Happy 14th Birthday, Charissa!!!

Happy birthday, Charissa!

We are so glad to have you as our seventh sister ;)

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

We love how you still play with, and take care of the boys…

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

…and that smile…it makes us smile!

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Your creativity…

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 …your fun and sweet personality, your love for baking (which benefits us greatly!), and the happiness that shines through you is such a blessing to us.

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

We love you!!!

A Messy House Collides With Forgotten Company

 

We’ve adopted Teresa Tapp and her husband, Mark, as our new aunt and uncle :D  They’re such fun to be with and some of our favorite people ;)  Uncle Mark came from a family of twelve, so he knows all about how big families work, and he’s told us lots of stories from his own family :D  You may remember our posts here and here about when we visited their farm.

 

His birthday was last fall, and we wanted to make him this video, but we were really busy with canning season and never got to it.  So about three Saturday’s ago, we really were having a ‘lazy Saturday’ for once and filmed this video :D

 

 

A few fun facts:

♥ Most of that mess was real. We didn’t have to stage much! Anna did unfold a bunch of towels, which she said felt ‘wrong’, and we dumped out Legos and set up the Monopoly game. And messed up Isaiah’s hair.

♥ Someone put pancakes on the griddle and left them there just for the movie, but it isn’t uncommon for pancakes to stay out for quite awhile on a Saturday morning…just usually not on the griddle.

♥ If you’re a fan of the Jostie Flicks you might notice that Bekah is watching ‘A Suitor’s Tale‘ on the iPad

♥Anna is playing with a ‘Cat’s Cradle’ string…with the cat

♥ It’s hard to see because it’s so fast, but at 3:46 Cassia carries the cat out of the room. The cat comes back 3:58, and at 4:10 Anna moves the cat to the couch :D

 

Watch and enjoy!

 

A year?!?!

What? It’s already been a year since my Guatemala trip? Woah! It was such an amazing experience, just the way God brought it all together and provided for it!!

 

You go wondering what it will be like, thinking your going to love on these kids, but in the simple little moments, like playing soccer till your sides hurt, curling up on a couch with your new friend to read the Spanish Bible, the little hugs, when little hands clasp yours, the pizza party, the dancing and praising Jesus together, when they fall asleep in your arms, the joy you see in their eyes when they receive a simple blanket, the late night tickling/tackling each other ‘parties’, getting your head ‘pet’, playing on the swing set, laughing so hard you start crying,  is when they slowly steal your heart, and lavish so much love on you that then, you feel like family.

It doesn’t matter that we speak different languages, it doesn’t matter our skin or hair color, or our cultures, we are family.

 

But then that night before your supposed to climb on that plane to take you back to your ‘home’, you feel as though your heart might just be ripped out if you have to go back. Because now…this is your home.

And after that, your life is changed for ever. You can’t just shake it off, you find yourself thinking of them often, on your mind all day, thinking “right now, we would be in the soccer field” or “It’s break time on the job site”

Thinking “how can we have so much, and want more?” when these kids are so happy with what they have.

 

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

 

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

 

It’s in those simple times, that slowly, your heart gets such a deep love and passion for another Country.

I almost didn’t come home! ;)

Thank you Jesus, for Guatemala! ♥

Anna

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

 

Last month we set out for our yearly Christmastime tradition…to find and cut down our own Christmas tree.  But due to the drought we had a few years ago, plus a sudden trend of EVERYONE wanting a real tree, we visited four Christmas tree farms before we found one big enough for our family :D

 

This picture was taken on our way to the first tree farm…we spent 2 1/2 hours just visiting three farms that day!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This farm has been our favorite, but so many other people had gotten trees the week before we came, that there were only 4-6 foot trees…and these baby trees…to pick from.  A six-foot tree might not sound that short…but to us, it’s short, especially with all of the ornaments we have to put on it ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Tree farm no. 2.  Either the trees were too short, too scraggly, or the trunk was twisted.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We didn’t even take pictures of tree farm no. 3.  We didn’t even get out of the car…just drove around and saw that, alas, that farm wasn’t going to work either!

