Thursday, January 22, 2015

I will never keep up blogging!!

I know I will never keep up this blog, ever. Blogging is not in me at all, and besides, with Facebook and all the other social media outlets, who has time to blog? LOL

But it was so fun returning to this blog today to see all the old baby photos of my little children.

With that thought in mind I'm posting this picture of my current little bundle of joy, who is yet to greet this world and all of us. Arriving some time in April...I give pregnancy belly of baby Crew Simon Bechtle!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jocelyn Paige - update and meaning of your name

Jocelyn is nearly 7month old already!
My little mover and shaker is such a happy, joyful girl. Eagerly playing with her toys and her siblings and learning how to get up on her hands and knees and scoot where she needs to go. She recently figured out how to push herself up into a semi sitting position and chill there for awhile.
 Here are some shots of her with her Uncles. 
Last week Jocelyn and I were able to go to Naples, FL to celebrate my brother Tony's wedding. 
 here she is with seven of her Uncles, Grandpa and cousin CJ. 

When we got back from our trip we found an envelop from Grandpa Bechtle. Enclosed a letter to Jocelyn about the meaning of her name(s).

Grandpa Bechtle has written to each of his grandbabies about the meaning of their names and I've saved those precious letters in their baby books for them to keep with them always. You can re-read about the meaning of Jade and Cutter's name(s) here.

Some of what Grandpa sent to Jocelyn:

Jocelyn Paige

Joyful helper

Jocelyn, one of your facebook pictures was captioned "Joyful Jocelyn". What a wonderful way to describe you! You see, the name Jocelyn means "joyful, happy and playful." It's plain to see that joy seems to happen when you're around! You are a happy girl, full of fun. And you will find a lot of delight in making other people happy.

But that's not all that is special about you!

Your middle name, Paige, reminds us that you are more then just a funny girl. You're a girl who knows how to help other people do great things. Many years ago, a "page" was the name for a young person who served as a helper for a knight or a great lord. Knights were warriors who wore shining armor and rode into battle to defend people from evil enemies. They were pledged to the service of their lord, and every page wanted to be like them.

A boy could become a page when he was about seven years old. Pages lived in a castle, helping with all kinds of chores: setting the tables, bringing the food for meals, clearing the table after everyone was finished eating. When they were old enough, they might light the candles or even chop wood for the fireplace. A page might go out to the garden to pull weeds or gather vegetables for dinner.

The page would spend lots of time around the lords and ladies of the castle, learning how to behave with courtesy and character. They would learn to obey God's word and how to be honest and brave.

When a page turned 14, he could become a squire. A squire would travel with the knight whenever there was a tournament for a battle, carrying his spears and caring for his horse. He would spend time with his knight so that he could learn how to fight against enemies. And eventually he too would become a knight.

We don't have knights any more, but we do have a Lord who is far more important than any of the lords who lived long ago in castles. God Himself is our Lord, and we have the exciting privilege of serving Him. Even when you are very young, you can be a helper in your home. You may not have to chop wood, but there will be all kinds of ways that you can help your Mommy and Daddy.

When you grow up, who knows what you might be able to do?

Like a page, you can spend time in the presence of the Lord, learning how to please Him and how to be like Him. And He will show you the ways in which you can serve Him. He is such a wonderful Master that you will find your greatest joy in pleasing Him. 

And who knows? You might even become a hero, just like a knight. You might not slay a dragon or rescue someone from a dungeon. But there are many enemies in this world, many people (and even angels) who appose God. There are people who have been defeated by sin and pain and discouragement, and God wants to use men and women like you to set these people free from everything that binds them.

God has made you to become a joyful servant, a happy warrior for Him!

Jocelyn Paige, you are wonderful, unique combination of personality traits: the joy that brings light and happiness to every room you enter; the diligence that is willing to work hard to help other people succeed; and the tenacity that is willing to joyfully fight the battle for righteousness. We are grateful that God has sent you into our lives!

Serve the Lord with gladness! ~Psalm 100:2

Friday, May 03, 2013

first time making salsa

As a picky childhood eater. I've found I won't let myself cook or grocery shop for certain ingredients that I avoided detested, when I was little.

Two of these ingredients have been: fresh tomatoes and raw onions


But as my palette has matured. And my desire to become the worlds greatest, stay at home mom/chef (hahaha!) has overcome me...

...I realized I'm never going to gain that fantastic title by avoiding these very popular fruit/vegetables in my cooking.

And one day it occurred to me. I like salsa, nay...I LOVE salsa. Salsa contains tomatoes (hopefully fresh) and onions (raw). Why can I eat this concoction of deliciousness, but not said items in whole? I do not know. Perhaps it's all in my mind *queue spooky music*

First step to overcoming my tomato/onion fears. And graduate myself to "even more amazing SAHM/ Chef" MAKE. SALSA.


I did it. Not only was it surprisingly easy and took less then five minutes to throw into my food processor. But it's super tasty!

My ingredients:
4-5 extremely ripe looking roma tomatoes
Half of a yellow onion
2 small garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper poorly seeded (so a few seeds got in, hee, hee)
A giant handful of cilantro
one lime squeezed by hand...with juice running down my fingers and my hands and all over my counter :)
some salt (maybe a teaspoon?)
cumin (maybe a teaspoon and half...or two)
about a tablespoon of raw honey

Blend in food processor to desired blend-ed-ness.

poor in a pretty bowl.

