December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!
Our children had a wonderful time this year.
Playing in the snow, munching on goodies,
Watching movies, playing with family,
and of course, opening gifts and spending the
rest of the day playing.
I hope you had a great Christmas too!
Posted by Picasa

December 23, 2008

Around the house...

I've been reading a sewing book and
organizing my sewing corner.
Here's a peek at what I've got
put together so far. This morning,
Maggie and I went through all of the
fabrics that I need to get organized.
That's still a work in progress. I've been collecting
fabrics from all over. Hit it big at garage
sales this year :)
We haven't said much about our little hamster,
Boxer. He's grown up into a poofy little guy
since our last post about him.
"What ya lookin' at?"

"I'm gonna check this out..."

I gave him a haircut...you say: what? Are you crazy?
Maybe a little. The poor poofy guy gets bedding stuck
in his hair. I like to give him a trim when it starts
to get out of control. :)
So Boxer is still well loved (a little too much by the baby...
borderline obsessed.)
This little hamster is a keeper.

Posted by Picasa

December 22, 2008

Update on Laundry Detergent

So for those of you who are wondering about the laundry detergent that I recently made.
I thought I'd quick let you know that it has turned out to be a great detergent! Check HERE for
the recipe if you are interested. It was very inexpensive to make, and has turned out to be a nice detergent for us.
I don't like a strong smell on the clothes, and it is very economical!

December 21, 2008

It's Snow!!!!

This week, we went to see a VERY lit up house
near where Gma lives. I couldn't even capture the entire yard
with my camera. The kids just loved looking at it.
We had a snow storm, and so David had a grand ole
time helping Kira shovel outside. They were out
there over an hour. Everytime I looked out,
both of them had smiles plastered on their faces.
Isn't it fun when we get CRAZY lots of snow?

This morning, both of the boys went out with Daddy
to "shovel". The snow on the curb was up to the boys
shoulders! (Thank you plows.) Bill could
hardly get them inside to eat breakfast :)
Posted by Picasa

December 19, 2008

Getting Close to Christmas!

Well, I'm glad to say that this year has been fun getting ready to spend time together on Christmas. I've been able to make homemade gifts for the majority of our presents. It was definately fun learning in the process. Pictures coming soon!
Today we are getting snow, and it is just beautiful outside! I made a last minute run to the grocery store, and am glad to know that I can enjoy being inside our cozy warm home.
What kinds of things do you like to do inside on a snowy day?

December 4, 2008

Strong Museum


We just love going to the local Children's
Museum! Here's a glimpse of our trip!

Maggie likes Curious George. Like
the little cutsie face she makes?

Like the rocket ship slide?
Yep, our little girl managed to fly
off the side of it last time we were here.
I see why they have padding there...

J-Dub had alot of fun this trip. Mainly because
he's walking now...or should I say running now.
He saw this wide open area and took off like
a crazy boy!!
I look forward to more fun days at the museum.
Posted by Picasa

December 3, 2008

Paper Dolls

I found this cute site for free printable paper cutouts. You can make paper dolls, little houses, cards and other little things. I like that there are things for boys and girls.
It's called The Toy Maker .

November 27, 2008

Ornaments


We made cinnamon ornaments this week.
It was actually easier than I expected!

We basically made our dough, rolled it out, made shapes
and let it dry. The kids had a great time with the cookie
cutters. I think they turned out well, and smell VERY good too!

Posted by Picasa

November 26, 2008

He's One!

One year ago today, our sweet baby boy was born.
John William Gucker, you have been
such a blessing to our lives!
We love your sweet faces, goofy faces, and constant smile.

The way you have worked hard to learn
everything your brothers and sister do.
You had to roll over, then sit up...crawl, and now
I am amazed to see you walking around with
that oh-so-cute toddle. Soon you will stop
crawling all together!

I love how you snuggle and want to be held.
I love it each time you fall asleep in my arms.
Your special glow lights up a room.
Your sister thinks that you are her baby,
but you are quick to let her know...you can
hold your own!

Dub, you are a special boy. We love you very much.
Happy Birthday this very special day. Last year
I thought you'd never come! Thank You Jesus for our
sweet little son!
Posted by Picasa

November 24, 2008

Favorite baby carrier and giveaway!

