Monday, February 28, 2011

Great Quotes from Lysa's Blog

Last week Lysa TerKeurst shared the following quotes on her blog.  I saved these quotes because they actually made the chasmic jump from my short term memory to my long term memory and since that is exceptionally rare in these sleep-deprived years of my life, I am classifying these words as significant and am sharing them here.

Spoken by Lysa's pastor, Steven Furtick:

“If the size of the vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, chances are it’s insulting to God.”

“Sometimes God allows us to see the miracle.  Sometimes God allows us to BE the miracle.”

“If you are going to ask God to make the sun stand still, you better be prepared to march all night.”

This one was to the single guys in the room but it made me laugh so hard I snorted…  “If you want to meet a godly girl, don’t be going down to the club on Thursday night.  Put some product in your hair and go serve on the greeter’s committee at church.”

“When you do what you can do, then God will do what only He can do.”

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nut & Egg Free Cookie Dough! Woo Hoo!

Baked goods can be particularly unsafe for children with nut and egg allergies.  I am so excited about this nut-&-egg allergy-safe cookie dough recipe!
Thank you Snow White and Frog Prince at
"Finding Joy in My Kitchen" for the great recipe! 
I can hardly wait to treat my little one with these special cookies!

Cookie Dough - Adapted from Kelly

1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2ish C dark chocolate chips
~2 T water
1/2 C oatmeal (optional)

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Then, add in the flour, salt and stir to combine. Add in the vanilla and then, if necessary about 2 T water. Add the water 1 T at a time, stirring to see if you need more water. Then, stir in the chocolate chips.

Another Birthday...

After 31 years of life, I continue to agree that
"...the greatest of these is love" I Cor 13:13b

Thank you to my family for a beautiful birthday.

Ni Hao Yall

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursdays: Tied with Love and Laughter; Grand Prix Blessing

As you think about the last week or so with your spouse, what stands out the most in your mind?  Did you have a special date, did you make a big decision, did he make you feel extra special in some way, did you laugh together, did you remember a special past memory, did you overcome something together, did he make you smile? 
Take this opportunity to express how sharing life with your spouse has blessed you this week!

This week, I am especially thankful for my husband’s desire to put his family first.  Last Saturday he had the opportunity to do many things other than be present at our children’s Grand Prix race;  But this is where he chose to be!  Not to mention, the hours he spent helping them make their cars prior to the race!  I am so thankful that he makes it a priority to spend time with our children.  Oh, and AN4 was really not as bummed as she looks in this picture!  She was just trying to be patient while she waited to go play again!

Children are a heritage from the Lord..." Psalm 127:3a

1. Post your story and/or pictures on your blog.
2. Add the "Thursdays: Tied with Love and Laughter" button into your post.
3. Come back here and share your story by adding the link to your post (that is, the direct link to your TTLL post, not the link to your blog please!) in the linky below. Then everyone can share in your story!
4. Don't forget to come back again next Thursday to pause for a moment and smile over the love of your life!

Family Forest

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maybe I am not making any sense?

Riding in the car today, AN4 is sharing one of her 4 year old narratives based on a story she has created in her mind and now believes to be reality.  I am going along with it. 

"Mommy, there is a man in the woods and he is cutting a tree."
"So, he is cutting the tree and someone walks by so he yells 'look out! the tree is falling!' "
So, I try to seize this educational moment, "Or he could just yell the word 'timber' which also means a tree is falling."
"What? No mommy, he yelled 'the tree is falling,' really, he did..." 

Its at this moment when I start to question whether or not 'timber' actually means what I think it does and whether it really matters.  Oh well, not every moment has to be a teaching moment!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snapshot of the Week

After days of preparation, the girls AWANA Grand Prix cars were complete and ready for competition.  The “hotdog” car and the “baby” car represented hours of family time, planning, cutting, sanding, painting, and assembling.  On Saturday the girls raced their cars and had a blast! 


