This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Surrender All.

God is good, and unlike our weather here in the Pacific Northwest, He is unchanging. He lives in us and loves through us when we allow him full access to our lives. This is what surrender looks like. Allowing our Father God to prompt us through the Holy Spirit to do or say things that may not fit our own agendas. It may come with a very high price tag. It may cost your physical being, financial assets, mental faculties, or even your precious family. Are you truly willing to carry this cross? Am I willing to shoulder this burden of surrender? Can I even handle it? No! On my own, the plain and simple truth is no. But as I fall to my knees under the weight of my cross, it is here in this place I will meet my sweet savior as he waits patiently to hoist this burden off my back and onto his own, if I will but surrender my will to his. On my knees in the muck, bloody and bruised, face and hands raised high, I cry out and begin to experience true freedom.

Amazing praise report from the precious woman with the neck cancer. Not only is she on the mend, she is healing unexpectedly fast. She is able to put a scarf around her neck and venture out of her home. Praise you father God! Continue to work healing in her entire body ensuring this cancer will be gone for good. We give you all glory!

We have a working oven. And let me tell you it has been working. We all love to cook around here and this is the best time of year to be baking and so we are. Thank you God for the provision of an oven.

A friend who had a difficult time getting pregnant and has lost many babies, has given birth to a healthy baby boy. Both mom and son are doing great. Thank you God for blessing this family with new life.


My friends oldest son was hit by a car while on his motor cycle. He was airlifted to Harbor view where he has had several surgeries to repair legs, knees, ankles, internal injuries, and to rule out other internal injuries. Praise God he was recently taken off the ventilator and can speak to his family. He has a long road of recovery ahead. He will be in the hospital for a few more weeks, and then in a full time nurse care facility for a few months during rehab. How difficult to see your child have to go through this. Pray for calm in the midst of the storm. Pray that God's presence would be felt in very tangible ways for them. We ask Lord that you would be in each detail of each day including placing just the right staff of care givers in place. Thank you for protecting his life. Now Lord stand guard over it for your glory in this young man's future.

A friend's sister just had some tests done that have lead them to believe that her baby will possibly be born with Down Syndrome. God this baby is fearfully and wonderfully made of this we are confident. Give mom a solid confidence in you to walk this road with grace knowing that this child was created exactly to your specifications for a kingdom purpose.

Stephanie - Praise and requests - She is feeling very week. She missed out on going to the fair with her family and this hurt her heart not being able to see a lot of firsts for her guys. God knows this and he knows it hurts. Fortunately, Stephanie knows this and believes it, but that doesn't always make it easier. Let's pray God would give her strength for each new day and allow her to be joyfully expectant of what he wants to show her through this journey.

Nick - Our nephew is back home now, but the memory of the visit won't fade so quickly. This is a young man with a very dark and conflicted heart. The enemy is waging full scale war for this little 12 year old life and sadly he is winning. Join with me in fighting for my family. Let's pray back what belongs to our King.

Me - I am having a difficult time recovering from our nephews visit, physically. It was a very stressful and challenging time. My tension level has been high, my muscles are in knots, and my face and arm are tingling. I felt some very real spiritual attack the last half of the visit and have had a hard time regaining my ground. I feel like my sword is just swinging from one side to the other and back, violently. I know my enemy would love to see me fall but greater is He who is in me, than he that is in the world. I will fight, with my armor in place, and with my prayer warriors at my sides.

Mark and I - He is still looking for work. He has had an offer but it wasn't enough to even be what unemployment would be. We are just beginning to consider other options like me being more employed now and him focusing on the homeschooling. I am looking into some writing possibilities, (feel free to follow my blog as this could prove helpful to me in this regard), praying about catering options, and just trying to wait on the Lord and see how these would fit in with my job I already have and love. And then again this may not be what God has for us at all. We would just really like to be in his will regarding our employment and education of our kids.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Cooking Lesson

My nephew, Nick, took on one of the family responsibilities of cooking dinner. First things first, to choose just the right recipe. Based on the photo, I would say he choose well. With all of his ingredients out and ready he begins, and with a smile too.

He got his rice started first.

He fought a good fight with the garlic press and I must say he won with valiant effort and the garden fresh garlic was minced right into his sauce.

Those of you who know me and know my "Ratatouille" style of cooking also understand that for the most part, I am not a clean as you go cook. This suited our young chef to a T. I think his style and mine might be a bit similar in the mess department.