I've used several types of baby carriers since my first was born, but have recently found one that is my favorite (thank you for lending yours to me Amy!!!). So today, I found this giveaway. Check it out!
Win a Free Organic Embroidered Ergo Baby Carrier Hands Free System from Along for the Ride
Yes, you've guessed...Ergo wins for my pick of best carrier!

November 12, 2008

J-Dub

Our sweet little J-Dub is trying to figure out how to walk. It won't be long till he's got it down!

video

November 7, 2008

Homemade laundry detergent

So here I am again, making another attempt at
homemade laundry soap. The first try, I did powdered
detergent, and didn't get the soap grated fine enough.
This time, I did liquid, and after about 8 loads of laundry,
I'm pleased to say that I'm happy with the results.
I still need to treat stains, but overall, this cleaned well .
I like that it isn't a very sudsy soap either.
This is not my own original recipe. I found
it online.
Homemade liquid laundry soap

Ingredients:
4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
½ cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.
Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.
Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.
Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
Fill bucket to top with more hot water.
Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser
half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water.
Shake before each use. (It will gel.)
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons.
Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Top-load machine: 5/8 cup per load (approximately 180 loads).
Front-load machine: ¼ cup per load (approx. 640 loads).

Posted by Picasa

November 4, 2008

Meal or No Meal

Ok, had to post just one more of these for now...
Kira, this one's for you!
If you can't see the video on your email, just go directly to the post. I really cracked up at this one.

November 1, 2008

November Testing

Here are some pics from last testing.
The purpose of testing is to push your limits to know where they are, and measure how much they have grown.

WARMUPS



Here is Toby strutting his new Testing fashion. I figure that with the amount of time it took him to make that shirt, billed at his lawyering rates, it would have to be the most expensive piece of clothing on the training floor :-)


FASHION




ACTION


FINISH

October 29, 2008

Who Likes Pumpkin????

I am VERY sentimental about Pumpkin bread.
My Great Grandmother used to make it in coffee tins and freeze the rolls
of bread to serve on Thanksgiving. I tell ya, it was moist,
it was good and she even had little ridges on the loaf to cut it.
Wow, brings back memories from childhood.
So with that said, I find myself making pumpkin bread all year long.
This year I decided to try making my own pumpkin puree.
I saw this post on how to do it, and YUMMY!
(By the way...Pioneer Woman has quite a few very good recipes on her site!
I would recommend checking her out.)
I have bags of frozen puree sitting in my freezer for a fraction of the cost!

And to top it off, we have a bunch of seeds to spice up and toast for treats!

So if you like making pumpkin pie, bread, cookies or cake, give this a try!
You'll be glad you made it!

Do you like my pumpkin man???
He was the official chopper since my pumpkins
were hard as a rock!
Posted by Picasa

October 21, 2008

Jab till you drop

Here is some video of the "Jab Punchout"
Whew what a burn!

video

A little more... Feel those shoulders...go till you can't go no more!

(Yes, Jeff's gloves are pink. At least he's tough enough that nobody will say anything)

video

Can you say Pakistan?


Here is picture of an assembly from a couple weeks ago where we assembled with a group of brother and sisters from out in Chili. What a great time in the Lord. Our older brother Dan rented a pavilion for us all to meet in and it was great being able to get to hear what the Lord is doing in their midst. Dan invited and was able to commend to us Ralph and his wife who have been serving the Church over in Pakistan for many years. Seems that we as an assembly are regularly being confronted with the needs of Pakistan!

As a side note, when Rachel and I were first married (both of us were in a missions training program) she said that the one place she wouldn't go was to Pakistan. It really frightened her. Isn't it just like the Lord to confront us with our fears. It was great to see that after speaking with Ralph's wife during the meal time, Rachel's thoughts about Pakistan were transformed. God is great!

It was great getting together with the other brothers and sisters to hear what the Lord is doing in their midst and abroad. As time goes on it becomes so much clearer how the Church of Jesus is actually related and connected to one another. It is very good to see how each part of the body is doing its part to build up the Church and thereby send forth the Gospel to every corner of the world. I don't think our family will be traveling abroad anytime soon,with 4 children to raise and so much work to be done in our own neighborhood, but I am glad to participate in the work as the Lord has equipped me. I have never seen my role in the body of Christ so clearly, and I have never been so intimately connected to the Church at large.
Everyday the Lord grows brighter and the world grows duller!

