Friday, April 30, 2010

Snow + Snow = Soup!

It is just about May... so that means (in Montana) it is time to snow again! I thought there was about 6 inches of snow on the deck this morning and we got way more than that because is snowed hard all day long yesterday.... just melted as it fell. I keep reminding myself that snow = more green fields and beautiful wildflowers with less chance of forest fires... so it is a good thing! When it is cold out - I LOVE SOUP! It is easy to make, warm for the tummy, and good for the heart. My Mom makes the best soups and salads in the world and so this fall when she visited I had her teach me. (I thought I knew how, but her always taste sooo much better than mine! What I was doing wrong was cooking it too long... yeah for quicker meals! Soup is an easy meal to make and the kids love it (and I love it that they wolf down all the good veggies!).

So here is how I make my soups.....

I buy chicken in bulk, divide into ziplock bags (in 2 piece portions), and freeze. Then when I want soup for lunch I pull out a ziplock bag and plop the frozen chicken in about 5 cups of water. I add a few large pieces of onion, celery, and carrot and bring to a boil, then I let it simmer (cooking for a total time of about 15-20 minutes). While it is simmering - I cut up the rest of the veggies - depending on what I want or have on hand. Here are some items that I mix and chose from: carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, beans, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, (fresh parsley or herbs are incredible... but I usually just have to go with the ones I have dried from my garden), and spinach. Sometimes if I am in a hurry I just grab a few cups of frozen veggies from the freezer and that works just as well. I think it is VERY important to have a variety of fun noodles on hand (rice works well too... or barley!). When the broth is ready, I pull out the cooked veggies and chicken. I discard the veggies, pour in the new veggies and noodles/rice, and cook for about 10-15 minutes (until they are soft). Don't overcook! While that is cooking I cut up the chicken and put it back in the soup for the last few minutes. Seasoning is whatever you prefer. I use a variety of spices and herbs. It only takes about 30 minutes and it is an excellent lunch.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

43 Weeks Old




Our little "angel" is 43 week old this week. She did amazingly well on her first camping trip. Everything she saw she put in her mouth and I just laughed at the student's shocked faces that I did not JUMP up and CONTINUALLY retrieved the rocks, sand, sticks, plants... etc that were constantly placed in her cute little mouth. I told them if I did... that would be ALL I EVER did (all day long). That Girl! I figure EVENTUALLY she will tire of the foul tasting stuff she sucks on... maybe? She caught another cold... this poor little one definitely doesn't have the immune system that Ethan has... it feels like we have been sick continually this season. Yesterday she tasted her first taste of dark chocolate... I had spent the whole day making 20+ pizzas (totally from scratch) for the student body and I was sitting on the lazy boy recouping from the busyness of the day (and YES eating a square of divine dark chocolate) when who should appear but my little shadow... she grabbed a little piece before I could stop her and when it reached her mouth she actually purred! I just LAUGHED... oh my dear little one - you will have a love/hate relationship with that stuff for the rest of your life!

(just had to include the pics of all my pizza making... I think I actually made over 25 pizzas.. if I count right.... that is the most pizzas I have made at one time... I was tired, but man it was good and I think the best part was that Micah watched the kids while I baked. And it was needed after 5 days of being totally smothered by the kids and all that goes with that - it was nice to have my body back for a day!!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Back from MOAB, UT!

What a GREAT TRIP! 32+ hours in the car with the kids... the kids caught colds... and I might be doing laundry the rest of my life... YIKES... but it was SO WORTH IT! We really had a fun time hiking through the desert, feeling the warm sun, and sleeping outdoors underneath a full moon (well.. in a tent)!
We went to Arches National Park, Canyon Lands and camped in the out skirt of Moab, UT.
We found lots of rock, a caterpillar nest, many lizards, flowers, dirt, dirt and more dirt!
Moab, UT is truly a beautiful spot and a lovely spot to spend a few last nights with the MWSB class of 2010... we will miss these guys!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

42 Weeks Old

42 weeks old! This week has been a bit happier in the life of Eden Eve. I think the Soy formula has been making a difference in her overall well-being! Tomorrow morning she will embark on her first camping trip... hope to be back home in 6 days with a good report...
until then have a great week!

