Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Day of September. . .

This week started out disastrous. . . On Monday I burned a batch of gingerbread scones, an apple pie, and forgot to grease the bread pan for my bread (I literally had to chisel the bread out of the pan!!) . . . By lunch time I wanted to cry. . . that evening our little/big bug got a bug and threw up all night long. . . Tuesday morning I took a deep breath and figured we could try to salvage the week. . . we have and I wanted to take a minute to be thankful for this fantastic last week of September! Here is a list of what I am thankful for. . .
1. Chocolate Chip Scones: My RA from college has a fun blog where she posts her refined-sugar free foods that she cooks for her family. This week she blogged about Chocolate Chip Scones. Say "scones" and I am hooked. I tried these and they didn't disappoint. . . although I did use refined sugar because I didn't have any coconut sugar, but at some point I will have to try again. . . this time with the right ingredients!
2. A Healthy Little Guy: I was thankful for the opportunity to serve my son in sickness this week. To love on him and to comfort him. . . I am thankful I had the resources to help him get better. He is a ball of energy and a firecracker in my day. I am thankful he is feeling better!
3. A Beautiful Little Girl: I am thankful for how this little dear is teaching me to enjoy the feminine things in life. I am thankful for pony tails and cute hair ties. I am thankful for her new words, her sensitive/strong personality, and her great snuggles. I am glad she is still my little baby. . . okay . . . *sigh* not so much!
4. Bozeman: This morning Micah and I were talking about how thankful we are that we are living in Bozeman. Monday afternoon we met with a pastor at Grace Bible Church for our church membership interview. We were amazed and grateful for our talk with him. We had been very honest on our applications and we were kinda surprised when he responded with reassured confidentially, care, and support. It was a breath of fresh air. . . and hope. Also on Monday I had my second counseling session and am just excited to sort out the confusion and pain in my heart. We came here in faith, believing and asking God for healing and encouragement. . . we can see Him answering specific requests.
5. Left-over Oatmeal: Moving here has thrust me back into the middle of a housewife's struggle of planning menus and sticking to a budget, after a 7 year college life/cafeteria based lifestyle (more on this to come). I hate, hate, hate throwing food away. The last few mornings my kids have not eaten their oatmeal. I didn't know if it was related to sickness or not - so I didn't fight that battle. I just saved the oatmeal. Yesterday, I took the left-over oatmeal and made these zucchini whoopie pies (with cinnamon cream cheese frosting)... don't ask me how I did it. I just threw a bit of this and that and they are AMAZING!
6. Care packages of Hand-me-downs: This week we got a package stuffed full of clothes for Ethan from my dear friend, THANKS LISA! Ethan latched onto this hat that was in the box and I am not sure if we will get it off his head. He was also equally thrilled with all the Mater and Lightning McQueen shirts! I was thrilled by the homeschool sheets tucked at the bottom! YAY! Thanks so much again, Lisa! God answers prayer - that is for sure!

~. . .~.*.~. . .~
See, I have lots to be thankful for. . . September was a beautiful month. . . full of memories, grace and THANKSGIVING! God is good to us!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Let Them Play. . .

I rarely. . . and I mean rarely get sick. . . I have been sick this week with a head cold and feeling quite tired. . . probably from the lack of sleep the night Ethan was so sick. . . whatever the case I have been trying to sit back and enjoy watching my kids play. I've captured a lot of pictures that freeze memories from our last 48 hours. . . I think I have a pretty special life!
Here are some of my random thoughts. . .
Every once in awhile I get a picture that I love - My kids ignore me when I have my camera and in fact they try to look anywhere but at me. . . I still try to capture their gorgeous faces. . .
I love this one of Ethan. . . Such a big boy!
The weather has been INCREDIBLE. . . I'm lov'in this bright, warm fall.
Yesterday I pulled out the chalks and we colored up our sidewalks. . . I really want a chalkboard wall in my house. . .
Micah says no,
but oh how my heart says. . . YES!
(one day we will compromise. . . I know it!)
Last night we rode to a little park and played until the sun started to set.
I feel rich enjoying these long, slow placed evenings. . .
they sure are something special - that's for sure!
I love seeing my kids expend that last bit of energy in their crazy wild ways. . .
reminds me of a a blown up balloon being released before it is tied. . .
I am sure it helps them sleep better!
Today was a truck/dirt day. . . Ethan could play with his trucks for hours. . .
and today he did - I even let him stay out during nap time.
Eden is not as easily entertained. She is all over the place - I'm never quite sure what exactly she is up to - except when she is disrupting Ethan's play. . . then I hear about it!
Parenting/training is a constant thing. . . sitting back and watching has been refreshing.
I have enjoy these little guys a lot the past 48 hours.
Tonight we rode to another park. . . signs of fall are everywhere!
It was an amazing evening. . . perfect way to say goodnight to all the activity of the day. . .

