Sunday, May 31, 2009

Small Town Snapshot Sunday

I found this great thing for Sundays hosted by Wendy at that is called Small Town Snapshot Sunday. We love small towns, and happen to live near many of them. Our actual town does not qualify, however, quite a few of our neighboring towns here in Southwest Michigan, do.
These pictures were taken at one of our family's favorite spots. This is outside of a small town called Berrien Springs, MI. This barn is very old, and is owned by the Stover Family. It's a great place for fresh seasonal produce, many homeade canned products, cider, and just plain good downhome service and smiles! Our children have always loved it, and there are always kittens floating around to be chased and loved.
Stovers always hosts a Relay for Life fundraiser in June, with delicious food, and prize baskets to be won...all for donation only! We take our kids every year.
Please join Wendy for more Small Town Sundays by clicking on the banner above, or the link in my first paragraph!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Favorite Family Pic of the Week!

I thought Saturdays would be a good day to post my favorite picture that I took that week, as I am always taking pictures! This one is of Janie in the new saucer that we just bought her at a garage sale. I love the bright colors, and the amazed look on her face!!

Scripture Saturdays!

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God , and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hello to everyone. I'm feeling a burden in my life to start doing more regular scripture memory. If you read what God tells us through Timothy about the scriptures, then it is obvious that knowing the scriptures is pretty important. My kids memorize scripture, but I tend to be off and on with it. I thought I might like to try something new here on my blog for Saturdays. On Saturdays I would like to share on here a verse that I have been memorizing throughout the week. I would love it if others would do the same. Obviously we could cheat and just type a verse without having to memorize it, but I am using this as a means to keep myself accountable on a weekly basis to be memorizing at least one verse. You may add several if you have memorized several. If you want to discuss the verses and what they mean to you that would be great also. Please join me in this endeavor to memorize more of God's word, and do it on a regular basis!

Since I am just starting this, I will tell you what verse I am going to memorize this week, and then next week, I will hopefully have it memorized, and be able to type it without even looking at it, and tell you why I chose it. My verse for this week will be......I John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

If you want to tell me this week what your verse will be that would be fine, and then next week we will begin just sharing the verse that we have memorized! Productive memorizing to all of you!

Life Walk!

Niles Life Walk!!!
Today we had the pleasure of doing the walk for life for our town, Niles. This was sponsored by the Pregnancy Care Center, a pro-life center that helps pregnant women when they don't know where to turn. For the walk, you get sponsors, and we walked from the park, to the abortion clinic downtown. Outside the abortion clinic, we stopped to pray for the women that come to this center, and for the employees. Approximately six babies are killed here every Tuesday, just in our little city! So we prayed together, and then walked back to the park,
The kids enjoyed it, and our church had the most walkers this year. Our family of nine certainly helped with that. Our family has a burden to see abortion come to an end in America, but most importantly, that a revival and a turning of these women to Christ would be the means by which this would happen.
I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to participate in something like this in their town to do so. Or to give to their local pro-life crisis pregnancy center. Our precious children are worth it, and so are these women who need to know Christ!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hamburger Skillet Meal-recipe

I wanted to share what I am making for supper tonight, as it is good and pretty easy, and also relatively healthy. I call it Hamburger Skillet Meal.

For my family on nine (eight who actually will eat it) I will use:
2 pounds of ground beef
one potato per person
a few carrots
a few celery stalks
1 can of canned tomatoes
1 to 2 cans of tomato sauce
2 cans of canned green beans

I start by peeling the potatoes (I despise peeling potatoes, so I will often ask my older boys to do it).
Then I will cut up the carrots and celery, and slice the potatoes, and put them all together in a bowl.
Sit the bowl to the side and cook the ground beef until brown; drain well.
Pour veggies from your bowl into your skillet with the beef.
Then add your tomatoes, tomato sauce, and canned green beans.
Stir it up well in your skillet.
Put the lid on it, and cook on medium-high heat until the veggies are tender. It usually takes about twenty minutes appx, depending on how thin the potatoes are sliced and so forth.

This makes for a yummy meal, and I love it because it is versatile. You can add or take away anything that I mentioned. I sometimes put more or less of something in depending on mood (or budget!). I sometimes will add some garlic powder too. Do what you want, and it will likely be good.
Now admittedly, this is not a favorite amongst all my kids, but they all like it well enough to make it worth it! And it is a favorite of my husbands, and that definitely makes it worth it.
I'll get pictures on here when I get them put into my computer1

Family Fun!

Family Fun Fridays

I would like to start something new on Fridays. In addition to focusing on our husbands, I want to take the time to focus on fun. Weekends are a good time to have fun together as a family. Having fun together is one of the best ways to build our relationships, and grow closer together. Let's share with each other ways in which our families like to have fun together. What does your family do to have fun and build relationships? Leave me a comment, or post in on your blog and leave me the link please.