While he didn't cry over the spilt ingredients, he did shed a tear or two over the fresh onion. I ended up helping him out with this one. I couldn't stand to see the poor guy getting so choked up over this little white root.

When it came to the beef this guy attacked with precision and purpose.

Then it was into the skillet for a little stir fry action.

"Skillet? Did you say Skillet?" he questioned.

"Yes, Nick." I replied. "But not the band. The pan with hot oil in front of you."

I think you will agree, he got the right skillet.

With some fresh tomatoes and peas from the garden, he continued his masterpiece. Our anxious little chef had to practice patience and perseverance to wait for these veggies to soften and soak in the flavor. As you can see, and we can all attest to, the wait was worth it. The dinner was a huge success. The flavor was amazing. The veggies and meat were flavorful. The cook felt a great sense of pride in his workmanship. So much so,
that it was off to the kitchen he scooted to make chocolate marbled brownies with a cream cheese topping.

I don't think he minded getting the night off from kitchen detail either. As a rule here, the cook doesn't usually have to clean up dishes. Well at least that rule applies when the chefs don't answer to the name "mom."
Nick did a great job! And we all enjoyed his meal. Way to go buddy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

He is Faithful!

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."

I love this saying by Dorothy Bernard. Fear is a normal emotion we all experience to some extent or another at many points through out our lives. How we respond to it... well, have we said our prayers? God is faithful. When Mark lost his job and as the threat of doubt creeps in God says "I will provide and you will grow stronger through this." When my body was feeling strange unexplained nerve tingling the enemy told me I was probably dieing of something terrible. God says "press into me for your security. Only I hold the power of life and death. Trust me daughter." When my child developed diabetes and fear slid along side me, God whispered "I created this precious child. Don't you think I love him more than you ever will? I will watch over him because he is my own." In the dark of the night when my breaths felt hard to take, and the walls seemed to be so much closer, and my heart was racing for reasons I couldn't understand, and the temptation to give in to full on panic was only a blink away, In a loud, confident, and protective voice I am reminded to "Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will make your paths straight." The promise of Proverbs 3:5,6 rings firmly in my heart, reminding me that my God is faithful always and he has provided a way out of every situation through his son, Jesus Christ. In this I rest.

I am happy to report a lot of big praises today.

My Payton and Gavin both made decisions to be baptized yesterday. What a special evening. Along with them were some really truly miraculous decisions to be baptized. Two lives redeemed and won back to the Lord and a heart finally softened to the call of the true savior. Families and friends watched on with joyful tears as we witnessed life choices being made. Thank you Jesus. And Corin, one of my other kids also made a public statement of faith today. It was a blessed evening.

After several weeks of no one looking at their house, Theresa and Roy have had a couple of people just this week. Thank you God for the answered prayer and we continue to ask on their behalf for just the right people to come through and be the ones to buy. Even more importantly, would you be preparing just the right place for them to go next. We know you have it already planned out. Would you continue to give them peace and direction about this next step. Timing is an issue as little Lukas is due to make his grand appearance in the middle of October. Let them be comfortably settled by this point in a place that will more than suit their needs at less than they are hoping to pay. Thank you for being the God of provision.

Our dear pastor made it home safely from Japan. Pray he gets rested and back on his feet in

US and Canada time and date.

God's provision for our family has been incredible, exciting, and humbling all at the same time. We received an oven from some friends to get us by till we can get one that matches. (cause we all know that is what matters) We continue to receive gifts from both known and unknown sources, including tp which was at the top of the shopping list. I have said it before and I'll say it again, God cares even about toilet paper.

Nick our friends who's job situation has not been the best, was blessed with a new job opportunity which will take their family back to Phoenix. While I am feeling a bit sad at the increased distance again :0) , I rejoice with them knowing this was the desire of their hearts. I pray God would open up the gates of heaven and pour out a bounty of blessing through this new job for Nick and Shawna and their amazing family. Thank you Lord for the new job. Let's pray this move transition back to PHNX goes smoothly and that just the right housing opportunity presents itself.


Dear friends are dealing with an unexpected house fiasco. Walls are torn apart, bugs are being killed and insulation being replaced. God give them unexpected peace and blessing during this messy time. Show them your power and protection in allowing this to take place now rather than in January. Thank you for that. Please give them the financial means to complete the project and the stamina to do it quickly. Bless their hearts Lord.

