A Special Date

 One of the fun things I make sure I do when Craig takes one of our children on a missions trip is to go on a date with another one of our children. How do I choose who gets to go when I have so many? You might be wondering, but it's pretty simple really. When Naomi went to PNG, I took Anna for a girls' day out. We went mini-golfing and had lunch at Olive Garden. While Anna was in Uganda, I took Naomi out shopping at an antique shop and had lunch...at Olive Garden. So, while Samuel is in Uganda, I took Daniel out and we went bowling. This was so much fun! I've only bowled a few times in my life but I love it! We played four games. Daniel beat me in the first game but I rallied and won the next three!! Haha! (I might be just a tad competitive!) We had lunch at the China Sun Buffet. It's always fun getting to do something special with one child at a time. It is difficult for the little ones as they don't understand why they aren't invited. However, this tradition will give each of them something to anticipate in the years to come! When Daniel goes for his trip, I will then take Samuel out to do something special!

I told one friend that it is my goal to get to have that date with each of my children.....no matter what! So, while the last of my children are in another country with Daddy, our time might be spent playing Bingo in an old folks' home, but we WILL get our day!!! Hey, Bingo isn't so bad, is it?! Haha!
 I am happy to report that Tirzah was super good for our entire date! Even when awake, she was happy! Though, she must not have thought too much about our game as she fell asleep...so much for the cheerleading section! To be fair, I helped her cheer her big brother on even though I was trying hard to beat him!!!

This is what she thought of the game...

Leftovers Anyone?

Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover oatmeal? I mean, yuck! Why would you save oatmeal that has cooled into one lump of mush? Well, when you must feed an army everyday, you realize how quickly food goes! You become more frugal....I hope. Everything adds up! And, yes, I do save oatmeal! It isn't so bad if you make fresh oatmeal and, at the end, add the leftovers and stir it until it blends nicely. But, if you'd like to REALLY enjoy your leftover oatmeal, my girls found this recipe that is absolutely amazing!!!! They are oatmeal muffins!!!!

1c. flour
1c. brown sugar
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
1c. leftover oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients
  • Stir together the contents of both bowls
  • Stir in your add ins of choice
  • Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
Yield: 1 dozen muffins (double or triple recipe depending on how much oatmeal you have. You can even do the recipe up to six times over!)

This is definitely our FAVORITE way to use up leftover oatmeal! Try it and see! They are so yummy, it would be worth it to make sure you have leftovers on purpose!

Side note: This is leftover oatmeal that is the old fashioned type, NOT instant!!!

A Tradition Continued

The Deacons praying over Craig and Sam

Excitement + Exhaustion!
 A Tradition we started over 5 years ago is to take our children as teens to the foreign mission field. Naomi got to go to Papua New Guinea and ministered with the Keck family as well as the Rowe family. This was a life changing adventure for our oldest daughter, who was at the time, 13 years old. She turned 14 soon upon returning home. Anna-Renee had the opportunity to minister with the Tracht family in Uganda, Africa. She turned 14 the day they landed in Uganda. It has been our hope to bring our children one at a time soon after their 13th birthday. For some reason, God had other plans for Sam. He just turned 16 and is now, finally, on his missions trip with Daddy! He and Craig were set to go to India a year ago, when Craig's visa was denied. This was most disappointing for both Craig and Sam, and was a little strange considering Craig had been to India twice before! It was during the time that they would have been in India that Anna was diagnosed with leukemia. God was merciful to keep them home for this time in our lives.
Final goodbyes
This being said, Samuel is now in Uganda visiting and ministering with the Tracht family. It was a crazy time of preparing, with a new baby, a trip to Alaska, men's retreat, Christmas, and an Eagle Scout project to do, picking up supplies both for Craig and Sam as well as the Trachts and packing kind of got pushed to the last minute! Needless to say, Sunday morning everyone was terribly exhausted! After Craig preached, we hurried out the door and loaded up to get to the airport. Goodbyes are always hard, especially when it's going to be for 3 1/2 weeks. I know that to those military wives out there, this is nothing, but it's a long time for us! I am truly thankful for technology! We have been able to text and FaceTime with each other everyday! This has been an encouragement to me when I miss them the most! They are 11 hours ahead of us, so we "talk" either in their evening and our morning, or our evening and their morning! This works pretty well. They have a very full schedule and Craig is posting on his blog over at www.Soundpulpit.com to keep us all up to date on their ministering adventures! Please be sure to pop on over and please pray that God will use them mightily during this time! And that souls will be saved!

All Smiles and Giggles

Lookie who's smiling! Tirzah has started smiling and cooing at everyone who comes near her. She is a true sweetheart! It's so hard to believe that she is five weeks old!!!
 We are loving having this bundle of cuteness in our home and family. She has a very sweet and happy little personality already.

This picture is a very solemn reminder to not blink because if you do, she'll be grown.....