Scripture & A Snapshot

"That their hearts might be comforted , being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Colossians 2:2-3
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Scripture and Snapshot


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Friday Morning Quiet Time

This post was originally supposed to be Cleaning and Organizing Our Kitchen, but circumstances have made that not quite complete yet.

Our house is quiet except for the soft sounds from the dishwasher and washing machine. Early morning is one of my favorite times of the day, but all too often I've slept later as we have become a family of night owls. Because of that, when I do wake up early, the kids are still sleeping.

One of my goals this week was to clean out and organize the cabinets in our kitchen. I'm motivated by Michele's weekly challenges which should be attainable, and some moms are showing that they have succeeded. I'm not giving up, but I'll share with you a little about my lack of rapid progress.

How cleaning out the pantry really looks at our house:
Me to oldest daughter "Do you want to help me finish inventorying the pantry before the tea party?" 
Her "Sure. We have time."
Middle child "Are you making that cake today?"
Me "Do you want to?" 
Her, with enthusiasm "Yes!"
I heated my lunch (the kids had already finished theirs.) Em gathered cake pans and ingredients while I started the crock pot for supper. 
Emily handing me the crock pot as she helped me clean off the counter, making room for cake prep: "I didn't know making a cake involved cleaning out the cabinets." Ahem. 

She started the cake prep, I finished filling the crock pot and sat down with my lasagna. Me to oldest daughter (thinking something upbeat like Mandisa's CD would get us moving) "all we are missing is our musical entertainment." 

Her quick reply "I can get my banjo."

So...banjo concert or pantry clean out? I won't say no to listening to my kids' music, but now you see why we didn't complete Michele's  week 2 assignment in week 2, right. Or week 3. 

The girls did help me after lunch, but we ran into another problem. While replacing the many cans of food in a somewhat orderly fashion, the shelf collapsed onto the empty one beneath it. The plastic clips that had been holding it up for 10+ years just broke. Sigh. 

The top three shelves have been organized, but the picture showed me just how much space those plastic utensils are taking. I bought the box of spoons when my dad was staying with us during hurricane Katrina, and the forks were a rushed purchase when we picked up my son's birthday cake at the big warehouse store last year and remembered we had no utensils with us. We refill the baskets in our camper as needed, but I think we will still have enough for another 10 years. Those boxes can be moved to the storage shed. 

We worked on the bottom shelves, too (that picture is just the top half of the pantry.) But progress was again stalled when my daughter pointed out that the lowest shelf was propped up by the jars and boxes under it, and the plastic supports there had also broken. Yesterday, I was delighted to notice as I replaced a heavy stack of glass bowls in the cabinet, that the supports in all of our other cabinets in the kitchen are metal. For now, our dining room table is still filled with food from our pantry. The pickle relish from 2007 has been discarded, and the 11 remaining jars of awful bread and butter pickles that I made last summer are waiting to be dumped. 

Funny of the week... I overheard my husband training my son in the art of trash management: "Joseph, when you walk out that door, hold your hand like this, (demonstrated for him) catch that trash bag, and carry it outside. 

So this morning, I'm enjoying a doughnut my husband brought home yesterday. Last night my son told me they would be cannibals this morning. 

Tonight will be the third night for our pillow fort in the living room. I don't mind the blankets and pillows, but did I mention we are expecting guests tomorrow?


How to Make a Pillow Fort and White Chocolate Covered Pop Secret Popcorn

The following post is sponsored by Pop Secret.

Have you ever built a pillow fort inside your house? Some of my sweet childhood memories include making forts in our living room with my sisters. We would turn the dining room chairs around and use the tall backs of them as supports to help hold up all of the sheets and blankets that we could find. 

Pop Secret is encouraging family fun and creating pillow forts. They even have cute flags to download and customize your fort. Extra purchases aren't required for pillow fort construction. Use what you have available. Our sofa cushions are attached, but the whole structure makes a perfect base for our pillow forts. 

For the perfect pillow fort, you need plenty of pillows. And Pop Secret popcorn

Add blankets and a few stuffed friends.



And build it! (I think every pillow in the house ended up being used in this #PopSecretForts pillow fort.


Daddy got his own bowl of Pop Secret popcorn.


Covert opperation...isn't that Daddy's bowl? 


