The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
2Samuel 22:47

29 March 2011


THE truck shirt.

The one that each of my boys has worn and been so adorable in. And each has grown out of it though I tried to keep them from it. The belly button look isn't all that cute after all. {sigh}

It's being officially handed off to our friend, Wyatt, soon.
One of my favorites!

Neighborhood Treasure

We were greatly blessed by our neighbors this past weekend. They shared pictures, stories and history of Turkey with us from their personal archive from the two years they lived there. It was such a great time of enrichment to go along with our Middle East studies the last couple of weeks.

Ryland took good notes, too. He correctly identified a Roman aqueduct in one of the slides, but his pressing question of the night was, "Did you get arrested while in Turkey?"

As if seeing the ruins in Ephesus and pictures from the Hagai Sophia weren't enough for adventure.

So. . .working on tact. Always working.

{By the way, the answer is NO}

24 March 2011

Crossing into Boy Scouts

The ceremony celebrating the cross-over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts was amazing.
The Webelos II den presented their last flag ceremony at the beginning of the banquet.
All the cakes for the contest were entered and voted for.
Dad and the boys' Robinson Crusoe cake won! Hooray for graph paper planning. {I think it was one of the decidious trees that won the votes, see the post on Baking a cake with Dad.}

One last Cub Scout group photo.

The boys all had to make an arrow for the Order of the Arrow ceremony. If the arrows aren't perfect, they are broken and the boys are not allowed into the world of Boy Scouts with this high honor. The straight arrow symbolizes straight character in each Scout.

The ceremony begins with drums

Assistants of The Chief Akela

{He actually stared Ryland down at one point. I'm thinking we'll see if he can babysit for us some evening!}

Escorting Braden up front for arrow inspection

Passed inspection, whew! Now to answer the question of his intentions of entering Boy Scouting.

Crossing over from Cubs to Boy Scouts

One final talking- to about the responsibility the title of Boy Scout carries. The boys were all so serious and tense. Have I previously mentioned how much I'd love to have Mr. Chief for a babysitter?

Group shot - so thankful for this group of older Scouts taking the time out to make our Crossing Over ceremony so meaningful.

So proud.

22 March 2011


You've worked so hard to earn this.
Today, I had the honor of embellishing your uniform with your
Arrow of Light award.
You will graduate into Boy Scouts tonight having worked very hard for this accomplishment.
So proud, Braden.
So proud of you.

How to bake a cake with Dad

First thing: forget almost everything about what it's like baking with your Mom.
She has never, ever considered the wonderful possibilities that can happen when you start baking a cake with graph paper. Or three sheets of graph paper for that matter.

Do ask for her help, though, when you can't remember if you need to froth the egg whites before adding the powdered sugar when making mortar for the cabin on your cake.
You've never made a cake with a cabin? Hmmm. . .

Use a ruler. Another thing Mom didn't teach you. Well, except in the case of checking the thickness of biscuits.

Think. . .Daniel Defoe. Another idea Mom would not have had and can be attributed to baking in the kitchen with Dad.

Check your graph paper often.

Pay attention to the slightest details (another non-Mom trick. I would have just put tree on my graph paper, if I had thought of graph paper.)

I actually was thinking more along the lines of Island of the Blue Dolphins than Robinson Crusoe until Tarver pointed out that this was a steak cooking on the spit and not abelones.

Besides that, the pretzel fence doesn't really resemble the whalebone fence in Island. And there is no evidence of Rontu anywhere.

Great job on your cake decorating, guys! I am so proud of your culinary skills (even if you learned nothing from me on this particular project) and can't wait to see all of the entries at tonight's Blue Gold Cub Scout Banquet with Father-Son cake baking contest.
I'm most excited to stick a fork in your creation, but that sounded a little forward.

Fighting in love

Two little brothers set out on an adventure one warm Spring day.

Not finding too much adventure right away, they decide to hone their fighting skills on each other.

One must always be prepared for a battle, knowing that our enemy lurks around us like a prowling lion. Rrrrr!

Knife versus hook - is this a battle on land or sea? I cannot decide.

Stopping the training exercise for a photo op. . .

Suddenly, 500 enemies storm the yard. {The photographer took cover. She's not much for danger.}

However, she did manage to grab a picture of the booty after the battle.
Literally, the snowbooty. {The photographer had earlier in the day enlisted the help of her oldest son in cleaning mud and rocks off our snow equipment.} Made for a great aspect of the adventure for these two little guys, though!

Abandon ship!

We must check into this renegade neighbor dog.

"Be ye friend or foe, Briggitta?"
And they lived happily ever after. At least, they slept well this night in anticipation of tomorrow's new adventure.

Breakfast Cookies

The neat thing about baking gifts for others
that more likely than not
there will be some left over.

{Chocolate Espresso Biscotti- part of a gift biscuit for a very worthy Cub Scout Leader.
Thanks, Sean.}

21 March 2011

How to Keep a Dad in Shape

Nothing like a good ole wrestling match - especially right before bed. A trick this Dad learned to get them all worn out (ha, ha) right at bedtime.

He can still hold his own pretty well, but it won't be long before he can't take all four of them on at once.

17 March 2011

St. Patrick's Day in America: A Conversation with my Sons

We took a little side road on our educational journey today to talk about St. Patrick and what this day dedicated to the Patron Saint of Ireland is all about. I have a strict belief that if we are going to celebrate something, we must know what we are celebrating and therefore personal convictions are born from knowledge instead of blindly following the crowd.

That last sentence is keenly relevant for the latter part of this post, the Ryland part of this post. Hang in there. . .

So amidst nightly newscasts this week about where to get the best deals on 'green beer' for St. Patrick's Day, I once again felt the need to get back to basics with a traditional lesson for my sons about this holiday. This morning we opened up several books to learn more about the life of Patrick and had wonderful, meaningful conversation. It was an educational success as far as I was concerned. And then, feeling very Charlotte Mason-ish, I asked a question.

"So, if Saint Patrick is so revered for his love for Ireland, why do you think we celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in America?"

My ever-thoughtful, completely sincere, 4 year old piped up without hesitation:

"We celebrate it here because all Americans need to know how to wear green so they won't get pinched!"

At least he is thinking and didn't just give a canned answer from what we had been studying the 15-minutes prior. And thankfully he's been ignoring the 5 o'clock newscast and didn't tell me where I could find the best deal on green beer.


On another note, mainly the note that is currently coming from my kitchen, we are celebrating Saint Patrick's Day with a delicious supper of Brisket, Irish Soda Bread and Buttered Cabbage.

Mmmm, mmmm!!

14 March 2011

{garden} Season Opener

Spinach - what a beautiful sight to see after a long, cold winter!

I took the advice of a gardening pro and made a fall planting of Spinach, mulched well with straw and let it overwinter. His advice let us enjoy our first salad of Spring this past weekend.

Saturday was a great day to be outside and cleaning up our neglected garden boxes.

In addition to harvesting, we also put in some more spinach seed and mesclun. I am so excited to pick fresh greens daily from our garden. Our onions are starting to stretch and green up after sleeping all winter long.

This is such an exciting time of year with all of the garden planning and dreaming
. . .and pretty rewarding to already be harvesting spinach.

While the boys and I were outside for a bit tending to the gardens, Bob was kind enough to take over timer duty in the kitchen for our cookies. Or bread. Or both. He would have been outside with us, too, except that he sacrificed his Saturday to paint all three of our bathrooms. What a guy!

Is it just me, or does anyone else have a messy Saturday kitchen?

We weren't the only ones busy this weekend - Look at how our little seedlings are busy growing in the 'nursery'.

Spring is such a hopeful word.