Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Tummy Tickles

Ethan has been having a lot of a potty accidents lately... and we have been trying to figure out how to encourage him, support him, and motivate him... to get back to his accident-free days!
So the other day we were getting ready to go somewhere and
Micah said, "No accidents, okay Bud?!"
Ethan replied, "No problem!"
Micah said, "That's what you said this morning and you had an accident, remember?"
Ethan replied heartily, "NO ACCIDENTS and NO FARTS! Because farts smell like skunks and they smell awful!"
This morning I was mixing up his morning chocolate milk and he snuggled up to me and whispered, "I love you, Momma... we'll always be friends, huh?"
I said, "Of course, bud!"
Then he replied, " I sure hope so..." Then he added quietly, "Especially if I don't have any more accidents!"

Of course I told him I would love him... NO MATTER WHAT!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Parade!

The kids have never been to a parade...
until today! It was rainy and cold, but that didn't stop us... the kids and I went with some new friends (Micah had to work)... and we all were excited. I told Ethan that parades are super fun. There are cool floats to see and they THROW candy! He couldn't believe it!
At the beginning of the parade a man walked around handing out flags! It was awesome to see American flags flying all down the streets as we honor those who have gone before us to fight for our freedom! It was a great intro into flag etiquette as I had to "instruct" Ethan several times that our flag is NEVER to touch the ground. I told him it is a sign of respect, a way to honor our country and the amazing freedom we are blessed with!
There were a couple of bands, lots of sweet old cars, tons of army cars, lots of Veterans, horses, dogs, boats, a group that makes quilts for Veterans and Boy Scouts troops...
but.... no candy! The Dad we were with told them to wave their flags harder... and for sure they would get some candy. The little kids waved those flags so diligently... but no candy! I have never been to a parade without candy... hum!
It was still fun... my kids didn't know any different... they had never been to a parade before. Our friends treated us to hot chocolate and after Ethan and his friend ran around like monkeys we said goodbye and headed home. It was still a grand day... would have been grander with candy, but maybe next parade!

Thanks... Gramps, Grandpa F, Dad, Uncle Bob, and Bro for serving our country...
Glad to honor you today!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Scones and Sermon Snippets...

I love Sundays! It is the only day of the week that Micah is guaranteed to be off... and HOME! They are slow and easy... it is our day of rest... in fact all my loves are sleeping at the moment! On Sunday... I always have a few more moments to cook something special. We are a scone family. We love, love, love, love, love scones!
Today I made Lemon Poppy Seed scones... a recipe I clipped out of a Country Living magazine (May 2011.... love, love, love that magazine... got a few free copies from the library... what a TREAT). The scones were tasty...

After brunch we went to church. It is rainy and cold outside... so our little jaunt to church was wet... so glad we live so close! The sermon was about 1 Corinthians 12... the unity of the body of Christ. Messages like this hit so close to home. Verses 21-27 especially spoke to me...
And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if onemember is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."
I loved how the pastor talked about the importance of not assuming we are the STRONGER parts, but instead we should assume we are the WEAKER parts... "When we are WEAK, He is STRONG!" (2 Cor 12:10) I leaned over to Micah and whispered, "Why don't we ever seen this played out in the church?" Coming from an experience that felt like a divorce of the body... feeling ignored when I was the weakest... feeling isolated when I was the loneliest... feeling judged when I was the most vulnerable... messages like this make me sad. Micah and I have talked about this passage A LOT this semester and how it SHOULD play out in our own lives. We have a strong desire to be apart of a body, an uncertainty of how that WORKS?, and a prayer to be jealous for the body! We pray that we would have the humility to really see the hurts, joys, and needs of those with whom we have the privilege of walking along side during our stay on this earth. Gotta believe that community exists and it is worth pursing and fighting for!
(The kiddos enjoying scones... on my lap... hum we had to vacuum after this pic was taken!!! But I at least enjoyed the few moments they were snuggling and munching!!!)