Our nephew continues with us this next week. Pray that as he is with our family and friends that he would see God in a new way. That his desire for a true and transparent walk with the Lord would be increased. Let's pray that God would be at work in this young man's heart, convicting in areas that need change, filling in the empty places, and healing the wounds that seem deep. Lord create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit. Thank you for giving us this time with him to get to know him in a different way and be more urgent in our prayers and specific in our battling for him. This child belongs to you God. Help us fight for his heart together.

The dear friend with the neck cancer continues in her fight to heal. Four times a day she has to remove and replace the burn cream from her neck herself. It must be excruciatingly painful and yet she has chosen to do it without the medication because of the way it makes her feel. There is a potential for a different treatment that would only have to be done every three days. Pray that this would be something she is able to try and finds that it is even more effective than her current treatment cream. Lord continue to hold this precious daughter in your hand and comfort her with your words to her heart.

An update on Cyrus - He begins his chemo and radiation today. It is scheduled for 5 days a week for 6 weeks. They are asking for prayer that he would make it through with out nausea or seizures and continued prayer for healing. He will receive his treatment there in Boise. A huge praise is that Jonie is not feeling the anxiety or despair any longer. God has delivered her from this and we rejoice as she rejoices. The victory belongs to the Lord and we Praise God with them in the battle won. Continue to lift them up as they begin this new phase. Our God is the God of miracles and he is still in that business. Lord this man, this family needs one of your miracles.

Stephanie - Her last cancer treatment caused a similar reaction to the first one. She is feeling very discouraged and down hearted. We have seen you God remove completely from another sister in Christ the fear and discouragement the enemy would hope for her to be drowning in, God please do this again for Stephanie. Put a song in her heart and an unexplainable smile on her face. Allow her the opportunity to sit and enjoy her children this week just because she can. Give Damie the strength to be what he is having to be right now. Calm his fears, increase the effectiveness of his sleep time, put a love for his wife and family in his heart that drives him straight towards that finish line with fervor. Protect this precious family of yours Lord God. Make your face to shine upon them. Let the glory of you Lord shine around them.

A friend would like prayer for family, both her husband and her side. One side knows the Lord, one doesn't really. Pray that as they live their lives to please you Lord, your love would shine through. That they would see something different and alive and desire that same presence and power of the Holy Spirit living in them.

A dear neighbor has been battling cancer for the last 11 months and had been told at the time that she has 11 months to live. She has a 2 year old little guy and a husband. She is an Indian gal but has contact with a lot of believers. Let us pray that God would soften and open this young women's heart to the saving knowledge of the gospel of Jesus. Allow for opportunities to be numerous for her to hear this message and for her to be drawn to it undeniably.

Mark has begun to receive his unemployment and continues to look for a job. Continue to pray that he would be constantly drawing closer to God, finding his true identity in Christ and his security in our Savior. I pray to Word of God would come alive to him now more than ever before. I believe God is trying to call him up and the enemy will use all sorts of tactics to drag him down including loss of a job. Let him be confident in Jehovah Jirah, our provider.

I pray God would bless all who read this and take the time to lift up fellow believers in the Lord, intercede on behalf of the fallen, and reach out in prayer for the lost.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Boneman's Daughter

I am a gal who enjoys many a hobby. Sewing, cooking, canning, gardening, scrap booking, puzzling, and saving money just to mention a few. There is one hobby however, that I like no actually love! You might even call it my guilty pleasure. Reading. Sitting in my favorite place with a cup of hot dark chocolate, my favorite lap blanket and a great book in my opinion is very satisfying and relaxing. It enables you to whisk your mind away to another place and sometimes another time altogether without ever leaving your reality. A great author has the ability to engage your mind as well as your emotions. Sometimes after a really amazing read I find myself wondering what happens next to the characters. One author I feel has an incredible gift for bringing words to life and images to mind is TED DEKkER. Many of you will read this name without anything to relate it to. I'm sorry. But you can change that. On the other hand, you may see that name and conjure up all sorts of images from past reads of his. Whatever book or books of his you may have had the opportunity to read so far I am fairly confident saying they left an indelible impression in your mind.

My most recent DEKkER book was "Boneman's Daughter." In this book you find yourself in the unexpected place of indecision over the choices the main character has to make. Is he right or is he wrong? Torn between protective instincts and moral injustice. I found myself wanting to completely avoid the question altogether. To save my family vs. to save innocent children. DEKkER does not mess around with his choice of topics. They are often controversial and always have a moral and or spiritual dilemma at the heart of them . Whether he is engaging your mind with a spiritual battle between characters or challenging your faith to go one step deeper with the Lord, you will always be left wanting more.

