February 27, 2015

A lot of life being lived

Oh man this has been a fun and full month,
and a lot of life has been lived here.
I sold A BUNCH of these heart Valentine's garlands in all different colors (this one ended up being the most popular - barn red with jute)!
Our mango tree is blossoming...
 I've made more pancakes than I can count... 
 All my sweeties were sick at one time and there were lots of snuggles...
My meyer lemon tree is exploding with blossoms and fruit! 
I studied Galatians 5, the Fruit of the Spirit, and was blessed with an opportunity to talk about it to an awesome group of women from my church...
Valentines dinner was so fun with my family! We had a spread of nachos and got to put our own toppings on them. So fun! So yum! Totally have to do this again! 
My eldest lost another tooth :) 
Playing with my daughter with the same ponies I played with when I was little...
Valentine's blessings from Auntie Jacquie in Hawaii!!! 
Date night spent at the Anaheim Packing District. Great food! It was an experience for sure... 
The moment I got into my car after speaking to a beautiful group of women at a prayer breakfast. I was excited to be done with the message, poured completely out, acutely aware of my needs for an iced espresso and a nap. Lol! God is SO SO SO GOOD!
After a weekend away from our kiddos, we reunited at a train park/museum. Oh how sweet the reunion was... 
Oh the beauty of God's artwork. My kids and I laid on the grass in our yard and watched as the clouds drifted by. LOVE! 
Collecting wildflowers with daddy... 
Some of the beauties we collected...
My absolute favorite wild flower is the California poppy! So pretty! 
Such a weird/cool tree! It was split down the center and had this yellow stuff growing inside. We are going to look up what that stuff is. I wonder if it is a mushroom of some form?
Taking a break to pick some wildflowers :)
We got married at the Oak Canyon Nature center and we try to take a picture there each Spring with our kids. Here is the Bishop Bunch in all of our glory lol...
I got part of my garden tilled and weeded. YAY! 
Zucchini!!! Oh I love me some zucchini. Can't wait for my plants to start producing... 
Last night I had a hard night sleeping and so I woke up later than I wanted to. Instead of tossing breakfast and the Bible out the window I started the kids on an activity and then got in as much nourishment as I could. I love my times in my chronological bible each day... 

How have you been living life lately? Are you being intentional to receive your strength from the Lord and His word? Without Him you will dry up and be unable to pour anything into your family. Oh how I know the reality of this dependency on Jesus. I'm nothing without Him. He is GOOD and ready to FILL you to OVERFLOWING with LIVING WATER!


February 9, 2015

You Rock!

My little kindergartner loves rocks. He has amassed a pretty nice collection of rocks and he decided to share some of his favorites with his friends. We came up with this fun Valentine's card for him to pass out...

We painted the rocks with tacky glue and sprinkled glitter on the glue. After the glue was dry we used a dry paintbrush to brush away excess glitter...

With my help we hot glued the rocks onto red cardstock paper. He hand wrote each card with "You Rock!" and then signed  his name on the bottom.

He wanted solid red paper but this would also look amazing on scrapbooking paper or any cardstock you have. Also, it would be fun to use scrolled scissors to trim the edges. My son wanted it to be plain and simple and focus on the rock lol. I love him.

I hope this inspired you to get creative and make your own Valentine's cards!


February 8, 2015

A Day with the Beavers

I have been reading to the boys each night from C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".

I love to draw out lessons from the books we are reading. Watching the stories come to life for my children is amazing!

When the robin led the children through the snow to meet Mr. Beaver we stopped and studied robins...

When we got to chapter 7 of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" we stopped and studied beavers. We watched documentaries on the importance of beavers and how they build their dams. We also looked at their anatomy and studied their behaviors.

Tonight we finished our time with the beavers by recreating the dinner Mrs. Beaver made for the children. This was a SUPER FUN way to bring this chapter to life! Here's the spread...

I read chapter 7 again to the kids as we served up and ate the food...

I tried to stay as true to the dinner Mrs. Beaver served as possible but I did have a few variations.
I served tilapia instead of trout. It was YUMMY!
I served boiled potatoes with butter like she did, but I also offered oven roasted potatoes. I had way too many potatoes so I just cooked them up :)
I added green beans, because, well, they are delicious and were only $0.99/lb!
I served creamy milk with our dinner, just like Mrs. Beaver did.

I could not find a recipe for a marmalade roll so I made cinnamon rolls...

This one loved it...

He was super happy...