Country Living's Lemon Poppy Seed Scones Recipe:
2 cups flour
3 T sugar
2 T poppy seeds
Zest of 2 large lemons
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 stick frozen butter (I like to grate mine with a cheese cutter... easy to do and easy to cut into the dough)
1/2 heavy cream (I used milk)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Glaze: 1 T lemon juice + 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees... after forming dough in a circle cut into 8 wedges bake 12-14 minutes... until done. Cool for (approximately) 20 minutes then glaze. I didn't wait that long... the glaze worked fine on warm scones... they are better that way anyhow!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Psalm 107

I read this Psalm, this morning and I couldn't help smile... sounds a lot like my life. I will give Him thanks!

Psalm 107:4-9 (New International Version)

4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and He delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for mankind,


9 for He satisfies the thirsty and

fills the hungry with good things.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day Off

Micah has been working 50+ hours a week. He usually leaves before we get up, comes home for an hour or two in the afternoon and heads off to his second job... coming home late at night! We miss him, but are so thankful for the work he is doing for us... how faithful he is to provide and care for us! Today he is home... ALL DAY! We are loving it! He went to library time with us this morning (we had hopes of hiking or something fun outdoors, but it was cold and windy), then we went to Costco... We wandered around getting samples... does anyone else do this? Because it is one of our family's favorite thing to do... free samples. By the time we hit every one - it is pretty much a balanced, full meal for the kids... We were wondering if we truly are the only nerds out there? Tonight we are going to Bible study as a family... I am thrilled about this. It is nice to have Micah home... really nice!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fire Station Tour

This week we found out about a Mom's group that is just starting up... this was their first week and it was a trip to the fire station to see the fire trucks! We all were super excited to go!
We got to see a fireman get dressed in his gear, we toured the fire station, and THEN we got to see the engine! A single engine costs almost 1/2 a million dollars... WOW!
Ethan was pretty excited to see an Engine up close... AND be able to get inside of it!
But Eden was even more thrilled... she sat in this seat the whole time the kids were climbing through, exploring... she didn't even want to leave the inside of the fire truck!
I even saw her sweeten up to this fireman to get him to put her back in for a second time... he did! He told me that she might have found her life career... hum... we'll see about that!

What a fun day... what a fun group... we are looking forward to doing another fun thing next week. What a blessing and an answer to prayer!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dandelion Tea, Rock Painting, and a Recipe...

On our walk to the MBC library to visit Daddy... we discovered dandelions.
Ethan picked a giant bouquet.... all the while saying,
"I am picking these for Daddy's birthday!" Daddy's birthday isn't for a while, but it was quite cute! Eden on the other hand was picking up rocks. I had some bread in the oven and so after playing for about an hour... (the amount it takes to bake bread)... we headed inside to make dandelion tea and paint rocks!
I have wanting to paint rocks for quite awhile...
just waiting until my littlest one was a bit more developmentally ready (I know I already posted this picture... but just figured a close-up was necessary to prove my point... Will she ever be developmentally ready? Ha ha, ah!). I first got the idea from my sister in law... when her oldest one sent me a little blue bug. I still have it! I love it! Then a day or two ago I was reading another creative blog and they had just painted rocks. I figured it was as good of a day as any...
Ethan was pretty excited about making dandelion tea... I had never made it before, but heard about it at one of our play dates and decided to give it a try. We let it brew while we painted our rocks... then we flavored it with a bit of honey and cinnamon. Ethan thought it tasted awful... but he tells me most things taste awful. Later he told Micah it was GREAT!
The bread on the other hand was INCREDIBLE... I just have to share the recipe... I tweaked an original Libby pumpkin bread recipe (off of the can) a tiny bit...

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bread....
Cream the following ingredients:
2 eggs
1 1/4+ cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup undiluted evaporated milk
2 T oil (or applesauce)

Then combine the following ingredients and add them to your wet ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp salt

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees... Put foil over the bread to keep it from getting too brown! Eat it warm... It was crumbly and tasted like cake... I thought it was marvelous!

