For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you. 
Psalm 71:5-6

Confidence is something I've always struggled with. It's funny because if there is a situation where I'm caught off guard and have to be confident I will be and be fine with it. But if there is something that I need to be confident for in the future I will struggle with self doubt up until the moment arrives, during the moment and then tear myself apart afterwards, telling myself how I should have handled things differently.

Self doubt is super ugly, it is the enemy doing what he does best. It is a quick and easy way to isolation. Which is another thing I've dealt with for the past few years. But through diligent prayer God has seen my hearts desire and has slowly started opening doors for me. I put my trust and hope in Him; and by doing so I've caught myself many times saying that I would never have thought I would be where I am, doing what I'm doing, thinking what I'm thinking and surrounding myself with the people that I am. It has only been through God's grace, mercy and true love for me that I can say these things.

The only way that I have confidence is through Him, He is my strength. My confidence comes from the hope that I find in Him, through trying to have an eternal perspective. Not that it's always easy and I get side tracked alot but it is what I have to come back to, the truth. 

The confidence I speak of isn't me telling myself I'm so awesome, look great or feel better than others. It is a confidence to face my fears, to live everyday with His new mercies, to know His love and kindness, to know that I do deserve these things and finally the biggest thing I'm learning is to show these to others without fear of rejection. I guess, the confidence to be vulnerable. Though it might be scary; to do it anyways, knowing that God is there, He has my back, He is my confidence.

O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
  Psalm 89:8

Pinned it, Made it, Loved it: Healthy Pumpkin Banana Nut Muffins

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Nut Muffins

I adapted the ingredients from the pinned recipe to use what I had on hand. What I used is listed below.


1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 overly ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
15 oz can Tbsp pumpkin puree
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 350ยบ F and grease muffin tins.

Mix flour, oats, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a large bowl. 

Whisk until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine sugars, bananas, applesauce, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, just until combined. 

Fold in walnuts.

Fill muffin cups 3/4ths full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean

Yield: 15 large muffins.

Super easy and healthy. Enjoy!

((linking up with Craft-O-Maniac & C.R.A.F.T.))

Tot School / Letter C & Adam and Eve

Tot School

((Hannah is 42 months or 3 1/2))
(( Danny is 17 months))

Theme: Caterpillars and Clowns
Bible: Adam & Eve

We had a fun couple of weeks with the letter C and Adam & Eve. Hannah is really enjoying tracing. 

I finally remembered to take a picture of the books we read.

Again, one of the most fun activities that we did was the "C" page for the Alphabet Art Book . This week was car tracks for C. I got out some brown tempera paint and a truck with really neat tire tracks and Hannah had a blast. She pretty much asks to do this again everyday.

Then of course you cannot get a truck dirty and not wash it. She is currently also obsessed with the car wash and asks frequently if we can go, so we took the truck through the car wash. Having a utility sink really does come in handy.

The weather here has been sunny and dry which is unlike the NW at this time of year so we've tried to take full advantage by being outside everyday. Soon we will be stuck in the house everyday for months. Danny crawls the length of the yard and further if I let him. This is another reason why we can only go out on dry days because he HAS to crawl.



((linking up with Tot School Gathering Place at 1+1+1=1))

Daily Bread

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

This is such a great verse because it reminds me of how important it is to read and study the Bible. It is our instruction manual for life, our daily bread.

Daily Bread, The Word,
The Good Book, 
The Bible

Whatever you want to call it, I NEED it.

 The more I immerse myself in the Word, the closer I feel to God. The closer I feel to God, the more Christlike I want to be. Not as in being perfect, but as in loving, compassionate, patient, gracious, obedient, joyful, kind, understanding, etc. Things I have majorly lacked in through the years, and I mean majorly. I wish this wasn't true but it is. I know I will still sin but the hope is that I will be more conscious of what I'm doing. To take my thoughts captive. The main goal is to hopefully break the chains that bind me to my sin, even if it a little at a time. I just keep trying. I know I will never be perfect and that is not what I'm aiming for....just better than what I was before. Thank you God, for your new mercies every morning and for redeeming me.

I just recently read James 1:13-15 which explains that once desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. Unfortunately I am a sinner born into a broken world that's why I need God's grace through Christ. That's why I need my Bible to navigate my journey.

Pinned it, Made it, Loved it: Honey Garlic Pork Chops

I want to start a new series about all of the recipes and possibly crafts that I've found on Pinterest, made and loved. I actually have quite a few and thought this would be something great to share with others. I actually have a board dedicated to this called Made it, Ate it, Loved it and I'm part of a group called Pinned it, Did it, Loved it.

The first recipe I want to start with is the Honey Garlic Pork Chops. I've actually made these a few times now and they have been delicious every time. The original pin that I have is no longer valid but I was able to find another blog that made the recipe from the original pin like I did. So I pinned hers here instead.

