Losing my marbles….teaching Sarah to play the game marbles

Ritch and Sarah playing the game marbles.

Ritch and Sarah playing the game marbles.

Good Evening Friends,

Losing my marbles?  Well, not me, but Sarah.  Ritch taught her to play the game marbles tonight.  Ritch made a wonderful marble game mat.  Sarah was so excited to learn how to play.  She has wanted to learn for quite awhile, but we have been so busy with other things in life that Ritch just has not had the chance to teach her. 

So tonight, the game is on.  Ritch explained how marbles worked, showed her how to line the marbles up, and they were off.  Sarah was getting frustrated because it wasn’t quite as easy as she thought it was going to be and of course her daddy won several times, which didn’t help either.

Ritch was being so encouraging and having a lot of patience with Sarah because she was getting so frustrated.  I really enjoy watching them spending time together and playing games together as well.  I love hearing them laugh together and having a good time.  There is nothing like spending time with children and being present with them and listening to what is important to them.

This is an area that I struggle in at times, because I seem to get caught up in the everyday activities and the busyness of life that goes on, that when Sarah does want to talk to me, play a game or just spend time with me, I sometimes simply say in just a minute.  Unfortunately, that minute comes and goes and I have totally forgotten that she wanted time with me.  Do you struggle in this area too?  I have really been praying about this and really feeling the Lord pressing on my heart that I need to slow down and really be present in the moment when Sarah comes to me whether it is to ask me a question or to talk, play a game or just simply wanting to spend time with me.  I need to slow down and not let these last few years fly by and wish later that I had spent the time with her that she needed.  What are some ways that you make sure that you are truly focused on your children and what is important to them in the busyness of life and the daily activities?

These next few years are going to go by so quickly and I don’t want to miss out on the important things in Sarah’s life and I certainly don’t want her to feel as though I don’t have the time for her or the things that are important to her. 

I’m looking forward to watching Ritch and Sarah play marbles and maybe, just maybe Sarah finally being able to win a game against her dad.



Cooking With Sarah!


Here is the apple crisp ready to be put in the oven.

Sarah  making her apple crisp

Sarah making her apple crisp


Sarah with finished apple crisp

Good Evening Friends,

Today was a cooking with Sarah day!!  She wanted to help prepare a meal and so she picked the menu.  Sarah wanted to make sloppy joes in the crock pot, baked beans and apple crisp.

We needed to go to the grocery store to do some shopping because I hadn’t stocked the house since we got back from vacation.  Before we went to the grocery store, we planned out the meals for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  Sarah asked if she could also cook a meal next week.  I am excited that Sarah is taking an interest in wanting to learn to cook more and spending more time in the kitchen.

After our meal planning and making our shopping list, it is off to the grocery store.  I am really trying to allow Sarah to be more involved in the grocery shopping and making sure we get the things that we need.  I think she is enjoying the new responsibility.  I have to be completely honest though in that it is really hard for me to let go and allow her to follow the list and get what we need because I am always just wanting to get in and out of the grocery store and not spending anymore time than I absolutely have to, but the Lord has been laying on my heart that I need to slow down and be more intentional with Sarah in all areas of her life and this is one area that I can slow down and allow her the responsibility of helping with the grocery shopping.  Sarah did a great job of following the list and getting all the things that we needed.

After getting home from the store, putting the groceries away, and having lunch, it was time to get the meat browned for the sloppy joes.  I had Sarah read the recipe and put all the ingredients together in the crock pot after the meat was put in.  We got the crock pot started and it wasn’t long before we began smelling our yummy sloppy joes.

A little while later, it was time to get started on the apple crisp from her Betty Crocker Cooking Basics Cookbook www.bettycrocker.com .  I had Sarah read through the recipe and gather all the ingredients together so that we could get started.  We had six apples that needed to be cored and sliced.  Again, a moment of honesty here, this is hard for me because I am used to doing things myself and of course Sarah is just learning and so she is not as fast at things as I am.  Again, I need to allow her to learn and take her time and not take over!!!  Sarah did a good job slicing the apples.  I did help her core them because she asked me to.  After getting the apples all sliced up, it was time to make the crumb topping.  This was a learning experience too because she had to cut in the butter into the topping.  She wanted to give up because she didn’t think she was doing it right.  I reassured her that she was and that she needed to continue and that she would get it.  After putting the topping on, it was time to put it in the oven.  Now all we had to do was wait for an hour for it to be done!!  Oh my goodness does it smell good as it is baking.