We had a fun-filled morning... somewhere in the hours... Eden chipped her front tooth...
that little girl keeps us on our toes!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nightly Routine...

Every night my kiddos take a bath. Excessive? Maybe, but I LOVE the smell of freshly washed, lotion-ed up kiddos! One of my favorite-est things is to snuggle up with them for reading time and smell their freshly bathed bodies... clean - fresh - renewed for bedtime! I like to think of it as washing off the grime and dirt of the day... I can't imagine not giving them baths because the water is always slightly gray... with typical slug after the water has drained...
we play hard and dirty!
The kids are crazy at bath time... they laugh, splash WAY TOO MUCH, swim... and get out that last burst of energy (or at least I would like to believe so!!!). They make me laugh... and sometimes... after the 5th cup of water "accidentally" falls on the floor... they make me mad!!!
Every night is pretty much the same... bath, jammies, stories, and then prayers. Now that we have a super duper library... we always have a wonderful new selection of stories. Now instead of memorizing all the books... I get to read new stories each week and since they are only at our house for a week... I only partially memorize them!
Then after stories we sing a few songs, say our prayers... and have our goodnight kisses!
Bed time was an easy thing... we would lay the kids down... and that was IT! Rarely did either one of them make a peep after the door was closed. Now it is a different story. They are sharing a room... and so they share in keeping each other up. We have tried all sorts of things... nothing seems to work - except that now they are going to bed about 2 hours later than they normally would. I don't like the sounds of that... I want their little brains to get the rest they need! Any tips for kiddos sharing a room??? The only solution we have found
(so far) is to let Ethan fall asleep on our bed and then move him... when we go to bed...

I guess all that to say... I do enjoy our evenings... the end of our day... remembering the good parts and learning from the bad parts...

A Break to Be Inside...

Since we have moved here... we have spent as much time as possible outside! It has been beautiful... but occasionally there have been rainy days... today it is raining! I seriously don't think it has stopped raining all day... I have the windows open and can hear the dripping and smell that wonderful fresh rain smell! These rainy days are necessary to keep us inside so that we can get our inside work done!
The laundry needed to be done, Micah and I's bedroom desperately needed to be rearranged to accommodate our very large bed AND have room to get into our closet! And the house needed to be cleaned. I love cleaning this place because it takes about 30 minutes MAX for a complete deep clean! I am loving that!
We took time for playing goofy games, tickle wars, playing cars, and coloring. I was so thrilled to finally have some art supplies. I packed two boxes full of art supplies... and intended for them to come to the apartment during the move, but they ended up in storage. This weekend Micah and I dug through our stuff and found them... now we have our play dough, bubbles, paint... you know all the good things in life! We are set for getting back in our creative groove!
At lunch today... Ethan asked if we could live here forever... it was a perfect door to begin talking about our next transition. We have to be out by August... we have been looking and looking... In fact Micah and I drove all around the area on Sunday - during our fantastic anniversary date... looking. We have decided to take time to purposely pray that God will provide a place for us... We know He will and it was exciting to have Ethan pray for our new home and know that before long we will be there.

For lunch I threw some V8, a cup of cooked hamburger, a can of black beans and tomatoes, some corn and some noodles in for a taco soup. I served it with shredded cheese, a drop of sour cream (that really helped cool down the kids' portions) and some tortilla chips. Ethan told me he wasn't fond of soup, but he ate every bite! It was delicious... totally going to make this again!
And in celebration of my Mom's birthday... which I TOTALLY forgot this year... sorry Mom! We had strawberry shortcake to celebrate her life - wish we could be here with us. I can't eat strawberry shortcake without thinking about my mom. It isn't possible! I didn't have any whip cream so I put a small scope of ice cream inside the shortbread and let it sit for a few minutes... it was moist, sweet, and perfect!

It is good to have a break inside... I am feeling caught up on my chores!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Blessings...