Bible Study 2010: Last Dinner


Last night was our last Bible study dinner! Never ceases to amaze me how quickly the end of the year comes. We grilled hamburgers, had fruit kabobs, guac, and cheese Rotel (with corn chips) - then roasted marshmallows for dessert. I think one thing that continually overwhelms me is the abundance that we have. I see abundance everywhere I look and maybe even more so as my heart and mind are absorbed in reading about orphans and those who are in desperate need. I'm not sure how to get my mind around this and I am not sure I want to. I just can't help but wonder (especially at the close of another year) what God has in store for us?
Another question I had from the evening was.... "WHO let Ethan HOLD the WHOLE bag of marshmallows??????"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sun Kissed!




This morning we moved our little world... outdoors! It is so beautiful and warm out.... one of our FIRST taste of true spring weather! It is amazing how the sun can make the day brighter, warmer, and HAPPIER! This afternoon we all felt quite
sun kissed....


This evening we had our first meal of the season out on the deck (Sarah and Eli joined us.... we are still trying to teach Eli some eating manners... it is not working!). I made flatbread and Sarah made the falafel.... and then we had the most amazing dinner (food is sooo good)! Truly incredible I say... tonight we are all worn out from a full day out in the sun, but we
loved it!

Smart Kids


Yesterday I took Ethan and Eden into Augusta for a developmental screening. The lady said that they both tested beyond their ages (Ethan - was at a 36 month level and Eden - was at a 12 month level). We have very smart kids and we are very blessed by their little lives.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Photogenic?

I just wanted a picture of the kiddos... just one!

Attempt 1.

Attempt 2.


50 pictures later, about 15 M&Ms in bribes... and this is as good as it gets!

And I love it!

41 Weeks Old


At 41 weeks Eden is a little bit happier and healthier. Her cough is almost gone and I can just tell she is feeling better because she is not permanently grumpy and she is not glued to my side! This week at the doctors' she weighed 19 lbs 4 oz with her clothes on... so she is still a light little thing. Her favorite thing this week has been to hold onto Ethan's push bike and walk across the floor. She is getting good... I just wish I had a video camera to record this fun stuff. Also this week she has been standing up on her own for bit of time. At the beginning of the week I was sure I saw little teeth stubs, but they are gone again - Ethan did this too and he didn't get his first tooth until almost 11 months. I am sooo glad she is feeling better!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom


While I was at staff meeting this morning Paige asked Ethan what he was doing and he said, "I am talking with God." Then he said that God had told him, "Listen to Jesus, don't be afraid. God will help you." I just love that! It put a smile on my face and joy in my heart!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our Sick Sweetheart

One cute thing I have never shared is our nicknames for Eden... We have many, but Sweetheart is one of the most common. When Ethan walks up the stairs in the morning he usually asks me is Sweetheart is up. Or if she wakes up from her nap and is making noise in the bedroom he will run to her door and ask if he can get Sweetheart up! It always makes me smile to hear him call her that! Today we took Sweetheart to the Doctor. She woke up with a smokers cough, a extremely stuffed nose, and an attitude that really declared that she was NOT FEELING WELL! I can't blame her. So I loaded up the car, the kids and brought Paige along for moral support. Paige and Ethan spent the morning at the Children's Museum while I took Eden to the Doctor. She has some sort of viral, bronchial thing going on. Doctors talk so fast and it all goes over my head. I really should bring a notepad and take notes... as IF I am going to remember all that they say in the departing speech that they give before they quickly exit the room... most of the words used need to be interpreted with a dictionary or a medical reference! Usually after they leave the room 1,000,000,000 question pop into my head... THAT is WHY they leave so quickly... they can SPOT moms like me! Sweetheart received some sort of breathing treatment medicine before we left to help with all her rattling, wheezing that was/is coming from her lungs. Thankfully it is not more serious, but I have a feeling it will be a long week for us and our sick Sweetheart!

Pillow Project... Completed!

Even in the midst of all the crying and clinginess of Eden Eve, I finally finished Ethan's pillow covers! They match his comforter that I made for him several months ago. His room has been a work in progress and maybe one day I will post pictures of the final product... it is sooo close!
Here is a little peek... my favorite corner of his room! We spend lots of hours here!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Broken Record