If you have read this one, post your comments on it. This particular book has been under some fire due to intent content and nature. He also uses the a__ word in the book. I would suggest that all of his writings are intended for mature audiences and that being said I find I usually enjoy his intense style.

DEKkER fans, raise your hands and post your comments here!

Ode to My Oven!

You saw me through countless pies, cookies, and cakes,
Dutch babies, pizzas, and you broiled my steaks.

I remember the muffins and scones you would hold,
The salmon, and halibut, rock fish and sole.

There were countless pans of varieties of breads,
Now I look on wistfully to think that your dead.

Your lifeless and inanimate, you haven't a soul,
But my enemy knows how to find a weak chink or hole.

He thinks I will crumble, get angry and break.
But my God says "I'm the bread... the kind you don't bake."

So with confident hope and expectance with joy,
I look back at you now and see just a toy.

Things come and they go, they break and they fry.
But Jesus my savior was sent here to die.

He gave up his own life, so that I would be free.
Now the things in my life, they don't define me.

A new oven some day indeed would be great!
But it doesn't define our dinner time fate.

A Kenmore, A Whirlpool, a Maytag, we'll see.
But for now I'm content for God's bread to feed me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


You have probably made strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry jam, but have you ever considered plum jam? How about plum orange spice? I hadn't until a dear friend had a tree with a bumper crop of juicy sweet plums. I hated to see them go to waste so I did some experimenting. Now it is one of my most favorites.
This year we received a bucket of yummy yellow plums. Really, a person can and should only eat so many fresh plums at once. Eating more can lead to well... very unpleasant thoughts about plums. In order to prevent said unpleasantness I made several batches of plum and plum orange spice jam.
This time of year there are lots of foods that can be preserved for future use. Take advantage of gleaning from friends unused fruits and veggies and set some foods aside for your family. This is a great way to save money and an excellent skill to teach your kids.
Plum Orange Spice

Start with 2 1/2 cups of pitted and well chopped plums.
Add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and stir well. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Then add 3/4 cup of water to the pectin and boil over med. high heat for 1 minute.

If you want to make orange spice add in 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 2 Tbsp orange zest, and 1/4 cup chopped up orange pulp at this point. Then add in the boiling hot pectin. Stir well for 3 minutes.
Then pour into clean jars and wipe off jar tops and put clean lids and rings on.
Let the jars sit out on the counter for 24 hours before putting in the freezer. Plum jam has an amazingly bright flavor. It is very fresh and in the middle of winter it will bring your mouth right back to summer tastes.
A jar of jam with a bag of scone mix and a big bow make a great gift for a special friend, sister, teacher, co-worker, neighbor, or just about anyone.
Keep checking back here for more food preserving ideas, tips, and recipes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary"
Galatians 6:9
God never promised us a life free from battles and struggles. He gave us full body armor so we would be equipped to not only protect ourselves, but to stand and fight. Most wars are waged over periods of time. This means we must press on and press into God. We must be constantly relying on him to not grow weary or become discouraged in the battle. The enemy will be persistant in his efforts, boring deeper and deeper into our subconscious in an attempt to draw us away from the father. We must band together as brothers and sisters in Christ to war for each other and intercede on behalf of those who are war worn. We have already been promised that the God we serve will be victorious. Let's be dilligent then to encourage one another.

The precious friend with neck cancer. Her treatment is complete, but the hard part is still to come. For the next 2-3 weeks her neck and chest will continue to get increasingly more raw and damaged. The medicine for the pain causes her to vomit through a sore, peeling, and bleeding throat. To say she is in excruciating pain is probably a gross understatement. We need to be particularly mindful of this dear sister for the next 21 days as she pushes through yet another hurdle with this disease. Lord give her strength from above. Help her to find her resting place in the shelter of your wings. Constantly remind her Lord that she is your child and you are holding her firmly in the palm of your hands. Let's also be lifting up the family of this dear one as they look on in fear. Lord we ask you to come against any plans the enemy may have for anxiety. Cover this family with your peace. Let them feel your presence father.

Theresa and Roy - Their house is still on the market with the price dropping at more frequent intervals. The are walking hand in hand with the Lord during this time and fully trusting in him. Lord we ask for either miraculous provision so that they could keep the house, catch up and be financially secure, or that you would make it abundantly clear which direction they are to go next. Lord we know that all things are done in your time and we are trusting that this will all be taken care of before the baby arrives.