A friend took me out for coffee Saturday morning. She took me to this amazing pottery store/coffee shop. We sat and talked and talked and cried. It felt good to connect and catch up. I have been feeling like Naomi as she came home to Israel... after years away. She said to call her "bitter" because the Lord had humbled her. She was broken, empty. The best part of the story is that by the end she has been filled up - been given new life... there is hope.
My friend bought me this coffee mug and Saturday afternoon I made a latte and the kids and I had doughnuts for our tea time. Just for fun...
The kids were excited out of their minds when they got to pick out their doughnuts. And there was nothing but delight on their faces as they munched on the sweetness.
As I watched them enjoy their doughnuts I just thought about the richness that God has blessed us with... On Sunday this same friend came and watched the kids so Micah and I could have an anniversary date... We had hours to talk about our lives, what has happened this past year, and what we need to do now. We spent a lot of time dreaming about what kind of family we want to be... and how we live that. It was good... licking the frosting off the doughnut, good!

***To those of you who have written me with love and encouragement... YOU HAVE NO IDEA how encouraging and how much love I felt from each of you... I truly believe God will heal our hearts, by giving us His heart and we want nothing more!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

11 Years

"It is not good for man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18a)

11 years together. Sometimes it feels like a blink of the eye and other times it feel like we have been married forever! This year has been one of our best years of marriage... not situationally, but relationally. We have talk, cried, agonized and prayed more this year than in all the years combined. We saw the death of dreams... asked questions... been confused... wondered why... panicked, but through it all we have been unified, on the same page... together.

I am so blessed to be married to a man who truly loves God, a man who goes against the norm when God asks him to. I have learned (and am STILL learning) to trust his heart... even when it doesn't make sense or seem practical. I seek his counsel, am open to his rebuke... while relishing in his love.

I truly love this man... and thank God every day for the gift that he is!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rainy Day Planting...

The rain came down... all day long. It was beautiful out... I love the rain.
After dinner we planted our summer garden!
Carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach, onions, basil... and I still need to get a tomato plant!
I spread a sheet down so the kids could fill their bright, colorful pots... it got quite messy, so I was glad I had thought ahead. I really love, love, love gardening! I love the whole process... planting, watering, waiting, watching, growing, weeding, harvesting... it is such a beautiful thing! I hope my kids catch that excitement and passion...
Ethan was really into it (more than he was last year)... UNTIL about half way through, then he told me... "Momma, I am done. This is really boring!" Oh no! We'll work on that! I am interested to see what comes up in the pots... As we were patting down the seeds and praying God would make them grow... Eden would reach into the soil and grab handfuls before I could stop her... She didn't think it was boring... she was fascinated by the dirt and seeds. I hope in years to come she will be right by my side... planting and harvesting!

Friday Funny

Ethan just got a video from the library... it had a lot of scratches on it and it wasn't working very well. So I was trying to help him fix it... I said, "Wow, it keeps freezing!" Later I was in the kitchen fixing lunch and Ethan comes running out yelling, "Momma, the DVD is COLD!" It took me a second to figure out what he was talking about... All I could do was LAUGH!

The other day Eden turned off the DVD player... Ethan thought I had so he exclaimed, "Momma, your the baddest! I'm not going to call you Momma anymore! I'm gonna call you....... (long pause) JACK!" Micah and I busted up laughing!

Earlier this afternoon, right after his nap, Ethan said, "Momma, I think everyday should be Momma's Day."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thinking versus Knowing...

First... here are some thoughts that I wrote on Monday... then I deleted them...

I was wondering this morning... when is a point where you come to realize that you should be on medication!!!? One thing I know about myself is that I have high moments... followed almost directly by low/introspective moments (if you have followed this blog for any length of time... you can probably track those moments... I am pretty predictable and ridiculously honest). I prepare for the dark moments, wait for them... knowing they are inevitable.... I think it is the artist in me... I am CONFIDENT that those are the exact moments that God uses to convict, teach, refine me... and HOPEFULLY to encourage you... for some odd reason... I feel called to be honest and process not only my joys, but my failures and struggles...