The highlight of my day was hearing that my eldest daughter told her teacher that “it doesn’t matter if I get a trophy, its just fun to race.” The girls did come home with trophies which was an added bonus in the midst of all the fun!


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What is a safe snack for children with peanut-allergies?

No Peanuts Allergy Alert Pendant
Peanut Free Snacks

A friend just shared this link with me: 11 peanut-free snack ideas for children

What a huge help for when people ask, "what can he have?"  Thanks Lisa!

Fresh Fruit
Mott’s Fruit Snacks
Oreo Cookies
Teddy Grahams
Lay’s Chips
Sun Chips
Fruit Leather

#11, Kashi TLC Cereal Bars. No traces of anything nut in those and lots of goodness!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Have you ever read Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages?  You know the one that explains how most people have a primary love language that they use to express and understand love?  Great Book.

I have learned that my husband is an Acts of Service kind of guy.  He expresses his love by "taking care of things."  He will take out the garbage, change the oil in the car, cut some firewood, shovel the driveway, or occasionally he will even do the dishes!  All things that I deeply appreciate, but never recognized as "love."  My two primary love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time, see the humor?  While Dan was attempting to demonstrate his love,  I just felt like he was always too busy to spend time with me! 
Ironic and a little daft, I know.

Since then, we have discussed this and laughed about it, many times.  I now know that having supper ready when he gets home, having a clean house for him, packing his lunches, putting away his clean clothes, and filling the car up with gas, etc, speak volumes of love to him!  So I try my best to remember to do these things for him.  And he does his best to remember to slow down and just sit with me once and while...  And on a good day, he might even throw in a compliment or two!

So whats your love language?  Which love language best fits the love of your life? How have these worked together in your relationship?  Any interesting stories around this? 

To take the Love Languages Personal Profile Assessment for both you and your spouse and to learn more about love languages check it out HERE!  

Can't wait to hear your story!
1. Just post your story and pictures on your blog
2. Add the "Thursdays: Tied with Love and Laughter" button into your post 
3. Come back here and share your story by adding the link to your post (that is, the direct link to your TTLL post, not the link to your blog please!) in the linky below. Then everyone can share in your story!
4. Don't forget to come back again next Thursday to pause for a moment and smile over the love of your life!


I wasn't sure how I would find an appropriate picture to go along with this post.  But then I remembered this one.  This is my husband "helping" our daughter with her AWANA project and I SO appreciated it! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Pancake Flop

Valentine heart shaped pancakes were made from scratch and served this morning in our house, for a special treat.  While all agreed that the pancakes looked pretty to the eye, the official critique was that they were “too sweet” and “didn’t taste good.” So, the girls enjoyed eggs and cantaloupe for breakfast instead.  Well, at least we tried!

100_5321 - Copy

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Snowman Returns, Again

We have no shortage of snow storms in New England this year!  Our children now consider it part of our daily routine to make snow-angels and snowmen!  A few weeks ago we made "Mrs. Bunny" as a family.
This week, the girls went out and made a snowman all by themselves, to "surprise" mama.  I loved my surprise!  Great work girls!

Snow Angels, Snow Painting, and Sled Rides

0112011454  100_5307

JD1 enjoyed his very first playtime in the snow.  If only a picture could capture his giggles;
He is so proud of himself!


"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:" Ecclesiastes 3:1

Follow this link to Sunday Snapshot
Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Fun with Science

Whenever we do school on a Saturday, we try to do something a little different and fun.  Today we decided on science and we had so much fun with our science experiment today!  The girls kept "playing" much longer than I had anticipated!

Click on the following link to see the directions and to see more pictures! Check it our here at Our Family Forest Academy!

Science Sunday

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap Up

weekly wrap-up
Our Projects of the Week!
This week we studied the American artist, Robert Vonnoh’s work
"In Flanders Field-Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow" 1858-1933. 