Pakistan or Bust


Two great occurrences on this last Lord's day.


First, Wilmer's dad came to visit from NYC. It was his first trip to Rochester and he came to meet the church that his son assembles with. Awesome! Leli is from the Dominican Republic and doesn't speak english so it was awesome to hear Wilmer do all the translating. He was glad to see that his son is part of an assembly that loves his son like family, and we were glad to meet Wilmer's dad.


Second, Tim's family came from Syracuse to talk together about what it means for him to be sent to Pakistan. Wow, did his dad bless all of us young fathers by sharing the belief he has about sending his son to a place where he may be killed for the love of others in need. A blog can't do justice to his words. Tim (In the Yellow) will be traveling with Steven (in the tie) to Pakistan in a few weeks to deliver money from our assembly to the brothers there who are in need. I am so thankful for the opportunity to bear the burden of the brothers in Pakistan, and very thankful for young men who are willing and able to make the trip on the our assembly's behalf.


I am eager to hear the report of the Church in Pakistan. Karl (far right) went a number of years ago and expressed how they are rich in ways that we are poor, and visa versa. I expect it will be a mutual blessing.

October 18, 2008

This World is Not my home...

This world is not my home...I'm justa passin' through. If heaven weren't my home, then Lord what would I do? The Angels beckon me from Heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore...
This song has been ringing in my mind for the last week or so. Have I ever told you that I ALWAYS have a song stuck in my head?
I think this song has come to mind after thinking about this year being an election year, and watching our economy become so unstable in the last few months. It's amazing how easy it is to get wrapped up in the fears of this world...especially when we are seeking comfort.
After a few really good discussions with Bill, I've come to realize that I am free not to vote if I don't want to. I just don't see a candidate that would be able to lead in a way that I think is honoring to the Lord. Since this is the case, I can trust that Jesus is who puts people in power in the first place. I don't have to try to control or contribute anything to see what Jesus will do. Sure, I have the right to. Do I have to? No. That's a freedom I have been given too.
It's interesting how society believes that we are obligated to participate in things like elections.
So with that said, I feel free to not have to carry a load or heavy burden of where our country is going. If tomorrow, everything falls apart, I still have my Lord.
Like the song says...This world is not my home...

October 12, 2008

Pizza Recipe

Pizza/Calzones

1 cup Warm water hot to touch but not boiling. (between 90-110degrees)
1 Tbsp Yeast or 1 packet of Rapid rise yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp (or more if you'd like) sugar
1 Tbsp Oil

Mix water and yeast in mixing bowl.
In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
Slowly add dry to wet and add oil last.
The dough should not be completely smooth, but
also should not be too sticky to handle.

Let the dough rest up to 20 minutes. (5 min. is fine if you're in a hurry)
Spread dough into pan. I put a little oil on my rolling pin or hands to roll it out.

Add toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Sauce:
A can of tomato sauce, one can of rotel or diced tomatoes, about a tablespoon of sugar, your favorite spices
such as Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, garlic, onion... Pulse it in the food processor. To thicken, add some
tomato paste.

Calzones variation: Instead of rolling out dough on pan, take pieces of dough and put sauce, cheese and topping
on a smaller rolled out piece and just pull sides together. Place balls of filled dough in a muffin pan w/ gathered side
down. Bake 10-15 minutes. Test for doneness in middle.
Sometimes I ditch the sauce and cheese and just stuff pepperoni in the middle of the dough ball and cook. These make
a good appetizer or finger food.

October 10, 2008

Apple Picking Time!


We go apple picking every year. It's alot of fun.
We have good memories of going with
many different families.


This year, the apples seemed especially large!
The kids were having no problems finding good ones
to pick.


Maggie cracked me up picking up just about any apple around
and eating them. What a great little helper!

Oh...what to do with all of these apples???

Posted by Picasa

September 29, 2008

Six Random Facts

OK, I'm not sure what being tagged is, but yup...I was tagged by Kira. So to play along, I will give 6 random facts about myself...uh um...

