This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Few Recipes for Sharing


Contrary to what this post might look like, I have not been
cooking very much lately, but in the last few months, I have revisited a few recipes that are real favorites and I thought you might like to browse.

Remember, you will see ingredients here like Coconut oil, Sucanat, Kefir, etc. If these are ingredients that you are interested in trying out, these are easy opportunities to do so. But, keep in mind, you can always use the oils, sugars, etc. that you currently have in your home.

Also, I have stolen ALL of these recipes and have never come up with a single one on my own :).

Baked Oatmeal (at the bottom of this menu plan)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Happenings...

We've been "busy" around here, doing things that are not actually very busy. I've kind of been taking things one week at a time...not because I'm so good at resting in the moment, although that is something I am making a real effort at, but mostly because this pregnancy has left me with far less (energy, health, sleep, brain power, "normal" feeling moments, etc.) than I ever imagined it would. But, I can already tell, this baby is going to be really cute...and beauty doesn't come cheap!

I love literature and poetry and the written word, in general, so NO, I do not think that pictures always say it best, but right now they certainly DO!


I truly wish that I could kid-nap a professional photographer with awesome camera equipment (like Amy Cooper over at Kacey Luvi Photography) and make her take pictures of us all day...not of the screaming or crying (or the kids misbehaving, either :), but until I figure out how to do that, these will have to do!


Preparing for our Jesse Tree/Advent Celebration




Being adorable and sparkly (or, in other words, constantly changing from one outfit to the other because, apparently, that's what Princesses Do)


Just being all cute (and dirty), in general



Enjoying some time with some precious Goffeneys...I'm pretty sure they love us, too, but were just a tad tired from travel :)

Got to witness my Nephew, Cohen's, baptism!

...I had trouble editing this pic, but he has adorable eyes. He's pretty much the most adorable thing around...however, has was a little concerned about the water messing up his hair :).

Celebrating Thanksgiving and Papa's Birthday.
Guess who it is that Gwendolyn takes after...



...and getting to hang with my sister, Rebekah, and her boyfriend, Mark (He's a great guy!)


Carrying on one of the better Rehrmann traditions of Olive-eating

Taking on Zoo Lights as a Family






And, of course, making a breakfast of french toast and mac and cheese...the breakfast of champions!



I hope this time leading up to the celebration of Jesus' coming, has been fun, so far, for you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Advent Season

This picture has nothing to do with the post...he's just cute.

This year is when it begins! Bic and I are going to do an advent celebration with our children! No more waiting for all the pretty Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie ornaments to fill the Jesse Tree. Well, I'm waiting...not so much Bic. I don't even think he knows that I want them.

I still want those ornaments...and I'm going to get them :), but for now, we are going to use things we have around the house and celebrate the coming of Christ with treats, activities and the beautiful scriptures that God has already given to us. The Kids will love it...they don't even like Crate&Barrel and Anthropologie...silly kids.

I found a great (and FREE) resource with all the Advent readings and some extras. Check it out at Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience Blog. By signing up to receive her posts, you get an extensive Advent Jesse Tree Printable, for Free! I've skimmed it and I am really looking forward to using it.

Our "Jesse Tree", this year, is a mix between a "calendar" and a "tree." I have a ton of small brown paper sacks and a bunch of varied Christmas ribbon scraps and I'm going to make a little bag for each day of advent and string them (with an ornament hanger) up on decorative garland on our book shelves. Inside I am going to put the scripture for that day and some sort of fun and quick little activity the kids and I can do that day...I still need some ideas for that, if you have any please leave them in the comments.

I saw one idea that said "eat a candy cane off the tree." My kids will LOVE that. fun. simple. delicious. Oh, I'll also number the bags (if I run out of time, it might just be with a Sharpie :). Here's the start...


Happy Holiday Fun planning to YOU!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday JOY


With the Holidays quickly approaching, I am so excited to really be focusing on My own little family. What are the traditions we want to embrace and enjoy? What are the things we are going to choose to let go of, in favor of what is best for the NOW?

If all we do from this day until January 1st is make sloppy sugar cookies at home and decorate our Christmas tree with the cheap ball ornaments and learn about Jesus and why He came...and it makes my children grin with joy...then that is all I need. But, by golly, I will make a few crafty plans and see what else we just might be able to accomplish!