One of the ways my family likes to have fun, is to go to a place called Fernwood. Fernwood is a nature preserve, that we have been members at since Rob and I were first married. We go there very often!! It is wonderful and educational family fun. We walk, talk, laugh and learn while we are there. Our children have learned to enjoy the world around them, and it always gives us a chance to exercise and get some fresh air. We all thoroughly enjoy our trips there. If you have place like a Fernwood nearby, I think the cost of a membership is greatly worth the experiences that it allows a family....for fun!!

Let me know what plans you have for fun in the near future...or what you have done in the past!

Loving My Husband Friday

Today is a day to focus on your husband and what you love about him. Share something that you love about your husband, or a tip to help make your marriage stronger.

"For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is not law." Galatians 5:22-23

I don't know about anyone else, but sometimes when I think about the fruit of the Spirit in my life, I think about it in respect to other people. I need to love my neighbor, be joyful around others, be peaceful, and gentle....when outside of my house. I always tell my children that our families were created for us to practice these 'fruits" on before we leave our home. As I look over this list of Godly character qualities, am I really loving my husband? Do I exhibit joy in his presence? Am I longsuffering (or not easily angered) with him? Am I gentle with him, do I seek to do him only good. Do I have faith in him, and treat him with meekness? I think that the fruits of the spirit can be used a template for a wife as to how she should treat her husband, not just those people that you pass in the grocery store, or the people at church. So, let's practice these attributes first on our husbands as he should be our first priority.

Now, to give an example of what a great husband I have. Last night Rob came home from work in the auditorium at around 10:30. He came in bearing a Wendy's frosty. He remembered that I had made a passing statement several days ago about how I haven't had a frosty in ages! It was a very welcome sentiment, and I appreciated that he had not only picked up on me saying that, but he took the time to stop after a long day of work simply because he knew that I had not had a frosty in a long time!

To hear more about Loving your Husband Friday, join the host Shannon by going to Leave a comment with me today if you have something to share about your husband or a good marriage tip!! Keep loving your husband!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


A watched pot never boils!! A watched spinach never grows!!
I shot this picture of Audrey today when she was watching the pot to boil for the macaroni and cheese, it made me think of that saying. I remembered there was a picture of Elias looking at the spinach seedlings that are failing to grow this year, and it made me think of the same thing!
Kids have such a hard time waiting for stuff, don't they? Sometimes God has to remind all of us that a watched pot never boils.......if we keep looking for something in our lives that we want to have happen, we might miss out on the blessings that he has for us right this moment. For some reason this reminded me that while I'm standing around "watching the pot", I might be missing out on something else that God might have for me to do. children bring so many lessons into my mind. What can we do to help keep us from watching the pot? I would tell my kids to find something profitable to do while they were waiting. I think this would be good advice for all of us. We go through different seasons of our lives, when we wish we could be doing something else...I know I do anyways. But, if I just slow down and ask God to use me in the season that He has me in, and keep busy with his work (no matter how mundane it may seem). I might find that once the pot is boiling, I will be more prepared to finish the work, and I will have lived with contenment for the time that I had to wait.
The pot, like our spinach plants, may never boil. We may never get to do that thing that we feel we really want to do, but if we stop "watching", and start trusting Him to take care of it, we may just forget all about it, as my children sometimes do after they find something more profitable to occupy their time. There are many things that I think I would like to do, but I know I can't in this season of my life. I'm going to work on not "watching the pot", and on doing the things that I can do in this season, at this time, for God's glory!

Thank the Lord for my Children

Thank the Lord Thursday

I've decided to dedicate Thursdays as a day when I choose something that I am truly thankful for. I hope that you will join me. Of course every day we should be thankful....."rejoicing always in all things!", but it doesn't hurt to take a special day for it. I wanted to use this picture of my little ones praying for this because nothing touches my heart more than the prayers and thankfulness of my children! In Matthew 18:4 Jesus told his disciples when they were arguing over who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.". Children pray with such humility. It seems to be instinctive for them to approach the Lord as their Daddy and friend.

So, join with me each week in finding something you are particularly thankful for. Even small things are great blessings in our lives! Don't neglect the small things, but feel free to mention the large things too.

