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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Free!

Taco Bell is offering a free crunchy taco to anyone between 2:00 and 5:00 this afternoon! You can read all the details here. And here is a link to a short survey that you can fill out to get a coupon for a free Arby's milkshake (good through December 31)! (Thanks to Money Saving Mom - one of my favorite blogs - for those two links.) Also, if you join the O'Charley's e-club here, they'll email you a coupon for a free appetizer. And here is a link to a coupon for $15 worth of free stuff (or $30 off of $100) at The Limited. (Thanks to Bargain Quest for this link!) I haven't tried this one yet. I know The Limited is pretty pricey, but I would think you could at least get a pair of socks or something for free!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Good Stuff...Updated

Well, I didn't win the first drawing (along with half of the rest of the world that entered!), but there's a new drawing now. Here's my updated "wish list"...$250 worth of products this time!!

Kim at Life in a Shoe is having a drawing to give away $250 worth of Vision Forum products to 3 different people. The Vision Forum is one of our absolute favorite organizations and we really like to support them. In order to enter the drawing, I have to post a wish list totaling $250 or less. I had a HARD time narrowing it down. I could very easily spend a ton of money here! So this is what I came up with.

Christ in the Camp for Adam (there are SO MANY things that I would love to get for Adam...I just randomly picked this one out of a long list)

Cross Shield and Sword for Joshua

3 Doll Carriers one for each of our girls. If God blesses us with more girls, they can share!

2 Girls' Nightgowns...again, only 2 because it would have bumped me above the limit!

Passionate Housewives: Desperate for God for me :o)

Raising Maidens of Virtue for me and all of my girls

To Have and to Hold - for our family to read together

Bible Lessons for Manhood for Adam, Joshua, and any other boys that God may choose to bless us with!

Dolley Madison Doll Dress

Southern Lady Doll Dress - we don't have a doll from Vision Forum, but I would love for each of our girls to have one when they're old enough to take really good care of it...as in not drop it face down on the floor and kick it under the bed for night-night, as Esther does. :-) She didn't learn that from me. We're working on it!

That comes to a total of $248. There are a lot of things that I would love to get for our extended family as well, but I didn't include them in this list since we may decide to give some of them as Christmas gifts!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Esther's First Sentence















Esther has had a fairly extensive vocabulary for a few months now...probably 20 or 30 words. She likes to repeat everything that her big brother and sister say. But today she said her first sentence! Hannah was still snoozing this morning when Esther put her hand on Hannah's door and said "Hannah up. Kiss." Okay, so it's sort of two sentences and neither of them are complete, but it's not bad for a 17 month old! Esther thinks that Hannah is just the greatest thing. As I'm typing she is wiping drool off of Hannah's mouth with a burp cloth. :-) She's constantly babbling at her and smothering her with kisses. She even named her baby doll Hannah! She's getting better about being gentle, although she still thinks that eyes are for poking...we're working on that one!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wooden Toys
















Reading a few blogs and talking to a few friends recently has reminded me how much we would love for our children to have wooden toys to play with instead of plastic ones. When Joshua was born, Adam said that he only wanted to buy wooden toys. The problem is that they are so expensive, and plastic toys are so cheap. But we have really come to realize that they are just that...cheap. We have thrown away so many broken toys! I think it would be neat to be able to pass toys down to our children and grandchildren, and maybe even great-grandchildren. We can't afford to just go out and buy a big stash of wooden toys, but we are going to try to gradually replace what we have with things like these, and these, or these kinds of toys for babies. I think these rattles are really cute too. This isn't exactly a toy, but what a great idea! Joshua and Abigail love to help me in the kitchen, but I'm always afraid that they're going to fall off of the chair that they stand on. Magic Cabin has some nice things, as does Imagiplay. Take a look at these neat animals and puzzles! There are so many websites out there and I know I've probably just barely scratched the surface!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cheap, Quick, Healthy Dinner

We're having Lentil Rice Casserole, Spaghetti Squash, and Homemade Whole Wheat Bread for dinner tonight. My Mom used to make Lentil Rice Casserole a lot growing up, and it's very tasty and healthy, and it makes the house smell wonderful. It's also a breeze to make and a very frugal meal. I spent about 10 minutes getting dinner ready today! Here's the recipe.

Lentil Rice Casserole
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup grated cheese

Blend all ingredients except cheese in a casserole dish. Bake covered at 300 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until tender and the water is absorbed, topping with cheese during the last 20 minutes. Stir to blend the cheese.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun at the Fair

We went to the state fair last Saturday. Grandma and Grandpa Evans went with us and we all had a great time. The children loved all of the animals and the farm equipment. We bought two big jars of local honey with the honeycomb in it - it's wonderful! Joshua and Abigail ask for peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day for lunch, so they're very excited about the new honey and the little wooden honey drizzler that Grandpa and Grandma got for us. Enjoy the pictures!