 

Then came Henslers!  Mommy had been doing some scouting online for nearby tree farms, and while this one was about 40 minutes away, we wanted a tall fat tree quite badly ;)  They had these fun signs as we came in…and unfortunately we can’t find the pictures we took of them all…but there was a set of signs every so often that continued a story of the perfect evergreen that couldn’t wait for its family to come find it :D

 

And there were these signs…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We saw the 12 foot trees in the front and got pretty excited :D  We only have a nine-foot ceiling, but seeing anything over 6 feet was great!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 We got to see their pretty little shops, and their reindeer, plus some other farm animals. The goats were cute…but hey!  We see goats every single day :D  We were more interested in the reindeer and peacocks.  It was too dark to get good pictures, but you can see some of the deer on their website.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Oh!  the lovely tall trees!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy smiles

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

They had these nice little ‘tree carts’ so that you didn’t have to drag the tree on the ground (like we usually do!).  Charissa decided to try to catch a ride :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Inspecting one of the trees…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

A grainy picture of Cassia, Leah, myself, and Susannah…it was getting dark and phone cameras don’t like the dark :D  We started running out of daylight and had to make our tree decision quick. We don’t usually make our tree decision very quickly, because there are at least 9 or 10 opinions as to what the perfect tree should look like ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We finally settled on a tree that was about 8 feet tall…a little short for us ‘kids’ liking, because we like them to scrape the ceiling, but we all agreed that it was nice in every other way, and 8 feet was passable ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

How do we measure the tree?  We say, “Susannah, come over here!”  She’s a little over 6 feet, so we figure with her arms up, that’s about 8 feet :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Then it was time to decorate the tree…

 

 

Daddy and Mommy always sit behind one of our dining room benches and lay out all of the ornaments…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 We get a new one every year that has something to do with what happened that year.  Unless nothing of great importance happened…then we just get something cute.  It seems to usually be a nativity scene (see video at end of post) :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This year’s ornament was an airplane since we all took Discovery Flights/airplane rides this year (we are still planning a post on that one ;) )

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

There is also a little bit of a competition on who can get their ornament the highest…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 But we do have to fill in the bottom as well!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Susannah, playing with the cat :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 Doesn’t she look so cute and innocent?

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We all have our favorite ornaments that we like to hang up too…and there is much argument I mean, discussion, on a few of them :D  There’s a little mouse playing a violin that we got the year I started playing violin.  But the mouse is holding it like a cello.  So Susannah and Cassia insist that it’s a cello and they should hang it up :D  And Rebekah and Susannah race to be the ones to hang up the golden retriever we got the year we got ‘Clover’, and the Shih-Tzu we got when we had ‘Pooh’ :)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 There is also a tradition to hang the ‘icicles’ on our ears…like earrings :D

And Noel is being…Noel.  She’s so playful!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 More icicle earrings…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 This progression of pictures makes me laugh!

We always make Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies for the night that we decorate the tree.  This year we brought them right into the living room and set them on the piano…by Leah.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Charissa made her guinea pig, Chloe, her own ornament…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

I asked her if she had shown Chloe yet, because it was her ornament, after all!  She said that she hadn’t, so I took it upon myself to show her, lol!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 The cat wanted to see, too…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We also always sign a paper airplane when we put the tree up, as well as when we take it down.  We started writing on this plane in 2001?  At least that long ago.  We’re running out of room to squeeze our names in!  It has the names of a couple of our dogs on it, and probably Charissa wrote Noel’s name on it this year.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Our favorite Mommy ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We’ve also put together a little video of all the chatter that goes on…and the bantering.  Maybe my favorite part is Susannah rocking her cradle ornament…or Anna’s ‘breaking news’…

 

 

 

 

jessica

It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Perhaps that was last month…but we were so busy then, we didn’t have time to blog!

