Barbie Cake for Daddy

february 15,2014 by nama


This is what you get when you allow a 9 year old Barbie princess to design a Valentine cake for her chocolate loving daddy.

i asked Blessing if she would like to make a cake for Daddy for Valentines Day, her response…

” Can it be a Barbie cake ? ”

Not wanting to rain on her Valentine parade and trying to skillfully avoid her propensity towards angst, i of course, replied…


My victory was short celebrated as the angst showed its ugly self the moment Blessing realized Barbie’s dress would have to be brown because daddy loves chocolate most of all.

But as luck would have it a 9 year old’s concern for the beauty of barbie’s ball gown melts away with the realization that the most effective way to add the pearl sprinkles to the ruffles is to pelt  Barbie with all your force one sparkling edible jewel at a time.

Blessing pelted, Finley sat nearby in her highchair giggling an out of control belly laugh with each candy Blessing added to Barbie’s skirt.


This is a new skill in our kitchen, my four adult kids will tell you there was no pelting happening when they were developing their culinary skills.

i have learned, i have grown. i say here in front of all cyber-land “i am sorry my first four !”

If you wish to try this method of cake decorating you need to know the pelting needs to happen immediately after you apply the icing. The pearls can not grab icing that has started to set, regardless of your enthusiasm.

We used our Nothing Bundt Copy Cat recipe.  Yummy !!!!

i own a  34 year old doll skirt pan, making this cake Simple Simon.

You can buy a pan here.


Our very own little Barbie Princess from Liberia.

As it turns out

february 15, 2014 by nama


We had pepperoni cheese in the shape of a Valentine


When he picked up the prescription, he swapped out the bouquet for a DVD player, cuz that was just more sensible.


Nama and Aunty Blessing had this little Punkster all day long, so we got to share our valentines with Finley and her daddy.

  IMG_9426 IMG_9422

We had made some valentine crafts in January


Friends from forever gave us their evening


Kathy and Kevin have also raised 4 adult children and have a little caboose just the age of our Blessing. One of the daddy’s refers to them as chocolate thunder and white lightening. It is true and i am not telling who.

Together two tired older mammas

IMG_9400  IMG_9398  IMG_9411

added a few easy choices to our pizza.


Blessing and I made this home baked cake while Finley was napping. It really is that fast and easy.

After we ate and chatted, Finley took her daddy home, the 9 year olds got lost in Barbie wonderland and we curled up on the couches under cozy quilts. Girls on one and boys on another cuz there was catching up to do and secrets to share and the guys needed to keep an eye on Olympic results.

We sipped sparkling lemonade from a store bought bottle. We traded in our stemless goblets for hot tea as the evening waned.

We laughed and and we refreshed, treasuring the gift of relationships that stand the test of time. We shared dreams, hopes, hurts and fears. We rejoiced and reminded each other of His truth.

As it turns out..

It really doesn’t get better than



heart sharing with heart pizza


and Chocolate Cake.

As it turns out…

you don’t have to put on makeup or do your hair for the the deepest beauty to be seen and shared.

As it turns out…

you don’t have to pick up the toys to let friends in the back door.

As it turns out…

Your friends will step over the toys and seem to not even notice.

As it turns out…

 Our everydays hold all the magic of the extraordinary when we slow down enough to find it.

Six and Counting…….

february 14, 2014 by nama   

We have been blessed with 6 Grandbabies.

Four we hold, two on the way.

We treasure the privilege of being called to Grandparenting.

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, proverbs 17:6

You will get to know our Children’s Children in depth if you stick around.

For now here is a peek at the cuteness.


Our First son, Travis with his beauty Melissa Marie and their two jewels, Kingston John and Raena Marie. These two babies live in Los Angeles, CA . We miss them deeply, but treasure Travis and Melissa’s commitment to HIS call.  We have so much fun learning the art of Virtual Grandparenting with these two. Travis and Melissa are trusting the Lord to bless them with a third child through the miracle of adoption. We could not be more delighted. Their story is here.


Our second son Tylor and his princess Tiffany gave us Finley Rose and will add our 5th Jewel to our collection in the fall of 2014. Nama and Pappa think Finley needs a little brother, but no one seems to be listening . (update:Finley is getting a brother !!) Tylor and Tiffany keep our little Finley just about 12 minutes from Nama and Pappa’s home , we are thankful for the chance to love into her life regularly.


