Archive for January, 2013


Sinning Stones and Blessing Basket

Lent is just around the corner-Feb. 13th.  Our family has never really observed Lent before and this year, I wanted to (in our own way).  A couple years back, I heard of an idea that I knew one day, when my kids were a little older, I wanted to do.  This year, we will start!


1 John 1:8-9

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Each day of lent (40 days) we will focus on a sin and a scripture verse, and talk about how God forgives us that sin. (I have included the list of sins and scriptures that I made below.)  Write each sin on a “sinning stone,” (I used a silver Sharpie on 2 bags of Panacea 70033 River Rock, Black, 2 Pounds .)  We will start on Ash Wednesday, and discuss a “sinning stone” everyday until Easter.  We will place the sinning stone we discussed in a basket that we will place in a prominent place in the house.  At the end of lent we will have a whole basket full of sin (sinning stones), and we will talk about how those sins led to the Jesus’ death. Then on Easter Sunday, God has replaced all our sins (stones) with the blessing of Christ-our Easter baskets!  We are going to replace the basket full of sinning stones with a basket full of life (a “blessing basket”) on Easter morning with gifts that remind us of life for the family (seeds to plant,  etc.)

Sinning Stones and Blessing Baskets

(the 40 days of Lent)

ANGER-James 3:5-6
CONTROL IDOL-  Proverbs 3:5-6
POWER IDOL-  Genesis 3:1-24
COMFORT IDOL-Romans 1:21-25
APPROVAL IDOL-Matthew 10:32-33
TEASING- Proverbs 18:6
HITTING/TANTRUMS- Proverbs 16:32
BRAGGING- Proverbs 27:1-2
CHEATING-Amos 8:4-7
COMPLAINING-Philippians 2:14-16
CONFORMITY-2 Kings 17:15
CRITICISM-Zechariah 7:9
BEING DRUNK/DRUGS- Proverbs 23:29-35
DOING EVIL- Romans 12:21
FAKING IT (HYPOCRISY)- Matthew 7:1-5
UNFORGIVING- Colossians 3:13
WORRYING- Matthew 6:25-34
GOSSIP- Proverbs 11:13
GREED- Luke 12:15
HATRED- Leviticus 19:17
DISHONOR- Galatians 5:14
DISOBEDIENCE- Ephesians 6:1
JEALOUSY-Proverbs 14:30
JUDGING OTHERS- Matthew 7:1-5
NAME CALLING- Proverbs 4:24
DISRESPECT- 1 Peter 5:5
LAZINESS-Proverbs 28:19
LYING- Proverbs 12:22
PREJUDICE- Galatians 3:28
PRIDE- James 4:6
IMPURITY- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
REVENGE- Romans 12:17-21
STEALING- Ephesians 4:28
WORLDLINESS- James 4:3-4
GLUTTONY- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
LACK OF FAITH- Romans 14:23
NOT RESTING- Exodus 20:8-11
MURDER/ABORTION- Genesis 9:5-6



Rilyn has started a new season!  She is on the Dazzler dance team for the Manor Falcon basketball league!  She had her first “half time” performance last night and it was fun to watch!  She really loves performing!


fighter verses (season 2)

If you read my blog regularly, you will remember I posted about starting fighter verses to help us all memorize Scripture more intentionally. Because of God’s grace, we were VERY successful in the fall! Even Asher was able to memorize a little of each verse. The video below is Ella demonstrating how the fighter verse songs helped her memorize 7 lengthy Bible verses this past fall.  All we did was make a CD of the 7 songs, and consistently played the CD with the verse of the week(s) in the car ride to school each morning.  I truly believe these songs (aka Bible verses) will be something they will remember for the rest of their lives, as I still remember the Bible verse songs I learned as a kid at camp.

The video below is unedited and 6 minutes long, (she recites all seven verses at one time), because I wanted you to see the process of how Ella struggles in areas, but just one or two notes from the song, she instantly recalls the verse.

So we march onward into the winter/spring with 7 more verses to memorize. I picked them from the 40 fighter verse songs they have available right now.
Weeks 1-3: Proverbs 3:5-6
Weeks 4-5: John 14:2-3
Weeks 6-7: 1 John 1:8-9
Weeks 8-9: Psalm 56:3-4
Weeks 10-12: 1 John 2:15-17
Weeks 13-15: Psalm 23
Weeks 16-18: Eph. 6:10-17

*They also have Foundation Verse songs that are shorter Bible verses for 2-5 year olds to memorize.  We might try this with Asher!


Ella’s 7th birthday video!

As usual, James created another awesome birthday video!  Check it out.  My favorite part is the last scene!


Ella’s birthday party!

Ella had her seventh birthday at Capital Gymnastics!

Her amazing cake that my friend Jen made!

The adorable plates I found on

flippin’ fun!
playing which team can get the bean bags first!
the pit!
gotta love the sparkler!
dad photo bomb!
opening up her Kindle Fire from mommy and daddy!

Ella turns 7!

Our Ella Bella turned 7 years old on Saturday!  She is street smart and book smart, funny, cries WAY too easily, but also LOVES others easily (which I know I need to work on!)  We believe her love language is touch, and she could cuddle all day long if we let her. She enjoys chaos, and has to frequently be separated from her brother because she makes him wild! (Her and Rilyn are very different in this aspect…Rilyn tries her best to calm down her crazy brother!) 🙂  Her favorites right now are stuffed animals, Barbies, math, reading Junie B. Jones First Grader books, riding her scooter, and making crafts with all sorts of scraps.
Ella’s party day actually fell on her real birthday this year for the first time so it was a busy day!
She woke up to her traditional birthday morning donut!

birthday hugs

Then she got to run through the kitchen to open presents and read cards from her family!

James’ card was very sweet. Ella declared last month that she is now collecting snow globes, and got one as a souvenir every place we went in California. So James made a snow globe for her as a card!

Her reading daddy’s card
Ella reading Asher’s card

After the morning festivities, she changed into her new leotard that she got for Christmas for her GYMNASTICS themed birthday party later that evening. Of course I did a mini fun photo shoot of her!


Fun on the trampoline!

happy to be seven!
Rilyn got in on the fun too!


Cheerleading was definitely consuming this past fall, but Ella and Asher had an extracurricular activity too!  They both were in gymnastics one day a week.  They loved it, and Ella will continue doing it in the spring, but will focus on tumbling.  Here are some pictures!  Ella’s birthday party will be at this very gym tomorrow, she loves it so much!

Ella’s teacher said that she has an AMAZING vault, and said she could move up to the next level class!

Ella LOVED chalking up her hands before doing the bars!
the foam pit!!

new photo shoots

These are the last photo shoots of the holiday season!  Check out this beautiful family!

And this beautiful family!

My photography business!

January 2013