 

This post is primarily about Christmas Day, but a few more fun things we did in December were:

 

1. Operation Christmas Child.  It’s so much fun filling ‘shoeboxes’ with all kinds of fun and useful things and then sending it off to someone across the world who will hear about (and see!) the love of Jesus.  Even the boys get in on it and love it :)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

2. We had Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Zelda over :)  You probably remember Susannah and Cassia’s Washington D.C. trip, and how they adopted some new grandparents for us…so the rest of us got to meet our new grandparents, hehe!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We had SO much fun visiting together and getting to know our new grandma and grandpa :D  It was sad when they had to leave!  They are both so sweet, lots of fun, and their love for Jesus just shines through.  We love them! We played some of our instruments for them, and sang, and got to hear more about the D.C. trip.  Now we can’t wait to see them again!

 

3. Santa came to our house in his fire truck ;)  We’ve posted about him before, but he comes every year and gives out small bags of candy.  Who cares about sleighs when there’s a real live fire truck with sirens and lights going, right in your driveway! :)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Quite possibly we are the oldest ‘kids’ in Mentone who still get excited about Santa coming :D  It’s tradition!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

4. Susannah, Leah, and I (Jessica) went to see the “Messiah” live for the very first time this past December!  Ohhhhh!  It was absolutely delightful!

 

 

5. Christmas dinner!  We always split up the Christmas menu between all of us girls so that we don’t have much to cook. Then we get as much as we possibly can all done before Christmas.  On Christmas Day all we have to do is pull casseroles out of the fridge and slide them into the oven, and then pull out pies, salads, and all the ‘cold’ stuff :)   It also makes for less dishes on Christmas Day…which we are exceedingly happy for!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

More Christmas Dinner preparations…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Cassia & Bekah

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Kitchen craziness

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

6. Christmas morning!!! Having our favorite Christmas breakfast of egg casserole, orange juice, and cream cheese cinnamon rolls.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Charissa even decked Noel out for the day.  Not sure if Noel was so thrilled about it, but she sure was cute!

Noel is our new house cat.  Yes.  House. Cat.  Who would have thought we would have such a thing?!  We’ve had house dogs but not cats.  She’s supposed to be in the house temporarily, but we said that back in November…

But she’s adorable and we all love her :D  Susannah got her from the post office.  She’s the third cat we’ve gotten from there.  If you don’t want a cat…stay away from the post office, lol!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Waiting to open presents together…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We took about forty-five minutes just opening stockings ;)  We like going one at a time and watching to see what each person got.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

So many faces going on here…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Isaiah & Bekah

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Noah & Charissa

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

goofy faces

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Since I was born on Christmas Eve, the hospital gave me a ginormous stocking (and put me inside of it!).  Every year Daddy and Mommy took a picture of me standing in it, until eventually all of the pictures were the same…me trying to fit both feet inside of it while standing up.  Now I just check to make sure everything is out when I’m done opening it ;)  I love Anna’s face here.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Not sure what was so funny…but I love this picture.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Susannah, already writing in a new planner she got in her stocking.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Ever since Noah got a Nerf gun for his birthday, Isaiah has been wanting one…you can tell he’s pretty happy with this present!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

I love these faces of surprise and delight!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Guess who else wanted a Nerf gun?!  We’ve had a few Nerf wars since.  Once Cassia was trying to read a book in the middle of a war, and she kept getting hit in the head.  “Not around civilians!  Go somewhere else!” she told them.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

And the Nerf guns have lead to statuses like these:

 

 

 