One year our parents bought us a ping-pong table that stayed in our garage-turned-into multipurpose room. Our favorite use for it was as a roof for forts which had walls of sheets. I love seeing my kids enjoy some of the same things that were special to me in my own childhood. Forts and popcorn! 



When you make your next pillow fort, be sure to submit your own pillow fort pictures to Pop Secret’s Facebook page for a chance to receive a fun prize pack and other surprises!

We all like our popcorn with a hint of popcorn salt or seasoned salt, but every now and then we change it up with a little sweetness. 

No matter how you like to eat yours, right now you can find a $1 off coupon available on the Pop Secret Facebook page.


White Chocolate Covered Popcorn


Pop Secret Microwave popcorn
white chocolate
coconut oil

    Melt 5 parts white chocolate and 1 part coconut oil and blend together. Drizzle over popped Pop Secret Microwave popcorn. Let it sit just long enough for the chocolate to harden. (Or if you just can't wait to try it, be prepared for messy fingers!) Enjoy! 

About Pop Secret

Pop Secret is your perfect snack companion on trips into the uncharted reaches of your imagination.

Pop Secret knows that fun, like popcorn, is better when it’s shared. Send Pop Secret your pillow fort stories and pictures on Facebook. You can upload them right to the Pop Secret timeline and tag them #PopSecretForts. They might just share a little something back!

Visit the Pop Secret landing page to download a coupon for $1 off, along with a customizable flag to name and claim their pillow fort!

Disclosure: Today’s post is sponsored by Pop Secret, by my love for their popcorn is all my own! This is disclosed per FTC guidelines.


The Virtual Refrigerator

Narnia wardrobe

My daughter Emily drew the wardrobe door to Narnia for this week's door art.

Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too.

 Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.     
 Every Bed of Roses 

Branson's Promised Land Zoo

The following is a review of an attraction that you won't want to miss next time you visit Branson.

Branson vacation

Behind the unassuming signs on the Shephard of the Hills expressway in the middle of Branson, we discovered what became one of our favorite vacation experiences ever. Branson's Promised Land Zoo was more exciting than any other zoo we have visited, and we have visited many.    

Buckaroo Brice showed us the special inhabitants of their zoo and we explored and observed until it was time to feed the babies. 

Branson Vacation

It was interesting to see different varieties of animals together in the same areas. We all got to feed the animals. The other thing in my husband's hand by the cup of food was a parakeet stick. That was our next stop after we fed the babies. 

825 pictures y'all! That is why it has taken me so long to share with you; there is just so much to share. We all loved watching Olivia the baby baboon who put on quite a show for us. Tookey and Calamity Jane are the larger ones.  

baby baboon baby baboon

baby zebraWe watched the tiger Bruce Lee and lioness Dahlia, European Fallow deer, Nubian hibex, baby goats, and the two baby zebras Zandy ~3 months (snorted on Joseph) and Zoe about 2 1/2 months old (I fed.) One of Emily's favorites was the 10 month old camel named Carl. 

Promised Land Zoo Branson

The hyena seemed to play with my son. As Joseph ran outside the pen, it ran with him then even jumped.

hyena race

We had previously read about Caracals in Debra Haagen's book. Em said they acted like her cats, lifting their neck as if they wanted to be pet. Double fences kept us a safe distance from the carnivores. 

Parakeet Paradise was amazing! That alone would have made the day fabulous. My husband bought extra "parakeet sticks" to feed them, and we went back there again.

Parakeet Paradise

Parakeet Paradise

Parakeet Paradise

Parakeet Paradise

Have you ever pet a kangaroo?
baby kangaroo

The Black Tailed Prairie Dog has a yip hop (males) "yip" then flip in the air. 

Orange Julius (pictured) is an albino Burmese Python (about 65 pounds) and his mom Banana (in a room inside) is 17 feet and about 160pounds, the largest albino in the US. 

burmese python

At the Promised Land Zoo, they eat once a month; in the wild they could survive 5 months without eating. Joseph was brave and touched the snake with Grandpa.  

Another thing I loved--they shared passages of Scripture throughout the zoo. 

It's unanimous. We all want to go back. 

Visit their website or connect on Facebook.

Disclaimer: Our family of five received 5 free tickets to Branson's Promised Land Zoo for the purpose of this blog post. No other compensation was provided. In fact, we liked it so much that we told my in-laws about it and they purchased tickets and joined us there that same evening. Our tickets lasted all day, and we only left for lunch.