going on in our house. i thought it would be fun to set a day aside each week to catch up with all the eventful things that go on. some big news over here, roger jr. and emily took a cpr training class and are now certified in infant, child, and adult cpr and aed. proud mom...yes i am! and we had a birthday in the van clan house. zacchaeus turned 6 on november 15th. he is the oldest of the "irish triplets". for a month the twins and zaccy are all 5. which is always a fun conversation starter. it must be so fun to be a child. i think he has been celebrating his birthday for a week now. first he had his birthday dinner at grandma and grandpas house. he picked buscuits and gravy for his dinner. thank you to my mom for having salad fixings as well. im not a fan of buscuits and gravy. one of his birthday presents was a toys r us gift card so a couple of days later grandma and uncle matthew came and took him to lunch and shopping. i like to let the children pic the menu on the day of their birthday. so for breakfast he picked homemade donuts. for dinner he wanted tater tot casserole and brownies for dessert. the day after his birthday we had joy club and i made the "acorns". those were a hit! now on to today...his movie!!! today we are taking him to see "puss and boots". at first it doesnt sound very interesting. at least not to me. but the reviews on plugged in were pretty decent. like i said before...must be great to be a child! i think my children even enjoy going to the doctor for their birthday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

gold party

today is adoption journey update. yesterday we had a gold party fundraiser. it went very well. the gold party is a really good way to make quick cash. and people are supporting you but going home with money. its a win-win. i had a few guests and also some items to sell. as a host i make 10 percent commision off of what the gold party purchases. and i had 1 party booked. so as co host i make 5 percent off of that party. so its the fundraiser that keeps on giving!! im very excited to see where it goes. and im convinced i will have another party in the near future. we are very close to having our home study fully funded and in the savings account. i cant wait to turn the applications in and get the ball rolling. and im right on the schedule i wrote down in my journal. God is so good :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

fun fall acorns

a friend of mine posted a link on facebook awhile back and i just had to make these. no real recipe involved. just a few simple steps. they may have been simple, but they were a huge hit! i made them for my sons birthday and we took them to church to share. they are called acorns.

step 1: melt a bowl full of melting chocolates.

step 2: take a hershey kiss and dip it in the melted chocolate.

step 3: press a mini nutter butter to the top of the hershey kiss.

step 4: take a chocolate chip and dip it in the chocolate. press it to the top of the nutter butter.

step 5: i placed them on a cookie sheet to harden and kept them in the fridge until it was time to take them to church.

step 5: the best and enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

homeschool wednesday

i find it kind of ironic that wednesdays are homeschool write up day. wednesdays we do anything but "homeschool". we could change the name to "car school". monday we had another ethnic night for dinner. savanah just got done studying ancient greece. so we had a yummy, simple dinner of cheese, bread, olive oil, fish, apples and honey. boy, are the ancient foods so much alike. which is fine with me. im enjoying the simplicity of it. we have also been having alot of fun reading stories about the pilgrims. i enjoy reading out loud to the children. and i enjoy being able to teach them this all at once. and the little guys can even get in on the learning. i am blessed to have been passed so many fun books. and so many christian books. this saturday is our first jr high science olympiad meeting. im really excited to see whats in store for this year. it seems like our team has grown a bit from last year. jr and emily have some homeschooling news. they both completed their cpr classes and are now certified! this is an accomplishment we are all very proud of. and its that time of year again....recitals! the children are all practicing hard for upcoming recitals in piano, guitar, ballet and choir. this is one of my favorite times of year. as nervous as i am that someones recital will overlap with someone elses i get so excited to see them display what they have been working so hard on up to this point. i also love seeing the family come together to cheer them on.
reason #1 why i love homeschooling....having time for a well rounded education!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

praying for our husbands

today i would like to stay on the same topic as yesterday but concerning our husbands. just like we should be praying for our children, we should also be lifting up our husbands. i tend to always pray for my husbands safety because he commutes to work. he also leaves very early in the morning. but we should also be praying for them spiritually.

1. if your husband is not a believer pray first of all for their salvation!

2. pray for their spiritual growth and walk with God

3. our husbands have a huge responsibility before the Lord as the spiritual leader of the home, the spiritual leader of the children and as the wifes covering. pray for their strength in these ares. if they dont have a walk with God they cant be performing strongly in these areas.

4. lift them up as the providers of the home. pray for a hard working spirit and good health so they can bear this responsibility.

5. pray for protection from the world. from the influences of the world. to remain pure in thoughts and actions.

6. as they are out in the workforce all day, we should pray that they work for God and not man. having a good reputation at work and letting His light shine before men.
7. pray that they are good example for their boys as they are growing and watching how dad does things. and also a good example for his girls as they too are watching and will someday look for a husband like their dad.

i count it my priveledge to get to go before God on my husbands behalf. what an eternal way to show how much we love, respect and are grateful for what they do for their families!

Monday, November 14, 2011

blogging schedule

i have not blogged in a couple of weeks. i guess i had a blank. so i decided to make a bogging schedule. this way i already have an outline of what i am going to write about each day. so this is how it goes:
monday: encouragement for moms
tuesdays: encouraging our husbands
wednesdays: homeschooling encouragement
thursdays: recipes
fridays: adoption updates
saturdays: family updates
so since today is monday i wanted to write about encouraging moms. and today i want to encourage moms and dads to pray for their children. this is something i need to work on in my own prayer life as well. some things i want to focus on when i pray for my children are :
1. most of all their salvation
2. if they have already made a proclomation of faith then pray for their walk with God. it must be so hard at their age to tune out the world and focus on their walk with God.
3. i like to pray for my childrens friends. for my children to choose wisely who they spend time with and also for their friends walk with God.
4. even if your children are not interested in the opposite sex yet i think its so important to start very early praying for their future spouse. pray they will choose a godly husband or wife. to not show interest in and unbelieving partner. pray for their spouse as well. even though you do not know them. pray for their salvation and their walk with God.
5. this leads me to pray for their purities. purity in all areas of their life. their minds actions, conduct, hearts. yesterday we read phillipians 4:8 with the children yesterday. "finally bretheran whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things." then we asked the children how we could apply this to our own lives they responded with " the things we read, the things we watch on tv, the things we do on the computer, the music we listen, the conversations we have."
we should ask our children how they are doing and if there is anything they would like us to pray about for them. i think thats encouraging to them. maybe keep a journal and write their rayer requests in it. ask them about these things and update your prayer journal with praise reports!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

holiday teachings

there are so many holidays coming up this time of year. i always think about doing fun teachings with the children but the holiday will come and go and i miss it. something we started yesterday was a holiday journal. our first entry was reformation day. i read to the children out of the church history book about martin luther and we watched a video from the movie luther. then i had the chidren make a journal entry. the bigs wrote a summary of what luther did. the littles drew a picture. yesterday i started reading to them out of a book called pilgrims of plimoth. it is told from the point of view of a pilgrim. our journal project for this book is to pretend you are a pilgrim keeping a journal. after each reading the children journal about their adventure. i love teaching like this. my plans for 2012 are to celebrate the jewish holidays for the whole year. i have wanted to do this before but never got started. hopefully i will stick to it this coming year. what a fun homeschool adventure. first we will study the holiday and then celebrate it the best we can. and then of course i will blog about each one :)