One of our favorite ‘tricks’ to throw someone off the track of what we got them is to get a huge box, load it up with school books, wood blocks, etc. and wrap it. Rebekah actually weighed her gift to Anna and it was 29 1/2 lbs :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Waiting for our turn…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Rebekah’s present to Anna didn’t arrive in time, so she gave her a piece of paper saying ‘Error 717: gift cannot be found but will arrive eventually’.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Susannah and Bekah had a ‘thing’ for destroying every bow that came on their present…that’s what she’s doing here…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Anna surprised me and got me a birthstone ring…something I really wanted.  THAT box weighed 28 1/2 lbs and the ring box was tucked in the corner beside all of Anna’s schoolbooks :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Cassia, super happy about…whatever is in that box!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Charissa took the time to make Mommy a really, really neat scrapbook with all of our pictures in it :)  I think Mommy liked it ;)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Some of Leah’s amazing gift wrapping art.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Everybody intent on whatever Leah is opening…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

I gave Cassia a birthstone ring, and she liked hers a lot, too ;)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Noah and Isaiah got new basketballs…Noah is smelling his, hehe!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Isaiah opening a gift from Charissa…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

…a hand carved tiger!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This…is simply adorable!  Noah made a ‘Joy’ sign for Mommy.  And the J is backwards.  Oh he’s adorable!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

More of Leah’s art…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Charissa made her guinea pig, Chloe, a couple of presents.  One of them was a tunnel.  Chloe loves it…she loves anything she can hide in!

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Noah and Isaiah were opening identical presents, so Isaiah turned his head because he didn’t want to see Noah’s before he got his own opened :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Mommy and Daddy kept kissing…and some of the girls were hollering and teasing them about it.  So Mommy put up a towel that Daddy gave her so we wouldn’t have to watch :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Anna loved the ruffled journal cover that Susannah made her.  It was a true act of love from Susannah, because she doesn’t like ruffles, and she can’t stand loose threads, and these ruffles have raw edges :D :D

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Probably THE highlight of Christmas for these two was getting their very own BB guns!  And let me tell you, they are good shots!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

They’re already talking about when they’ll be big enough to go deer hunting with Daddy :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

After all the gifts were opened, we had a ‘hugging party’…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

…everyone was giving each other hugs saying, ‘Thank you!  Thank you!”

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Best Christmas Ever!!!

(until next year)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

The aftermath…Isaiah just looked over my shoulder as I was typing this, saw the picture and said, “That is some serious junk!”

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Next, it was time for Christmas dinner…ham, barbecue cranberry sauce, marshmallow apple salad, ‘yummy’ salad, two different kinds of sweet potato casseroles, ‘gourmet’ potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and green bean casserole.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

The pretty table…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

I had a lot of fun this year wrapping some gifts that made a lot of noise.  One was a catnip mouse for Noel that squeaked whenever you moved it.  The other one was a set of sleigh bells for our family orchestra.  We’ve talked and talked about getting them, so this year I decided to surprise everyone and get a set.  Here’s a little tiny snippet of one of the songs we play around Christmastime, Sleigh Ride for Strings.  It was our very first time practicing with them, but it still is pretty neat with the bells.

(Did I mention those bells are so fun?!  I wonder what the UPS man thought as he brought that jingling box up the sidewalk).

 

 

After I wrapped both of those noisy gifts, I rattled and squeaked them on my way downstairs to put them under the tree, and Leah kept trying to grab them and figure out who they were to :D

We ALL had fun snooping this year…maybe more so than we usually do.  We didn’t snoop enough to find out what we were getting, because we didn’t want to do that, but we just had fun shaking, peeking, and looking to see which packages were ours :D

I would start crawling around the tree, looking for gifts addressed to me.

A sister would come in. “Jessica!  What are you doing young lady?”

Me: “Oh, just checking the tree water!”

Sister: *starts crawling around the tree with me*

Another sister comes in: “What do you girls think you are doing?!”

And so it goes on.  Half the fun is getting caught doing it, hehe!

