Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

FYSF January 30, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Andie @ 2:37 pm

Okay, so I’m getting creative… but today’s FYSF stands for “Feed Your Sweet Face”

hee hee hee.

Some yummy chocolate recipes that are staples in my house:

Fudgy Saucepan Brownies

1 c. butter (2 sticks)

3/4 c. cocoa powder

1 3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 1/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9×13 pan. 
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat, stir in cocoa, blending until smooth. Remove from heat, cool slightly
  3. Add sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs (keep in saucepan; the hotter it is, the easier to stir). Beat until thoroughly combined. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well. 
  4. Spread batter into greased pan. Bake 30 minutes. (Tester will not come out clean). 

Hot Cocoa (3 servings)

3 cups milk

1 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 heaping Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp vanilla, if desired

Blend ingredients in blender til thoroughly mixed and foamy. Heat on medium and serve. You’ll hardly miss the marshmallows because it’s so frothy. But, don’t stir TOO much or the foam will lessen. 


Hello, I will change your life

Filed under: cleaning — Andie @ 12:59 pm

I hope this is not too grand of a claim. But, this stuff is amazing in the kitchen. It works so much better than Comet or baking soda for cleaning my porcelain sink scratches, my flat top stove, and my stainless steel pan.



making the most of time together January 29, 2009

Filed under: Mothering — Kate @ 3:34 pm

I can ALWAYS use a reminder to slow down and focus on the needs of my kids!  It is way too easy to get going with what I need/want to get done for the day and before I know it it’s dinner time and I haven’t had purposeful time with them.  Sure, I’ve had talks with them about why we chew food with our mouths closed, reminded them to be gentle with the kitties, asked them to use full sentences to ask for help, encouraged them to share their toys and even had some one-on-one time with their hind ends, but I need to remember that those little things can be special times with them, training them, and being purposeful with them!  Both of the kids just love any time that we can do things together … I need to remember to utilize and cherish these times!

Sammy is an out going leader of a little 3 year old!  He would love to tell everyone how things should be done, from his little sister to his parents.  Spending time with him is often letting him help me with tasks like setting the table and thinking about how we can serve other people. (eg, picking up toys before Daddy comes home)

Zoe is just 2 and learning to talk and use her words well.  A lot of the time that I spend with her is just purposing to ask her questions and helping her to answer them in sentences.  Seems simple, but she loves the face time and the encouragement!


Girl Time January 28, 2009

Filed under: Mothering — Gretchen @ 3:03 pm

How I spend time with each of my girls has changed so much over the years.  I am constantly evaluating and changing how I spend time with each one as their interests change and as they grow.  So as of right now this is how I spend time with each one…

Brigitta – Right now Brigitta loves to read.  She has like 3 novels going right now on top of her school work and Bible reading.  In order to spend time with her I try to engage her with what she is reading.  We are both reading the same thing in the Bible and then we discuss it together.  She really likes staying home and reading a good book as opposed to be out and about.   Another way to spend time with Brigitta is to treat her like an adult :)  Sometimes we let just Brigitta stay up past all her sisters just to chat or even to help me with the dishes or cleaning.  She likes being treated like an adult in this way.

Natalia – Miss Tali LOVES going out!!!  She likes to be on the move doing errands, taking classes, visiting people or going to the zoo.  Natalia is my shopping and errand buddy.  When I need to spend time with her we go out somewhere.

Analina – Analina has a speech delay and consequently in order to spend time with her and connect we usually have to do some kind of activity together.  She really likes helping out around the house so we usually clean together or read a book or play with blocks together.  She is my little helper!

Francesca – Cha Cha is our party animal :)  She loves to laugh and dance and have a good time.  We mostly just laugh all day :)  To really get her going we put on some music (she likes all kinds but really gets dancing to rap and ’80s music) and dance around together.  The girls is very jolly all the time and really likes to laugh and giggle.  She likes being tickled and thrown around.