1. I always have a song stuck in my head. Right now it is "Mamma's little baby loves Shortening Bread.

2. I'm a bed hog. OK, yes...Bill, I know you are laughing. I finally admit it.

3. My most favorite thing to bake is Brownies from scratch. I like to say that I still have baby fat, but it's probably all the brownies to be honest!

4. I don't drink coffee, but Love the smell! I'm a hot chocolate gal.

5. I have to piddle before I go to bed.

6. It's not a TV remote, it's simply called a "changer."

September 17, 2008

Children...how many?



Frequently, I am asked by people I know and even strangers, how many children I will have. I can't say that I have ever had a number of children in my mind at any point in my life.


My mother wanted to have six children, and the Lord gave her four. We were a large and busy family. I learned alot from my siblings and my Mother did very well keeping up with us. I say she would have been great with six kids!


So back to us. How many is the question. Well, when Bill and I got married, I immediately went on the pill with no second thought. After 2 years of being an emotional mess, I started wondering if that pill was affecting me. That's when the questions started. We ended up deciding to go off and see what the Lord would do. Soon after, I became pregnant with David, and Bill and I started having more conversations about children. Bill has always wanted a large family, and I knew that at some point I would know my limit.


BUT THEN the Lord really worked in our hearts and has given us such an appreciation for the blessings (our children), that He has given us.


Children are a gift, a blessing! They push us to our limit, and past. They reveal our innermost weaknesses and teach us about life. They are innocent and still sensitive to the hurts and sin in this world. They can be rotten or wonderful, but in these moments, many times, I just see a mirror shining back at me.


So as I understand the scriptures, God gives and takes away life. He has his hand in every part of our life. I want Him to push me past my limit and teach me to trust Him as Jesus picks me up and carries me. I need that. (Proverbs 3:5,6) This is how I know God. When He is intimately involved in the inner workings of my life.


So with that said, the answer to that question we started with...how many? I don't know. However many that the Lord gives me. We will see how the story plays out. We will live one day at a time, and not worry about tomorrow. I can rest assured that for now, Jesus will give me peace where I am. Isaiah 26:3,4 Thank you Lord, for my little babies. They are precious. I can't imagine it any other way. Psalm 127

September 16, 2008

"C" is for Cookie!!!!!

My friend, Ellie, made some of the best Cookies ever! Now I know you are going to think...chocolate chip cookies. What's the big deal? Well...if you dare...try these...we will see if you will turn into a Cookie Monster!!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:
2 sticks salted butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup evap. cane juice crystals
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
Mix together in a plastic bag:
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3-3/12 cups spring whole wheat flour
1 10oz bag choc chips
Add bagged ingred. to mixing bowl. Batter shoud be soft butfirm. Spoon onto tray.
Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes. (do not overcook).

Yum, Yum!

Fall Harvest


We've been enjoying the harvest of late summer and working
hard to preserve what we can for this winter.
The Lord has blessed us with tomatoes, apples, and peaches over the last week.
I must say that I enjoy every minute of it. The kids really like to help
out too.
So a little commentary on the photos.
The one of the baby with the watermelon. He was soooo hilarious
trying to bite into that huge watermelon! He has learned
that if I hand him an apple or peach, that he can bite it...
Well, the watermelon was a little too big!
The one of David sleeping was after a long day of picking apples and
peaches at a Farm. That boy Ran and Ran everywhere with the
other kids! He also insisted on picking his own bag of apples.
Lets see...so far this season,
I've canned green beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice,
apple butter, apple sauce and peach butter.
Tomorrow, I will be recieving more peaches and apples!
Hopefully, we will have enough applesauce to last us through winter!
I'm thinking I need to freeze a few pies too :)
Now my feet hurt and it's time to go to bed.
I think tomorrow will be a slow and hopefully a restful day.
Can you do that with four little kids?
Posted by Picasa

September 8, 2008

The Park

Our neighborhood is such a neat place. I have met quite
a few neighbors with young children, and fortunately have
been able to do a few things with the ladies! This morning,
we were out on a walk, and stopped over at a friend's house.
She invited us to go out to the park, and the kids had soooo much fun!
Posted by Picasa