Saturday, April 29, 2017

April Happenings

Good afternoon, dear Friends!

You know how it's hard to fill your mom, sister, or good friend in all the details of things if you haven't talked to them in a while?  In turn, it usually takes longer to actually make that long phone call to catch up on everything?  Ha....I feel like that here at my blog.  Life is happening in wonderful ways, but as time slips between each post and I'm taking more pictures the thought of sharing all the stories, photos and thoughts from the past day, week, month becomes all the more daunting.  As I write I'm going to incorporate some photos I've taken over the past few weeks to share with you inside my family's world.  With spring break behind us and both kid's birthdays and not to mention Easter, I don't have time to share it all but ... anyways... enough with the rambling! 

Where do I begin?

What a better way to start than the present....

Right now it's a beautifully rainy looking afternoon and the yard and zillion trees we have on our property look gorgeous in their Irish green!

This morning the kids and I spent most of the morning outside as the sun was shining and I wanted them to get some outdoor times before all the rain comes over the weekend.  The kids played and I began some maintenance yard work, which I really enjoy. Once they saw I was in the flower garden pulling weeds they got excited to join me and I was happy for the help!

These pictures here were taken over the course of the last month...

If you don't know, we live on 4 acres of land that borders several acres of woods on one side.  We have a few established flower gardens in our landscape and around our yard, and those are one of the reasons I was so attracted to this home because they are gorgeous!  The yard our house sits on has over 120 trees alone (yes, I've counted!), so when I say yard work, there is always lots to do! Let's just say it's a very good thing I love the outdoors so much.  It's actually a real blessing for us to have large yard to enjoy! 

Sweet girl has the sun in her eyes!  We were enjoying some quilt time in the yard on a hot April day.  This is one of the many ways we've enjoyed our home this spring!
There's Pebble, basking in the sun with us. 
Our cat is the best cat ever!  I've had a few litters in my lifetime, so I should know!

Watering our newly planted hydrangeas! My husband has spruced up our landscape beautifully this year with new plants.  Thank you, Honey!

So this morning the kids wanted to help me out with the yard work, and it almost became like a game to all do together!  They usually enjoy helping my husband and I outside and since they're growing up at 6 and 7 years old they really do help!  So we were picking up limbs out of the yard, pulling weeds in the flower gardens and I even trimmed some new growth branches on trees that we don't want.  We took a walk around our meadow to see the big evergreen that's covered in honeysuckle!  It smells dreamy when the wind catches the flowery scent and carries it across the field. The temperature was perfect today and while as I sit here typing my back is aching from bending over so much on the ground, being outside and doing all those things along side my kids put me in my "happy place". This time of year is just refreshing for my soul!

Friends, I just got finished doing what I love doing most and haven't done for months!
I just got finished whipping up a big batch of dark chocolate Ghiradelli chocolate chip cookies!!!  Oh my word, these are going to be delish!  The batter is resting in the fridge before I bake a few off tonight after supper.  If you've followed me for a while you already know that years ago I discovered from a pastry chef-friend of mine that most cookie recipes taste the ultimate after allowing the dough to be in the fridge for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days. 

This cookie batter looks and smells so good!  I've never made the Ghiradelli's recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but seeing that that is my favorite kind of cookie to eat, and my favorite kind of chocolate chip, I thought it was high time! 

Let me fill you in on a little guilty pleasure of mine....  Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips, right out of the bag!  They are just so creamy and smooth and larger than the average chip!  In a perfect world --or who am I kidding?--after a long day, they are my go-to treat with a cup of coffee and a good book or movie. 

So this cookie recipe is right on the bag.  I'll let you know how we like them.  If you want to know my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, check this cookie recipe out for my double chocolate sea salt cookies!

This will be the first treat my husband and I have had for quite a while.  We have began a healthier lifestyle that drastically reduces desserts.  We'll never totally cut them out, because a dessert is part of life's little pleasures, and saying "never" is just shooting yourself in the foot when you're talking about a lifestyle change.  We've decided to be very thoughtful about what we eat throughout the day and have the occasional favorite treat...  so needless to say, I am that much more ready to bite into a deliciously warm and gooey chocolate chip cookie!! 

I've got a pork tenderloin cooking down in the slow cooker with BBQ sauce for homemade BBQ sandwiches.  (Heath and I will be enjoying sans bun.) It smells divine in the house right now!  I plan to make some sweet potatoes and green beans to go along side.

Before I go, I have to say that I hope that you all had a beautiful Easter celebrating The Resurrection!

Bubby's eyes were swollen on Easter due to allergies, but aren't they precious!
I just love this sweet eyelet dress.

Easter has become even more meaningful to me since having children.  From the weight of dwelling on our Savior's death on "Good" Friday to the overwhelming joy and praise that comes on reflecting on His resurrection on Sunday always makes me cling tighter to Jesus and the power of the gospel in my own life.  I want them to see us living out that celebration year round... 

It's the story that my life sings!!! 

And I love sharing it with my kids and finding creative ways to do so.  One of our favorite traditions is making yummy resurrection rolls with the kids!  They're an easy way to incorporate the story of the resurrection with children and something they help make and eat! They have come to ask to make these every time spring rolls around!  We still give the kid's Easter baskets, although candy is not what we want it to be all about, it's just so sweet to see their eyes light up at the sight of the basket.

I look forward to putting together a cute Easter basket for them.  For many years Heath and I dreamed about being able to do these family traditions with our own children.  I would walk the candy isle praying the Lord would bless us with a child to love.  I can testify that God has been so faithful to us, and now we have 2 kids!!! 
I hope you're enjoying the last weekend we have in April, before the busy month of May begins.   The month of yard sales beginning, Mother's Day, and when the end of the school year field trips,  award programs and graduations are being held.  Memorial Day will be after that and then we'll be in the Summertime swing! 

We're ending the month of April with a Night of Worship (woohooo!) at our church on Sunday.  I'm excited about that as we're practicing and preparing for the Lord to change lives that night.  That's what He does best!

Have a beautiful weekend and talk to you again soon!


Sue said...

I always enjoy stopping by for a visit, You have such a beautiful family, and you share some of the best recipes ever!

Kathy said...

So glad to read your update. You have a huge piece of land. I would never be able to take care of it, although I would love to spend time in it. Your kids are growing by leaps and bounds. Glad you had a good Easter. Thanks for the recipes.