Mark - My Mark continues to be in search of the elusive job. We are trusting God for our future and are praying with joyful expectation that what he has around the corner will be the best next step for our family.

Nicholas - Our nephew is out for a visit for the next two weeks. His last visit was a bit on the stress full side. We felt strongly that the Holy Spirit was prompting us to invite him back for an extended visit and so we responded, hesitantly and prayerfully. We know God has big plans for this time. We want to make sure we are surrendered going into this visit and that we don't get ourselves in God's way but that we are willing participants in his plan.

A dear sister has made the choice to begin attending church. The prayer is for her salvation and that of her husband. He is not at the place of wanting to attend church. The couple would like to start a family and the sister is concerned for the timing. Let's ask God to draw the heart of the wife to himself. To woo her into a deep relationship with himself so she can be a witness to her husband and win his soul to the Lord.


A group of wives and girlfriends from our church have been meeting on Tuesday nights to pray for our husbands and boyfriends. One of the boyfriends has been a little lost in his journey and has recently found his true identity in Christ. He asked Jesus to be his savior last week. We rejoice along with the family and all the angles in heaven for this life that was brought to repentence and freedom in Christ. Let's pray for this new brother as he begins a new life journey.

Mark and I were blessed with $95 to enjoy a date night at first by an anonymous giver. The kids were over night at someones house and so we enjoyed not only the evening but the morning and lunchtime as well. We truly felt like we had gotten away together. After returning home, we learned that the gift was from our 4 amazing kids. This moved me to rarely seen tears. The planning that went into it and the generosity was honestly beyond what I had imagined. This is a gift that will bless us for years to come.

Along those same lines we have been abundantly blessed by family and friends. We have sought the Lord regarding our job and house and have not yet felt led to sell. So we praise and thank God for the generosity which allows us to stay with our church family and our home. We continue to seek him regarding his direction for our family.

A family we know is in the process of preparing to go get their new daughter from China. This is an answered prayer for many reasons. We join with them in thanksgiving for the journey of the last few months and pray expectantly for continued growth and miracles in this family.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Surrendering is a Choice.

"Evidence of a surrendered life is always obedience."
This quote by Rick Warren is so true. The statement itself may seem so simple and obvious, but living it out is something that can take a lot of growth on our part.
I am speaking from recent personal experience and where God has me right now. While the heart may feel willing, the question I had to ponder was had I really taken the time to quiet myself before him and find out precisely what it was that God wanted me to surrender. In the process of seeking his will, I became keenly aware of how the time spent with him searching out his will for my heart was equally as important as the object of surrender itself. It was the real life equivalent of "Joy in the Journey". I am right there with you in the constant battle of to surrender or not. Make no mistake, it is a choice and not an easy one or it wouldn't be surrendering. I like the Message translation of the following verse.
Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering.
Romans 12:1
Prayer Updates and Requests:
Stephanie - She is feeling a bit frustrated with the fact that she is only 5-6 weeks into treatment that is scheduled to last a year. She is not a sit on the couch, lay around and watch people take care of her kids kind of a gal. Her faith is strong but her heart is down. She feels unable to contribute anything to her friendships or the lives of people around her including her three children. Lets pray God would bless her in this time of being still, that he would shine his face upon her and allow her to receive during this season. Pray that she would find contentment in surrendering her idea of friendship and service to a season of fighting, healing, and growing in the Lord.
The friend with throat cancer continues her battle. It is a painful journey. I can't even imagine what she must be feeling. Pray that God would continue to speak to her mind when she is in that dark place of receiving the treatments, that she would hear his voice of truth and his voice alone. We come against the enemy who would try to speak lies of death and discouragement to her in the name of Jesus. Give her blessed assurance Lord Jesus.
Nick - The job he currently has is decreasing in it's ability to provide for the family. Join with me in praying that God would miraculously bless this family. Lord if this means a new job in a new location, I know they ask with willing hearts, if this is a simple change of jobs, I pray it would surpass their expectations. Bless this family who desire whole heartedly to serve you. Continue to show them that you are the Almighty God who sees everything and desires only good for their lives.
Mark - He is still available for employment. I know he is feeling discouraged at having to be looking again and feeling unable to provide for his family. God would you make it clear to his heart that you are our Jehovah Jirah, our provider, and that you will never leave him nor forsake him or his family. Lord I pray you would call him to a place of constant reliance on you and your word. Lord you say "seek me and ye shall find me, when you search for me with all your heart" Help him to be searching for you with a new found fervor.
Praise Reports:
Our family has experienced an out pouring of generosity including special dinners made, mysterious checks arriving, gifts of $ from faithful friends and family, bags of groceries, and the countless prayers we have felt lifted up on our behalf. To this I say thank you God for such amazing friends and family that would listen to the call of the Holy Spirit and respond in such specific and tangible ways. One in particular blessed me recently. We received from a friend a dinner that was a recipe I posted on here a while back. I can't really even tell you why... but this really touched my heart. Thank You! I move forward each day knowing that God is good and faithful and he has given me such peace during this weird time. I know his plan for our family includes this time of waiting on him and so it is with "Joyful Expectation" that we wait.
A friends marriage continues to be healed my our Amazing Abba Father. He reached in and sheltered this couple during a raging storm of sin. The healing continues and the testimony continues to grow because of the matchless name of Jesus.
Gavin and Corin ( another son of ours :0) ) are getting baptized soon. This is great step of faith for both young men. Let's pray as the time grows closer, they would be experiencing the Joy of the Lord as they prepare to take their relationship with Christ a step further.
Mark, a great friend of Tristan's, was baptized recently and Tristan was able to attend. This blessed Tristan to get to witness his friends public act of commitment.
If you have anything you would like added to the prayer request list or a praise report to share, you may post a comment, send me an email at, or shoot me a facebook message. I have heard from many of you and would love to keep sharing with other faithful warriors what God is doing. There is a sense of urgency for prayer right now that is really driving my prayer life. God is calling up his prayer warriors and we need to be doing battle for each other. We are not called to stand alone to fight. We are called to victoriously stand together and come against our enemy who is neither flesh nor blood. Take up your shields of faith, your swords of the spirit and pray with me! God is listening!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Teddy Bear Picnic

