This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


See Soule Mama for This Moment

Embracing the Camera!

The famous fish face with my Abbie.

(Mine is way better than hers but don't tell her I said that!)

Our curriculum

Pretty soon, after the holidays most likely, we will being our very casual homeschooling year. The girls are all still very young so I see no need to put a strict regimented schedule on them when most of their learning takes place doing ordinary, daily things.

Since some people have asked, here is the curriculum we will be using for Kindergarten and Preschool.

Simple and easy with lots of reading in between. We have quite a large collection of childrens books (the good stuff, not the fluffy stuff) and we read a lot during our days.

With construction of the house coming up, I wanted to make sure not to overload ourselves with too much stuff. Stress is not something we need to add right now (we have plenty, thank you) especially when the girls are so young.

To finish off this short little post, an interesting read:

The pressures of building your own home


I don't like it.

As some of you know, we're in the middle (beginning, really) of the process of designing our future home. It sounds dreamy, build your home to work for you. Any house I've ever rented or lived in it was easy to see the flaws. "If I had designed this bathroom I would have added a window..." Or "Why didn't they make the living room more spacious?" or "Why in the world is this weird shaped closet here? I would never have done that."

But now the pressure is on.

What do I want? Specifically, what do I want in a kitchen. Where will the cabinets go? The sink? The stove? An island? No island? Breakfast bar? Area for desk?

The kitchen is where I live, and kitchen decor seems so permanent. Cabinets are kind of forever when you own them.

I peruse Flickr in hopes of finding the perfect kitchen that I can show to the architect and say, "This one! This is what I want!" I have ended up with a folder full of kitchen images and all very different....but I think I do have a vague idea of some of the things I want.

1. An island.
2. A breakfast bar.
3. A bookshelf. (Yes. In the kitchen.)
4. Hanging pots.

But don't ask me about tile color or countertops. It makes me nervous.

I like the island. It's open and spacious. I like space.

Rustic Kitchen Cabinets - StarMark Cabinetry
I think I like the open shelves above the sink. Would they just attract clutter?

Open shelving for pantry, but am I neat enough? Probably not. It would look so much more messy.

Country Kitchen
Simple, rustic, natural. I'm in love.

Kitchen with potrack and bookshelves
Yes! Yes and yes! To the bookshelf for all my cookbooks, to the jars on the counters full of whatever they're full of, yes to the hanging pots side by side. I'm really liking this one.


I like all the products on display, the vegetables laying around, the kitchen island. So many great ides.

Obviously our kitchen won't be the exact replica of any of these due to budget. (Too bad.)
But still, there are many decisions to be made.

So tell me what you think. What would you love/need/ wish for in a kitchen. I want to know.

So much food!

A few days ago, when it was an oh-so-hot day, we headed over to our English friend's house. An English family, two American families, one Costa Rican, one Paraguayan....what to eat?
We started off with Paraguayan Bori-Bori


Then taste-tested English Marmite against Australian Vegemite. (I think Marmite wins hands down.)

For dessert a pre-Christmas English mincemeat pie topped with cream. Delicious.

We couldn't let all those calories just sit there so we burned them off with a game of badminton and a dip in the pool.

Ah! The perfect end to a multi-cultural afternoon.


Cold Snap

A few days ago we had a huge storm which brought in a cold front. So cold, we had to pull out winter clothes and wear them for two days. Sweaters, tights, December. It was really weird.


But now the warm weather is returning and I'm really glad because it was "beginning to look a lot like", you know, NOT Christmas.


Having spent my whole life living on, around, near, below the Equator it is engrained in my brain that Christmas means swimming pools, cookouts, and t-shirts.

So bye-bye cold weather. See you in July.

Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberry Glaze

Lemon Pound Cake:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1 tsp. of vanilla
1 whole zest of lemon
1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
In large bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In medium bowl mix together yogurt, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and canola oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix just until combined, batter will be lumpy. Do not over mix.
Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool slightly before removing from pan.