Here are some of my fragmented thoughts from the weekend....

BURNS:

This weekend was an introspective weekend for me. I felt the wind knocked out of me when I heard some news about some decisions my old job is making. Decisions that just blow my mind, stir up those old insecurities and refresh the feelings of rejection. Questions, anger, hurt... surged through my mind and my heart... It sucks. I was asking Micah why it hurt so much and if those wounds will ever heal or if I will always hurt - and he told me that it is because it is relational. Relationships are suppose to work... they are suppose to build up, encourage... be Christ to each other. But when they aren't... we feel the failure... we feel the sin. This spring before we moved I got two really bad burns on my arms... one while serving a cup of tea and the other while pulling pizzas out of the oven. I have scars - they are big and noticeable. Micah joked the other day... at least you got burned serving. While that may be funny... it is true.

ALONE:

On our moving day... I numbly drove towards Bozeman... The one thought I was thinking was about a comment President Obama made to the victims of the awful tornados... he said, "the federal government will do everything it can to help those affected by devastating tornadoes" I remember driving and thinking how I felt like a tornado had torn through my heart and my mind and wondering if... anyone... would say to me, "I'll do everything I can to help you through this devastation." Wondering if a church ever says to the hurting, "We'll do everything we can to help..." Or are we all so self-consumed we can't even see past ourselves????

THE CHURCH:

The past couple Sundays we have been trying to find a church. We are so hungry for community and friends... that one of the most important things about this move is finding community. It is interesting being a visitor in a church... it is awful... actually. The first Sunday we had to ask 3 different people where the children's program was... they would casually point in a direction and hurry off like we had a disease. When we finally FOUND the "counter" where you sign in the kids I greeted the lady... she ignored us. She didn't say a word and never once looked at us in the eye. She was evidently doing something important so I waited. Then she looked up and with this huge smile she enthusiastically exclaimed... "Hello!!!! Soooooo good to see you this week!!!" I smiled... then realized she was talking with the people behind us... we were INVISIBLE! Finally someone else came out and helped us. As I was taking Eden to the nursery I heard another loud voice saying, "WHOSE coats are these and WHY are they on the 'counter'!!!".... I was almost too embarrassed to admit they were my kid's coats.... I was in tears by the time I got to church. The other weeks we have had similar experiences. People refuse to make eye contact and hurrying past like they have somewhere more important to be... only being greeted by those you greet first. The experiences I have had with "information" booths crack me up. Yesterday I got sent from place to place and no one had any idea the answers to my question. I finally left my question on a sticky note with my phone number... we'll see if I get a call! I am not saying any of this to be critical, but a wake up reality for myself. Being new is hard. Not knowing where to go or how to find answers is hard. Transitioning for my kids is tough... and it is for me too. Relationships and community will happen, but it is going to take time. I need to be patient... hopefully patient... and not slip into despair!

COUNSELING:

I get asked a lot... why did you leave MWSB? I like to say... "It is complicated." And leave it at that! It is complicated... I have lots to unpack and work through. But one of the main reasons we left was so that we could heal... over the 7 years we worked there it became apparent that we have issues we need to deal with - individually and as a couple. We aren't really sure what they are or how to deal with them, but it has been hinted at - over and over that there are issues. We sought help over and over... I remember time after time - crying to the leaders, asking for forgiveness and pleading for help. We asked everyone we possibly could think of to meet with us, counsel us... help us.... to just be our friends and walk with us. Moving here was choosing to find help... humbling to say, but honest and true.

Those are my thoughts on this Monday... I was pondering the depth of forgiveness, grace... and choosing those over self-pity... I fell in the pit this weekend... but I am getting up and trying to brush off the mud... as I would tell Ethan, "Let's go find another adventure!"