Today I am feeling thankful for the fact that my children enjoy being together and playing together! I had a picture for this as an example, but I haven't yet figured out how to post pictures at the end of or in the middle of a post yet. I had a picture of my son Owen playing with his baby sister while he was in the pool. I'm so grateful that my children are growing up to be friends with each other. Of course they fight on occassion, but they are always playing together, not because they have to, but because they like too. Not to mention how much the older ones enjoy playing with the babies and toddlers. It is truly a blessing!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In His Word Wednesday

Today is In His Word Wednesday, and although I don't have the appropriate banner on my site yet, I wanted to participate anyways:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the teasting of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Our family has had many trials in the last year. This verse has been playing on my mind a lot in recent months, as I try to count it all joy. I think that God is working a lot on my patience lately, and I feel honored that He loves me enough to do so. I can't wait until the day when I can truly say that I am perfect and complete, and lacking nothing. I can be excited to know through all of these trials that God is producing patience in me that will make me more like Christ. Lord I pray that you will continue to help me to find joy in my various trials, and help me to show those around me including my children how a child of yours should respond when put through difficult circumstances. Help me to respond as Job did....though you slay me, still will I follow you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Hello all: I want to share what we had for supper tonight. It was an experiment of my husbands that ended up working out really well. We had:

Pita Bread Pizza: We bought whole wheat pita bread-two packs (5 per pack)
2 (15 oz) cans of pizza sauce
shredded cheese (we used mozz. and
colby jack/cheddar mix) 2 cups total.
half pound of ham
small can of mushrooms

Now, obviously you can use any variation of toppings that your family would prefer. You just put the toppings on the pita bread, and put them in at 400 degrees for 5 minutes!

The fun of this meal is that the kids can put their own pizza's together. Even Elias (our 3 year old) was able to do his own. They were fast and easy and fun. They filled up our family of 9. So, we were thinking of variations, and one thing that you could also do is put toppings into the pita bread to make it sort of a stuffed crust pizza. Fun, fast, and a little healthier than store bought pizzas! Our family gave it two thumbs up, and we look forward to trying out different variations of this recipe in future weeks. I'll pick a recipie next week to add as well...I always enjoy other peoples recipies, and perhaps some of you out there will enjoy ours.

Tackling the Trouble Spots Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, and I worked on tackling a trouble spot today. I will try to put pictures in later, but today I worked on my toy corner in our living room. In the living room we have a corner with some stackable bins. The bins are for all of the various train track pieces and trains that we have. The bottom drawer is for baby/toddler toys, and various larger baby/toddler toys should go on the floor nicely in this corner.
I worked for about a half and hour, and got all the toys organized and put in the places where they belonged. It finally looks nice and neat again! Yea! With 7 kids, neatness like this doesn't last long, but for now....I can breathe a sigh of relief. My next project will be to go through all the kids' books, and get rid of some, and find organized places for all of them! It always feels good to accomplish something.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today is a day of reflection, as we consider, what price has been paid for our freedom. I can't help but think of the ultimate price that was paid for me when Christ died on the cross for my sins. I also think over the many thousands of men that have died for the freedoms that my family enjoys here in America. The freedom to worship, the freedom to speak out on what is important to me (in this blog for example :-)) The freedom to speak out against my government if I don't agree with what they are doing. I praise God that these many men were willing to lay down their lives just for me, much like Christ did. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13. I am priveleged to count the many men and women who have layed down their lives for me as friends.

Today I had a relapse of rejoicing. God chose today to really challenge my ability to rejoice in irritating circumstances. Today we were supposed to go down to my brother's to pick up my dad who had spent the weekend down there. So, we were all working on getting around to go, and my five year old daughter opened the door and went outside to do something with her new friends (the caterpillars). Well, when she opened the door, our dog Jake went out. Now, he has a tendency to do this. He usually runs around the neighborhood, and then comes back in a little bit. So, we waited, and looked a little. No Jake! It was time to leave, and we still couldn't find him. So, it was decided that Rob would stay home and look for Jake further. This really upset me because I didn't want to spend the holiday being seperated! I was upset with Audrey for letting this happen, and I was upset with Jake for running off, and it made me crabby with the kids. So, we drove the hour and a half to my brothers, with me being crabby all the way. Lord, forgive me....I had to say! I was reminded of the post I just wrote on my blog about rejoicing. Didn't the Lord make this day also. While we are remembering the many unselfish men who fought and died for my freedom....I'm crabbing because things didn't go my way. What a sinner I am! By the end of the day we are home together, Jake was found, and I'm grateful to be forgiven and free!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sick kids, and a tired mama

Here in Michigan, it is a beautiful Sunday morning! I am sadly missing church today, as my poor little Elias has a fever, and is feeling pretty lousy. Ethan is also not feeling well, and the baby girls are home to not be a burden to the nursery workers!! It was a rough night last night for Rob and I. Elias' fever went quite high (almost 104), and on top of that, Janie was up in the middle of the night. She wanted to eat again, even though she had seemed done at her bottle before bed. Audrey was up and in the bed with me at one point, and was kicking a lot in her sleep! Sigh........I am reminded now of my previous post on rejoicing. I can look at my kids and think about how they keep me up at night, and I wish they would just grow up and leave me alone, or.....I can remember that my children are a blessing, and that they will soon be grown, and won't need their mommy anymore. Wow, that's a sad thought! So, I must choose to be gentle with my kids even in the middle of the night when I am dying to sleep!!