Do you ever feel like a broken record? These days I find myself thinking and feeing the same things over and over and over and over. Since January, Eden goes through these phases of clinginess and almost continually fussiness and crying spells. She is only "semi" content when I am holding her and even that doesn't help some days. I keep telling myself that this too shall pass, but the last few days I am thinking it may NEVER pass. This morning she woke me up again at 4am... her usual routine. I have done just about everything to get over this 4am wake time, but nothing works and I usually can't go back to sleep and so by the time night comes I am exhausted! Being exhausted messes with my body, head, and heart. This morning, like most mornings, I just sobbed out to the Lord to give me strength to love this precious girl in the midst of this VERY UNLOVABLE season (the fussiness has been heightened to an extreme this past week... I am questioning teething, but I still can't feel anything). I put her on soy formula and am praying that maybe that might help her??? If not I am going to ditch that stuff as soon as possible - it stinks sooooo bad! A friend suggested rice formula... so I have been researching that, but I live in MT - so finding that stuff might be a chore. And if these don't help - I am taking her to the doctor to find out if something else is the matter. So if you think about us today could you pray for supernatural strength, patience, wisdom, and love?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Our Daily Life

It feels like every once and a while I need to pause and remember our normal day life. Every day is full of activity, challenges, joys, stresses, laughs, tears, confusion... which leads us to pray more, love more, and ultimately live more. Micah gave me the day off yesterday and I escaped to a river side and in the back seat of the car (which was car seat-less... wow!) just read, journaled, prayed and took a nap. My kids remind me of my depravity and my need for Jesus... my relationships with others remind me of my insecurities and my need for Jesus... my sleepless nights remind me of my humanity and my need for Jesus... Honestly all the confusing situations in my life right now overwhelm me and remind me of my need for Jesus - and for this I am SO THANKFUL... because I so desperately need Jesus in my everyday life... everyday hours.... everyday minutes.... everyday seconds.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

40 Weeks Old

Today marks 40 weeks for Eden Eve. It is hard to think of the new things she is doing because it feels like the weeks blend together. She is almost able to stand up on her own... and I still think she will take those first few steps anytime soon. She is still exploding out of a diaper-a-day - which is not information that "needs" to be shared, but I have been wondering if she may have issues with the milk/formula I am giving her??? Ethan easily drank 60+ ounces of milk a day... and if I get Eden to drink 20 it is a good day. My motto continues to be "Everyday is a new day." This week we stuck her hair in pigtails and it was adorable... I truly believe every week she gets more beautiful!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Motivated Mondays!


I wake up motivated on Monday mornings and I know myself enough to know that by Wednesday I will be running out of steam, so we take advantage of that motivation! Paige came over this morning, we made ourselves some delicious lattes and then played all morning with the kiddos.... making fun crafty things was the central focus. We made inch worms for our letter of the week craft... (we are on "i"). Then we formed inch worms out of play dough and cut them apart with these amazing clay scissors I found on clearance at Michaels for 29 cents... Ethan thinks they are amazing (so do I!)! Eden joined the fun by getting her little toes stamped... (too cute for words - let me tell ya)! It was good to laugh and start the week with a little bit of good old fun!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Tomorrow is Easter... a day to remember the gift of Salvation that was made possible by our dear LORD and Savior, Jesus! We are so thankful for that gift of LIFE... and we love to pause from all that is happening around us and to be still and quiet before our God!
Happy Easter!!
Today we had some cherished moments as a family. We drove into Augusta for the annual Easter Egg hunt. Ethan had a fever last night (again) and so I was wondering if we would get to go... he didn't have a fever this morning, just his horrible cough - so we talked about it and figured a few minutes out in the freezing cold would be okay. We were only out of our car for about 20 minutes as we poked through the weeds looking for brightly colored eggs filled with money and candy! Eden even found an egg (okay... I guess I set her down on the ground RIGHT in front of it, but she "found" it... after being helped!). It was a crazy, wild trip, but I am pretty sure Ethan and Eden had fun! (Micah and I had fun as well... especially when we checked the mail and found a box of our newly ordered books waiting for us.. guess what we will be doing this afternoon?!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

39 Weeks Old

Eden is 9 months old tomorrow! 9 months in the womb and 9 months in the world... what an amazing thought! Her brother has been battling a high fever (over 100... and measured as high as 102.5... YIKES!) for the past few days and I can't help but wonder if maybe that has been her issue for the past week. She seems to be a little bit happier - (at least yesterday she was... she is still sleeping this morning... so we shall see). Last night was the first night in weeks she didn't cry every hour - so that was an amazing blessing (I might be able to cure my Eden-induced insomnia after all!!!)!
You know... the amazing thing about Eden - is that she can be a complete stinker, but then she smiles at you and everything is forgotten... she has the most amazing smile. It is as though she can look down into your soul and plant a little joy seed! I really like her!