We sure play hard. . . and that is a good thing!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Memory Fun

I love to read blogs. There are amazing art/craft geniuses online - And every time I see something amazing I add it to my long lists of things I want to try. Awhile ago I ran across a blog that showed a fabric memory game (here)... I was in awe! I have been wanting to try this since I read about it... SO since I am not allowed to do any more home improvements (at the moment)...
I decided to dig out my fabric scraps.
Today was a great day to finish this project. Ethan and I have been playing with the few that I had already made... so he was thrilled when I told him I was finished!
He has a knack for this game...
and it is a perfect thing to play together while Eden is napping...
I love primary colors so I thought these where really bright and fun!
Eden thought the game was pretty... one day we all will be able to play the game, but until then... I know Ethan and I are going to enjoy this one!

60 Slaves...

Sheets, blankets, pillows removed from the room... check!
Windows open... check!
Carpets vacuumed and scrubbed... check!
Bathroom floor washed... check!
Toilet cleaned... check!
Laundry in the washer and dryer... check!
Dishes clean... check!
Coffee made... check!
Chicken noodle soup cooking... check!

I am sure there are lots of other little things that can be marked off the list, but as I was scrubbing, cleaning and restoring order from the flu storm that attacked with fury last night I was thankful. Honestly I was! I have heard it said before that the modern woman has approximately 60 slaves within all the machines that are in a typical home. I was imagining what it would be like to clean up this mess without modern conveniences... I would have to go get the water, boil the water, scrub the sheets... you get my drift. In a "sick" way I am thankful for illnesses that remind me how thankful I am that I can take care of my babies. I had "bubbly" juice for the queasy stomach, a cold rag to clean and cool him, warm blankets to wrap his tired body in... and time. I am not rushing off to work this morning.. I am exhausted but it is okay. We are watching movies, coloring, making box trains... and staying in our PJs all day... I do have a lot to be thankful...

At one point last night Ethan had just finished throwing up and as he lay in my arms I wiped his mouth. He looked up at me and said, "Thank you so much for wiping my mouth, Momma. It is really nice of you!" It melted my heart. As sick as he was I wasn't expecting any gratitude... all I could think of was loving on him, kissing his head over and over, snuggling with him, and rubbing his back... his little words have been resonating in my mind this morning... I know he felt loved. Those are the moments that are important in relationships... I was able to be there - I was able to love.
It is a ticking time bomb around this place...
Eden will surely be next... it is just a matter of time...
Thank God for my 60 slaves!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dave's Deep Dish Apple Pie...

Last night we went over to a neighbor/friend's house for dinner... Ethan and Eden brought home a bag of apples that they found off the ground around their apple tree.
All Ethan wanted to do was bake an apple pie. So this morning... FIRST thing we washed apples... He told me that if you only see one worm hole it means the worm is still inside... made me smile. We cut around the worm holes and the bad parts... until we had enough for a deep dish apple pie. I am loving the smell in our house right now!
Ever since Ethan has been able to sit on the counter he has helped me make pies... he is a great little baker... here is the recipe for our deep dish apple pie... I rarely use any other recipe...

Dave's Deep Dish Apple Pie

Pie Crust (this is the recipe I use for all my pies... enough for a 9 inch top and a bottom):
2/3 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons cold water
(tip... when you roll out the crust roll it between plastic wrap... then you don't have to add extra flour and it is easy to put in the pie dish)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup floud
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
8 med apples

Friday, September 23, 2011

First Day of Fall...

*** If you checked my blog yesterday... you might have noticed some of these pictures, but later on in the day I realized how depressing my post was and I didn't want to ruin these pictures with a raw, depressing post... so I deleted them. So now I present them again in a more pleasant arrangement... hum! ***
Fall is here... I love everything about Fall...
(EXCEPT, as most of you already know, Halloween... I really despise Halloween)
... anyways...
Yesterday we did escape our home... and after we had played for awhile on the playground we ventured out for a walk around the small ponds that are next to the park. We took our time and wandered around the water's edge... We thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful fall weather...
I thought the golden grass was brilliant... it glittered in the sunlight and danced with the gentle breeze. All the seed pods, berries and last of the season flowers were radiant... each displaying their shape and color in an artistic display... I breathed deeply... and enjoyed!
I thought everything was just delightful. I really feel close to God when I am surrounded by His handiwork and the beauty of His creation... I marveled and enjoyed each detail of nature.
Those are some of the pleasant thoughts I had yesterday...I am thankful for this new season...
A side note: Last night we celebrated Uncle Eli's return from Africa by have a belated birthday celebration. The kids were delighted to have him home... I ended up going to bed early... it was a rough day - parenting is hard... life can be hard, but it's okay...

Happy Fall to all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just Another Fall Day?