 

7. The last thing we did this year was go to jail!  Every year for the past three years we’ve gotten to sing and play our instruments for the inmates.  The first time we did it we were a bit nervous, since we’d never been to jail before ;)  but once you start singing for them, you see that they’re just regular people, too…like you.  And somehow they bless you while you’re trying to bless them :)

And we did get out of jail in time to come home and celebrate with our customary whistle-blowing, pan-banging, hollering and shouting at midnight to ring in the new year :D

 

Stay tuned…pretty soon we’ll be putting up another post on when we got our Christmas tree ;)

 

Hey…it’s better late than never!

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Sisters Treasures #103

 

Seven Sisters Treasures #103

Quote of the Week

We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley when the summit of Tabor awaits us. How pure are the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New Jerusalem!

Many saints are content to live like men in coal mines, who see not the sun. Tears mar their faces when they might anoint them with celestial oil.

Satisfied I am that many a believer pines in a dungeon when he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land and Lebanon.

Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition! Cast away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coldness, or whatever interferes with thy chaste and pure love to Christ. Make Him the source, the center, and the circumference of all thy soul’s range of delight. Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish attainments. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!

Charles Spurgeon

The Bookshelf

Finding Your God Given Marriage Partner by Davida Yemi-Akanle
Davida’s book, Finding Your God-Given Marriage Partner is a quick, but one very encouraging read!

We girls have noticed a trend of advice for young ladies that you need to, ‘position’ yourself, or ‘put yourself in the path of young men’, know what to talk about to make yourself interesting to guys, dress this way, don’t dress that way, etc. etc!

While we don’t advocate hiding in a cave in Antarctica all of your days with a bag over your head and your only conversations are with penguins about shopping, Pinterest, and nail polish…we also didn’t feel comfortable with this idea of needing to be ‘proactive’ like this in finding a mate ;)

For sure we should meet people and make new friends. For sure we should always be learning about new and useful things (and thus having interesting and useful conversations). For sure we should dress nicely. For sure we should not do these things in hopes of finding a man :D

Is it really ‘up’ to us?!

Davida encourages you through the Bible, and shows you that, yes indeed, God can, does, and will provide :)

So if you’re looking to be encouraged, we recommend Davida’s book!

P.S. we just recently found out that she has books 2 and 3 of this series almost complete! Woohoo :)

 

“Single Ladies:
Please notice that in Genesis Eve hadn’t said one word to Adam, yet Adam recognized who she was, and announced that she was “the one” publicly.

When he’s heard from God about who you are, you won’t have to do any campaigning or convincing. He’ll know you when he sees you.”

David Burrus

Check out David Burrus’ Facebook page for more encouragement ;)

Videos of the Week

Emma and Cinnamon–Best of Friends

 

Random Acts of Pasta

 

A Ripple of Kindness…

The Recipe Box

Mini Cream Cheese Fruit Cups

 Cream Cheese Fruit Cups

1 batch of your favorite sugar cookie recipe (look below for ours)

4 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. Cool Whip

Chopped strawberries, kiwis, grapes, blueberries…any fruits you like!

Melted white chocolate, optional

 

Our Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe:

1/3 c. butter

1/3 c. shortening

2 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

1 T. milk

1 t. baking powder

1 t. vanilla

dash salt

In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 or until softened.  Add about half the flour.  Add sugar, egg, milk, baking powder, vanilla, and salt.  Beat until combined.  Beat or stir in remaining flour.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 8 min. or until lightly browned.

 

Press the sugar cookie dough into mini muffin tins and bake according to your recipe.  The dough will puff up, so as it cools, you can use your thumb or the end of a spoon to press it back down to make room for the filling.  Let cool. Beat together the Cool Whip and cream cheese and fill the little cookie cups.  We used a disposable cake decorating bag to make this easier and less messy :)  You could also use a Ziploc bag and cut off a corner to squeeze the filling through.  Top with the fruits of your choice.  You can also drizzle a little bit of white chocolate over the tops, which makes it even yummmmiiieeerrr! :)  Cover, chill and serve.