Here are my thoughts from tonight....
I have sooo much to be THANKFUL for... but when I am left alone... I start thinking... Unfortunately, I am alone most of the time.
Every meal and evening time the kids and I pray for people who have been affected by natural disasters... we pray for our two little cousins who are sick/in the hospital... We are blessed!
We are healthy, we have a place to live, clothes, food........
But I can't help the heaviness I feel in my heart. The pain from the hurt of the last few years is real and I daily I find the supposed "truth" and my feeling battling each other. The rejection is felt even more ... especially after I found out that the couple taking our spot is young... and get this... pregnant! It wasn't possible to work it out with us... but.... I've said to much. Hurt, anger surge through my heart... I ask... how do I believe truth? How do you fight to do what is right... when you are hurt... when you feel that rejection? I keep saying to myself it is not personal... it is business... yeah right - it totally feels personal!
I picked up an application for counseling. It is long - and I need to fill it out. I need help... I really do. The devastation in my heart is real... it affects my day.

How do I forgive? How do I move on? I truly feel completely burned... and burnt out.

Have I mentioned how thankful I am to be in this new place? I really am... I believe there will be community... I believe there will be friends... at least I hope...

Thankful Thursday Thoughts...

It is Thursday... right? My days are blending together... Last night we had a group of friends over for a fiesta feast... there were soooo many/toooo many nachos! As I was looking at our full little living room I was THANKFUL! The first time I saw pictures of this apartment... my heart sank! I wondered how we could comfortably host people... getting groups of people together is something that just makes my heart happy! AND since we have been here we have served almost a dozen meals... to a mix of group sizes. I love this!
Last night during dinner the kids disappeared... we found them in the bathroom... SOAKED! They had made a car wash in the sink and were washing their cars... It made me smile. The bathroom was soaked - they were soaked, but they were having super duper fun!
I love these little guys!
This morning, Eden got her first hair cut! I cut off her mullet tail and evened up the bottom a bit. She has the wildest curls... I am a tab bit jealous! She is really growing up. I am noticing this even more as she is communicating more... and just plain acting older! Wow... her 2nd birthday is not too far away!
We truly have so much to be Thankful for... so many things...
Today I am especially thankful for...
1. Certain Truth Ministries is an official Non-profit ministry.... recognized by the State! This fall we will be sending out our first missionary to Africa!!!! Can't believe this is coming to life...
2. In July Micah will be full-time at Montana Bible College! We didn't think that would happen until February 2012! We are thankful that God is working out details that are beyond us!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Words, Snacks, and Lunch Pails...

My kids are at that age where they are saying the funniest things... I need to write these things down, because I laugh about them... but when I try to tell Micah later I forget the exact words.
Yesterday I was in a very contemplative mood... Ethan leaned out of his bedroom door and yells, "Momma, I LOVE YOU!" Then he went right back to what he was doing.
I needed to hear that. Eden will come up to me and put her arms around my leg... snuggle into me, kiss me and say, "I wuv you!" I love this... This morning... (Eden had ended up in our bed due to a rough night of sleep)... I was out of it... and she snuggled over to me and said, "Momma, NO SLEEPY!"
This morning Ethan was watching Thomas the Train and when I wouldn't let him have more snack he said with a stern face, "Momma, I am very cross!" I laughed out loud!
I had a few quiet moments so I put together some grab snacks for the kids. This summer I have plans to be on-the-go a lot... I came up with the idea (not that it is an original idea... I don't claim that!!) of snack mixes. I always have these on hand so I can throw some in my purse as we head out the door. I have sweet mixes containing frosted shredded wheat, cocoa puffs, and animal crackers. And a salty mix Cheetos, fish and pretzels... probably not the healthiest, but it works and the kids love them and they are way cheaper than the already packaged ones!
One more thing.... I have had a lot of people ask about our picnic baskets. I have collected them over the years from World Market (our newest addition is here).... I LOVE THAT STORE... I live about 2 miles from one now... DANGER!

I am thankful for my kids and the words of affirmation they give... I love these little guys!