This morning I got a text from a friend... she invited us to the park. I needed that. I have been stuck inside. I know I should be out enjoying this beautiful fall weather, but we have been having some obedience/listening issues and so the thought of going anywhere or doing anything was overwhelming.
I am glad we got out of the house.
I am glad the kids had some new friends to play with.
I am glad I had a friend to talk to.
We needed this...
I feel like I am "up to my neck" in the mud and muck of parenting... I'm overwhelmed by the constant need for discipline. The way I repeat myself 100s of 1,000 times a day...
the constant disobedience...
I am tired of being the mom with the screaming cart of kids in the grocery store... or the Mom who has a streak of dog poop on my pants because my daughter decided to play with it and then wipe it on me (definitely going to carry antibacterial stuff in my purse from now on)! SERIOUSLY!!!
I love these kids to pieces, but they get to me... like nothing else. I find myself impatient, frustrated, angry... out of control... I see my sin and I don't like it!
We got home from our adventure and I left them in their car seats... carried in the few bags of groceries... and then crumbled by the door and called Micah. "What am I doing wrong???" Why is it so hard to be consistent, patient, loving, kind, and gentle with two sinful beings completely wrapped up in their own needs...
Some days I would love to take a sick day!
It is a battle to believe that all this training, guiding, loving, discipline, rebuking, hugging, cleaning... mothering is going to pay off one day. That these two little sinners will one day be a blessing to those around them!
It is just another fall day...
another day of grasping for God's grace and wisdom...
I pray that He will make all things beautiful... In His time!
And that He will give me the endurance to continue to shepherd His little lambs...
I'm not thriving today... but we are surviving!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House Tour: Kitchen

Here is a before picture of my kitchen. I got this picture off of the internet.
Here is another view (also from the internet).
Here is a before picture of our kitchen with all our stuff in the kitchen.
Here is an after picture... taken from the same view.
Here are the kiddos modeling for the picture...
Here is a before picture (taken from the dining room).
An after picture of the same view.
Here is a before picture of the stools that came with the house...
Here is an after picture... I love how the white brightened up the darkness of my kitchen. The kitchen looks clean and fresh! And I love how it lights up in the afternoon sun!!! I still have to find handles for the cabinets, but gotta save a bit for that expenditure... I was just told by my husband that I need to take a break from home improvements... so I *sigh* shall!
After HOURS of sanding and painting - this space is kinda growing on me...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Put on a Happy Hat!

Yesterday Ethan came racing into the living room from his "quiet afternoon rest" and announced that he needed to make a hat! So we busted out the art supplies and he went to work creating his masterpiece. He put so much glitter glue that I told him it would have to dry all night before he could wear it...
When Eden woke up from her nap she needed to make a hat too... so the fun began all over.
Ethan helped her and she was quite pleased with her creation!
This morning I was woken up by this boy bouncing on me with his hat on his head. I was not thrilled... I only slept a few hours last night - I battle with insomnia and Eden cried out several times last night waking me up the few times I actually got to sleep. I think she was cold because finally around 4 I went into her freezing room and snuggled with her until she was warm and then I wrapped her in her blankets... I have a feeling it is going to be a long winter... my finger and body are numb this morning... it is cold in here today!
Ethan insisted that I get up... and then he announced it was a wonderful day because he had put his "happy hat" on...
Eden put on her "happy hat" and they are both running around like wild animals. I guess I need a happy hat because I am cold and tired and not in the mood to be happy, but I guess this morning they are teaching me an important lesson... it is my choice to choose joy today...
I guess I need to go find a happy hat...
or at least a steaming hot shower,
another fresh piping-hot cup of coffee
and another blanket!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Monday...

I could have sworn I just sat down and wrote about last Monday. I feel like I am in a time warp machine and my life is racing past me... I have started reading the book Disciplines of a Godly Family by Kent and Barbara Hughes because a very dear friend recommended it to me. And the one thing that is sticking out to me is how much work it takes to be intentional and purposeful about life. It takes planning and organizing and executing! Sometimes I just wish intention and organization just came naturally and easily, but I realize it takes a lot of WORK!
This morning I am overwhelmed with the details... I have a food budget that I can't seem to keep, menus to plan, "preschool" to think through, plan and teach, and CTM recipes that need to be mailed out... it is a lot right now. I tend to pack my plate too full and then get overwhelmed. I have been trying, trying, trying to figure out my priorities and stick with a handful of things instead of a truck load! It is not easy for me to do, but I want to... I need to...
Yesterday was a difficult day... I had some a couple of friendship issues that were very heavy on my heart, a church membership package to fill out (it was VERY detailed and long), and a pizza dinner to cook for some M-dub alumni. I fell into bed exhausted and climbed out of bed this morning exhausted! I don't want life to just happen... I don't just want to be caught up in doing a lot of things that I miss the most important things. Could you pray for me - that I could not just be busy, but instead be intentional and purposeful today?