How do you have a really great Teddy Bear Picnic you ask? Start out with a list of really great friends you want to hang out with on your birthday. Next, invite them each to come and join you with their favorite bear.

The next thing you need is some really crazy and creative guys to help pull it all together and make the magic happen. This is where two big brothers and a great friend come in handy.

Then you begin. This picnic required every one of the potted flowers that we own to be brought to the front yard and arranged under the giant white tent. Special displays were created with bears and other cute animals.

Fresh flowers were cut and put into vases and set all around the tents and tables.
Rose petals were scattered on the path way to the table and on the table itself. This added extra special aromas for these extra special guests.

All we needed now were our handsome waiters to escort these lovely ladies to their seats. One by one they were lead down the flower strewn pathway through the tents to the plate with the marshmallow flowers that held their names on them.

Ahh, look! Our handsome men, minus Gavin. (He already had his shirt changed and was off to the beach when we took the picture.)

Once seated and with music playing in the background, the party began. The waiters served the lovely guest from special platters, a selection of mini sandwiches, mini fruit cups, mini candy cups, pretzels, mini punch cups, and to finish it all off, petit four birthday cakes in an array of colors.
With some great friends helping me out (Shelly, Melanie, Angie, and Cari) this little tea party was a wonderful gift to Payton.

A little side note about this party... I sat down with Payton about two weeks ago to discuss her birthday. We talked about the fact that we didn't have extra money to do the specific party she had wanted to do and she was completely understanding. We brain stormed ideas of parties that we could do that might be just as fun. We ended up with this little idea. I prayed about ways to make it super special with what we had. Mark took Payton and a few of her friends to see the "free" movie at the mall and this was our chance to surprise her with my vision of this tea party. When they got back home, I wish you could have seen her face. It was like we had given her a private party at Disneyland. Her heart was so blessed. This is one of my favorite things about Payton. She truly desires to feel special, but she knows this has nothing to do with money or things. In the past, when asked what she wanted for her birthday (gift) she has asked for a party with her friends and cake. Boy can I take a lesson from my own daughter on being happy with what I have.
This party cost less than $30 and that includes the food, and goodie bags. It even included a very special early morning date for Payton and her daddy. Mark took her out for pancakes at the Market cafe before the movie. Nothing like a little daddy daughter date to start your birthday off right.

Thank you to all who came and helped bless Payton on her birthday. She had a wonderful time with each of you at the Mikkelson's Teddy Bear Picnic.