Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Modern Transportation

We've been all over the last couple weeks. Visiting family in Oklahoma and vacationing in Branson.

I am thankful for short flights, borrowed cars, cooler July weather than I've ever seen, air conditioning, People magazines my mom gave me, cell phones, google maps, and most of all, time spent with family!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: Grace for ALL

This'll be short, I'm on vacation. ;)

We are in Branson. We went to see Jonah at the Sight and Sound theatre.  A major struggle (as portrayed in the show) for Jonah, was preaching to the Ninevites.  Jonah didn't think they were worthy of forgiveness.  He also didn't think it was fair for them to be shown mercy.  I couldn't help but think about the prodigal son, and how his brother felt.  Or Martha, when Mary was listening to Jesus teach.  Some of us are doers, and we want to be acknowledge for our hard work and faithfulness.  And sometimes, we feel we've earned God's grace.

What about the theif on the cross?  How convenient!  He accepted Christ right before he died.  He'd lived a terrible life on Earth, and yet, HE gets to be in paradise.

Let's be clear.  We are all sinners saved by grace.  And not one of us, is deserving of God's grace or his unconditional love.  I believe that is why these stories are included in the bible. To serve as a reminder.

Our only part of salvation, is believing.  All the work was completed by Christ himself on the cross. So, obedience is great, and faithfulness.  And there will always be benefits to "keeping the faith", but it doesn't earn us a place in God's heart or in his kingdom. That was all Jesus.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord.

So, if you catch yourself looking around at other believers and wondering how God could accept them, just remember,

"All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all."  (Isaiah 53:6 NLT)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taco Tuesday: Mini Tortilla Pizzas

Week #9: Mini Tortilla Pizzas


3 flour tortillas
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 can pizza sauce
1 package mini pepperonis
1 package of pizza or mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
garlic salt
round cutter (we used the lid from a bottle of cooking spray, it was perfect!  You could also use a clean empty can)
muffin tin


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Cut 4 circles each, out of 3 tortillas (to fit the bottom of a muffin tin)
2. Brush butter on tortillas, sprinkle garlic salt on top of buttery side.
3. Place cut tortilla circles, butter side down, into 12 muffin holes.
4. Poke small holes in the tortillas.
5. Top tortilla rounds with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni (and any other toppings you might like)
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 
(After out first batch, we wanted out crust a little more crispy, so we baked just the crust for five minutes, added the toppings, then baked for ten more minutes...perfect!)

We tried this recipe for the first time, on vacation in Branson.  Grampa found the recipe on Facebook, and thought they'd be fun to make with the grandkids.  It was an adventure, that's for sure.  These were tasty, indeed!

Cutting circles out of the tortillas

We had to push hard!

Kora ate butter.

Notice Kora and the butter...

Working together.  (We couldn't find mini pepperonis and had to rip ours up)

Apparently both of my kids work better if they stick their tongue out.

Who ever heard of too many cooks in the kitchen? We got this!

Kora put a giant handful of cheese, and filled the muffin cup to the top.  Grampa told her to put some of the cheese on the other pizzas, she ended up insisting that the whole pizza go on top of another one.  And that's how the double decker was invented!

This is Kora inventing the double decker pizza, I should have mentioned, in case you wanted to make them this way, that you first have to ball it up in your hand and destroy it, THEN you can put it on top of another one.  GENIUS! :)

Manic Monday: Seek & Find Sand Bottles

Week #9: Seek & Find Sand Bottles

You Will Need:

1 Empty bottle
Enough sand to fill the bottle
1 funnel
Several small objects that will fit into the opening of the bottle


Gather materials, and make a list of every item you are putting in the bottle.  My kids are younger, so I took a picture of each item or group of items. Then I went online and made a photo collage, 8 X 10, I was able to fit all the objects on one page.  We made 2 bottles, one for each kid.  If you have older kids, you could write out, or type the list of items and they could just read what they are looking for.

After you have catalogued every item, layer sand, and items in your bottle.  Close your bottle, you could super glue it shut if you want to prevent any spills.

The possibilities are endless on how you could play with these things!  You can take turns trying to stump the other person.  Tell them which object or objects to find, and then time them.  Or use a timer and see how many things they can find in a certain amount of time.  I like to leave things open ended for my kiddos and see what they come up with.  We've had so much fun with these bottles and my mind kept flying to other possibilities.

What about spelling words, or math problems.  You could do sight words, and look for them.  Or, list words, and then have your kid find the letters inside the bottle. You could just print the letters, words, or numbers onto pieces of notecards.

Another great thing about this activity is that it builds vocabulary and provides a way for kids to discuss size, shape, texture, color, and a variety of other descriptors.

Chances are, you have almost ALL the materials for this laying around your house, or you can gather them inexpensively.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flashback Friday: All Around Oklahoma


We met Gramee and Grampa at Gatti Town, sort of like Chuck E Cheese, but better.  It was just $2.99  for the buffet (it was special for July), plus games!  Gramee and Grampa brought us a car to borrow while we're down here (in Oklahoma).

