Ice Cream in a Bag

Summer continues to slowly warm our chilled Washington bones. There are rumors that it will be in the 80′s on Friday. Gasp! Run for the sunscreen! We’ve already received three invitations to hit the water (beach, lake and pool – we could do it all).

Sarah's ingredients

Sarah is ready to make some ice cream.

Feeling heady from the sunshine, the younger children and I went to the grocery store this afternoon to pick up supplies for making homemade ice cream. Dinner was a near thing as certain family members voted to move straight to dessert. Thankfully wiser heads prevailed and we enjoyed a nutritious meal before rushing off to prepare our icy sweet confections.

Buddies through thick and thin

The boys pause for their camera crazy mama.

Ice Cream in a Bag


* 1 tbs. sugar
* 1/2 c. milk (or 1/2 & 1/2)
* 1/4 tsp vanilla
* 6 tbs rock salt (or table salt)
* 1 gallon size Ziploc bag
* 1 quart size Ziploc bag

shake it, baby!

Grab a bag and shake it!


1. Fill the gallon size bag half way with ice. Add the rock salt.
2. Mix the milk, vanilla and sugar in the quart size bag. Seal bag carefully.
3. Put the smaller bag inside the larger bag and seal the gallon bag.
4. Shake the bag for at least 5 minutes until mixture becomes thick and ready to serve.
5. Rinse quart size bag carefully with cold water before eating.

let's eat!

Delicious – Cold Stone Creamy R Us

Enjoy! I can see this becoming a summer tradition. It was delicious. Next time I think we’ll double the mixture and make a little more. I would also like to experiment with some add’ins. :) Tim put on work gloves to shake his bag. It was definitely COLD work!!

Project 366 – Day 177

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WFMW – A Smattering of Thoughts

wfmwThe sun has arrived in Washington state and with it a hint of summer. As a relaxed (you could call us disorganized and unscheduled but it wouldn’t be nice) homeschooling family we often need to continue our schooling through the summer months. For the most part this works out well. The children do some school in the morning and we enjoy some of the beautiful sights of Washington in the afternoon.

Sarah at the park

Sarah loves the park.

A few random things that work for us:

Put to good use the children who are living in your home – this may seem obvious but it lately my boys have taken on more outdoor responsibilities. They can mow lawns, trim shrubs, and just generally help with lawn maintenance. The whole family (sans Tim who was working in the city, very conveniently I might add) helped with the housework. They vacuumed carpets, scrubbed out the shower (including a soiled, okay moldy, shower curtain), put away toys, washed dishes, sorted laundry, and swept floors.

david and daniel

Sometimes the boys fight over chores. Winner takes his pick of jobs!

Enjoy the occasional take-out – We are on a strict budget and rarely go out for dinner or bring home take-out, however, there is nothing quite like dinner prepared by Papa Murphy. We have family visiting from Norway and they said they simply couldn’t return without feasting on some yummy pizza. Suddenly I had the afternoon free. No dinner to prepare, the children were busy playing outside and working on the hedges, I managed to clean and organize the laundry room. It was lovely!

timothy and joshua

The boys enjoy a little football after dinner.

Read, read, read aloud to your children – We are definitely a family of readers. The dire threat last week, when the children went to visit grandparents, was that they could only bring (gasp) ONE book. Shocking. This summer Daniel and I are enjoying Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen in addition to some of his school books. David, Sarah and I are working our way through the Sonlight Kindergarten collection. Rachel is reading Pride and Prejudice aloud to me, after which I conclude up with a chapter of Before You Meet Prince Charming.

rachel smiles

My beautiful princess!

Reading adds depth and richness to our family and is one of our greatest joys.

This is just a very random collection of some things that Work for Our Family. Pop over to Rocks in My Dryer for other Works for Me Wednesday tips.

Project 366 – Day 176

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New Mercies Every Morning

One of my favorite hymns of all time is Great is Thy Faithfulness. When I was ten or eleven, we lived in Germany, and I used to attend the Sunday evening service at Patrick Henry Village Chapel (between Heidelberg and Schwetzingen). We had a Baptist chaplain and a skilled and cooperative pianist; they used to let the congregation choose hymns and sing for a half-hour or so. Sitting in the front pew (the only place I was allowed to sit, unless sitting with my parents) I would choose either Great is Thy Faithfulness or When the Roll is Called Up, Yonder. If I was particularly bold, I’d choose O Come, All Ye Faithful, which is always fun to sing in summertime.

Shovel Boy #2
In Joshua’s absence, I had to hire a few replacement shovelers.

I’ve always admired God’s faithfulness, and been very appreciative of His merciful and forgiving nature. As we are taught in Lamentations 3:22-23:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Dust Storm Sarah
Who wants to wash the car after we’re done with the dirt?

