Thursday, March 31, 2011

Berry Special Muffins

I think it probably goes without saying, but given my previous posts about the general health of the family... it can be assumed that we live on a mostly bran diet as of late!
Ethan helped me make these most delicious muffins yesterday. He loves to bake and so when ever I am in the kitchen he is right beside me.... with his measuring cups in hand!
I found a recipe for bran muffins on the bran flake box and I hesitated making it because the picture looked awful! I think I will send them this one - I would much rather eat these muffins than the ones they had pictured!!!
Berry Special Muffins:
1 3/4 cup bran flakes
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 T lemon and enough milk to make 1 cup)
1 egg (beaten)
3 T veggie oil (or substitute with applesauce)
1 cup flour (I did 1/2 whole wheat)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 cup frozen blueberries
(it didn't call for salt.. so you can leave it out, but I think 1/2 t of salt would be de'lish)

AMAZING topping:
3/4 bran flakes (crushed
3 T brown sugar
1 T melted butter

Mix the bran and wet ingredients together and let sit for 5 mins... add the mixed dry ingredients and then fold in the blueberries. Put in muffin tins, top with amazing topping, and bake 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy warm! (152 calories per muffin...)
Ethan thought they were delicious!
And here are Eden's thoughts: "I wonder if anyone noticed that I stole two muffins... heehhee I think I got away with it."
"Oh NO! They found me... NO you can't have them back!"
"I'm going to eat them all by myself!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

City Kids

My mom sent me an early Easter box. It was filled with little dress up clothes. She joked about how our little country kids are going to be city kids soon... so they need some nice clothes.
I was wondering... you can take the kids out of the wilderness... but can you take the wilderness out of the kids? After getting the kids ready for church... I left for a moment and came back to find them cleaning the kitchen. I wasn't going to complain, but I just had to sigh and wonder what it will be like for them to go from playing in the woods - to living on a busy city street? It will be strange going from being worried about mountain lions and bears... to thinking about dealing with traffic... There are so many transitions ahead - I was reminded of this again yesterday when we made a sudden trip to Great Falls - to take Ethan to the doctor. He has been wrestling with severe constipation. No matter what I have been doing - it hasn't been helping...
He was in so much pain... he couldn't even sit in his car seat on the way to town. He just laid in my lap or knelt. I prayed for him the whole way... really just asking God to be with us. We always need God to be with us, but I feel a deep need for Him to just hold me right now... Especially while we are trying to find Micah another job all while wondering HOW DO PEOPLE AFFORD LIFE??? Being in ministry for so long we are use to making hardly anything, but then when you put "making nothing" to living in a city... it takes it to a whole new level. We are still trying to find housing that will be less than what Micah is making... so far we haven't found much! But with all that said, I trust that God will take care of those little details... Because I know He will. While we were playing at McDonalds waiting for Ethan's doctor appointment time... Ethan was able to become "unclogged". We ended up not having to go to his appointment - and for me it was another expression of God's love to me... like He was gentling reminding me - that He will take care of us - in the wilderness or in the city.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Facing Monday...

Last week I was crying... Ethan came to me and said, "Momma why are you crying? I told him I was crying because my heart was sad. He said, "But Momma your heart shouldn't be sad because you have a little boy." It is so true... I have so much to be thankful for... even if my heart is sad.
Here are some images that have warmed my heart... this past week!
Ethan likes to hide his eyes from my pictures.
Dancing in the kitchen.
My adorable princess... in a beautiful hat knitted by Jordan... love it!
Caught your eyes... handsome little guy!
Just playing...
Making faces...
Just adorable...
Funny faces...
Love it that she is actually leaving her pigtails in her hair!
Warming up after outside play!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Adam and Eve Scenario?

The other day... I was having a one on one. I was so delighted that for ONCE the kids were playing quietly in the basement. During our chatting, Eden came upstairs, walked by quietly towards the kitchen, she grabbed some measuring cups, and headed quietly back downstairs. I thought "how cute is she." It got really quiet downstairs... and I know that is not a really good thing... so I went down to check on them... this is what I found!
I ran upstairs for my camera... and at first I could tell the kids were worried that they were "busted". Then when Ethan saw I returned with the camera he smiled and said, "We sure are cute, aren't we?" and "Don't worry, Momma! We're washable!" After we gave them baths, changed their clothes, and vacuumed up all the ashes - I pulled Ethan and Eden aside for their "consequences". Ethan was utterly confused, "But Momma, we are cute!!!! REMEMBER???" This is not their first experience with the ashes in the fireplace and although I love their creative outlet - I am not a fan of them making this a habit!
Later that evening Ethan was still upset that he had "gotten in trouble" for playing in the ashes, so he told me, "You know, Eden was the one that taught me how to play in the ashes. It was her fault!" I couldn't help but shake my head and smile!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What We've Been Up to....