Come along with me, will you? Come walk with me in this idea that maybe less flawless Pinterest photos and less never-ending Facebook posts, for comparison, is really what we need for a Very Merry Christmas.

Let me elaborate, lest I have already turned you off. ...I can hardly think of a more delicious reality than a beautifully-spread Christmas table...a sparkling tree that looks like it's been slowly crafted over many years, but with a fresh and chic look of a pottery barn ad...delicate, yet hardy homemade Christmas treats, layered in a multilevel display...beautifully and lovingly decorated and wrapped individual gifts hand-crafted for family and loved-ones.

I am a "nest-er" who loves the idea of decorating and...creating...perfect spaces and "moments". But, although there are many things that are good... not all are best. As wives...mothers...women who know and seek the Lord, it is our responsibility to figure out what is best for each season.
"And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:39-42
I look forward to the future seasons when there are bound to be more opportunities for spectacular spreads, and perhaps, this is that kind of season for You.

As for me, I'm not going to stop enjoying the creativity that God, Himself, has given me. But, since my natural tendencies are way more Martha than Mary...my focus is gonna need to be in the direction of the sitting.

Here are couple of great Holiday Posts you may enjoy:
- FeminaGirls "Wrap up the Stress"
- Passionate Homemaking "Traditions: Choosing the Best for THIS Season"

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Hello Again...and Have Some Soup



Well, It's been three months since my last blog post. I figure, now's as good a time as any to get going again. I do so enjoy the Blog world, but lately my focus has been very single-minded.

I'm now 15 weeks pregnant and I've been very sick for the last 8 weeks of my life, with all-day, intense nausea. But yesterday I made soup...and it was wonderful!

Now, I've read many blog posts that start out by saying how difficult it's been for some woman in her first trimester of pregnancy, and yet she has managed to continue nourishing her family well, hosted a fundraiser for over-seas missionaries and just happened to have a little time and energy left over to knit new Christmas stockings for all 5 of her children. Believe me, I'm no stranger to the temptation to feel inadequate. But, lest my nourishing soup story and pictures of my darling children tempt you in the same way...let me tell you a little about how it's really been going around here....

I've spent most days sitting on the couch...sitting, not laying, because that would just make the nausea worse. I can't even count the number of hours of television my toddlers have watched and the extent of my care for them has been diaper changes and some food...when absolutely necessary. I've been eating all the food that is easy and quick and full of unhealthy ingredients and simple carbohydrates...not because it makes me feel good, but because it requires less of me.

The Pastor's wife had to take over leading my bible study and I have basically been ignoring even my closest friends just so I don't have to have much conversation with anyone and, last week, my husband took it upon himself to scrub the toilets because he just couldn't take it anymore. And, if you know my husband, you know how bad things must have been for it to have come to that!

But, this day, I went to the store...I purchased real food and I made soup! I've been craving Paradise Bakery's broccoli cheese soup every day, so when Sarah from The Littlest Foodie shared a recipe from the Mangio de Sola blog I knew I had to try it! It really hit the spot and it's so good for my body (and my baby) to be eating this kind of nourishing meal. Take a look here if you want to try it out!

And, here's a few pics of my babies...because they are just so dang cute!















Thursday, August 11, 2011

VACATION!



Our Good Friends, the Williams', took us on vacation this year. It was the first trip we took with our kids...our first family vacation...and they were the perfect family to help break us in to the "this is no lounging-by-the-pool-with-a-book-and-cocktail-in-hand type of vacation."

No, seriously, we had a blast. Ricky and Cara are the most laid-back people we know with the most precious children we know. They make everything easier and more fun. It was so wonderful to create memories with our babies while they are so little. It was so awesome for Gwen to play with her best friend, Clair...and for Augustine to follow little Ricky around to see what big one-and-half-year olds know how to do.

I loved spending some girl time with Cara...talking about silly and serious things and getting to stay involved in each others real lives. And, of course, Bic and Ricky are NEVER at a loss of things to connect them together and make them laugh.

The Little Dudes

That's our Girl! How did she get so BIG?

Rascals!

BFFs! They have been since the beginning.
These girls know that there are some people you just "click" with.

They are, however, not so great at the picture-taking.


There he is. All tired out after he destroyed the couch with his banana.
Don't work too hard there, buddy.