Devour with authentic looking tortilla chips that you can buy in the hispanic aisle at walmart. hahaha!

Result: button bursting pride at my accomplishment. Bragging blog post. Fear of "cooking" with tomatoes and onions...conquered!!! *big band music playing*

Oh, and it's really tasty too!!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Playing Doctor

I came downstairs to find Jade doctoring Cutter's leg
 she told me "it's okay, I'm fixing Cutter, he has a hurt bone."
 It was better in under an hour! amazing!

Tumwater Falls

After our Burfoot hike, we decided we needed to hit up another beautiful walk. Rain was projected to last for a week or more starting the very next I wanted to fit in as much sunshine as possible

Here we are at Tumwater Falls. It's a beautiful, easy, walk taking you past the falls that ends the Deschutes River
 we also got a chance to peek at the many tiny baby salmon in the facilities hatchery

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Burfoot Park

It's spring break for most of our friends here in Washington, and while our homeschooling didn't remember to schedule a "spring break" we've been taking it pretty easy on the academic side of things. But eductation doesn't stop just because we close our books. Today we took a pretty hike the the green and lush "Burfoot Park" easy hiking trail. We were able to spot many exciting things, but my children's favorite were the white trillium flowers we found along the path.
 Jade worried we would get lost on our hike, so I assured her, if we did, we could most likely survive eating these pretty flowers until someone came to find us. hee, hee
 There were only two hiking options 1. a loop or 2. go to the beach and then loop back around. We chose to go to the beach:)

 I took a picture of these yellow calla lilly looking plants for my Mother, I thought she'd appreciate the beautiful foliage. :)
 First they were at the egde

 and then they began to go deeper. 

 Heading back...
 some of the steps required Cutter to use his whole body to get up. It was quite the workout for him.
 After a picnic at the park play area and bubbles at home, it was time for naps for the big kids.

While they started their naps I pulled our the trusty excersaucer. Jocelyn has grown to long for her baby bouncer. I cleaned up this bad boy and she's been playing away for a good 15min. Best $5 I ever spent at a garage sale. All three of my babies have loved this toy!

Monday, April 01, 2013


Grandma M sent Cutter money for his birthday and today we had some free time to go to Target and find a few treasures. He first found a Knight with a horse to ride that had a bow and arrow that shot out plastic arrows. Pretty cool. Then he found this bubble blowing machine.  I was a bit skeptical at first, after all it did require 6 *gasp* AA batteries. But man...did it for an hour outside I say equals a success!

 Even Jocelyn got in on the bubble blowing fun!
 every time a bubble would touch her face she'd start blinking rapidly, it was pretty funny :) 

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Mangione!

Easter Egg Hunt in Leavenworth, WA

Some friends of ours let us join them on a weekend excurision to beautiful Leavenworth. There we stayed in a large cabin on Fish lake with beautiful scenery and snow! hee, hee Easter morning egg hunt was a memorable one! 

Children waiting for the Dad's to finish hiding the eggs

Jade sneaking down to the fire pit

 The three youngest (not including Jocelyn, of course) heading out!

Cutter was quite the collector

 Jade enjoyed finding them hidden in the snow
 here is a partial view of the cabin

 there were eggs filled with candy and then candy eggs! Jade found a chocolate egg

me and my oldest girlie

our majestic car! haha! jk, Cutter found an Easter egg

 A view down to the dock
My Cutter butter having a ball! 

Daddy helping him across some of the icy snow

Jade and Drew, chocolate egg hunting masters! 

Memories were made, egg hunt a success!

taking a walk

My little ones, like most small children, love to pick dandelions for me when we are on walks. Running to me eagerly to show me the special flower they just picked. I love it and  save every single one. For a day. 

But on our most recent walk, I found my kiddos saving their favorite dandelions for themselves. Cutter was softly stroking his face with his dandelion saying "ummm that is soft"
 and Jade made herself a "beautiful bouquet". *sigh* my flower children :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Oven pancakes on a Saturday morning

This morning I woke up to the sound of the blender crazily attacking some helpless food form. I assumed my darling husband was whipping me up one of my healthy green shakes (spinach, frozen cherries, frozen pineapple, flax seed, protein powder and water...yum!)

I took my time stretching and wiggling my toes before joining him in the kitchen. But instead of a cup of my gloppy goodness, I found warm, buttery, puffed up pancakes. Oven Pancakes *eye lashes fluttering...about to faint*
Not exactly the health boost I was anticipating. 

These babies are a cinch to make. All you need is a blender and a pre-warmed 9x13 pan 

melt 1/4 cup of butter in a 9x13, in the oven at 425

While that is melting whirl together 4 eggs until well blended, maybe a min or so. Slowly add 1 cup of milk and then 1 cup of flour. Remove pan and pour batter over the melted butter. 
Let bake for about 20min or until puffy, browned and delicious!!!

The options for topping these wonders of nature are endless. One of my favorites are sautéed apples in cinnamon and honey (or sugar). But add a bit of maple syrup and a light dusting of powdered sugar and you may just die and go to heaven.