All of my girls require daily one on one attention from me.  Each of them is so unique and different and I am constantly looking for more effective ways to connect with them.img01177-799236


The Girl, the Boy, and the Baby. January 27, 2009

Filed under: Mothering — Leah @ 6:00 am

As it is in most all families…my kids are all very different personalities….which creates a challenge for me when trying to plan out a day that helps each child to feel loved and cared for.   Here is my plan of attack for our home.  :-)

img_30012Child #1:  Maggie.  3 years old. I have learned that Maggie needs some one on one time each day.  She doesn’t recognize that she needs it and won’t ask for it, but by mid morning I try to make sure that I have had a conversation with her (ONLY HER) where I am asking her questions about her morning/day and focusing on her answers.  No distractions, no answering her brother, no running around doing things while she’s talking.  I ask her things like how she slept, if she liked her breakfast, what she would like to do that day, if their is a craft she’d like to do, and if their is an outfit she would like to wear that day (assuming she’s not already dressed).  The few minutes is takes to talk with her really helps to make a connection with her for the day and consequently is MUCH less likely to act out later in the day when she it tired.

img_2869Child #2: Sam.  3 years old. Sam will not let us forget that he is around.  He is constantly under my feet wanting to “help”: help cook, help clean, help do laundry, help carry brother, help remind Maggie to flush and wash up, help get the mail, help hang a picture, help carry groceries…you name it- he’s surely qualified to help do it (or at least he thinks he is!).  I try to involve him in as much as I can, he feels very important and loved when we let him assist us in the chores of daily life.  I think we emotionally scar him when we don’t let him help us.  I make an effort each day to have some physical play time with him.  Maybe soccer or baseball outside, a tickle match inside, or some good old fashioned grunting and roaring at each other.  He’s definitely a boy and I try hard to let him be one….

img_2855Child #3: Miles. 7 months old. Miles is a funny little guy.  He can sit on my lap for HOURS and not make a peep.  He just loves to sit with us and hang out.  He’s not a fan of being in a room by himself, so when he is sitting down to play and his siblings run out of the room- he’s going to cry.  He wants to be where the action is…although we aren’t too sure that he really wants to be a part of the action….just near it is good enough for him.  It’s very easy for me to just tote Miles along with me throughout the day, because he is so content being toted along!!  BUT, I have recently made an effort to have a period of time where I just sit and play with Miles and his toys on the floor.  It’s been a little difficult to train Sam and Maggie to let me do it, but they are getting more and more used to it each day.  It’s good for Miles…and good for them!


Have fun… or I will KILL you! January 25, 2009

Filed under: Wife-ing — Andie @ 8:59 am



That title was to be read in the very intense voice of Jack Bauer. We laugh about how he’s always threatening to kill people. Guess we have a dark sense of humor?? The first thing that comes to mind that Andrew and I have fun doing is watching 24. We enjoy having people over for 24 parties. And we enjoy staying up WAAAAY too late watching old episodes (“Just one more… without the commercials it’s only 40 mins!”). We like to have a lighthearted attitude in our house. We’re often being goofy with each other by doing things like quoting strange lines from Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre at each other. 

We have a lot of fun with our kids. We sneak into their rooms together every night before we go to bed to give them a kiss (and make sure they are breathing!! at least that’s why I go in….). We laugh a lot about our kids and like to tell each other stories about the crazy things they have done. 

We both love photography, so we have fun looking at the photos the other has taken. We also dream of going on photography outings or trips together. Maybe a photog date after it gets warmer… To those who know us, it will probably be no surprise that Andrew prefers architecture photos and I prefer people photos :)

We go on coffee dates about once or twice a month together. It’s really nice to get out by ourselves and it’s also fun to share our love of coffee. I think the most fun I have with my husband is just doing stuff together. It doesn’t have to be exciting… sometimes we walk around Target together and just look at toys or grab things like vacuum cleaner filters that I never remember to buy when I’m with the kids. I really like Andrew and am so glad God has given us to each other. It’s a joy to live everyday life with him.


Fun together January 22, 2009

Filed under: Wife-ing — Kate @ 4:48 pm

I must confess that there are definitely times when it easier to have fun with my husband and other times where it is something that I have to work at!  Lately Matt and I have been having a lot of fun together.  Maybe it’s because we are missing the long snowed in days that we had a few weeks ago!  (Hmm, doesn’t seem possible!)  I do long for the days where a nice evening walk will be possible again!  We have been making the most of our time with the kids in bed and filling them with past times similar to those of the Moffats.  Games have always been fun for us and we recently invested in some new ones :)

We have enjoyed Ticket to Ride (love the 2-3 player Switzerland expansion) and got the 1910 expansion that has more US routes and larger cards.  If our brains are up for a challenge, we attempt Quiddler, which is a short word game (literally … short words, and a short game!)  Matt usually isn’t a fan of word games, but this is an exception for him … he loves it!  We have tried, although not mastered, the geometric game of Blokus … I think we enjoy it more as a four player game right now.