We Love the Williams'! Thank you for your friendship!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Perspective Gained


I had to stop in the middle of an exhausting day, yesterday, to re-read this post from the Femina Blog. Really Cool.

Perspective can be everything. Take a look!

The Kelley Family's Story about Bringing Isaac Home!

Check the Kelley Family's story about adding this Precious baby boy to their Family!


Grab This!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bear Fruit: NOT a Command


I wanted to share with you our Church's sermon from yesterday. Even a person with a Mature relationship with Jesus Christ can mistake mis-information or nearly-truth, for truth.

Pete reminded us that there is no command to Bear Fruit. Jesus does not say, "...now, you, go bear fruit." He says, "Abide in me...and you will bear fruit."

John 15:4,5
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."


I know there is a lot of "fruit...tree...branches talk here (and even more if you read the whole chapter). But, this was a analogy very real and understandable to the people who Jesus was speaking to. They understood this very well...their lives depended on their crops bearing fruit. There was no Fry's or Safeway around the corner (neither is there one of those around my corner...but that is an entirely different subject for me to complain about at a different time).

Anyway, If you want a better understanding of "vines" bearing fruit...come on over...my tomato plants are pitiful. They are bearing about 1/3 of the fruit they could be...and one plant has NEVER born any. It's because I have neglected the pruning altogether and their climbing structure is pitiful and falling. The vine is weak and the dead branches are chocking out the life from the good branches.

But, that's okay. My tomatoes don't matter. But I matter. My abiding in Christ is directly related to my experiencing Joy.

Pete's Message was a blessing to me...convicting, encouraging. He reminds me that my struggle is not with anxiety...or anger or with being a servant, or with patience. My struggle is in abiding in Christ.

I thank my God that He has provided all I need to be able to abide in Him...His written words, translated and easily accessible...His people, to love and encourage me...His Spirit, already indwelling me, revealing what is true.

Take a little time...while you are surfing the net, looking for coupons, reading Facebook statuses or looking at posted pictures of someone's family vacation...to listen to the talk. I know you will be as encouraged as I am!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Time With My Man



This last weekend was so wonderful. My husband took me to my favorite Resort, here in Tucson. It was just a couple of nights, but it was AWESOME. It definitely refreshed me and excited me to dig in deep in my roles as Wife, Mom and Keeper of my home. But, it also left me wanting more...more sunshine, more quiet moments, more clean, white towels...and more of my man. Sometimes he gets lost beneath the little tower of snotty noses, piercing screams and potty dances.

I love those little crazies and I missed them, tons, just being away for such a short time...but I'm on a mission now...I want to steal some of those moments from them...and give them back to him.


Have You Ever Seen a Cuter Ice Cream-Eater?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let Us Not Overlook the Plain and Obvious


Gwendolyn and I are busy getting ready for Christmas in July with a Birthday Party for Jesus, this Friday (not because we are such a super-spiritual and event-clever family, but because we happen to be a little birthday/Christmas CRAZY in this house).

In our preparation, this morning we were reading the nativity story in her Bible. As we stared at a picture of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus in the stable, I began pointing out the various characters. Like a good mother, I spoke of Joseph being Jesus' earthly Father and God also being Jesus' Father and the baby, pictured, being Jesus, etc...etc. As I finished imparting spiritual wisdom and went on to continue reading, Gwendolyn points her finger to the only remaining figure on the page and says, "...and that's a cow."

It's true. That was a cow.

In the tired and, often, unpredictable moments of mothering small children, It's the simple and true things that are of most encouragement to me. Somehow, amidst the hours of readable Facebook statuses, googled coupon codes, interesting DIY projects and on-line shopping sales, it can be hard to notice the very real cow in the picture.

Jesus is my cow. And, I need to spend my time looking at, and listening to, those who can point Him out to me and say, "and that's a cow." That is Jesus. He's your only source of real and lasting Joy and plain-old, regular happiness. Look at Him, and you vision for all your life-roles and daily activities will be clear, fresh and...dare I say it...Exciting!

Here area few of my personal favorite Joy-reminder resources:
Femina
Desiring God Blog
Passionate Homemaking

What are some of yours???

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Motherhood as a Mission Field


Awesome Article from guest blogger at Desiring God.

Liz Jankovic is the Author of Loving the Little Years. This book is changing my mothering!

Check it out:
Motherhood as a Mission Field Blog Post