In other news: Our little seedlings are popping up like crazy. I am getting excited about planting them in the garden, and having lots of yummy veggies to enjoy! I will post some new pictures of our seedlings when I can get them put on my computer. Also, my rhododendrons are in full bloom right now, and I'm loving it!! They are so beautiful, and they smell so good. So, even though I am missing church this morning, and I'm really tired, it is still a beautiful day.

Ethan is excited too today, as his new Math curriculum came in the mail yesterday. children get excited about new Math curriculum. Yea for Teaching kids love it!! They even ask to do Math on Saturdays. You gotta love that. We are also eagerly anticipating this last week of school, and then daddy will be home for the summer. Only four more days! More later.......have a blessed Sunday!! This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rejoicing Part II

Elias brought me these "flowers" from outside.

Well, I'm not sure if we were successful in rejoicing all day today, between the nine of us, I'm sure there was discontent at some points during the day. But, there were certainly some positives to the day for all of us.

Today I took my dad to another appointment with another cancer doctor. The good news is that he has gained a bit more weight (he had lost a lot), and he is handling his chemo very well. It is good to see him almost in a state of normal right now, as I fully realize that this may not always be the case.

The kids, while I was at the appointment with dad, got to spend the day at their other grandparents, and go swimming. It has been a special treat to swim in May. That opportunity does not usually happen until June.

Although it was sad that Rob had to work tonight, we are glad to realize that this will be his last big event in the auditorium, and that the school year ends next Friday. He will soon be home all the time.
I am adding to tonights blog, some pics of the kids and their swimming, and I am hoping to add some more pictures. Counting the blessings tonight. Looking forward to a day at home tomorrow!


Today is a new day. Owen is reflecting this morning on the fact that his birthday has now already come and gone. But, I reminded him that every day comes with it own special blessings. This morning when I got up, I looked at our little containers that we started our seedlings in, and realized that some of them are begining to sprout.

Psalm 118:24 says....This is the day the Lord has made: We will rejoice and be glad in it. (NKJV)

This is a verse that most Christians know, but how often do we apply it to our lives? As I get up this morning, and realize how busy today will be, and how I will be spending another day taking my dad to his cancer treatments, I'm pondering this verse. Should Owen not be glad now that his birthday has come and gone....or should I be unhappy because I can't be home today to get my own things done? Well, it would be easy to do. But I am reminded by God's word that He made this day especially for us. He doesn't say to only be glad if things are going your way. It merely says rejoice. Let's all propose to do this today! Like these seeds that God is allowing to grow, we need to reach upwards and look to Him. He will give us the gladness that we need in the midst of circumstances that we would not choose for ourselves.

We can certainly rejoice in the weather for the last couple of days. The kids went for their first swim yesterday at Rob's parents while I was taking dad to chemo. Unfortunately, my poor Lily is under the weather, so she couldn't enjoy it, but there will be many swimming days to come. Our baby, Donna Jane, or Janie as we usually call her, is learning to love the outdoors on these nice days. Being a January baby, this idea of being outside in the warmth is all new and exciting to her.

We are counting down now, 8 days, until Daddy is home for the summer! But, for now, this is the day the Lord made (for us!), and we will propose to rejoice and be glad in it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My firstborn is 11 today!!

Today is Owen's 11th birthday! Here he is feeding his baby sister. I like this picture of my oldest and my youngest. He's such a good big brother, and he loves the babies!
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Introduction of our family

Let me start by introducing myself and my family. My name is Elizabeth, and I have been married to my wonderful husband Rob for 12 years. We have 7 children. Our oldest, Owen will be 11 years old tomorrow. Then we have Riley who's 9, Ethan who will be 8 in June, Audrey is 5, Elias is 3, Lillian (Lily) is 19 months, and the baby is Donna Jane (Janie) who is 4 months old. We have been homeschooling for 6 years, and this next year we will have 4 that we are schooling.
We enjoy time outside as a family, and reading, and spending time being involved at our church. There are many challenges and joys in having a large family. These are the things I look forward to sharing on this blog. I am interested in the thoughts of others, and the joys and challenges that others are facing in their lives and families.

Today was another exciting day in our household as the boys were able to catch a snake in our backyard, and keep it contained long enough for some good pics. I will share those when I have a chance. I am often amazed at the compassion of my children, not just for animals, but for others, and each other. They have such heart for the downtrodden, whether it is sticking up for the kid who's being made fun of, or rescuing the snakes that get caught on the garden fencing. The love of Christ is shining through them even at such a young age. Now, granted, this love does not always shine through, but for it to be seen at all, I count as nothing short of a miracle!