Raspberry Glaze:

1/2 cup of Raspberry jam/jelly/marmalade
1/4 cup of plain yogurt

* While cake is cooling, pour raspberry marmalade into small sauce pan. Mix over low heat until melted. Pour in yogurt, turn off heat. Mix yogurt and marmalade together. Invert cake onto cake platter, drizzle glaze over cake and serve while warm. Or cold. Or room temperature. It's delicious either way.


Note: This recipe was adapted from the Pioneer Woman's Yogurt-Marmalade Cake.

The circus


Yesterday was Elena and Abbie's last day of school. Tonight is their preschool graduation. They learned some Spanish, some new songs, and Elena learned how to write her name.
Tonight at the graduation the school is putting on a show where Abbie will pretend to be a circus elephant and Elena will be preforming the part of a tightrope walking ballerina. Sounds cute, right?
I won't miss sending them to school, getting them ready in the morning was my least favorite part of the day, no matter how well laid out/planned out our morning routine was. I just dreaded it.
I have a feeling it will have been worth it all when I see my little elephant and ballerina tonight. I'm sure to take some pictures to share with you, so no worries to all the extended family members that read this. Abbie has been practicing her deep bows complete with hand flourishes and a big, loud "GRACIAS!" so I guess I better bring the video camera too.

Embrace the Camera

When I stumbled upon the Anderson Crew blog I loved her idea of Embrace the Camera. I really do need to include myself in more photos, for the children's sake. Here's to hoping this idea sticks.

(Look at how cute my little Lexi Loo was...seems so long ago that she was that tiny. Now she crawls, pulls herself up, and eats finger food. Scary.)

Around here...

We are:

1. Making crayons


2. Making salad
3. Making mud pies


4. Making messes

What are you making today?

Paperwork and puke...oh my!

Oh my, but yesterday was horrible. Maybe not horrible, but certainly not fun. Paperwork, being thrown up on before 8 A.M., going over house plans again, it was a frustrating sort of day.
Brian came to the rescue with a Twix bar, Chinese take out and movie rental. Is there a situation that can not be remedied by eating Chinese food in bed? I think not.

This morning I woke up to a sky full of gray and drippy clouds. Rain, rain, rain. But when I stepped on the scale I saw that I had reached my goal weight. I think it's going to be a good day!

(As for how I lost the weight, it was about five months of eating Salads three or four times a week, smaller portions, no sugar or white flour, lots of drinking water, and working out at least 20 minutes a day for 6 days a week. Rotate between one day of cardio and then one day of strength.)

I hope your today is better than my yesterday.

What we're reading


(FYI: Lexi doesn't read yet.)

Brian is reading:

One Nation Under Gods - A History of the Mormon Church by Richard Abanes
Crazy Horse and Custer - The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors by Stephen Ambrose
This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

Elena and Abigail are being read:
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
The Big Picture Story Bible by David R. Helm
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones
* Note: After leafing through many different children's Bibles we usually found ourselves frustrated with how watered down the stories were. Is David really the hero in the story of David vs. Goliath? Of course not, Jesus is! These two children's Bibles have proven to be deep, truthful, and simple enough for children to understand. We highly recommend them

I am reading:

God is the Gospel by John Piper
Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper
Steady Days by Jamie C. Martin
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

Family Pictures on the roof


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The update here? Christmas is in full swing, tree is up, cookies will be made and Christmas music is being played constantly.

The girls have one week left of school (Hooray!) and then starting January homeschooling will being (again...Hooray!)

The house we're building is turning out to be a much longer, slower process than we had hoped. The land sits there while emails shoot back and forth between us and the architect. Minor details seem so huge and important when designing one's home. Oh the commitment. I have a huge bottle of Exedrin Migraine and I'm sure I'll put it to good use while the building goes on.

All for now...Merry Christmas!