The sloppy joes, baked beans, and french fries are done as well as the apple crisp.  It’s time for dinner and it all looks wonderful and smells amazing!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 



Birthday, Beach and Valentine’s Day!

Hello Friends,

It’s a birthday, beach and Valentine’s Day!

Today we are headed to the beach and the Navy Seal Museum navysealmuseum.com in Fort Pierce, Florida.  Ritch and Ed thought it would be fun to go and look at the NavySealMuseum.  They have all kinds of exhibits from different eras.  Ritch really enjoyed seeing the boats and learning about the history of the Navy Seals.  I was really looking forward to going to the beach so Marsha, Sarah and I left the guys there and walked to the beach.

It was a windy day at the beach, but it was beautiful.  The sun was out and the waves were rolling in.  I have always enjoyed being at the beach.  When we would visit my aunts in Philadelphia, we always made it a point to go to Ocean City, NJ to go to the boardwalk and take in the beach.

As we were walking along the beach looking for shells, the waves were really rolling in.  I just couldn’t help myself; I just had to put my feet in the ocean.  At first, the water was a little chilly, but it didn’t take long to get used to the water.  As I was walking along, watching the waves come on shore and even getting hit with sand when the wind blew, I thought about how Jesus told the waves to be still and they were.  How incredible it would have been to have been on that boat and saw Jesus calm the waves.

We had a great time looking for shells and we found some really pretty ones to keep.  We were hoping to find a sand dollar or two, but unfortunately, we did not.  When I was looking at all the different shells, Sarah said to me that she was amazed at God’s creativity and how God made each shell different and so beautiful.  It thrills my heart to see how Sarah is growing in walk with the Lord and appreciating His beautiful creation.

After the beach and the NavySealMuseum, we headed to Bass Pro Shops.  It was Ed’s birthday and we were celebrating his day and he wanted to go, so we went.  As we were driving, Sarah noticed that she had cut her toe on a shell and she wanted to know if I had my doTERRA essential oils with me so she could clean the cut.  I told get out the doTERRA www.mydoterra.com/myessentiallife melaleuca oil and clean her toe with that and then to put lavender on after that.  By the time we got home that evening, her toe was fine.  So thankful for our doTERRA oils to help care for my family.

Ed wanted to go to Olive Garden for his birthday and so we went and managed to beat the rush of the dinner crowd.  We had a great time on the beach, at the Navy Seal Museum and celebrating Ed’s birthday at Olive Garden.  Spending time with family is always a good time.

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day and how are we going to spend the day?  We are going to Daytona to check out the cars at the track in Daytona www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.  We bought Sarah a checkered flag and a sharpie just in case she saw a race car driver or two and was able to get their autograph.  We walked through the garage area and looked at the cars and the crews working on them. It was really fun to see.  Ritch really liked the tool boxes and kept saying that he wanted one of those.  I think Ritch really liked the tool boxes more than the cars.  After checking out the garage area, we went down to the inspection area and watched the cars go through inspection.  It was interesting because there were templates for each manufacturer and if the cars didn’t fit within the template, they had to go back to the garage and make repairs and bring the car through again.  We then went to the second area of inspection.  This is where the drivers had to come and weigh in because their weight was added to the total weight of the car.  I had no idea that the driver’s weight made a difference.  While we were watching, Sarah was able to get autographs from 17 different drivers.  It was a lot of fun to actually be that close to the drivers and cool that they would take the time to signs autographs as well.

After a long and fun day at the track, it was time to get on the road and head up to Hampton, South Carolina to visit my husband’s family.  We just stopped by for one day to visit before we headed back to Indiana.

It was a wonderful, fun filled week in Florida and South Carolina.  So thankful for God’s protection while we traveled and for getting us home safely.

We are looking forward to our next adventure whatever that may be.  But for now, it is back to the reality of snow and our routine for school. 



Snakes, Turtles and Alligators Oh My!!!

Good Evening Friends,

We took the pontoon boat out on an adventure to look for snakes, turtles and alligators.  The sun was shining and the temperature was about 84 degrees.  It was a little windy, but that was not going to stop us from our adventure.

