Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Tree Hunting

This morning we bundled up, braved the 19 degree weather, hiked all over our property and finally found our Christmas tree! It is hard to believe that the Christmas season is upon us... it is so fun to celebrate this holiday season now that we have kids. We love their excitement... it is contagious! This evening we will set up the nativity scenes, decorate the tree, and listen to Christmas music. Love, love, love this time of year... I am so thankful we can remember and celebrate that our Messiah, Jesus Christ came years ago as a little baby...!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Accessories

My daughter is very athletic and at times we refer to her as a "bull in the china store." Her new thing is jumping from anything and everything she can climb on. It is unnerving at times. I am just praying she doesn't break any bones. Since all the toys in the house are boyish... I have been trying to encourage her to be feminine..... She loves jewelry - especially bracelets. I found that getting the cute, colorful hair ties for a few bucks does the trick! She wears them everywhere and I have flashbacks to the 80's when I use to wear all those amazing jelly bracelets! Everyday is an adventure with this chick! She lives life with gusto!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Snowed In Afternoon...

It all started yesterday... we were in Bozeman... the car was packed for the long journey to Nevada... and there were severe winter warnings all along the route we were going to travel. The snow wasn't really falling anywhere else! AHHHHHH! As we headed out we were determined to give it our best shot! But driving down the road was hairy to say the least. We could barely see the road the snow was blowing so hard. We heard there were road closures, icy passes, road construction, delays... What to do??? We talked, talked, and talked and finally decided given what we got... 2 little ones - and a long road ahead of us - full of uncertainty... we couldn't risk it! We turned around and headed home - and after white knuckling it home we fell exhausted into our beds and all took long naps... it felt good to be home!
Today we are pretty much snowed in. The wind has been blowing and we heard that our road's plow is broken... we aren't going anywhere... anytime soon! Given lemons... we are trying to make lemonade and trying not to think about all the family festivities that our going on without us! Since the house was quiet... due to napping kiddos, I decided to makes some no sugar cookies - I found this recipe online and went to work (I ended up adding 2 T flour and 1 T oatmeal... and 1/2 tsp salt). Um... they are "good"... they just taste like they are missing something... um.... SUGAR! I will be experimenting a lot - I can tell... and will keep you posted. Never fear I will discover the best sugar free cookies known to man!
Instead of laughing with family, playing with cousins, and doing the Thanksgiving thing... we will be having a quiet day in our little home. My sister-in-law sent me these delightful pillow covers and I can imagine myself curled up in between those beautiful pillows of happiness reading a book. I am sad I will miss seeing my brother and his family off as they head overseas... we send our love! Hopefully soon - we will all be reunited again!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to take a moment before the busyness of this week overtakes us to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We (as a family) have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed us richly and we are constantly reminded of His goodness and faithfulness to us! I wanted to say a special thanks to those of you who invest in our lives by reading my thoughts ... even if I don't know who you are... this blog world is my main source of being in touch with the "real" world and so I don't want to overlook its significance!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Truly Miracles

A couple days ago the students left for their winter break - it was the same day I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This semester has been one of the hardest one so far. I have felt beyond tired, depressed, had a constant headache, etc, etc, etc! I have been trying to get into the doctor, but it is difficult. I have an appointment January 4th, but some issues came up that couldn't be ignored.... so I was able to get in earlier. PCOS is the number 1 reason in infertility... which makes me feel completely overwhelmed by the gift and miracle my little kiddos are!
My heart has been filled with an overwhelming amount of thanksgiving as I watch them play, laugh, and live. I also feel hope for one of the first times in a very, very, very long time. I now know what I am fighting and can alter and change my diet and lifestyle to deal with all the symptoms I am struggling with. And that too is a gift!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In a Day's Time

Yesterday Micah and a group of students poured some cement pads to finish up our front yard... I was going to take a finished picture today, but there happens to be a foot of snow on the top of it now....
As I was washing potatoes for dinner I realized that we forgot to dig up our potatoes!!!!! I grabbed Ethan, a shovel, and we ran out to the garden to find if our potato plants grew anything... LOOK AT THE SIZE of that potato! We had this giant one and a bunch of little guys... it was like digging for treasures! I can't wait to grow more next summer...
Well... I guess winter is officially here... might as well enjoy it...
I am sure soaking up the kids' excitement!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Africa Bound...


I am not Africa bound... but these little bags are! Uncle Eli is leaving for Africa in a week or so and I have been working on 15 of these little guys for him to take with him for the kids in the orphanage... they are simple little bags that we have filled with basic toiletries. I wish he would tuck me in his suitcase... my heart is there anyways! If you would like to know more about Eli and the work he is involved with and has graciously allowed us to be apart of then check out Certain Truth Ministries.

Since I attended a Beth Moore conference I have been thinking about things she said and one things was using your gifts to edify the body. I am in a unique season of life where some of my gifts are in a sense forced to be dormant because I just can't use them and be an "effective" (fully there) parent. I question my purpose quite a bit and struggle with what should I do about these feelings???? Using my creativity abilities helps me pour my heart into a project... each stitch of these bags are laced with prayer as I pray for these precious children... asking God to meet their need, to love on them, and to reveal Himself to them. I wish I could go hug on them myself, but for now these little bags will lead the way!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Wreaths


We have been busy around this house! We had our Bible study dinner this past Wednesday. We had a good spread of Mexican food. It is hard to believe that this semester is wrapping up and that all these kids are heading home for winter break next week! Yikes!

