the fourth, family, and feasting

july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th july 4th I ate so much this weekend. We spent Saturday with my family and it was “kamayan” style, which is a Tagolog word and means eating with your hands. She served clams, squid, mussels, shrimp, crabs (my favorite!), mackerel, and I’m sure there are a couple other things I’m missing. She even added the little detail of wrapping a serving of rice in banana leaves. My mom is a master at hospitality and cooking up a gourmet feast!

Ben’s favorite were the clams and shrimp, and I overindulged in crab. I think I ate 4 or 5 (plus, a little bit of everything else)! To say I was stuffed is an understatement. Then, even though I really didn’t have much room left in my stomach, I was able put in some chocolate chip cookies, pie, and cherries. Soul and Glow stuck to the rice, fish, and lots of mangoes (and lots of pie and cookies too!). That probably would have been what True would have eaten too. On the other hand, Brave would have been stuffing herself silly with the crab and shrimp.

Fireworks aren’t allowed in my mom and dad’s neighborhood (nor ours), so we didn’t get to participate in any of that fun. I tried to convince Ben to pick up some sparklers to do it in our backyard, but he didn’t want to risk it. We did see some fireworks going off as we drove home, and the girls were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the few sparks we saw, and then next thing we knew they were out. I think that was enough fun for them.

On Sunday afternoon, we went over to Ben’s cousin’s place and spent the rest of the day filling up on barbecued steak and chicken. I think I ate enough food this weekend to last me until Wednesday. HA! We don’t get to see his family often, so it’s always nice to catch up and see how everyone is doing.

I’m thankful for this day and what it means to all those who get the privilege to call this country home. While it is a blessing to live here, it is still a broken country. It’s evident in the news headlines that break everyday. There is still poverty, fighting, racism, and the list of how broken we are can go on. All of this makes my heart heavy, and nervous for the world my children are growing up in. Despite this, I place my faith in a God who promises that one day every experience we have is only going to get better because of Jesus and the cross. He died to make things new. His death gives me life. Jesus is where I can experience freedom and relief from the brokenness. He makes me whole.

My faith in God isn’t meant to ensure I get an easy life, nor does it mean I get to skip suffering. Suffering will come, just as it did for the early church. So as I live out my life as a Christian, in a culture that may be hostile to Christians, I pray that my affections for Him and His Word is unwavering. My list of failures are many miles long… I have a cargo ship full of selfishness, a mouth and heart that spews out anger, pride coming out the wazoo, but Christ died for me. It’s about what He did, not me.

My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.



it’s been quieter around here

Yes, 4 girls. Yup, they're all mine. #peoplealwaysask #truebravesoulglow It’s been strange just having Soul and Glow to care for… there’s less food to make and less things to clean up (it’s always much more quiet). Even still, we really miss our biggest gals (and all the noise that comes with having 4 children)! Soul gets really sad sometimes because she really misses True and Brave. To make it as fun as possible for her, I asked her to give me a list of things she wanted to do while they were gone, and we have slowly been checking things off that list.

Since we got back from our mini road trip, I have been busy cleaning and purging through the kids’ rooms. I feel like I can’t rest until it’s done. I went to IKEA to pick up some bed sheets and have a pile of things to put away and save, and then even more to move on and donate. I think their little library is out of control; I’ve never been good at organizing their books. Any of you have any tips to help me get that under control?

We aren’t painting the rooms (though it desperately needs a fresh coat of white), but lots of purging and reorganizing, and a little bit of furniture shifting here and there. I’ll be sure to share the results of the cleaning soon.



family meals: week 104

pizza pizza Homemade Pizza. We’ve had some friends over for dinner these past couple weeks, and my go-to has been homemade pizza. I made a prosciutto and caramelized onions pizza, and a mushroom one. The mushroom one is a new recipe I tried out. I used shiitake and bella mushrooms, made a light chili garlic oil for sauce, used mozzarella and havarti cheese, and loaded it up with lots of herbs. Ben and I both really liked it, so I think this pizza will be added to our go-to pizza recipes. For dough, this is the recipe I always use.

rice pork noodles rice pork noodles Vietnamese Pork and Rice Noodles. We love this recipe! In fact, we ate it for 3 days straight. It has a nice balance, since we use a lean meat and throw in a lot of vegetables. We have ours with swiss chard from our garden.

