Friday, May 22, 2015

World's Best Nurse!

There's a new nurse in town.
 
 
And I'm quite sure she's one of the best in the world (not that I am biased!)!
 
First her pinning ceremony
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And the next day official graduation.  There was a great speaker, Larree Renda, who spoke about the importance of our attitudes, especially during stressful circumstances.  Renda has had great heartache in life and lost her single-parent father when she was 16.  She put off college to bag groceries (and later rose to the level of executive VP), but said, “You see, we can’t always control what happens to us, but we absolutely can control our reaction to it.”  She wisely stated, "There will be setbacks, sadness, loss, grief, but don’t let that discourage you. That’s all part of living. It’s what makes us appreciate the good things in life and reminds us that our heart is capable of love and joy and happiness.”  She went on to talk about the importance of hard work, and that the harder she worked, the "luckier" she became. Very inspirational. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congrats Lizzy!  So proud of you and your accomplishment.  The world will be a better place because of you. 

Catching Up

The end of the school year is always a busy time--and this year seems especially so.
 
A surprise visit from Will--I had my kiddos together for exactly 30 minutes!  Happy Mommy!
 
 
 
 Softball!
 
 
 A trip to visit a dear friend:
 
 
Mariner's roadtrip--and Bobble-head day with Felix pitching!
 
 
 Evenings eating s'mores and having impromptu dance parties.
 
 
Art show:
 
Golf team for Paul:
 
 
 
My sister and niece came for a visit! And we really know how to show people a good time.  We took them to the library--but at least they had this fun photo booth!
 
 
Lots of spring cleaning--and kids enjoying making some extra money for extra chores:
 
 
End of year speeches and projects.  Can you guess who this bad-boy is from the 40's?  As we made Stalin's costume I was soo reminded of Jen Hatmaker's hysterical post.  It makes me laugh every year! 
 
 
Band concert by my Renaissance man!  Patrick nailed his first trumpet solo--as I sat in the stands thinking he was going to pass out and that I should have given him his inhaler.  A sidenote funny--Patrick says the girls dig trumpet players because trumpet players are known to have really strong lips--which theoretically makes them better kissers.  Yes, my little boy is growing up!  I do hope that any kissing is truly theoretical for a very long time.   Side-Sidenote:  Yes those shoes really do fit!  I think this kid is going to be tall!
 
 
And throw in a couple sick kids.  Lan Lan got hit the worst and landed herself in the ER for a fun night getting fluids.  She didn't get the memo that sickness is not allowed in the midst of busy May. 
 
 
 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Zoo Torture

This is how most of my kids feel about going to the zoo.
 
 
 
I do not know why.  Perhaps because I really like the zoo, and I've traumatized them by making them go to the zoo too often.
 
But Mother's Day is the perfect time to force my children to put a smile on their face and make their mother happy with a trip to the zoo.
 
 
My sister and niece were in town so it was fun to spend the day together, along with my mom (who also loves the zoo).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And in the end everyone had a good time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was followed by a BBQ and s'mores. 
 
Happy Mother's Day to all women everywhere who mother, love, and care for children! 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Birthdays

Graduation is coming.  Whew!  I forgot how much work it is to have a graduating senior!  And we have one from college and one from high school (plus an 8th grader and 6th grader--but we don't really count those).
 
Before the calendar turns another page I wanted to say Happy Birthday to James and my mom! 
 
 
I LOVE having my mom live close by.  She is a most amazing woman and mother!  She blesses all our lives!  And I can't believe my first born is 32!  Wow!  Such a wonderful man with the kindest heart and gentle spirit.  And a great sense of humor and adventure!  Love you James!
 
 
We had planned on going to lunch at Chipotle (my treat) and we ended up going to an AWESOME lunch at a fancy-smancy restaurant where James works (his treat).  Yea, I'm not sure how that worked either, except that they give him a very good deal. 
 
 
Oh my!  We enjoyed our day so very much!  I love spending special time with James and his fiance', Hubby, my mom, and Lan Lan (who finds ever more advantages of being homeschooled!)
 
I didn't even get a good picture of Lan Lan.  But I did get a photo of her food.  Let's just say it was a step up from Chipotle!
 
 
And we did get a photo of the view--beautiful even on an overcast day.
 
 
Happy Birthday James!  And Happy Birthday Mom!  Love you both so much!
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Do You Feed All Those Kids--Ziti

I do not like to cook.  Which is unfortunate.  Because I have to cook a lot.  For a lot of people.
 
I'm not really sure what God was thinking when he made kids need to eat so often.  Why didn't He make it so we could feed them like fish--just once a day?  Or, better yet, like snakes--once a month!
 
But alas, I do not have fish or snakes (thank heavens!) but I do have lots of kids.  Who eat lots of food, lots of times, every . single . day.
 
A family favorite is--
 
 
 
BAKED ZITI
1 pound hamburger cooked and browned
ADD:
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup chicken broth
HEAT
At the same time cook 16 ounces ziti pasta in a big pot of water
(I like seashell shaped pasta)
DRAIN
STIR 1 CUP OF SAUCE INTO COOKED PASTA
SPOON 1/2 OF PASTA/SAUCE MIXTURE INTO 9x13 PAN
Top with  1 1/2 Cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
TOP WITH 2 CUPS SAUCE
COVER WITH REMAINING PASTA/SAUCE MIXTURE
COVER WITH REMAINING SAUCE
COVER AND BAKE AT 350* FOR 20 MINUTES
Top with 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Also top with 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
BAKE UNCOVERED AT 350* FOR 10 MORE MINUTES
Double or Triple As Needed
WATCH THE DISAPPEARING ACT!
ENJOY!
YUM!
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jesus Calling

 From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

 
"I am able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine.  Come to Me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish.  Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me.  Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered.  Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark.  The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see MY POWER AND GLORY at work in the situation.  Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention.  Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life."