The past 40 days we have been keeping busy... with everyday stuff. Sometimes the little things are the most important. I forget about them, unless I capture them on a camera... then as I peek back at the pictures - all the memories, smiles and laughs rush back into my mind...
THAT MY FRIENDS IS WHY I TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES!
My pea-sized brain has a hard time remember - pictures help me stop and
THANK GOD for all that He is doing and has done in our lives!
We've been doing some teaching and learning: Mr. Ethan is a child who has convinced himself that he must have HELP to do anything. I have been trying to encourage him to watch his little sister... who can DO EVERYTHING by herself!!! One day he wanted a p and j sandwich... so I had him make it himself. He did splendidly! Now we are trying to tackle getting dressed, playing by himself... and (drumroll... please) going potty by himself... (we still haven't made any progress with the last one... one day... one day!)
Playing games: Everyday is filled with play... we are kids after all... and that is what kids do. Ethan and Eden will get to laughing and I can't help but laugh along. They play well together (for the most part)... and they are perfecting fighting (they do that well too!). I came down one day to find them playing hide and seek in the TV stand. I had to take pictures.
It was too funny...
Art stuff: We have been receiving an F in ART lately. I can't keep things out of Eden's mouth. She devours extra salty play dough, sucks the ink out of markers, and chews up crayons! She draws on walls, herself, books, etc. So I have had to come up with EXTRA creative outlets for art. Bath art is the best. A little shaving cream and some amazing watercolor dyes... and we have amazing finger paint - that is easy to clean up. A win-win project!

I have lots more pictures to come... so stay posted....
How many pictures did I take in 40 days???.... LOTS!

Moving On

"...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." (Psalms 30:5b)
(this is a collage I did during Bible study to represent my life... right now. A bit morbid, but all the same I think it really represents my world right now...)

After we announced that we were pregnant with Eden we were asked if we should still be at the school. I remember thinking about how in the history of the school there has never been a couple with young kids who have been able to stay on staff for more than 3 years, and I thought we were going to be the couple that beat the odds. We were going to try harder and MAKE it work. When we started exploring the possibility of adoption we were asked the same question. Should you still be here at the school? We sat down and talked it out - sharing our hearts for this ministry... our passions and desires, but also our desire for community. If our being here is not helping community then we know we should leave. If having kids is not benefiting this ministry, but taking (me) us away from serving the students - then we should move on. The last three years has been the hardest years of my life - I have struggled with the isolation, the loneliness, and the haunting depression. I have no friends that live close by, no one I really connect with and can share my heart with... who I feel understood by. This summer when we were asked the same questions should you guys still be here at the school... is it best for you? Something snapped inside me. I broke down completely. I have been killing myself to be intimately involved in the lives of my kids - raising them the way that I feel like God is asking me to raise them, exhaustedly pulling myself together to meet with my girls and to build relationships with them, and then trying to muster up more for my relationship with Micah... when he gets home from doing the same thing on campus. I remember sobbing, "I can't, I can't, I can't... you are right! I can't! It is too much, too much, too much!!!"
This spring we have decided to move on. I figured after all the tears I cried this past fall... I wouldn't have anything left, but I have been hit by a grief that has been deeper than anything I have ever experienced in all my life. I have never tried harder at anything in all my life - only (in my eyes) to have failed. I can't hack this ministry. I can't do it by myself - in isolation. The guilt I feel is overwhelming! Micah is having to leave a ministry that he loves - because I can't handle it. We are moving in faith. We don't have the pieces figured out - all we have at this point in time is a part time job... no housing, no benefits.... nothing but the hope that God is leading us and He will provide for us!
Last night Micah and I were able to talk things out (again for the millionth time) and I think it is finally starting to be okay in my mind, hopefully that will mean it will make it to my heart before long... It has been hard for me to process this whole thing - because I am a verbal processor and not having anyone to talk this out with - I have felt guilt, grief, and confusion. I know that things will be okay... and I am struggling to remind myself that there is hope in the midst of all this... but that still doesn't make it easy - that is for sure!

Thanks for letting me share the deep hurt of my heart... I am so thankful to be able to be back in my community of friends (via the internet).... just wish you all lived a whole lot closer!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

After 40 Days and 40 Nights....

I finally have internet.... again! And I can't wait to catch up with all that has been happening in your lives and remember all that has gone on in our life!

Just for a starter.... here are some new pics of the kids!
Ethan Cade
Eden Eve


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Quick Update

On February 12th at 2:00 am the power went out in our canyon and somehow during the power outage my internet connection fried. Supposedly our "internet" guy has been working on it since then (I do not think very highly of him - or his ability to "get around to it"... to me backordered means "oops I forgot about it"). So I have been stranded in my house on the hill - without any word from the outside world.... since. I miss blogging and I miss reading other people's blogs. I have no idea when a new little internet box will arrive - and fix the problem. It was promised to be here by Thursday - and it never arrived... so I am not holding my breath. So if you have wondered where I have been... that is where... waiting. Lots is going on in our lives and I look forward to sharing... one day?