Parker is our third son , he is married to our sweet sweet third Daughter in law Kristi Beth. They are expecting their first little in March of 2014. Parker and Kristi named their little man Timothy Richard Avary , Timothy after Pappa. We are honored to the moon and back and we can not wait to meet our little Timothy. Stay tuned as there is sure to be much hoopla at the announcement of the arrival of our 4th jewel.

INTRODUCING our TImothy, born March 18th, 2014 IMG_9910

He established a testimony,
which he commanded fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn…
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God. Psalms 78:5-7

DSC_0472b   DSC_1628  IMG_0157 (3)IMG_0024

Our two daughters

Happily Ever After

February 14, 2014 by nama

 Valentine’s Romance and Happily Ever After,


is suppose to look like this or this


and certainly if we love well and we are succeeding, our displays of that love will look like



and this.

Valentines Chocolate Box Cake 03 (Large)

We have our moments,

IMG_3860i adore this man,

but mostly our Happily Ever After feels more like



and this.


 This business of being a family is hard work.

 24/7/365, in the trenches, doing the real stuff.

The real stuff….

 Marriage and parenting and budget do not come easily, do not come without commitment and effort. Effort makes you weary, weary makes some of us cranky.

 One of us wants to plan and one of us needs to be spontaneous, and do you know ?

 The two ne’er shall meet.

Most nights we fall asleep holding each other’s hearts from separate rooms.  One of us is deep into nighttime parenting while the other is needing rest to direct the cable guys yet another day, providing for a roof and cheerios.

Sinus infections, flat tires, flooded basements, failed septic, lost jobs, tough diagnoses’s, terrible twos and testing teens…

The real stuff….

Orphanage kids, rain, track meet, art items 168

 She was a perfect tiny bundle placed in our arms, we knew with nurture and calories and lots and lots of love our little bud would blossom into a gorgeous flower garden.

We would do this together, it would be fun, the world would be blessed by the beauty.


Fun it is , blinding is the beauty, blessings overflow in His ordained plan.

 In HIS unforeseen plan that our tiny bundle of promise and hope sprouted into,

not daffodils and daisies but  rows and rows of wild wheat.

Acres and acres of beautiful golden flowing stalks of wheat.

Rows that only stay neat if we plow and hoe.

In soil that needs weeding and watering and 250px-Grant_Wood_-_American_Gothic_-_Google_Art_Project

tending to.

Sometimes the tending  goes 24 hours around the big clock on the wall in the living room.

namafish clock (2)

The big clock with Roman Numerals and  Arabic Numerals and  neon post-it notes.

Because numbers are hard for our now nine year old precious one.

Numbers can be really hard when your first 15 months of development include starvation and deathly illness.

We need neon post-it notes,

and we work really really hard.

But we work hard together.

And we have a wise and loving Father who

knows all and Loves immeasurably and provides from His vast store houses of bounty.

We purpose to choose joy as we are plowing together.




The sun rises and the sun sets and we are plowing together,

 We share the beauty of the pink morning and the orange evening.

and we are Happy and

we will be here plowing together

Ever After.

We remind each other of the harvest He has promised.

 We talk of the  truck loads of wheat that when crushed and mixed and shared may nourish multitudes, each loaf  infused with the truth of His Love, His Promises, His Amazing Grace, and we trust He has a plan and we pick up the hoe and head to the fields,



HIS Happily Ever After looks different.

Designer Chocolates and Exotic Roses look more like

Pappa Murphy’s heart pizza and Walmart bouquets.

(Cuz we needed to stop there to get the prescription)

 We NEED to trust HIM and rely on each other because

resources and rest are short, and some of us get cranky.

But it is oh so rich and deep and real and lasting, doesn’t that sound like

Happily Ever After ?

Happy Valentines Day my Prince Charming,

my Knight in the cable truck.

My faithful, soldiering on, plow-mate.

HE is writing our Happily Ever After,

and i will be

EVER AFTER HAPPY that i was chosen to be the princess in your FischTale.

The Story of t…

february 13, 2014 by pappa

KAYDRA 3 001

Our First Daughter Kaydra (4yrs) fishing with daddy in 1998

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Copyright © 1992-2012 ProtoLink, Inc. All rights reserved

“Quality of life is not directly proportional to cubic feet of life.”  TjF