 

This recipe is a variation of Janelle’s from Comfy in the Kitchen.  Check out her lovely blog :)

 

Farmgirl Favorites

 This is a great resource!  We’ve looked into them and they’re great photos, too!  Not cheapo ugly ones :)

50 Sources of Absolutely Royalty Free Images for Blogging! (even for-profit)

 

Some pretty neat houses made from shipping containers…

Houses Made Out of Shipping Containers
The glass garage door is pretty neat :)

Houses Made Out of Shipping Containers
Open and airy…love the big glass windows :)

Houses Made Out of Shipping Containers

 See more cool shipping container houses via Imgur.

Free Download: Old Post Card Images

Click on the picture or go :here: to download these lovely images :)  You can use them for personal or commercial use, without crediting or linking if you wish. See her terms of use here.

 

Free Download: Old Postcard Images

Cute Quotes

From Jan. 2009

Cassia had finished helping Isaiah with something and after she was finished she asked him, “What do you say?”, hoping to prompt a ‘thank you’ from him.

 

Instead he replied, “Bye!”

 

 

From a long time ago…probably 1990

Once Jessica was throwing a fit about something and Mommy told her, “Jessica, stop throwing a hissy fit!”

To which she replied, “I don’t want to have a hissy fit, I just want to whine a little!”

 

 

December 2008

Rebekah held a cloth napkin up to her dress that she was wearing, and it happened to match.  She said, “I can tell my dress is fainting!” (fading)

 

 

The Seven Sisters Treasures is an {almost} weekly post where we share some of our favorite things. Hope you enjoy! ~the Farmgirls

Macro Snowflake Tutorial

Jen commented requesting a tutorial on how I take my snowflake pictures, so I’m here to attempt one! It started snowing this afternoon, it was fluffy, then turned into sleet :/ but I did get a few pictures.

First off, I shoot in Manual mode, with my macro lens set to manual mode so I can control the focus. Most times, you will want to use a tripod, I’m not one for extra equipment and bulk, so I rarely use my tripod. I like to find things in nature to stabilize my camera. Of course, if it’s in a really low light situation, I get the tripod out!

Macro Snowflake Tutorial by Seven Sisters Blog

Then, using a dark sock hat, I either catch the snowflakes, or dip it in the snow:)

Macro Snowflake Tutorial by Seven Sisters Blog

 

After studying which flake I should shoot, get my settings how I like them, then shoot :)

Macro Snowflake Tutorial by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Let me give you a run through on settings :)

 White balance:

This controls the temperature of the picture, weather you want to catch the warmth of that ‘yellowish’ sunny day, or the cold ‘blue’ of a winter day.

Iso: 

The speed or light-sensitivity of a digital camera’s sensor is rated in ISOnumbers — the lower the number, the slower the response to light. Higher ISO numbers indicate a higher sensitivity to light, so less time is needed to expose a picture.

But if you get too high of a ISO, you introduce ‘camera noise’ into the picture. (noise, meaning grainy)

Shutter speed:

Controls the amount of time the shutter is open taking the light in.

Aperture, or F stop:

Controls how much light the camera lets into the sensor

Haha, okay, you probably didn’t think you were going to get a photography lesson ;) But if your beginning on your DLSR, I would recommend using P (Program) mode, it sets the shutter speed for you, allowing you to adjust a few settings on your own.

So with that said, I’ll show you a couple pictures and their settings.

 White Balance- today was a cloudy day so I chose: Shutter speed-1/200, F stop-5.0, ISO- 1600

Macro Snowflake Tutorial by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This one is the same except for the F stop, it was 6.3, but in this picture, you can see I had a rather high ISO, which is why the background is rather grainy and not smooth like the next picture.

Macro Snowflake Tutorial by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This one has a smooth background because the ISO is lower.

Macro Snowflake Tutorial by Seven Sisters Blog

 

And, if that didn’t make any sense whatsoever, feel free to comment and ask any question you want, and I’ll see what I can do to answer you :) !!!