Week of 6/29 – 7/3
Monday: Easy Pasta
Tuesday: Korean Tacos
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Fish Tacos
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche

It will be weird only cooking for 2 kids this week. I have a feeling this week’s menu might change.



Traveling with our biggest gals today. They'll be spending a month in Texas with their Grandmama. Ben and I will miss them so much (and are kind of nervous), but we are excited for the memories they will create. #braves strike This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

Ben and I dropped off our biggest gals in Texas. They will be staying with their Grandmama (Ben’s mom) for a month, and while we will miss them like crazy, we are excited for the memories they will create with her. I’ve seen her all the activities she plans on doing with them, and they will be completely engaged and loving it. They will learn calligraphy, crocheting, and beading, just to name a few. They promised to write us lots of letters, so I look forward to receiving them!

“You Can’t Serve God and Entertainment” was rebuke to my heart.

Listened to this sermon on repeat this week. I want joy and want to be satisfied by the cross alone. Everything I do to try and fill the hole will leave me empty and only wanting more. #onlyJesussatisfies

I want to make the girls a playhouse like this.

I don’t know why I have never thought about making peanut butter chocolate waffles. I plan on making some soon because it sounds so delicious!

I’m thankful for truth in scripture that renews my heart and transforms my mind.

We had some good conversations with our oldest gals this week. I’m thankful for moments we can share grace and gospel with them, and point them to love Jesus above all.

I did end up sewing myself a black dress like this with black linen (there’s not as much drape, but I’m still happy with the result). I’m thankful for being able to sneak in some restful sewing time.

Our tomato plans are growing like crazy, I think this might be a good tomato year. Anyone else experiencing the same?

Happy weekends friends!



diy: fringe rug bag

fringe rug bag Fringe Rug Bag

Signe IKEA Rug (or any cute rug fringe ends)
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine

Seam allowance: 1/2″

fringe rug bag Directions:
1. Fold the rug in half width-wise, and cut off about 2 1/2″ strips off both ends. Set them aside for your bag straps. (Don’t forget to take off the store tag.)

fringe rug bag 2. Sew along the entire length of both sides of the rug (the main bag piece). If you have a serger, I’d recommend using that to finish of your seams (I have one, but need to get some new needles). If you don’t have a serger, after you sew your straight stitch down, go back and use a zig-zag stitch along the edge of the fabric to finish off the raw ends. Make sure to set it to a wide zig zag stitch, and keep the length small (I use 6 and 1.5). This will prevent the frayed ends from unraveling. Since we cut rug to make straps, the weave can come undone easily, so it is necessary to finish off the raw edge either on a serger or a sewing machine with a zig zag stitch (and use an overlocker if you have one).

fringe rug bag 3. Box the corners by pinching each corner with the right sides together, and aligning the sides seams with the bottom seam. With a fabric pencil and ruler mark a line perpendicular to the side seam that is about 1 1/2″ from the corner and 3″ long. Pin and sew along that line. Repeat for the opposite corner.

fringe rug bag 4. For the each strap strip, use a serger or zig zag stitch on your sewing machine, to finish off the edges on both sides of the strap to finish off the raw ends (use the wide stitch, but keep the length small). Also, finish off the short edges of the straps too. Again, this will prevent it from fraying and rug weave unraveling. Repeat for the second strap strip.

Decide the placement for the handles. I placed mine about 5″ in from each side and 1″ down from the top. Pin in place and machine stitch the handles to the bag using 2 horizontal stitches (one 1/4″ away from the strap end, and another 1/2″ from the strap end). Make sure to backstitch to secure.

fringe rug bag fringe rug bag fringe rug bag fringe rag rug This is quite similar to the Rag Rug Bag, but with a different type of rug, it looks different! I didn’t even need to buy any extra material for the straps, since I took it from the rug. The rug from IKEA is only $3.99, so it’s not a bad price for a cute bag to tote around this summer! The fringe is my favorite part. I’m kind of wishing I got the navy one instead, so maybe I will give this one to my sister and make myself the navy one. Now who’s going to run off to IKEA to pick up a rug?! Maybe I’ll see you there!




300X150_melijoe-mycakies ms. tips citykid lotta sqapothecary entrance10


FM Badge