We set out on our adventure and not long after starting out, there was a baby alligator sunning itself along the shore.  We turned around so that we could get a better look at it and to take its picture, but as we turned around, it made its way into the water.  It was fun to watch him watching us from the water.  We watched each other for a few seconds and then we moved on.

We continued up the river until we came to the first lock.  This was so interesting.  We pulled up and they opened the doors and we went into the lock.  Once we were in there, they began to bring in the water.  We went from 9 feet all the way up to 16 feet.  I had never been in a lock before and it was so interesting.  After we were now at the level of the water, we left the lock and continued up the river.

As we traveled up the river, we spotted four turtles along the shore line.  They were all together.  Sarah wondered if they were a family because there were two bigger turtles and two little turtles.

We then came to the second lock.  Again we drove the pontoon into the lock and had the water raise the boat up so that we could continue up the river to the main channel.  We were enjoying the locks and how they worked.

We found our way up to the main channel and found a good place to drop the anchor of the pontoon so we could have some lunch.  While we were sitting there, we saw some fish jump out of the water.  We also saw a water snake swimming along and it went underneath the pontoon.

After lunch, we continue up the main channel looking for more alligators, turtles, fish and snakes.  We saw a several more small alligators and we were really enjoying seeing those, but we wanted to see at least one really big alligator.  We saw several Osprey birds, Cameroon birds, and even a couple of spoonbill birds.  We were so happy with all the creatures we had seen.

The time was getting late and some darker clouds were starting to come in so we decided we needed to head back before it started to rain.  We had to go through the two locks again and finally just before we got back to the dock, we saw a big alligator.  It looked like it was at least six feet long.  We were all happy that we finally saw our big alligator for the day.

After we got home from out pontoon adventure, Marsha and I went to a painting class.  This was so much fun.  We painted a beach scene.  I had never done any painting before and so I was a little worried as to how my picture would turn out, but I am happy with how it did turn out.

We had such a fun day, wonder what adventure we will have tomorrow.



Space Then and Now

Good Evening Friends,

Another day, another adventure.  Yesterday, we took the day and went to the Kennedy Space Center www.kennedyspacecenter.com.  Oh my goodness there is so much to see and do there.  We spent the entire day there and still didn’t see everything.  The Lord blessed us with an absolutely beautiful day with sunny skies and warm weather.

We started the day off with the Atlantis exhibit.  This was incredible.  We started with a short video showing how they came up with the concept of the shuttle program back in the early 70s.  It was not an easy task to figure out how to make it all work as far as getting the astronauts out into space as well as bring them back home.  After seeing this short video, we moved to another room where they showed a movie on the different shuttles.  They ended with the Atlantis on its final mission.  It was absolutely incredible to watch this movie.  After completing this movie, we then entered the exhibit.  There on display, was the Atlantis.  It was HUGE!!!  Also, there was a replica of the Hubble Telescope.  Sarah and Ritch experienced what it would be like to be on the Space Station.  It was a great experience.

We decided that we wanted to take the Cape tour Then to Now.  This tour was filled with so much information.  We learned about the early space program and the developments along the way.  We were able to see some of the old equipment that was used when the space program was started.  We then moved on to Launch Pad 39 where we learned about the astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee who unfortunately lost their lives while they were on a dress rehearsal for their upcoming mission.  Hearing about this reminded me that the men and women that choose to participate in the Space Program really are taking a risk and there could be serious consequences to this job.  So thankful that they are willing to make this courageous choice.

After taking this tour and seeing pictures from outer space, I am truly amazed at God’s beautiful creation.  God planned every detail and put everything precisely in its place.  I am so thankful that God loved us so much that He made this beautiful planet for us and that He sent His son to take the punishment for our sins.  Much like the astronauts, Jesus knew that there were consequences and yet He still chose to take the punishment for our sins.  So thankful that Jesus chose to be obedient to his Father.

Hope you have enjoyed our space adventure and the adventure will continue….