But most of all, don’t stress. Have fun! And really, no photographer, (professional or amateur, ) always gets it perfectly right!

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A Christmas Tour

After seeing on Pinterest blog posts on Christmas tours, I decided that it would be fun to give you a Christmas tour of our house!!! :)   Now, while this isn’t Pinterest Perfect like all the ones I was seeing (not a spot of dirt or dust, not a toy out of place, no dirty dishes in the sink, no laundry laying on the stairs), it’s still fun, and it is very much home to us!! :)

 

Anywho, enjoy the tour :)

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Our old front door that leads into the library….rarely used anymore.  We love old doors to set around for decoration :)   When we go into second hand stores, or antique shops, we always admire the old doors :)  The decorating here is compliments of Leah.

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Our main front entrance…

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Just stepping into the entryway

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Looking back at the front door. We got this new garland to imitate one we saw on Pinterest :)

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An up close shot….

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One of our many lighted houses….we have so many, they don’t all fit on top of the kitchen cabinets, so we’ve been finding new places for the extras

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Leah’s chalkboard artwork.  Here is thriftiness to beat all thriftiness.  The frame was old trim outside in a scrap wood pile that Daddy cut and screwed together for us….and the chalkboard? It’s not a chalkboard….just black paper :)

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The cat’s artwork (that rascal has discovered our house plants…..)

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The messy kitchen.  Supper is in progress :)

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All of our aprons :)

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Our Christmas teapots.

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We love our door-less cupboards!!!  :)

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 One of the little shelves over the sink

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Another small shelf over the sink

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Our lighted lighthouse :)

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Lighted houses over the kitchen cupboards.  For the rest of the year we have teapots up there.

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Looking into the main bathroom

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Looking out at the sunroom from the kitchen. Notice the garland draped up on the light?  The cat likes to grab it, take it down and run off with it :)

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Where we spend a lot of our time :)

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Supper is ready!!!!

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The library (our old dining room…until we grew out of it :) )

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Where we put up our Christmas cards :)

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The stairway, where we hang our stockings.

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When you take a left at the top of the stairs, this is what you see…..

…someone’s laundry :D (and three bedrooms). There is always something sitting there….usually laundry :)

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When you take a right at the top of the stairs, this is what you see….

…a bedroom, a bathroom, and someone’s sewing station :)

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Looking back down the stairs….

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In the library….

Our Grandma made this nativity set :)

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Looking into the living room from the library…

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The glorious tree (and accumulating presents!)

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The night we were decorating the tree, Jessica looked up at this wreath and said, “Does that remind you of something girls?”

Cassia: “YES!!! Oh my!! It was HORRIBLE!!”

Jessica: “uh…..horrible?”

Cassia: ” yes….of how bad it went when I was trying to decorate it with dried flowers.”

Jessica: “Um….no.  I was talking about how Great Grandma made that wreath from her grape vines.”

Leah: “Uh, Jessica….that wreath is from Jo-Ann Fabrics.”

Cassia: “Yeah, we bought it from Jo-Ann’s for my flower project for 4-H.  It turned out bad so we tore the flowers off and Leah wrapped it with ribbon for Christmas.”

Jessica: “No, those are from Great Grandma’s grape vines.”

Cassia: “Um, look. There are dried pieces of hot glue.  It was my 4-H project.”

Jessica: *shrugs*.  I still think Great Grandma made it from her grape vines.”

So we don’t know if we have a family keepsake or a cheap wreath from Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Either way, it hangs nicely on our living room wall :)

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Our new favorite Christmas candle!!!!  It smells SO good!!! (and pies in the background ready for Christmas!!)

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This is the first time we put lights up on the second story.  I got this picture before some of the lights went out (seen in the very first picture). Those Dollar General lights….just don’t last long :P  :)

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Thank you for visiting and touring our house!

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