Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"...Worst Day EVER!"


"This is the worst day EVER!!!!" Ethan exclaimed as he threw himself down on the couch. I could totally understand his frustration... I asked him to come take a bath... Mind you that was after a day of raspberry picking, apple pie for dessert, and extra time to play in the evening... so much so that bedtime was 1/2 hour later than normal!!!!  I'm the worst Momma ever...

I remember talking with my Dad about parenting... I have no profound thoughts, but one thing I've learned along the way is that each moment may not turn out how you want or how you had it planned in your mind... but strangely it is always about the process.  My expectations have changed... it is about teaching character... not about having "fun"! It is about the process... not the finished product.  Most of the time when I'm in the midst of executing something I planned for the kids... I think, "This is not fun!"  or "WHY AM I DOING THIS!!!!?"  

Tonight I had a conversation with my oldest... that is after his fit!  I reminded him of all the fun things we did, the clothes he got to wear, the food he got to eat... all the many blessing so many people don't even begin to understand... I told him that just because he didn't get his "way" in one tiny little thing ... doesn't mean the whole day has to be categorized as horrible! I explained how I pray he will be a kind-hearted boy... and think of others... not just himself and his little reality...

I "thought" we had a great day... 
On Sunday Ethan asked me if we were going to pick raspberries this summer...  Exactly a year ago we picked raspberries at Rocky Creek Farm! I was amazed he remembered.  I checked online and found out that their raspberry crop was ready for picking... 
Rocky Creek Farm is a really neat place... I really wish I had a little farm like this...  In fact as I was wandering through the fields picking berries I whispered a prayer, "God, I would really love a little place like this... one where I can have a beautiful view, rows of raspberries, a little garden and chickens..." *sigh*  Maybe that will be my patch of heaven... I sure feel alive in the fields - it is one place I feel God's presence.
Ethan was a great little picker, but strangely, by the end there weren't many berries in his bucket...
maybe that was because...
 I saw a lot of this...
and this,                         this                      and THIS...
Eden was hard to keep track of... she would grab a berry and walk to another bush, grab a berry and walk to another bush... the whole time we were picking I heard her saying, "Come'on Momma!"  "I'm down here, M-o-m-m-a!" "Follow me, Momma!"  I felt like I was speed berry-picking trying to keep up with her!




 We ended up with 3.5 lbs of berries... but I think that was a low estimate... I'm sure there was like 2lbs in each of their tummies!  Isn't that what fruit picking is ALL ABOUT!? 


When we got home I made 5 pints of jam... not a lot, but I love my raspberry jam.  It reminds me of my Grandma... her raspberry patch and the jam she would send home with us.... we savored every single drop!  That is why I grow raspberries!  My bushes our producing enough for a daily little snitch for my kiddos!  Hopefully next summer will be a better crop!
After I made the jam... I made a traditional birthday pie for my Hubby... It was his birthday (yesterday) and we got to go out to dinner, just the two of us... and that was nice! Tonight we sang Happy Birthday to him as a family....

I thought it was a lovely day... each part of it... (well... except the part where our water got turned off for 2 hours... right during my jam making/pie making time)  But one little thing doesn't make it "...WORST DAY EVER!"  Nah, not by a long shot!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Camping with CTM...

We traveled up to Fairy Lake for a CTM (Certain Truth Ministries) retreat this weekend.  We put this trip on the calendar a month or so ago and were hoping to be able to get away, laugh, and have fun together... 
When we got there it was PACKED with cars, but we were able to find a camping spot... the last one! This little area is gorgeous (and very popular)!
 The flowers were in full bloom... and the kids were delighted to be out camping again!
 For dinner Eli brought MASSIVE steaks... they were amazing.  When I gave Ethan his plate of cut up steak he sighed and exclaimed, "Am I in heaven?"
In fact all our food was AMAZING!  We are so blessed to have so many good things to enjoy!
We did all that fun camping stuff... campfire cooking, cracking peanuts, smores deliciousness...  and good conversation... it was good!
Early the first morning we pumped up our raft and hauled it to the lake... we spent the whole day playing beside, in and on Fairy Lake... we all got sun-kissed!
 Ethan found a few bugs and declared them his best friends... He named them Buggy and Butterfly-ee... when they flew off HOURS later... he was in tears!  I could not comfort him -- it was as though his little heart broke in two... he is still sad about it.
I was so thankful for the patience of our dear friends... who were willing to hang out with us and all our craziness.... camping with kids is wild.... (but it is getting "easier"... there is HOPE!)
 We loaded up our dirty little children and headed home this morning... it wasn't too long later and they were out... To me, this is a good sign of a GRAND time!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Views of our Week...

 I know I'm becoming redundant when I continually write about how tired I am... but the truth is... I'm tired... too tired... I haven't felt exhaustion like this before -- it knocked me off my feet this week... This morning is the first time I felt a tiny ounce of energy.  It is hard to push myself to vacuum, do dishes, make the kiddos breakfast... but I have --- and we have... I have... barely survived...
 It is hard to keep the kiddos busy... they have too much energy!  There has been a lot of really hard moments this week.  A lot of "new" back talk... for instance I asked Ethan to bring in the juice while I was unloading the groceries from the car... he moaned and groaned and whined... then when we finally got inside I asked the kids to pick up the toys off the floor so I could vacuum.  He looked at me defiantly and exclaimed, "WHAT!  Do I look like a slave or something??"