And now she is saying she loves fish and wants to be a beaver...

We had a blast recreating the day with the beavers and can't wait to continue exploring & learning through literature!


December 26, 2014

A Grace-Filled Christmas

Christmas is by far the most intimate and grace-filled season for a believer.

Intimate in that the God of the universe - the God who dwells in inapproachable light, whose throne is surrounded by angels crying out "Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord God almighty!" - came down to me. Me! And He came in such a lowly, approachable, and humble way. He is the express image of God and yet He is the approachable one - the Emmanuel, God with us. How intimate and kind!

Grace-filled because I do not deserve Him let alone all that He brings to my life! The theme for this season has been "exceedingly & abundantly".

Every gift under our tree this year had a grace-filled God-story behind it. You see that manilla envelope on the tree? Well that came from our sweet sister-in-Christ Mercy whose family we were able to bless with 2 goats and 2 chickens through the bake sale we had for Promise Child ministry (www.promisechild.org). The letter and pictures in that manilla envelope just happen to be my favorite grace-filled gift this year...

I have 3 healthy, sweet, and silly children! How kind and gracious God is to us...

My father-in-law caught this moment when my daughter stopped and ran over and thanked me for all her gifts (grace-filled, tear filled moment for this mama)...

My children were blessed with a computer this year! I had been praying for a computer for 2 years and my dear friend gave us one but it wouldn't run their learning software correctly. This year the Lord provided exceedingly and abundantly! Again, such an undeserved grace-filled gift!

I often feel like the Luke 7 woman - I was forgiven so much - I was given everything - I will love HIM and others MUCH because of this intimate and grace-filled forgiveness! Oh how sweet and gracious is my King & Savior!

Merry Christmas dear friends. 
Love God & Love Others!

Isn't it wild how much you change over the passing years? I used to be many things I am not today. As a daughter of the King, when I place my identity in Him, the Alpha & the Omega, the never changing one, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever more, who I am becomes secure and fixed in HIM! Oh how this is transforming "my" life and showing me again and again that "my" life is not mine anymore - for "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal 2:20

December 18, 2014

Merry CHRISTmas & A Blessed New Year!!

I am so VERY blessed by the amazing year the Lord gave my family in 2014. As I stop and reflect I am finding myself in a place of gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving, oh, and a lot of awe in the Lord! We are eager with joy and excitement to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus! Christmas time is such a beautiful time as a believer in Christ because EVERYTHING around you is beckoning you to "fall on your knees, oh hear the angels voices, oh night, divine, oh night, when Christ was born." I heard this in the Dollar Tree the other day with my 3 yr old daughter and she and I literally paused in the tupperware section and worshiped! Christmas music and decorations and food and gatherings can all stir your heart towards Christ! Let it! I heard an awesome message at a women's luncheon about the word "LET" in Colossians 3:15. We need to "LET" Christ rule in our hearts! What better and more perfect time to practice this than Christmas!

As I thought through where I have grown and what I have learned this past year I started jotting down some things. So, here are some of my 2014 milestones...

I have not been a very faithful blogger this year, but I have been a better wife & mom. I have been more focused & present in life, rather than observing and capturing life.

I still have not enrolled my boys in a sports program, but they did do music lessons and are doing AWESOME on the guitar and drums (yes, drums, lol). Wanna see them in their recital performing "Jingle Bells"...

I did not clean and organize every inch of my home during the November Organization challenge that was going around Pinterest, but I did clean and organize SOME of my home, and some is more than none!

I have not lost any weight since Summer started, but I am thinner than last year at this same time. 35 lbs thinner to be exact! (Oh yeah!!! It was a great year overall for losing weight!)

I still am horrible at meal planning and really want to be better at that, but I have been very consistent in providing yummy dinners for my husband and children. I think I like the element of spontaneity so I am learning to keep key ingredients on hand.

I am still a copycat crafter and love Pinterest, but this year I decided to put myself out there and start A Bunch of Bishops Etsy shop that features some of my own work. I am pleased to say I actually got some orders this Christmas! What a blessing!

I am still a night owl and cannot seem to get my booty out of bed before 7am, but this time last year I was not getting out of bed until 8am, so, PROGRESS!!!

In 2015 I hope to grow in my walk with the Lord, grow in my marriage and be a strength to my husband, and lead my children in wisdom and grace by the Lord's guidance, and also extend my hand out to those that are in need around me. Basically, I want to grow up to be the P31 woman :)

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes! Bless the Lord oh my soul.