The girls had fun with water color crayons!



JB6 Made a bird feeder...


And paper machete volcanoes at co-op...


And JB6 lost her second tooth!


On more of a "mom-note," I am very excited about doing this blog!  As a homeschool mom, I am looking into the possibility of doing curriculum reviews for next year!  And in order to do so, I need to have at least 25 blog followers.  So with hopes of increasing the traffic to my blog (and to hopefully gain a few followers) I have begun a new weekly meme on my blog!  It is called “Thursdays: Tied with Love and Laughter” and it focuses on the love of your life!  I am super excited about doing this meme and just as excited to have a new blog! I simply LOVE the creative release of blogging! 

So thank you for stopping by my blog!  If you would please consider following Our Family Forest, I would really appreciate it! 

Enjoy your weekend!

Our Family Forest

Wednesday, February 9, 2011



I met my husband in January 2002, we were engaged in February and married in September!  It was the single most "impulsive" thing that I have ever done!  But the day that I met him, I was so at peace that I just knew he was the one.  So, when he asked me to marry him after only one month of dating, I figured, why wait?  Eight years and three children later,
I adore him even more! 

So whats your story? 

Tell us a little bit about the love of your life!  How did you meet? What first attracted you? How did you know that he was the one?  Would LOVE to see pictures of your early dating years, wedding pictures, or pictures of any other favorite memories you have with the 

1. Just post your story and pictures on your blog
2.  Add the "Thursdays: Tied with Love and Laughter" button into your post 
3.  Come back here and share your story in the comments below by adding the direct link to your post. Then everyone can follow your story!
4. Don't forget to come back again next Thursday to pause for a moment and smile over the love of your life! 

Can't wait to hear your story! 

Oh, and I just have to mention that our first date was on a farm, milking cows!  It was his part-time job, he had committed to work and well... I was willing to go anywhere, just to be with him!  Not exactly the type of "romantic" date that one may dream of, but for us, it was a night that we will always remember with a smile!

Our Wedding

Our Honeymoon

If you had fun with this...
 Please grab the
"Thursdays: Tied with Love and Laughter"
button for your blog and consider following 
Our Family Forest as well!

Thank you for visiting!


Our Family Forest


I invite you to  Our Family Forest tomorrow, to be one of the first to take part in the debut of a brand new meme:
See you tomorrow!

Stylish Blogger Award

I am so excited (and pleasantly surprised) that Our Family Forest has received the "Stylish Blogger Award!" So thank you Berry Patch for recognizing my blog!  The Berry Patch blog has been helpful and inspiring in so many ways!  Thank you for encouraging me to try blogging, it has been a huge creative release for me!  Many thanks!

Paying it Forward, here are the rules:
  1. Thank and link back to the person (or people) who awarded you this award
  2. Share 7 things about yourself
  3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

Seven Things About Me

1. I am a full time wife and mom but I also have a Bachelors Degree of Science in Nursing from Messiah College.  I work part-time as a Registered Nurse on a Medical/Surgical Floor at a local Hospital. 

2. I am married to an amazing man who I met and married in 2002.  We love camping, hunting, playing sports, renovating, and getting away together!  Although, that last one, is an extremely rare occurrence!

3. I am mother to three children that bless my life in countless ways!  I am currently homeschooling my oldest two, while our one year old just keeps us moving and laughing!

4. I have been a part of a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group as the coordinator for about 4 years now.  I love this group of women and all that we learn from one another!  I would highly recommend any mom with small children to look into find a MOPS group near you!

5. At eight months pregnant, I traveled into the deep woods of Maine to go on a Moose hunt.  Getting a moose permit is a once in a lifetime opportunity, as it is done by lottery.  So this was my big opportunity, pregnant belly and all!  My husband and I brought home a trophy moose (It weighed 891 lbs, the spread was 52 5/8, and scored 172 1/8 with MASTC, for anyone who may be interested in hunting excursions!) which is now mounted on our living room wall.  And yes, I did shoot it myself... at eight months pregnant!