Downtown Disney

Hello Friends,


What a glorious day we had yesterday.  The sun was shining and the temperature was warm.  So nice to be out of the sub zero temperatures at home.  We are on an adventure in Florida.  Ritch and Ed went to the Fantasy of Flight and Sarah, Marsha and I went to Downtown Disney.  It was so nice to walk around and look in the shops and visit.  Of course a little bit of shopping was done.  We even splurged and had a hot fudge sundae from Ghirardelli.  It was absolutely incredible.  We had wanted to take a boat ride, but the lines were very long and Ritch and Ed would be there soon to pick us up so we decided to skip the boat ride.


Ritch and Ed enjoyed their time looking at all different kinds of airplanes and learning more about each one.  It is so nice for them to be able to spend a day there because they both are pilots and is really fun for them and they could spend as much time as they wanted looking and talking about each plane.


While we were at Downtown Disney, we watched a person doing ring carving.  It was so interesting to watch.  I was admiring his work and thinking what an awesome talent he has.  Then I shared with Sarah how 15 years ago when her daddy and I were at Disney World for our honeymoon, her daddy had a ring made for me.  She thought it was pretty cool and I enjoyed remembering precious memories from our honeymoon.  We then went into the store where there were gentlemen doing hand blown glass.  I am always amazed when I watch them at work because the temperatures are so hot and the glass they are working with is so fragile.  The finished product is always so beautiful.  The glassblower has to take his time and be so gentle as he works and of course know what the finished product should look like.  As I was watching yesterday, I was thinking about how God is working in my life.  He knows the path that I need to be on and of course He already knows what the finished product will look like.  Sometimes I wish the Lord would just let me have a peek in to what the finished product is going to look like.  I am so thankful that the Lord still has work to do in my life and that I am safely in His hands.


After our wonderful day in Downtown Disney, we headed for home.  We stopped at a little Mexican restaurant and had a wonderful dinner.  After dinner, we went home and just spent time together watching a movie and being together.  Spending time with family is so precious.  So thankful for these times that the Lord gives to us.


The adventure continues tomorrow…..


Have a wonderful day.




New Year and A New Blog

Good Evening Friends,

It is a New Year and a New Blog.  Sorry it has been so long since I have posted to our blog.  Life has been very busy with the end of co-op, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  With the beginning of the New Year, we decided to change the format and look of the blog.  It took awhile for the new blog to get up and running.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  We were very thankful for the blessings the Lord gave to us over the holidays.  We were able to slow down and spend time together as a family and enjoy our friends and the snow.  Our Christmas was rather quiet and was nice to be able to reflect on the year as well.

After the first of the year, unfortunately my mom fell and broke her elbow in two places and that has taken up quite a bit of our time.  It is a privilege to be able to take care of my mom and her sister.  These two ladies are such a testimony to me and such wonderful prayer warriors.  I am so thankful that the Lord allows us to still have them in our lives.  Sarah is so sweet when it comes to grandmom and Aunt Betty.  When we take them out, she always makes sure that she gives them her arm so they have something to hold on to.  Sarah has such a tender heart and is always so caring.

Our winter has been CRAZY!!!  We have had lots of snow and very cold temperatures.  I know spring is coming, but just not sure when.  It is really hard to have the wonderful snow and not able to play in it because the temperatures have been below zero.

Earlier, both Sarah and I had a touch of the flu and fortunately, we were able to fight it off using our doTERRA Essential Oils.  We used doTERRA’s On Guard protective blend, Frankincense, Lime and Peppermint to help reduce our fevers and to settle our stomachs.  I am so thankful for these wonderful oils to help my family.

We were so excited for co-op to start on February 5th, but unfortunately with the sub zero temperatures, co-op was cancelled.  Sarah was so disappointed and so I was.  We were looking forward to seeing our friends again and finding out about their holidays.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and there will be co-op next week.

On Tuesday mornings, I have started a Bible study on Psalm 91 at church.  What a blessing this study has been already.  I am in the process of learning Psalm 91 so that I can recall these scriptures when I in situations that are challenging.  I am reminded how God gives us our protection and we need to be willing to call on God’s protection.  I love how God is reminding me that if I am trusting Him, He will deliver me!  How awesome is that.  I also enjoy the ladies that the Lord brought together in this study.  I am learning from all of these ladies.  Each one of them has a wonderful testimony and they are such prayer warriors.  They are an encouragement to me.  God is good all the time, all the time God is good!

Well, friends, I hope and pray that you all have a blessed week and remember to keep trusting in the Lord.