Abigail's got the wheel, Esther's got the clutch, Joshua's holding on for dear life!


















Cute little ducklings












Break time!



















Eating peanuts and drinking milk with Grandpa

















Hannah taking her morning nap on Grandma















Learning how to milk a cow!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

When They Grow Up...

I asked the children what they want to be when they grow up. Here's what they said...

Joshua wants to be a dentist like Papa!


















Abigail wants to be a Mama!


















Esther didn't say anything, but it look like she wants to be a Mama on the go with those car keys!



















By the way, Esther didn't learn how to hold a baby by watching me. I don't carry Hannah around the house like that! Oh, and that's baby lotion that Abigail is feeding to her baby. She didn't learn that from me either. I promise! :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Book Giveaway


Crystal is giving away 10 copies of this book (that looks wonderful!) on her blog. Click here to leave a comment and enter yourself to win a copy!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cousins

I wanted to do a post to show off Joshua, Abigail, Esther and Hannah's cousins. Adam and I are blessed with wonderful siblings and siblings-in-law, and our children are blessed with wonderful (and cute!) cousins! Unfortunately, most of them live very far away and we don't get to see them much.

I'll go in order of age.

Ashleigh is the oldest cousin. She was a beautiful flower girl in our wedding and is a great big sister!



















Here's Austin...he was our ring bearer and is the only boy in the family. I'll be he's going to be very protective of his sisters when they reach the marrying age!!



















Amy is so cute and petite. She's a sweetie!



















Anna is adorable...she's got the best smile! We can't wait to meet her!


















Amy and Anna were adopted from China and their parents (Adam's sister and brother-in-law) brought them home just a little over a year apart. Their stories are really neat and you can read about them (and the whole family) here! They live about a 20-hour drive from us, so we don't get to see them often, but we're constantly enjoying their blog. :-)

Next up is...

Grayson! He's such a sweet little guy and he's absolutely hilarious!


















We haven't gotten to meet Tate yet either, but we hope to soon. He just turned 1 yesterday and he looks like a bundle of fun!














Grayson and Tate's parents (Adam's brother and sister-in-law) have a blog too! You'll have to visit them and read all of Grayson's funnies. :-) They live very close to Ashleigh, Austin, Amy and Anna, so we don't get to see them nearly as much as we'd like to either.

Here's a picture of all six of them at the zoo!














And next is....

Graeme! He's such a cutie.


















Graeme is 6 months old...he's sitting up like a champ and is on the verge of crawling!


















We're very thankful to have Graeme's mom and dad (my younger brother and sister-in-law) here in town...just about a 5 minute drive from us. We even go to the same church, so we get to see Graeme often!

And last, but not least is Baby Boy cousin in Virginia. My older brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first little one at the beginning of the year. We can't wait to meet him! I'll be sure to "introduce" him here when he makes his arrival!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Banana Bread and Fun With Papa

We had some very over-ripe bananas sitting on our counter just begging to be made into bread today. I'm not a fan of bananas or anything containing them. If I'm going to eat one it has to be very green. Mashing these bananas actually made my stomach turn. And no (for the few people who have asked) I'm not pregnant! Give me a few more months. :-) I just can't stand mushy bananas. Anyway, the bread actually tastes pretty good to me, so I thought I'd share the recipe. I made two batches...the first time I followed the recipe exactly and the second time I used a cup of honey instead of a cup of sugar. (We're making an effort to drastically reduce the amount of white sugar we eat, so I've been experimenting with some recipes. If anyone has any good recipes that are sweetened with honey instead of sugar, I'd love to try them!) Adam likes the honey recipe better and I like the sugar one better. I think it's because the sugar recipe tastes sweeter and is more effective at hiding the banana taste. Maybe next time I'll try making it with whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Maybe not. I'm trying, but baked goods made with whole wheat flour don't do much for me (except for whole wheat bread...we all love that!). I made some chocolate chip cookies with wheat flour a few months ago and they just didn't cut it. I like the fatty, sugary kind much better!

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
Confectioner's sugar (optional, for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir flour, soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. Combine oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, banana, vanilla, and milk. Add flour mixture and blend just until combined. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry - about 1 hour. Cool in pan 10 minutes and transfer to wire rack. May dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.
















Here are a few funny pictures of the children playing hide, seek, and tickle with Papa before bed tonight!



























































And of course I had to include one of our sweet little Hannah. I know I'm biased, but she's such a cute little chub! She's been smiling so much lately and I can't help but pick her up and give her lots of kisses. Makes it a little hard to be really productive as far as housework goes, but housework will still be around after the children are grown up and gone...if we ever let them leave. :-)


Ashley

I've been reading Ashley's blog for a while and she and her family could really use a lot of prayers right now. She is very sick. I know that they would appreciate it.