Why You Can't Loose Those Last Ten Pounds - Don't eat plastic. Wow!

Etsy Headquarters - I love Etsy and I really love their office. Can I work there??

Tasty Kitchen - My new favorite site for recipes.

And because I like (okay, fine, love) pretty pictures, here are some of my Flickr finds. Pictures not taken by me.

pola heart


Date Night - Blue Grass Edition

My creation

I have never been to a Bluegrass concert, never purchased a Bluegrass CD, never wanted to go to a Bluegrass concert or shown much interest in hearing the music.


We're in Paraguay, and it's a lovely country that does not offer lots of flashy entertainment. One must seek out new things to do. So when my dad told us about this Bluegrass group that was sent down by the American Embassy and how they would be performing for free at one of the local schools, we were in.

My sister babysat, we went out for Chinese first (I had my first Chinese dumpling...delicious!) and then went to the concert.

It was a lot of fun! We clapped our hands, stomped our feet and even shouted YEEHAW a few times.

Who would have thought that my first Bluegrass concert would be in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay? I'm glad I went, and I'm really glad that I live in a country where the usual thing to do on a Friday night is drink terere with friends, because when the occasional concert/show/circus comes to town it makes it all the more exciting! Too much entertainment is exhausting and expensive, a little bit every now and then is way more special.

{Chinese Dumpling = Yum.}

Family Pictures by Elena

A new favorite activity of Elena's is to borrow my point and shoot and start taking pictures. Sometimes I have to delete whole folders full of pictures of toes, grass, and random objects around the house.

But sometimes I find pictures that I just love.

Blurry, out of focus, but us. Little glimpses of our lives from Elena's point of view.


Greek Yogurt


About 1 cup of Greek style yogurt
A handful of toasted walnuts
A dash of cinnamon
A drizzle of honey
A handful of pomegranate seeds

Simple. Healthy. Sooooo good.

Parque Monday (Mohn-dah-ew)

After days and days of rain,we were very happy to see the sun one morning. It only lasted that one day before water started dripping out of the sky again, but that one day was very much needed.

(Because I was loosing my mind.)

We went to a park on the outskirts of town where you can picnic, take nice walks and see a waterfall. I had no idea the waterfalls would be so massive.

I love waterfalls. The rushing, roaring, pounding sound always thrills me and reminds me of swimming in so many rapids in the jungle. White water rafting in a dug out canoe with no helmet or life jacket on (shhh, don't tell my mom) are some the best memories I have.




We all enjoyed our little bit of sunshine and plan on going back many times.

{a good man holds your baby and your camera bag.}


Confession number one

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Abbie wearing pajama pants, crocs on the wrong feet, oversized Paraguayan jersey and a one size too small hoodie. At a public park.

My children rarely wear matching clothes. Not even in public. It's pretty low on my priority list. They have beautiful clothes, matching clothes, cute outfits, you name it. They are now at the point where they can dress themselves and I love this. "Go get dressed" I say, they run off and come back clothed. It's awesome. What they choose to wear doesn't really concern me. Is this bad? Should I put more effort into how they look? I don't think so...and I certainly hope not, because I don't see myself caring anytime soon. As long as they are clean, modest, decent, and warm or cool enough, it goes. Sometimes their combinations are pretty cute too. Kind of like Punky Brewster.
I like fashion, I guess. I can tell when someone is tastefully dressed or not. When it's time to get dressy I like classic things (pencil skirts, black dress, etc.) I just don't have a passion for it like some do. I am really glad some people do though, otherwise I would not get to watch What Not To Wear.

My week in snapshots

Sunday: More Rain


Monday: Baby in Sink

Tuesday: Snack Time

Wednesday: Good Morning


Thursday: Building a fire


Friday: Gardening

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Saturday: Picnic


What's New with Abbie


She is -
* Now three (three!!) years old
* Has decided that purple is much prettier than pink
* Wants to do Big Girl school like Elena
* Still sucks her thumb
* Really good at pouting (we're working on that...)
* Knows that her name starts with the letter A

She's so cute.

What's New with Me


I am -
* Celebrating Abbie's birthday today
* Homeschooling Elena
* Going away for the weekend
* Trying to loose baby weight (again)
* Feeling creative

What's New with Brian


He is -
* Scoping out the land looking for the best place to start a new church
* Meeting pastors in the area
* Perfecting pizza on the grill
* Getting ideas for designs and logos for the new church
* Preparing a sermon for Sunday
* Helping me stay sane with three kids in rainy weather


He's so good lookin'.

What's New with Lexi Loo


She can -
* Blow bubbles
* Move in her walker
* Roll from her tummy to her back
* Hold on to her toys
* Eat mashed potatoes


She's so smart.

Date Night - Grilled Pizza


Brian and I long ago gave up on "going out" every week for date night. Three kids, piles of diapers, sleepless nights... it takes a lot of work to get gussied up, find a sitter and head out the door. We do go out on occasions, but it is rare. At Home Date Night seems to work a lot better for us in this stage of our life. Nothing fancy, we put the girls to bed and eat dinner alone. Maybe watch a movie, or just walk around our beautiful yard. We may make an elaborate recipe, or sometimes we just make nachos. Whatever we're in the mood for, but we do it. Date night, once a week, it really is sooooo important and worth every little bit of effort. Even when you're really tired. (And we are. We really, really are.)


