Friday, February 15, 2019

I Love You Banquet 2019

 The Annual Gimenez "I Love You" Banquet is starting to become one of my favorite family traditions.  We draw names a couple weeks beforehand.  Then the secret keeping begins (sort of!) and we start creating a gift for the person that we drew.  The only rule is that no money can be spent. There's so much giggles and creativity that happens.  I love it!

We start out with a yummy meal together.  This year we decided to go with Coconut Chicken, Oven roasted potatoes, garlic grean beans, and honey glazed carrots....So delicious!!

Then, we start exchanging gifts.  Everyone did such a great job and really thought about what the other would like!
Patrick made Micah a race flag for when he races on his dirt bike.

I made Brenna Coconut Oil Bath melts infused with essential oils.

Josh made Callie breakfast muffins.  Although there were so many M & M's I don't know if it qualified as breakfast!  She was so excited!  She kept out four and froze the rest.  She's been defrosting two every morning for her breakfast and enjoys showing me how much chocolate she gets to eat so early in the morning!

 Beth made Silas some Reeses Cookies.  Goodness. Gracious. I think those are some of the best cookies I've ever tasted!  She also painted him some rocks.  He loves when he finds painted rocks lying around.  Now, he has some he can put in different places himself.

Not too long ago Josh talked about inventing his own ice cream flavor.  It was very detailed with espresso and brownie chunks and a bunch of other goodies.  Tabitha took note of it and created his own ice cream.  It was amazing!!!

Brenna stalked Tabitha's pinterest board and found this adorable painting and decided to recreate it for her.  It's so cute!

 Silas decided to make Liberty some new skirts.  He picked out the fabric from my stash.  I showed him how to cut it and he threaded through the elastic.  He did a great job and the skirts are adorable!

Micah made Beth some homemade shaving cream and some Allergy fighting shower melts.  As he and I were making the melts, they made our eyes water and we breathed amazingly well! :o)  It was a hit with my allergy-suffering Beth!

 And Liberty had my name.  I love the painting she did with her feet.  What a treasure!!

Family is precious....I love making memories with them!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Property belongs to VSIBC!!

It's official!  We closed on the property for VSIBC!  There is such an excitement in our church as we look forward to the days ahead! 

The Sunday after closing we decided to have our services out at the property.  We rolled the piano out there and everyone brought chairs. 

As we sang, "We are standing on Holy Ground"  I saw people with the biggest smiles on their faces as the biggest tears were rolling down their cheeks.  We are so thankful for what God is doing here!

Patrick preached a great message!

 Brenna played the piano beautifully!

And Liberty was as cute as ever.  Cookied fingers and all!

 Then, we counted down as we unveiled the signs saying, "Future Home Of Victory Springs Independent Baptist Church."

There was so much cheering!

 God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!

Monday, February 11, 2019

How to encourage a busy beginning reader

My Micah is a busy kid. He's always been active and the type of boy that would love to spend all day outside building forts and getting his hands dirty. He loves an adventure and has a wonderful imagination.

 He does love school but to be honest his learning to read wasn't clicking as quickly as it had for his other siblings. As I started praying that he would catch on in the area of reading, I remembered what we did when Brenna was his age. We decided to have her read her own morning devotions out loud every morning. We would pick two or three verses and she would read. And we watched God bless in so many ways!  Her reading took off in a matter of a month. Now it's hard to get the girl to put a book down!!  :-)

So we decided to try the same thing with Micah.  January 1st I talked to him about setting a goal to read through the Book of John all by himself this year. He was excited to have a Bible reading goal just like the rest of his family. Each day we have sat down and he's read through a verse or two on his own. Now one verse may not seem like much, but for a boy learning how to pronounce things it does take some time.  Although I admit, I love my cuddle time in the morning with my little guy while he reads in the Book of John.

 I also encouraged him that God is going to bless him so much. Well, I feel like we've had that breakthrough that I knew would come. This morning he was reading along not having to sound out so much. And when he came to the word "cometh", he just read right through and said "cometh".  Not an easy word for a first grader! I stopped everything and started hollering you just read "cometh" that you just read "cometh!"

 So proud of my boy reading big words. It was so exciting to see the joy on his face! He doesn't want to stop reading the Bible now! He's loving reading all these big new words. I love how God's Word is so powerful and that when you read it it encourages you and God blesses you for it!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Manatee Springs

It's been a while since we've crossed off a State Park from our list on our quest to visit every State Park in Florida.  Everytime we go I ask myself, "Why don't we do this more often?!?"  We love it everytime and it's always an adventure.

This time we decided to try Manatee Springs Park in Chiefland.  This park is about an hour from us.  The drive through the country on the way there was so beautiful and we spent the hour talking, laughing and singing.  So fun!

When we arrived the Park Ranger told us that most of the boardwalks around the springs were closed due to flooding.  Bummer.  They were right, there was a ton of flooding!

 We really should have seen some manatees there as well, but with the flooding, they were quite confused.  Even the springs that are supposed to be a gorgeous blue were mixed in with the murky river water.  That was a little disappointing. The pictures of the boardwalks through the springs that we saw online were beautiful!  So, even though we didn't get to experience that walk, we were determined to find adventure!

We decided to venture out on the Scenic Trail, Clay Trail and Shacklefoot trail.  We hiked a little over 2 miles and enjoyed so much Florida beauty!!

Callie had just learned about Indians making thatched roofs for their huts.  She was so excited to find one in real life!!!  I love it when school happens in the books and in real life!

Everyone enjoyed the Chickee Hut!

 I love to stop and listen to the birds, wind and nature all around us.

 There was a tree that had been struck by lightening.  You could see the burn marks all down the tree.

People tracks, dog tracks, deer tracks, raccon tracks, and my kiddos are always on the look out for bigfoot tracks!

It was a great hike!  Although by the end my crew was quite tired.  I love how diversified Florida Parks are!  Can't wait for the next adventure!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Preparing for our "I Love You" Banquet

Lots of secrets and excitement is in the air as we prepare for the Gimenez 3rd annual "I Love You" Banquet!  We've exchanged names and the preparations are underway.  We have the same rules as in previous years....#1 the person's name you draw must be kept a secret (ha!  We' don't do so good at following this rule!)  and  #2 You can't spend any money on the gift you give to the person you draw.

Last year's banquet was so fun and the year before was great too!
We've always enjoyed this so much and it is quickly becoming one of our favorite holidays!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Summerville Quilt

One of my 2019 goals is to complete a quilt that teaches me some new things and is a little beyond what I've made before.  My Mom and I love the style of the quilter, Camille Roskelley.  So,when I saw her quilt pattern, Summerville, I loved it right away!!  I bought the pattern for myself and for my Mom.  I told her we should each make a quilt by the first day of summer and we should keep the fabric we choose a secret.  So, hopefully Mom is not reading. (Hey Mom! :o) )

When I went to Joanns with my Beth, I went up and down every aisle. I'm always drawn to the aqua prints.  I like the yellows and greens.  And lately I've been drawn to the purples.  I could not make up my mind!!   Then, I thought about a quilt I saw in a magazine called Fancy Forest.  IT uses lots of Kona solids. I love it!  I loved the crispness of the colors  and thought, hhhmmmmm, could this idea work for this quilt?

(Fancy Forest by Elizabeth Hartman)

So, for my Summerville quilt, I chose to go with lots of beautiful Kona solids. No patterned fabric.  I've never done that before.  I'm usually drawn to the flowers, the paisleys, and doodled designs.  But not this time.  I'm excited to see how this will turn out!!