I didn't even know how to respond.... I just reminded myself 
 "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child..." Proverbs 22:15
 Eden's broken collar bone has been interesting... She insists upon dressing herself... and then after much effort she'll whine and ask for help...
She wrestles, jumps off things... and continues her normal wildness!  The Dr. called to check up on her and I asked about how long it would take to heal and my concerns of keeping her still.  The Dr. told me that with boys they try to encourage the parents to limit their activity, but with girls it usually isn't an issue... I just chuckled... she doesn't know MY GIRL!
Fell asleep while playing trains...
 It's been a hard week for her... She's been full of whining, crying and all sorts of unlady-like behavior... I'm trying to have patience!
Black Bottoms...
 Chocolate has been my best friend this week... I made a big batch of these for all the company we've had the last couple days... they are delish!

Beat: 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and a large egg until smooth... in a separate bowl mix 1 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, (optional 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips... I couldn't find any in the stores), 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa. 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1 tsp white vinegar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Spoon the chocolate batter into a lined cupcake pan until about 1/2 full (the recipe suggests using mini cupcake pans... I just used regular). Then put a couple tsps of cream cheese mixture on top... bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  I was able to make 18 cupcakes...
 I've felt the "I'm a really, really, really bad Mom" feeling all week and so yesterday I finally said yes, to the 1,000th plead for craft time... I let the kids paint... and when paint was all over the furniture, clothing... and all sorts of other random places... I wondered why I finally caved!????
 but that is how we roll... I guess... it just makes everything a little bit more colorful!
 I really loved this little birdhouse ... painted by Eden... it is cute in our flowers!
 As I was watering the yard... I looked up and realized how pretty my front yard is... thought I would share... the flowers are all in full bloom right now!
 My garden is coming along...
 A pumpkin flower....
and promise of a friendly Sunflower face....

There are a few little shots from our week... we have a busy weekend ahead... so I should get busy with preparations... I pray it will be good family bonding... and a whole lot of relaxing, too!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Random Chaos...

 I've been lost with how to adequately record our lives - as of late... completely lost for words...  It feels like an eclectic mess of events...
all completely colliding and crashing into each other...
Eden picked some flowers for our table...
 The whole goal of last week was to S L O W DOWN... WAY DOWN!
 I was able to weed the garden... and get our home back in order...
 Despite having hardly any topsoil, the garden is growing... I think we are to a place where I won't be buying lettuce for the rest of summer... love it!
Our salads taste so fresh and delish!
 Thursday and Friday I let the kids hang out at an adventure camp (across the street from us).  A local Church put on a program and then had a BBQ Friday night.  It was neat meeting new people who love Jesus.  The kids had a blast....
so much so they caught the flu...
The nasturtiums finally bloomed in my hanging baskets... beautiful! 
 So we spend the ENTIRE weekend nursing our wee ones back to health... we pushed juice, cleaned up "unmentionables", and snuggled (a LOT).
 Then last night... as the fevers were finally breaking... Eden fell out of bed around 2 am... her blood curling scream woke me from a dead sleep and I sprinted across the house to her bedroom.  She was laying on the floor... when I picked her up she cried harder.  I rocked her and sang to her... prayed over her and in my foggy, sleepy state assumed she had a nightmare.  I brought her to bed with me and she tossed and turned... whimpering for an hour....  She told me her neck hurt... I freaked... thinking that she might have some sort of spinal injury from her fall and did a complete spinal examine.  I couldn't feel anything broken, or see anything bruised... so I gave her some Ibuprofen and she finally fell asleep until around 8:30 in the morning. When she got up... she just cried and cried.  She wouldn't stand up ... I checked her all over... and called Micah -- we decided she should be checked out...
Such a cute little skeleton!
Well she did it... she fractured her collar bone...
I figured she would be the first to break a bone, but I figured it would be from repelling off the roof or from climbing a tree or from skateboarding... not just falling out of bed!

It has been a random week of chaos... and it's just BEGINNING!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Slow Down and Smell the Soup...

I've shed tears, lately, about how busy we've been... in the last 6 days I made lunch for friends from Arizona, hosted a couple from Ontario, made dinner for friends, had 4 coffee dates, and hosted a baby shower ... on top of camping and unpacking from Vacation! This evening Micah and I were talking about how ironic this is.... a year + some ago I was so lonely... so isolated... the phone never rang... now I'm surrounded by friends, our calendars are PACKED, and there is always a list of more things to do... I think the pendulum has swung to the other extreme.  I've been going through my calendar and thinking through each item... I need to let more than 1/2 go.  
Family time has always been a priority for us... and good things are crowding in on that time too many occasions... we need to find a balance!  
Ethan and Eden dressed each other this morning... made me smile at their choices... not too bad!
A couple years ago I made a New Year's resolution to simplify... I still find myself on that path.  Since we've moved to our little trailer, I've gotten rid of almost 1/2 of what we owned... and I still feel like I need to get rid of another 1/2.  This week we are cleaning and getting our home back in order... it seems to only take seconds to unravel... and hours to reorganize! I'm minimizing our activities this week... and trying to find our footing again!!!
 I've also decided that this is a no "TV/movie" week... I think I'm insane!  That screen time is what keeps my sanity, but I have seen some behavior and attention problems that makes me wonder if their movie time is to blame... it is hard to be the parent!  Especially when you are tired!
 But I sure do love my wild monkeys... a lot!
Yesterday I made a pot of soup.  I love SOUP!  It is best in the winter, but I just wanted to be able to SIT and SIP... and this recipe I found months ago for Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto (HERE) was just right!  Of course I detoured from the recipe... the following are my changes: I used BOTH carrots and red pepper and added about 1/2 cup of chopped celery with leaves and 1/2 cup onion.  I used chicken breasts with bones and boiled them in a pot of water to make the broth and then deboned the meat and set it aside. I took all the veggies and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil - I love how sauteed veggies taste in soup!   Instead of croutons I served a toasted slice of Focaccia bread (YUM!).... It was a treat and thankfully I have lots of left overs.... gonna be my lunch all week!

I'll be sitting and sipping and trying to SLOW DOWN a bit!