Today I was thinking about parenting (sometimes it seems as though that is all I think about), and I was reminded of God’s kindness and His mercy toward me. Whenever I turn from my sin, I find Him ready and willing to receive me back again and to press onward in our relationship. However many times I fail Him, He doesn’t seem to become exasperated with me. In fact, He offers me (and anyone else who puts their trust in Him) this guarantee:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— I John 1:9

Sometimes I get exasperated with my children. It seems to happen when I am trying to teach something, and out of a rebellious spirit or a hard heart, they reject my correction. I get angry, in turn, at their rejection, and find myself less willing to work with the offending child, or able to offer them any grace. This sometimes creates a stumbling block in the life of my son or daughter, and my anger can become an excuse for them to further harden their heart against my teaching. And so the crazy cycle begins … I become harsher in my correction, and they reject my correction more stubbornly, and it escalates until the child is punished and I find myself fuming at their hard-heartedness.

David Gets Tough
Sometimes you have to show the dirt pile who’s boss …

I was challenged today to try to be more like God in the way I parent, by offering fresh chances and restraining my anger when my children are not as quick to repent as I would wish them to be. After all, if God parented the way I do sometimes, I would be much less likely to repent.

Back in the 80′s, there was a Christian pop singer who went by the name of Leslie Phillips. (She later changed her stage name to Sam Phillips, crossed over to record secular music, and had a brief part as an ‘evil slasher slutty girlfriend’ in one of the Die Hard movies, but I’m not going to let that take away from the beauty of this song that she wrote and sang):

Waiting for angry words to sear my soul
Knowing I don’t deserve another chance
Suddenly the kindest words I’ve ever heard
Come flooding through my heart

It’s your kindness that leads us
To repentance Oh Lord
Knowing that You love us
No matter what we do
Makes us want to love You too

No excuse no one to blame
No where to hide
The eyes of God have found my failures
Found my pain
He understands my weaknesses
And knows my shame
But His heart never leaves me

It’s your kindness that leads us
To repentance Oh Lord
Knowing that You love us
No matter what we do
Makes us want to love You too

If You are for us
Who can be against us
You gave us everything
Even Your only Son

Daniel the Barefoot Shoveler
If you can’t use kindness, you can always fall back on hard labor.

The basis for this song (at least part of it) can be found in Romans, 2, in which Paul encourages believers not to pass judgment on others, and to respond favorably to God’s rich kindness and patience:

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

It is interesting to note that although God is kind, tolerant and patient, that the threat of His stored-up wrath remains for those who remain obstinate and unrepentant. But the lesson I take away from this song and those verses is that if I want to be more like God, I need to use kindness a lot more to encourage repentance in my children.

Or maybe they would respond to Nutella?

Project 366, Day 174

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Lots of Pictures – because I can

Tim was a love and stayed up late to fix my computer troubles last night. I went to bed, leaving my computer in his capable hands. By the time he was ready to slumber, the issue was resolved and my zippy internet speed restored.

And who doesn’t want zippy internet speed? I like just saying zippy internet speed.

In order to test Tim’s finesse with a modem, I thought I would upload a plethora of pictures and share them with you all. Here goes.

Elise and Sarah

Sarah and her friend, Elise, enjoyed a visit this week.


Who’s carseatis this?

Daniel and some friends

Daniel, Adam and Isaac explore the great outdoors.

my joyful girl

This is one of the crafts Rachel made in our Being a Joyful Girl class.

kathy and julee

Kathy and Julee – moms of those joyful girls.

There you have it. A little collection of pictures from this past week. I didn’t include one of Joshua because I had a difficult time collecting one. “Oh, Mom!” is what I typically hear when I pull out the camera in his presence.

Here is a link detailing some of the specifics about Rachel’s Being a Joyful Girl class. What a special time!


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Computer Troubles

My computer is sluggish and slow today. I don’t know if it is the internet connection, our web hosting, or something sinister running on the computer.

Whatever it is, it’s annoying! I’m part of the microwave generation – I like my computer experience to be quick and speedy, with little delays between the clicks of my mouse. It’s taking forever, like totally 37 minutes, to upload pictures for the blog. I often don’t begin writing until nearly midnight. I don’t have time to wait for lengthy upload sessions.

I have cute kids and family members who are eager to see daily pictures on the blog. There’s no time for 37 minute delays. The other night I uploaded four pictures. It took so long I had time to clean the kitchen, make Tim’s lunch, bake a batch of breakfast pancakes, watch two loads of laundry and watch a portion of a movie.

Very productive, I admit, but not exactly a simple bloggy experience. It also pushed my bedtime back by several hours. It doesn’t help that I’m a stubborn blogger and was determined to post WITH pictures, by golly.

Thankfully I know an amazing computer guy who makes house calls, when I can drag him away from the tomato plants. Hopefully he’ll have some hope to offer.

Meanwhile this pictureless blog will have to do. The two pictures I selected for this post have a reported hour left until their copying is complete.

I hope to be in bed, asleep by then.


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