What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chocolate Banana Bread/Muffins

My niece and I made this last year and apparently, it has stuck with her so much so that she asked for the recipe so that it could be her BIRTHDAY CAKE for this year! I figured I might as well post it here for EVERYONE to enjoy so...This is for you, Samantha! Have a happy birthday Miss Teeny Bopper!

1/2 c. butter or marg. (softened)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
3 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
3 t. baking soda
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. chocolate chips (plus additional if desired)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture just until combined. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups half full or spread in a greased and floured 13x9 in. pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 mins for muffins and 25-30 mins. for pan-OR until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

I also like to melt chocolate chips and a bit of shortening together-then put in a plastic bag. Cut a tip off of one of the corners and drizzle with chocolate.

Delicious!

Happy Happy Happy


When I was a child, I just LOVED Halloween.I admit it! Haunted Houses and dressing up trilled me!. Candy and spooks made my day! There was just something about all that suspense and thrill of not knowing what spooky thing might pop out at you.

Now that I am a parent, ghosts and ghouls are the farthest thing from my mind. Of course, when I was a kid-the 'scary stuff' was MUCH less scary. Ghosts made from sheets or masks of Hobo's or painting your face with white bones. Really-how scary is that?!?! Now, to peruse the costume aisle at a local store would bring shrieks of terror out of my children. And ME.

Another change of Halloween is that now, more and more teenagers and adults are going trick or treating. That is a BIG pet peeve of mine. Trick or treating USED to be for LITTLE kids who would be content with one piece of candy. Now-kids carry pillowcases! Such greed!

So-I am NOT into the whole Halloween-trick or treating scene. BUT...I STILL love to dress up! In NICE costumes-evil things not allowed. So, I usually have the kids dress up and we do SOMETHING fun. Most often it has been meeting with my sister and my niece and nephews and going bowling or visiting a discovery center (in costume of course).

Now, though, we have moved away from all that fun so I thought we would just stay at home tonight. Maybe watch a movie and eat something with the theme of Halloween. But it turns out, I might be going with the Pastor's wife and her children to a children's Halloween festival. That sounds just up our alley. And of course, Corynn can be seen in PUBLIC in her princess dress. Just another perk. Whatever happens, the children and I are wearing orange and we will use this day as an extra-special reason to eat candy and have fun.

Anyway-Christians have all sorts of opinions on Halloween-representing both ends of the spectrum and all that is in between. HOWEVER you feel, I hope you have a great day and enjoy your family! Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 30, 2006

Home again, Home again

Though I lack the jiggity jig.

In truth, it has been an exhausting week. I was here, there and every where-but that is not what exhausted me. I was tired MENTALLY and emotionally as I was in New York. Corynn needed constant attention because she decided that what other children do, she can do-even though she knows those are not our rules. She became whiney, she was not nearly as obedient as she is at home, she even began to argue with me! All things that she just DOESN’T do here. I was on her all the time, but it didn’t matter. I realize she was pushing her limits and testing but it just makes me so angry. It is like all the previous training is thrown out the window and I must start again. Why is it that BAD behaviors are so quick to be adopted and good behaviors take such work?!?! Ugh! This is retraining week-with NO exceptions. I can only HOPE it will be done in a week…

Also while we were gone, Andrew became sick. Very sick. So much so that I started having him sleep with me because I was afraid for him. He has a terrible cough that is only just starting to loosen up. Two nights ago was the WORST. We spent the night at a hotel after the anniversary party and I was literally-awake all night. At 1am Andrew awoke and was a basket case. Only when I nursed AND juggled him at the same time, was he happy. If either of those things stopped-he screamed. Eventually, at 3am I couldn’t take it anymore and even those two things didn’t comfort him. So I threw some clothes on and headed out. And from that moment until 7:30, I could be seen walking the halls barefooted or sitting in the lounge. By morning, all the staff felt so bad for me. I was a walking zombie. A random kind guest came out and gave me infant Tylenol for Andrew and within minutes he appeared to feel better. Much less lethargic and he even smiled! But-that was at 7:30-after all hope was lost for sleep.