6. I have a deep passion for sports!  In my B.C. years I played soccer, basketball, and softball.  I even had the awesome opportunity to play Division III softball at the college level, which ranks pretty high on my list of favorite times!  Someday I hope to have the time and the fitness level to be able to get back on a field again! For now, I cheer on the Red Sox!

7.  I had horses growing up.  A saddle bred mare named "An Illusive Dream" or "Lucy" and a quarter horse, appaloosa gelding named "Buckshot" or "Buck".  My not-so-secret dream is to have horses once again and to combine my love of horses with my nursing skills by opening a therapeutic riding center.

Passing it on:

I am fairly new to blogging but there have been several blogs that I have found encouraging, interesting or special for one reason or another.

1. Love in Action- This is one of my favorite blogs.  Janine is so transparent in her blog.  She is devoted to her family and her faith; She was raised in South Africa and it brings a certain flare to her blog!
2. Write at Home Mom - Mom and Freelance writer.  Her humor and witty way with words is sure to make you smile! 
3. Doodledidit- A wife and mother, raising a teenager and a toddler.  This blog also has a touch of exposure to the Chinese culture!  A very well done blog!  
4. Food Allergy Family Fun- We recently learned that our 14 month old has several food allergies.  This blog is about a mom who shares her experiences with food allergies and has recipe ideas to share.  I am fan of this blog!
5. Living the Good Life- This self-proclaimed "Food Detective" has created a very helpful blog for those of us facing the challenges of food allergies.  A very helpful resource!
6. Baby's Journey Home- We started following this blog to stay in touch with friends who are states away.  This blog is the story of one family who are inspiring in so many ways!  It has been a blessing for us to follow.
7. Four Wellings- Stunning photography that surpasses most! It does help that her children are naturally beautiful to look at, but Hannah captures life's moments in an exquisite way.  On my list of favorite blogs to visit!  ...What more can the heart of a man desire? " -Tolstoy
8. 4EverMom- A blog full of great mom ideas from science experiments to recipes to a little dose of reality. Worth stopping by!
9. 52 Week Preschool- This mom shares her daily routine of homeschooling a preschooler.  She does a fabulous job of showcasing their curriculum, projects, and books that they are reading with a lot of visuals.  A great blog!
10. Boys Rule My Life- Becky defines herself as "Conservative Christian. Happy wife and striving help meet. Homeschooling mama to three boys." This blogs is full of great homeschool projects with great pictures to check out!  Excellent blog for homeschoolers!
11. Joy in the Journey A homeschooling mom of three who believes her home is her mission field.  I love the up-beat tone of her blog!
12. One Thing Spoken, Two Things Heard- I would describe this blog as a rolling blessings list.  You are bound to find something to be thankful for while reading this blog!  And they are considering homeschooling, which is obviously dear to my heart!
13. Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers- I love how she embraces the irony of this stereotype and does such a magnificent job of proving they are anything but! A fun and witty blog to follow!  Check this out on Fridays for a fun Weekly Wrap Up meme!
14. While He was Napping- This crafty mom is full of great ideas for crafts!  Its perfect if you happen to fall into the "less crafty" category and could use a few ideas! 
15. Why Homeschool- I love this site.  You'll find a homeschool advocate who is not afraid to tackle political issues with a little bit of humor.  Its well done.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

A look into our lives with Snapshot Sunday

This morning we rose with the sun,
the way that families with small children do,
and discovered that we are indeed snowed in once again! 


This has been a very big week for our eldest daughter who has lost her first tooth!  Though we have never told our children that the tooth fairy is real, they have had a tremendous amount of fun formulating ideas as to how the dollar appeared under her pillow and how the little baby tooth disappeared in her sleep!


In the last couple of weeks, we learned that our youngest has multiple food allergies.  So we have spent a great deal of time this week researching and learning about the world of nut and egg allergies.