With that Christmas is right around the corner. That is AFTER Thanksgiving... (let's not rush a GOOD THING)! But since Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching so is the Christmas Bazaar (Its called something else, but I can't spell it... so we will just say it is a Christmas celebration with stuff for sell!). Ethan's school is doing their annual wreath fundraiser... so we put together these three wreaths. Actually I put them together... both kids were destroying them as fast as I could glue... I only lost it once and told them to go play downstair... which they did!

Got lots of other projects in the works... will share when I am finished... Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How to Survive the Time Change!

I don't normally blog on Sunday mornings, but when you have been up for hours... you tend to have time before you head to church! On mornings like this I wish I lived in Arizona or where ever else there is not day light savings! This morning we survived by baking some cinnamon rolls... one of my favorite morning treats! I just knew this would be the perfect morning for some motivation! I am thinking it may be a long day!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (recipe from a dear friend!)
2 packages yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
Mix the above ingredients and let sit until bubbly/foamy)
Then add...
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (I don't melt mine... just room temp)
2 eggs
Mix well and then slowly add...
5-6 cups flour

Let rest for 20 minutes, roll out dough, lather with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and white sugar... as much as you prefer, roll up, cut up and place in a pan. Refrigerate 2-48 hours. Pull out of fridge, let stand for 10 minutes, then cook at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Frost or glaze with your fav sugary gooeyness and enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Faces

Just in a matter of minutes I can catch a hundred expressions in the faces of my children. I find it intriguing to stop and just enjoy something simple as what my kids are communicating on their faces. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All Things P

Pink, purple, purse, pretty, and Princess are all very common words in our household. It is fun to watch this little lady personality emerge from Eden! I love it that she always has to have a purse... I don't even own a real purse, but she has a couple and they are ALWAYS with her! She is desperate to talk and so we are working through lots of frustration, constant whining, and a lot of PATIENCE on Momma's end! I have a feeling she and I are going to have the entire sign language vocab down by the time she utters the word, "Momma!"

Patience and priorities are the "p" words that I utter a lot. When I am trying to finish anything... and am getting frustrated out of my mind because of the whining or clingy-ness... I have to stop and remind myself of my priorities... Parenting is such a refining process for me (especially this week)! I am glad that I have been able to add words like pink, purple, purse, and princess to my vocab, but I guess I am thankful I am struggling to add patience, practice, priorities, and (constant) prayer to the vocab of my heart, because those are the "p" words that really matter!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Creme Pies

I stumbled upon a recipe for pumpkin creme pies (here) and had to come up with an excuse to try them. The recipe calls for the batter to be piped out into a spiral pattern which in my mind would be completely beautiful, but I have small kids (aka small window for solo creativity)... so the regular cookie scoop worked just fine! Maybe when I am all grown up and my kids are away I will try the spirals... maybe!
And since I have been having migraine headaches for the past couple weeks - I am choosing to say "no" to sugar for now... it is helping, but having these delicious morsels around was not a good choice - so I packaged them and dropped them off in my Bible study girls' mailboxes. I hope they enjoy this delicious taste of fall! I sure enjoyed my few snitches!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts on Love

(playing in the garden... examining all the interesting seed pods)

Yesterday at nap time, Ethan announced that if I turned off the light and closed the door... leaving him by himself he would no longer love me. I in turn told him, "I will always love you no matter if you love me or not - and I am going to turn off the light and close the door... BECAUSE I love you and I know that a nap is the best thing for you (right now!)." As I closed the door I couldn't help smile, because Ethan teaches me so much about love....
especially God's love for me!
(The fall wind-blow look... I think it is a delightful style!)

God knows what is best for us... He loves us. Nothing can change that love towards us and that is amazing! On Sunday we got word that our little kiddo's (in Africa) blood tests came back, but only 1/2 of them... so we start the process over again... we start the waiting again. I was bummed, but overwhelmed with a realization that God loves this little kid more than I do... He loves us more than I can imagine and He is working things out... so I won't tell Him that I will stop loving Him or get angry if He doesn't work in my time frame or my limited scope of understanding... He knows what is best and for that I am sooo thankful! I really desire to grow in my love of God... to mature past a 3 year old perspective!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Tree

Finally, my favorite month of the year is here! I love fall, but more than that I love Thanksgiving.... a time to pause and be grateful for all that God has done in our live and is doing! We started our Thanksgiving Oak tree today. Ethan decided he was thankful for Blue (from Blue's Clues)... so we decided to make the topic a little bit broader and we thanked God for ALL the fun stories we read, watch, and tell each other. Stories are a gift and our lives are enriched by them. This is going to be a fun month I can tell already!
Today I am thankful for the pictures I found on my camera... Micah had the kids while I was in Spokane for a Beth Moore conference. It was fun to see a taste of Eden's weekend!