And then of course…being away from Matt was terrible. It is amazing how obvious a gift love is in its absence. The mailman and I were in cahoots. I had arranged that a love note be ‘delivered’ each day of the week for Matt and in return for such a favor, he got some apple butter. So-while Matt was getting love notes daily, I was all by my lonesome and it didn’t take long for the sweatshirt I packed to lose his scent. Funny how women NEED romantic things but are always the ones behind them-not receiving them. Well, not REALLY funny. More like-absurd.

Lots happened while I was away and even more pictures were taken. So many, in fact, that I had to burn a cd with them to clear the camera for anniversary party pictures. And then, the cd was left at Mom and Dads. Those photos will have to come later, I suppose.

For now, here are more than a few photos from my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful time and I imagine, very touching for them. All of their children were in attendance, and each had traveled quite a distance. In fact, all of their grand children and great grandchildren were there as well excluding one granddaughter. It was amazing for me-it must have been so emotional for Oma and Opa to look about the room and see your legacy before you. To see God’s gifts before your eyes, His grace upon your family, His promises revealed, His tender loving care. Such a life they have both lived. Such a gift they have been given. It was a celebration of their love and their life but more so, a celebration of God’s love bestowed upon them.

So-there is a short update and NATURALLY a fair amount of photos. Hope everyone is well and I look forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs in the next few days. Though I did have access to wireless, I didn’t have access to much TIME! :-}

Reminisce

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Oma and Opa


Anton and Elizabeth van der Jagt Posted by Picasa

Beautiful Oma

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Corynn recites


Corynn recites her memory verse, Proverbs 4: 10 and 11 to honor Oma and Opa. Posted by Picasa

'Cantrell' kids


From left to right: my brother Benjamin, Bob and sister Elizabeth, Me and Matt, my bro Jonathan and his wife, Jessamyn-though I think of her more of a sister than an in-law. Posted by Picasa

Psalm 104


The great grandchildren practiced and practiced and then did a good job singing Psalm 104 to honor Oma and Opa. Posted by Picasa

Opa

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Sick but smiling

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The gift


For their gift, every person contributed at least one page to a scrapbook of memories. Words, pictures, newspaper articles...all married to make a beautiful memoir that they enjoyed very much. Posted by Picasa

Sexy lady


My mom and Oom Hans Posted by Picasa

tender moments

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Joyful Speech

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Reunited

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Thicker than thieves


My long lost brother and Hannah Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Exceptions

We got here and ever since it has been a flurry of activity. I am struggling to find the balance that is so needed. Being on vacation calls for some leniency of rules, but with such an extended visit, it is also important that our house rules are MAINTAINED. Now I am trying to find the compromise between bedtimes, tv time, meal time, and EVERYTHING else. Day 3 and I am wondering if I am a sinking ship.

Well, we went to Iron Kettle Farm and met some church friends there. I LOVE that place and would SERIOUSLY consider starting up my own version. I could totally see myself doing that. Of course, I could see myself doing SO much! Pictures to follow.

I am going to try to post pictures frequently so that Matt remembers what his family looks like. But despite that, I won't have LOTS of time to post. SO-bear with me!

And now, at the start of this blog, one of my conditions was that I would never communicate with Matt through this blog. Well, this is an exception...an extenuating circumstance. (BTW~I KNOW I spelled extenuating wrong...) So-here goes...

~Mattie Love Note~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am wondering how I am going to make it an entire week when it is just two days after our tearful goodbye. (Have you dried off yet?) I am excited for tomorrow though. I have a surprise in store....

I love you so much Mattie. I wish you could know how lost I am without you.

Incomplete

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Big Eyes

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I wouldn't call it luck...

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When I was snapping this picture, a couple walked by and said, "Oh-you are so lucky." I agree, but I wouldn't call it LUCK!

*

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Never Again


Gone are the backpack days, I nearly broke my back! Posted by Picasa

Libby and her little guy

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In the pumpkin patch

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