After Gatti Town, we headed over to Doug's sister's place for family night with Doug's mom.  I insisted on pictures, and I'm pretty sure my nephew Jacob despises me now. I'm THAT aunt.

Grandma Sheryl with all her grand babies!

How is this even possible?!?  It felt like October in Oklahoma.

Kid Table!

They're probably gonna kill me for this one, but they're making the SAME expression!  They were listening to T tell us something.

We drove to Paden Friday night, so we could spend a couple days there, and go to church! 


Not many pictures from Saturday, but believe me, it balances out before we're all said and done here.


I love, love going to church in Paden.  Everyone is just so sweet to us.  I miss our church family, glad we can keep in touch, and we are able to visit.

Kees did this WHOLE puzzle by himself.  I couldn't believe it!  Yay, Kees!

Sunday evening service. Kora lasted through the songs, but then Gramee took her to the nursery to play.

Incredible weather, especially for JULY in Oklahoma, we decided to sit outside for a few minutes and soak it up.

There were spiders, and spider eggs.


We drove back to OKC, and met Shevaun and Grandma Sheryl for lunch at a Thai/Malaysian place. There was an Asian market near there, and we were COMPELLED to go.  Doug and Shevaun picked up some necessary ingredients so Doug could make us some fried rice.

Finally warm enough to swim in the backyard.  Seriously, is this really July?!

GARLIC!  Doug was inside cooking, and the kids were swimming, I ran back and forth to get pictures.

Uncle Tim!  Kees used to call him Uncle Man, we still do sometimes.

I had so many blurry pictures of these kids because they were running around like crazy!

I took Madeline and Kora shopping.  At lunch, I was asking all the Putnam kids what they would wish for if they could have one wish.  Madeline said she wished she could go shopping with me.  That made me feel like a million bucks!!


Aunt Shevaun took us to Whitewater!! Jacob rode with us, both of my kids fell asleep on the way there.  Then Kora fell asleep on the way home too!

This is Daisy. Daisy belongs in the back yard.  She greeted us in the front yard.


We packed up our stuff, and headed to Paden.  We got to eat Chick-fil-a for lunch. It was delicious.

We got to my parent's place and unloaded.  I didn't get too many pictures on Wednesday because I was so busy making last minute plans for vacation (to Branson!), doing laundry, and re-packing.  We were planning on driving my dad's truck, and a small car, but a lovely couple from church let us borrow their Suburban.  My mom packs everything but the kitchen sink when she goes on vacation, so we had to get a little creative since we couldn't pack an entire truck full.  So I got our family down to one suitcase and a few miscellaneous bags.  My mom is so surprised by how easily I toss and sort. It's a learned skill, after moving internationally.  It comes in handy! :)


We woke up early and ate donuts!!  I worked on typing up the notes for how to take care of Mamaw. She lives with my parents and my dad's brother (and his family) are taking care of her while my parents are away.  My mom had hand-written pages and pages of notes, but her handwriting isn't the best.  Since my kids woke up so stinking early, I decided to try and type up the notes, it took OVER an hour.  Geeze!  Hope it was helpful and not overwhelming, we are so thankful to have the help this week, yay Uncle Tom/Bill!!!

After all the last minute packing, we finally headed off to Branson, a little before 10 am.

We stopped in Joplin for lunch.  They have a travel center that has Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and a Caribou Coffee shop!

This stop also had a huge store, plus semi trucks INSIDE!

Grampa, discovered the back of the truck was open and let Kora, the tiny tornado inside!  WHAT?!

 This is a mom's purse, stuffed, overflowing, full of baby dolls, uneaten food, and juice cups. And that's just what you can see!

Kora talked Grampa into running.

The store had a whole section of Hello Kitty stuff.  Kora was in heaven.

Kees wanted to take his picture with this dog.

These girls sure do love their Gramee.

We met my sister and her family at Joplin, and afterwards, Deanna got to ride with us and watch Shrek!

I've been told I look like my dad.  Thought I'd get a profile picture and see if there's any truth to that rumor.

Kora was trapping her hands in between her feet.  Too bad she never wants to trap her shoes onto her feet.

We strapped a few things to the top. Like I said, everything but the kitchen sink!

Almost there!!!

Gramee thinks Kora looks like Aunt Shevaun (Doug's sister) in this one.

We made it, hooray!

Here's a few from around the resort.

Grampa likes to aggravate people.

The vacation fairy (aka zombie, according to Kees) brought the kids these trays, plus coloring books and crayons.

I stayed up late to make muffins!  Yum, yum, yum!

Fair warning, next week's Friday post is going to be out of control.  We are in Branson until next Thursday, so I'm sure there will be a crazy ton of pictures.