Next week I'm thinking about doing something a little more creative. Maybe some cool photoshoot (difficult in the evening hours, but still fun), or maybe some diy artwork for the house. Thankfully, I have a patient husband who does silly things with me just to make me happy.

Do you and yours have an at home date night? Any cool ideas you would like to share?


My mother had a great deal of trouble with me but I think she enjoyed it.

- Mark Twain

Sleepless in Paraguay



It's very cold in Paraguay right now, so cold that we're all sleeping in the same bedroom where the lone space heater is. We wear lots of layers, hats, hoodies and thick socks. I'm hardly allowed to leave the house because if I take Lexi out in this weather the Paraguayan ladies chew me out. They don't want her to get sick.

I love winter in Paraguay.

Color and lots of it!


I took a bold plunge and painted my old dining room set a bright tomato red. (When I say that "I" painted I really mean Brian.)

I have been wanting lately to put color everywhere. Sunny yellow, cool turquoise, bright red...I'm not sure why this sudden urge has come over me, but I like it.

Wool Covers


A very kind woman, the mother-in-law of a friend, someone I never met, took the time to knit many wool diaper covers for little Lexi. They are beautiful, soft, cozy, and 100% real wool. (FYI: real wool is not itchy, wool and acrylic can be.)
Now that winter is here in Paraguay I found myself putting these on Lexi a lot, they seem perfect for the season, but since they are 100% wool they are breathable and will work great in the summer as well.
Whether your baby wears cloth diapers or not, I think we can all agree that these are pretty cute. Every time I see them I smile and thank God for the kindness of people who do lovely things, even for someone they've never met.

Because I get asked all the time...


"How do you make baby food?"

It's really so easy, no recipes involved. Make food once a month, or once a week, or three times a day depending on your schedule.
I always start the baby off with fruit. Apples, pears, and bananas. I love bananas because I don't have to cook them. The first veggies I give are avocados, carrots, and squash.
I peel the fruit (or veggie...whatever I'm cooking.) Chop or slice it into small chunks and then steam them till soft. I put them in a blender add a tiny bit of filtered water and blend till soft and smooth. I like to add cinnamon too, just a teeny bit for flavor.
I like to make mine once a week...right now it's applesauce with carrot puree. I store it in a big Tupperware container and scoop out what she needs for each feeding. I warm it up on the stove with some oatmeal cereal (I grind oatmeal in the coffee grinder but you can buy some store bought).

I start the baby on solids when the baby is ready for it. Elena was ready at three months, Abbie was ready at 6 1/2 months, and Lexi was ready at 3 1/2 months. Once they reach the point where they are hungry ALL THE TIME and I can't keep up with the feedings I offer some soft baby food, if they except it well, they're ready, as far as I'm concerned. I don't worry about offering all sorts of varieties for as long as they are still nursing.

Be informed, read health/baby/mothering articles, but not scary ones. I find that mother usually does know best, sometimes even more than doctors. Go with your gut, your instinct, your intuition. Common sense goes a long way in mothering, I think.

My Week in Snapshots

Sunday: Unfinished project


Monday: Baby food


Tuesday: Coloring with my girls

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Wednesday: Elena goes to school


Thursday: Diapers hanging on the line


Friday: Not afraid to get my camera dirty


Saturday: Lunch is cooking


Under the weather


All the girls of the house are sick, sick, sick with the sniffles. Fever, headaches, achy joints, runny noses, stuffy name it, we got it!
My dear sweet aunt Pam sent me this recipe via Facebook (I sure do love Facebook) and I'm pretty sure it will do the trick.

Pam's Mexican Chicken Soup - A very RUSTIC recipe!

I find the biggest, plump chicken I can find. (I prefer Perdue) I rub that bird
(skin and all) with EVOO then season him inside and out! Boil him with

onion, garlic, 3 0r 4 cubes of chicken boullion, and later add carrots,

potatoes. (Sometimes in place of the potatoes, I add about a cup of rice. It

cooks up well with the other veggies.) When those are almost finished

cooking, I add corn on the cob ( cut into discs), cabbage and cilantro. After

all is cooked, serve piping hot! After served into individual bowls, I then

add more fresh chopped cilantro, squeeze on some lme juice, then add

Oaxaca cheese on top to melt all through it. Serve with a crusty bread (or

add tortilla stips or chips directly into the soup). We like french bread the

best with it. Buttered of course!

(If you can't find Mexican Oaxaca cheese, then mozzarella is the next best


Trip to Virginia

Our very last trip on furlough was to Virginia for a 5 day missions conference, I forget how old Lexi was...young. She was very young. A newborn, eating all the time, and barely sleeping.
The conference was great, the trip was...easy. As easy as traveling with three little children could possible be. (Which isn't really easy at all.)
It involves:

A lot of carseats. I hate carseats.

Snacks from Starbucks. Starbucks because they have COFFEE and we need COFFEE, and their baked goods have no artificial ingredients. Slightly more expensive than other snack foods, but at least it's real food.

Using free WiFi. I went to YouTube and looked up "vintage Sesame Street." The girls were happy, so was I. I love Sesame Street, they are so funny.


Curlers. Of course my face is not in this picture, I would not show that to the internet. I realize curlers are very retro, but it looks good on me, so...there.


Eating on the floor by the gate. We had burritos from Chipotle in Dulles Airport. And for that reason I have declared Dulles Airport to be my favorite airport of all time.


I'm so glad furlough is over.