I'm not usually the biggest fan of pork chops but every once and while I find these in the marked down section of the meat department. That's actually how I buy alot of our meat lately. I go to the grocery store in the middle of the week and lately they have had a ton of discounted meat, most of it half off. I know that it's close to date so I just make sure to put it right into the freezer when I get home. That's the secret you cannot just put in the fridge unless you are using that day or the next depending on the date. But this has been a wonderful way for my family to save money and we've gotten alot of meat that we wouldn't normally be able to afford, like organic free-range chicken.

I actually do this with bread products too, right next the the marked down meat is a large rack of expensive bakery items that are marked way down. We are blessed enough to have an extra freezer in a shop outside of our house so I keep it full. I just leave the bread in its original packaging and put it into a freezer bag. I do however make sure to use these up more quickly than I would the meat to prevent freezer burn. But this has been another awesome way for our family to save money and have fancier rolls or bread than we would normally.

When we are having a week or month where our income is tighter and I cannot afford a big shopping trip I can just go out to the freezer and shop for that weeks dinner meat. Then when we have a month where things are less tight I stock up again. Or even when things are tight I can afford to get a couple of marked down items.

So now this has turned into a longer post then I meant but I wanted to share some of my secrets.

But here is the pinned and loved recipe.

Honey Garlic Pork Chops


Yield 6 servings
1/4 + 1/8 cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 pork loin chops, boneless, trimmed of excess fat, 4 oz each
1) In a shallow dish, whisk together honey, soy sauce and garlic.
2) Coat chops in mixture. 

3) Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, until meat is done. Less time for thinner pork chops.

I actually only made two pork chops but and then had an ingenious idea to bake the frozen green beans with the pork chops and pour the extra sauce onto them before they baked. Best idea ever, they tasted awesome and cooked right with the meat.  I then paired this combo with a baked sweet potato and my family ended up having a wholesome simple and scrumptious meal that night.



((linking up with A Glimpse Inside))

Tot School / Letter B & More Creation Story

Tot School

We used another couple of weeks to go over the letter B activities and books. The activities that Hannah worked on this week were counting bears, a magnetic 3D puzzle that I picked up a yard sale for $1 (this is something that she won't really understand for a while but she still enjoys playing with the shapes), a color blue Crayola puzzle that I picked up at the Dollar Store (again she can't put the puzzle together but it's fun to help her and then name all of the blue things in the picture), then I printed her the Brown Bear, Brown Bear Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1. She really enjoys the different activities in these packs. 

This was the first time that I tried graphing with her and she didn't understand it at all. So I just kept having her roll the die and we waited to see which animal would reach the top of the graph first, Bear won! She also filled in some of the dots, but I did most.

  One of the activities she loved the most and asked to do it all week was the Alphabet Art book from All Our Days. The letter B project was a band-aid page. Hannah is already obsessed with band-aids so she was sad that I only let her have 6 band-aids and one page. But she was able to unwrap them all and stick them on all by herself. She is a pro considering every time she hurts herself she runs to get a band-aid bleeding or not.

 The picture below is one of the most exciting moments of the week when out of the blue she can all of a sudden trace lines. These are not straight by any means but the fact that she finally saw the dotted line and made the connection is super exciting and satisfying to me. These are the moments I have glimpses of the future and think we'll be ok during this homeschool journey.

Danny helped with the markers, including marking all over one of our couch slipcovers in black. And of all of the markers Hannah uses these are not washable. It washed out a little, but that kind of stuff is going to happen during these years and probably forever so I really wasn't upset. Which I'm surprised at myself for.

Again I didn't get any pictures of the books we read, I am determined to remember that! But they include, The Jesus Storybook Bible, Do your ABC's, Little brown bear, Brown Bear (Suzi Eszterhas), If I were a ballerina, Ballerina Rosie, Ballerina! (Peter Sis), Scare a bear, Big brown bear's birthday surprise and Brown bear, brown bear.

In our Family Connections class at church we had the pleasure of hearing one of our main pastors speak to us about bible read throughs. He spoke of a new or rediscovered trend going around called Orality or Storying. The basis is; you read a story out loud and then have the people listening tell it back and have others fill in the blanks that the person telling it back missed. It is a way to memorize the story, make it your own and hopefully comprehend it better. It reminds me of what the Native-Americans or other ancient people did while sitting around the camp fire and telling stories of their ancestors. It really is a way to captivate an audience and bring them into the story. It is especially beneficial to people or children who cannot yet read or write. So our pastor suggested doing that with your children as a way to read through the bible. I was really happy when he brought this up because it's pretty much what we are doing when we are reading these Bible stories to our children. Having them tell it back to us or explain what happened is an awesome way for them to comprehend the story and memorize it more. The week before our pastor spoke on this Hannah was actually doing this with me with the Creation story. It was really exciting, she was recapping the story and finishing it for me. She even ran to get her Creation crafts to illustrate the sky that God created. This was another moment that I knew I was doing something right.

((linking up with Tot School Gathering Place at 1+1+1=1))