JD with chicks

As a homeschool family we have the luxury to choose which days we have school and which ones we do not.  Yesterday was declared Saturday-Art-Day at the Family Forest Academy!



We studied Robert Vonnoh, American, 1858-1933
"In Flanders Field-Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow"
In Flanders Field-Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow

One doesn’t have to look far to see the majestic works of His hands.  As I watched the sun rise I praised God for the splendor of His creation, on this classic New England winter morning.


Follow this link at Snapshot Sunday 
Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are Cheerios safe for a child with peanut allergies?

Are Cheerios safe for a child with peanut allergies or not?  According to the following letter from General Mills' Consumer Services, they should be.  The Allergy Warning identifies wheat as the only possible allergen.  So, it seems as though the Mulit-Grain Cheerios that we currently have in our cupboard should be peaunt-free.  Wondering how accurate this is?  Could these Cheerios still be cross-contaminated?

Cheerios Web Response regarding the use of the 8 allergens

Thank you for contacting General Mills concerning ingredients in our products. As manufacturers and consumers, we understand your concern about potential allergens in the foods you eat. Our primary goal is to provide accurate information; and we believe this is best accomplished by referring to the specific ingredients listed on each product package. This is the most current information for your needs.

If one of our products contains any of the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, eggs, soy, wheat, crustaceans, and fish) or if it contains sesame, sunflower or mollusks, that ingredient is always listed in the ingredient panel, and also in bold letters just below the list of ingredients. If a product is exposed to any of these allergens in the manufacturing facility the allergen will be listed in bold in the ‘Contains Statement’ just below the list of ingredients. This list is your ingredient assurance for that package. It is not intended for other packaging of the same product. Ingredients may vary from one package to another due to product reformulation. If you have allergy concerns, please read each package ingredient panel.

We hope this information helps you. You may also want to contact the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) at 1-800-929-4040, or visit their web site at Although they cannot provide specific ingredient information regarding a particular product, they are a good resource to help in the management of your allergies and sensitivities.

We appreciate your interest. Please contact us again with any further questions or comments.

Deanna Walker
General Mills
Consumer Services

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Laughter in the Car

AN4: "Mom, feel my hand, its cold"
Me: "A, I can't I am driving"
AN4:"Ok... Mom, feel my other hand"
Me: "A, I can't I am driving"
AN4:"Ok... Mom, look at my tongue, its blue!"
Me, again: "A, Mommy is driving, I cannot turn around and look at your tongue right now"
AN4: "Ok... Mom...I think I am allergic to poop."
Me: laughing so hard I can barely drive!

Slow Down Martha

Motherhood brings out the Martha in me.  I am always doing and going, racing to complete my agenda.  Ironically, there is no end to the agenda;  I simply continue adding more and more and more things to that to-do-list, until eventually I have to transfer the unfinished items over to a new, more legible to-do list.  I would love to be more of a Mary, to slow down and just "be" with my children, putting aside the agenda.  I am thankful for homeschooling and the way that it causes me to set aside a chunk of my day specifically to be with my children and to give them my undivided attention.  What a blessing it is to be able to homeschool and to have the opportunity to "be" with my children.   Albeit, “do school”did not escape the infamous to-do-list either but today I am going to at least be putting it at the top.
At the Home of Martha and Mary
Luke 10:38-42
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's for the Troops, Works-for-Me-Wednesday


As one of our homeschool projects at the Family Forest Academy, the girls made Valentines to send to the military troops.  At the time, our local radio station was collecting them and mailing them out.   At this point, it is probably to late to mail out cards for Valentine's Day, however in the spirit of love and thoughtfulness at Valentine's, one could consider "adopting a solider" through Hugs for Our Soldiers 

2-69 AR, 3rd PLT, D CO

Check out more Valentine's ideas at Works-for-Me Wednesday